Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

Professor David Spiegelhalter of Cambridge University wants to know about your coincidences!

Reading at distance

My son was travelling round the world in 2006 and one day rang me up from a hostel in New Zealand. After 20 minutes or so of conversation I casually picked up a book from a bookshelf and at the same time thought I would ask if he had had a chance to read anything on his travels. He replied that he had been at the hostel for a few days and had been reading a certain book from their stock of books. It was exactly the same book that I had casually selected from my bookshelf!
Total votes: 628
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:46:06 +0000Coincidence ID:3534


We were having a family holiday in the Algarve when the children were young and whilst sunbathing topless on the beach decided to cool off in the sea. As I was walking towards to water I heard a voice say 'hello Mrs R'. I looked up and saw it was my milkman and he wasn't looking at my face!
Total votes: 590
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:46:04 +0000Coincidence ID:3533

Apparnt Supernatural Knowledge of a Famous Death

I remember watching the TV series "On the buses" as a kid with my dad, we loved it. For some reason on 16th Nov 2008, I recalled this memory and pondered about Reg Varney and wondered what had become of him since that series. Later, I was rather surprised to discover that he had died that very day ... now that was a surprise because it was the only memory I have of thinking about him that entire year. Now the thought strikes me that such an experience could indeed convince many that something supernatural had happened, but I do not think this is the case for the following reasons. 1) memory can play tricks. I might have recalled him to memory several times, but simply did not remember (can you honestly recall every thought from every day?). the reason I remember this instance was the impact of his death. 2) there is a rather finite number of famous elderly folks. We also have a rather large population in the UK who would remember them. So on every given day, there is a very high chance that a couple of hundred folks (at the very least) are thinking about that famous but elderly actor. Thus, when they die, there will indeed be several hundred people who have this experience. I bet it happens all the time and when it does, it leaves a few amazed "it must be supernatural" folks, and yet do the maths, and I find that I am convinced that it must happen.
Total votes: 639
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:45:58 +0000Coincidence ID:3532

Swedish Flight Singer

Over 10 years ago in Brighton, a friend of mine put me in touch with mutual friend of hers to do some music together. She was a singer, and I played and wrote music a lot at the time. So I phoned her, and we talked for ages on the phone, got really excited by mutual interests, made all these half plans, then of course - did not nothing about it. I also worked at the time for a Swedish company and travelled at strange times to and from Stockholm. About a year after the phone call I was getting a late midweek flight back from Sweden on a nearly empty plane, There were literally 5 people on it, one of whom was a girl sitting just across from me writing in a book. We got talking, I asked to look in the book and saw they were song lyrics she was making up, talked a little more and we both realised we'd talked to each other before! She had decided to go to Stockholm at the last minute on her own, just to have a look for a couple of days. So we had to do some music, and did a couple of songs together over the next few weeks, then drifted apart. Haven't seen her since, but it's my best small world story.
Total votes: 630
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:45:46 +0000Coincidence ID:3531


I lived in a house in Buntingford and found that my front door key (yale type) fitted a cupboard door in a power station in Romania where I was working when I needed to get some technical supplies for which the keys weren't available
Total votes: 582
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:45:26 +0000Coincidence ID:3530

School friends sister

I arranged a business meeting when I was working in Manchester with someone who had recently moved there from London. I had never seen this person before and only knew them by reputation. As I walked into the room with my PA I commented that a woman in the restaurant looked just like a school friends sister. This turned out to be the person I was meeting. When I mentioned this to her she relayed that a few years before she was approached by a fellow student at university because she looked like his sister and subsequently went on to have a relationship with him. This man turned out to be my school friend.
Total votes: 573
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:45:15 +0000Coincidence ID:3529


My father, John Edward Blake, was born in 1913 and was the eighth child in the family born on the 8th day of the 8th Month (August).
Total votes: 584
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:45:13 +0000Coincidence ID:3528

Matching Deaths

My grandfather on my fathers side, who I never met, died on Monday 8th October 1962. My father died on Monday 8th October 2007.
Total votes: 673
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:44:59 +0000Coincidence ID:3526


I lived in a house in Buntingford and found that my front door key (yale type) fitted a cupboard door in a power station in Romania where I was working when I needed to get some technical supplies for which the keys weren't available
Total votes: 709
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:44:25 +0000Coincidence ID:3525

Mr Hugh Coulson

In the aftermarth of the Asian Tsunami in 2004 I had been evacuated from the island of Koh Phi Phi to the port of Krabi on the mainland some 48kms away. This was 56hrs after the waves and I was at the international hotel that had been set up as ane emergengcy centre for people to gather and get repatriated, get help and put their name on a list or check if loved ones had put their name on a list, that sort of thing. I was adding my name to said lists at a group of tables with 8 interpreters working away. As I was going through this process I noticed a young American woman talking to the next door interpreter to mine (on my right handside), explaining she had also been on Phi Phi and had lost everything, her bungalow had been swept away and she had lost her passport, wallet and all her belongings. On my left handside at the same time was a middle aged American woman who had been waiting at the main peir in Krabi for the boats to come in from the island for friends who were still missing. Whilst she was waiting she had seen a wallet floating in the water at the foot of the steps of the peir, which she retrieved and was handing in. The interpreter went throught he wallet and found identification inside which had a driving liscence with a photo of the woman on my right. a sense a immense shock came across all of us as the realisation that the wallet had been reunited with its owner after floating 48kms across the sea, had been retrieved and most astonishing of all been handed in at the exact time the owner was reporting its lost. It was quite overwhelming and tears were shed. The money was still in the water!
Total votes: 641
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:44:03 +0000Coincidence ID:3524