Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Reconnected 30 years later

In the 1980's, my 1st husband & I were working and living in a caravan park in a Perth suburb of Western Australia. At the time I had a 2 yr old girl. One day I was in the Laundry of the van park when a young man apparently was there to do his laundry as well. This man asked me how to work the washing machine, which I apparently showed him, we spoke very briefly,(no flirting, I was happily married then)! In 2005 I divorced my husband (Tony). Fast forward to 2007,I am back living in NSW on the other side of the country again. I met a man on a dating site named (David), became just conversational friends and didn't physically meet for another 6 months when I moved to Brisbane for a job from NSW. After dating for 2 years, I moved in with David and during one evening when I was showing him my old photo albums before I packed them away into a cupboard, I came across a photo of me taken during the 1980's while I lived in Perth. I hadn't told David about my time in the Caravan Park, we were just randomly talking about the 80's era of our lives. On seeing this photograph of me, David then asked if I'd ever lived or visited this Parks Laundry matt, giving the exact name of the park as Gwelup Caravan Park in Karinyup Road, Gwelup (a suburb of Perth in W.A.) When I said yes, I had lived there for 18months, David was able to describe my daughter, who was 18months old, and what I looked like, he said he always remembered me because I was so friendly and helpful to him. He had been on a random road trip while still single with 2 mates and had driven from one side of Australia to the other (N.S.W to Western Australia). I didn't see David again until both our marriages had broken up and we met randomly online. He also said he had often thought of me over the years and wondered about me. He said he'd never forgotten me. Now happily married since 2016, we often finish each others sentences & think of each other just before we telephone each other or a txt arrives. We even can be driving along in silence when out of the blue I will say something that I had just thought about or vice versa and the other is absolutely floored because the other had just been randomly thinking of that exact same thing.. we still 'do that ' to this day.
Total votes: 183
Date submitted:Sat, 30 May 2020 08:01:54 +0000Coincidence ID:10461

Dreams on the same day

I've been keeping a dream diary for several years. There is a very specific (sexual) subject that I occasionally dream about, and I noticed that two instances of it occurred in September 12th 2015 and September 12th, 2016, so exactly a year apart! I record the date of the dream on the day I wake up, so the dream took place in the night between September 11th and September 12th. And no, it has nothing to do with September 11th 2001, completely different subject-matter. For full honesty, though, the next instance occurred in October 21st, 2017, however, so not as impressive. And it seems I haven't dreamt about the subject in almost 3 years.
Total votes: 168
Date submitted:Fri, 29 May 2020 16:12:13 +0000Coincidence ID:10460

Darth Vader

My kid was playing with his Darth Vader towel yesterday - I jokingly asked if he wanted a ‘Darth Vader Impersonator’ for his birthday party. I thought I was so clever I tweeted it. Later that day a neighbor kid was wearing a ‘Darth Gator’ T-shirt from the zoo. Sure - little kids love Darth Vader - but the other kids shirt was a gator doing an impersonation of Darth Vader These happen 2-5 times a day to me.
Total votes: 180
Date submitted:Wed, 27 May 2020 04:19:43 +0000Coincidence ID:10459

Hello world

Total votes: 190
Date submitted:Sun, 24 May 2020 16:36:45 +0000Coincidence ID:10458

My Adopted Father's Story

My dad was born in the United States and adopted as an infant by an American couple. When he was in grade school, his family moved to Germany for his father's work in the foreign service. He lived there through high school, becoming fluent in German, and adopting many aspects of German culture as his own. His adoptive parents were not German. As an adult, he found out who his birth family was, and it turns out that his birth mother was a German immigrant. Also, his mother had an identical twin sister who also had a son, and he had the same name as my father!
Total votes: 188
Date submitted:Mon, 11 May 2020 18:05:13 +0000Coincidence ID:10455

Sisters intertwined

I went to Australia and met two people who work on different projects at a big American company, but spend time working with other stuff they're passionate about. Two years later, one sister who went to my uni in the US reached out to me because one of my professors told her I might be able to help her on a project that combines two disciplines not many in my field are familiar with. We have dinner together and she has her husband and daughter join. she wants me to join a project with one of the people I met in Australia. And we chat, I mention I'm going to Mexico City in a couple weeks. Her daughter mentions she has a cousin there who might be able to show me around, so I hit her up. About a year later, the other sister (sister to the aforemented sister) emails me about a very different different project because the same professor told her I might be able to help (sister 2 also did her PhD at my university a long time ago). She says she's working with the OTHER person from Australia on a project. Turns out neither sister knew the other had contacted me, and I didn't connect the dots that the person I met in Mexico City was the second sister's daughter. Two sisters hit me up through the same professor vabout projects with people I met in Australia, and I met one's daughter in Mexico through the other's daughter in the US.
Total votes: 205
Date submitted:Sun, 10 May 2020 19:28:08 +0000Coincidence ID:10454

Family resemblance

Cousin 1, through one of my mum's sisters, was raised in England. Cousin 2, through another of my mum's sisters, was raised in France. (Both are cousins of each other.) When Cousin 1 was on her gap year in New Zealand, she got chatting to some random French girls. Then one said, "You look a lot like our friend [Cousin 2's name]!"
Total votes: 185
Date submitted:Sun, 10 May 2020 17:48:19 +0000Coincidence ID:10453

Architect of the Union

Take a map, locate South Africa. Zoom in, zoom way way in, locate Zeerust and Swartruggens. This is where it all started David was born in 1972 in South Africa. I was born in 1978 in Zeerust, RSA. For the briefest moment, David and myself were within 60km from one-another when he visited his father in Swartruggens, only to meet more than 30 years later thousands of miles on the other side of the world. September 2010, Las Vegas; on a Friday night I randomly met David in a bar. Through conversation my South African heritage came up, to which he replied that he was from South Africa too. I switched to Afrikaans. He replied that he left there when he was 6 years old, and doesn’t speak Afrikaans. After we met for coffee, I didn’t hear or see David till February 2011. I asked him about his South African connection: “I left when I was 6 years old, and never saw my father again.“ This absolutely peeked my interest. “Did you not want to find your father?” “I was going to look for him before I went to the military, but my mom told me it’s an insult to Mark, the man that raised me”. David and I started a romantic relationship in March 2013 From the beginning I asked David if he minded if I was going to look for his father. He said no, and so the grit, perseverance and determination that has taken my all over the world by myself from the age of 17 kicked in. “This is a mystery I can solve”. I shared the story with a few South Africans, they too were intrigued, and with very little clues we all searched… and searched. Nothing came to fruition. David’s father’s last name was Baird; I spoke with many people in South Africa with the last same name, one even immigrated to the US to whom I spoke. Those I spoke with, proudly spoke about their Scottish Heritage, and assured me that they were related, but didn’t know David’s father: David Wegeling Baird. There was not much to go off from what I found on-line. It all lead to dead-ends. Curiously my mom told me: “I went to school in Swartruggens with a John Baird”. Could this be, could my mom have gone to school with David’s father brother?! 2015 I took David to South Africa. I was proud to show him beautiful South Africa. Prior to us leaving, I asked Martha (David’s mother) whether she had clues for us to find David’s father. Her response was swift: “I don’t have any clues, and you should let sleeping dogs lie.” “Fuel to the fire!”. I knew at that moment, that there were secrets to be uncovered, and I’m the person to uncover them. During our trip to South Africa, we met up with David’s god-mother Lesley. Off the bat, I asked: “Lesley, we are trying to find David’s father, do you have any clues for us?” “You know Margaretha, it’s been 35-40 years, I really can’t remember much, except that we had to drop David off in Swartruggens for visitations.” You could have pushed me over with a feather… The very John Baird my mom went to school with, was in fact David’s father’s brother. As motivated as I was to solve this mystery, I was now even more determined to get it done. As we would find out later, the timing of solving the mystery was not there yet. 2015 With the internet, and all it gives us; has not yet given up its secrets on David’s father. This tiny and remote area where I was from; a short distance from the Botswana border had more in store. This time the connection was with Mark McIntosh. The man Martha married after David’s father and moved to the States with. The story of how Mark’s parents met in South Africa. During the 2nd World War; South Africa was a British Colony, the Queen ordered a cement factory to be built in South Africa. The factory… Slurry. 30km from Zeerust, in between Lichtenburg and Zeerust. Much rebuilding had to be done in South Africa after the Boer Wars, The Depression and now the world was at war again. An engineer from Canada and and Engineer from the United States arrived in South Africa during the 1940s and lived next to one-another in Lichtenburg. Both of them had children: Janet, the American off-spring, and Brian, the Canadian 19-year old boy that was in the Military Police stationed in Northern Rhodesia. On his time off, Brian would come from now Zambia, to visit his folks in Lichtenburg. There he met 22-year old American Janet. The two got married in South Africa, and had the first born in Johannesburg, shortly after leaving to go back to Canada, and then to the United States. Telling Brian and Janet that I was from the very area that their love-story began brought tears to Brian. Suffering from dementia, somehow the memories became crystal clear. He tells of how he climbed up to the highest point of the factory, the rivers where he fished, and the passionfruit he ate. He still remembered the Afrikaans name, grenadella. He told of how he remembered talking to a Boer, that was a quiet man, a man that suffered through the Boer War and the concentration camps. Janet lit up: “Margaretha, we loved it there, it brings up so many good memories.” I took David to the factory his “adopted” great-grandparent’s parents help build. He got to see Lichtenburg too. Back in the US, Brian got a painting of Slurry. Pointing to the highest point of the factory: “I climbed to the top!” Not long after our trip Brian died. The trip was hugely successful. April 2016, my mom (an attorney) came to the US. All 3 of us; my mom, David and myself went to see his mom in California. Martha volunteered a file to my mom that has all the information about David’s father, including information about his birth date, and his full name: David Wegeling Baird born on the 4th of November 1936. I memorized this. This was the clue that I needed to solve the mystery. The divorce decree also stipulated that David was to go for vacations to South Africa. That never happened. Martha then tells us that David’s father refused to give up his parental rights before they left South Africa for Mark Macintosh to adopt him. Not exactly the actions of a man that had the intentions to abandon his son. March 2017 the relationship came to an end. I continued my search, hoping that the internet will catch up and reveal information that can lead to a revelation. We’ve heard his mother’s side of the story; I would like to hear his father’s side of the story. September 2018 on my way to Europe with time to kill at the airport, the internet finally caught up, and revealed a vital clue: The gravestone outside of Krugersdorp, Sterfontein: “David Wegeling Baird: Born 4 November 1936 Died 27 February 1993.” This is the first time in the more than 5 years I have searched that I found something that could truly connect me to some answers. I continued the search. “Maybe his father got married again… maybe he had children… siblings to David”. The search delivered: David’s father got married again to Amelia-May Smit, and she had 2 daughters, Amelia-May and Ingrid. David has sisters. Through Facebook I messaged them in Afrikaans, as they are Afrikaans like myself: “Hello, you don’t know me, by chance, are you related to David Wegeling Baird born on the 4th of November 1936.” 2 Days later, sitting in a cafe in Barcelona my phone pings: “yes, that was my father, how can I help you?” “I know your brother” a pause… Amerlia “can you take a call?” MB: “Yes” Amelia: “We knew we had a brother, but didn’t know how to find him. (He no longer carried his father’s name). He was always a presence in our house. My father loved him, and never stopped looking for him. He always sent him gifts and cards, but they always came back. We don’t know whether the address was no good, or whether they were returned on purpose.” MB “What was your father like?” Amelia: “My father was a magistrate, a game warden and an opera signer. He was a strict dad, he liked his things a particular way, loved cars and bikes. My father build a waterfall for David’s 21st birthday in our backyard in February 1993. A few days later my father was killed on his motorbike. He went to buy flowers for my mother, and was going to take us to get pet bunnies later that afternoon. I was 7, my sister, 4. How do you know my brother” MB: “I don’t want to influence the relationship with your brother, we were in a romantic relationship, but are no longer together.” Amelia “Let me talk to my mom and sister, I’ll get back to you” Amelia continued sending me photos of David’s father, and even of David before he left as a 5 or 6 year old. He was always a presence in their household. David, a spitting image of his father. Two days later I am in England. Amelia calls me: “Margaretha, I’m ready to meet my brother, can you set it up, are you sure he wants to know us?” MB “I’m positive!” I texted David: “David, please take my call, I have vital information to share with you, Sincerely, Margaretha” Once I saw he read the message, I called him: “David this is Margaretha, I found your father, he passed away, he never stopped looking for you, he loved you. David, your grandmother’s dying wish was to see you one more time. David, you have 2 sisters, they are amazing and they are beautiful. Your sister is getting married on December 1st, who knows, maybe you can walk her down the aisle. David, your sister is on standby, she wants to meet you.” David burst out in tears: “Margaretha, how did you do this. I will take this to the grave with me. Let me get composed, and I’ll call her.” David spoke with his sister Amelia-May: “Hello Amelia, this is your brother David…” November 2018 David flew to South Africa and gave his sister away on her wedding day. A beautiful union. I requested videos of their first meetings. This union is my masterpiece. David, or anyone that has crossed his path could have done this, but it was me, my persistence, perseverance and determination that solved this mystery. I knew from the first day I took this on that this would profoundly change many many lives. And it has. Even though the relationship was unsuccessful; I’m happy I could have done this. This is so much bigger than me, and the relationship that I had with David. Should David’s sisters relocate to the US, and their children grow up here ever ask the question of how they got to the US, this would be how they came to live in the United States. The holes in the hearts of the 3 siblings and a stepmother have now been filled. The truth has prevailed.
Total votes: 181
Date submitted:Sun, 10 May 2020 15:23:16 +0000Coincidence ID:10452

What are the odds?

When living in New Zealand, at a small party in a rural, sparsely populated area, I met an Australian woman, born and raised in Australia but now working in NZ. During a conversation which amazed both of us, we discovered that her elderly aunt with whom she'd stayed as a child, and my sister, lived in the same very small Norfolk village (population c.600). Exploring this further, we found that in fact they lived in the same cottage- an old cottage divided into two houses down a remote unsurfaced lane. We were both a bit spooked by this - my reaction was to wonder what the odds were of such a coincidence, hers was to think it was a really significant 'message from the universe'.
Total votes: 225
Date submitted:Thu, 07 May 2020 08:04:15 +0000Coincidence ID:10449

A affair & A murder

My husband did laundry, when I went to fold I found a pair of womans socks not belonging to anyone in my house. My husband was being weird and elusive. He wouldnt let me in his car or phone. We split while hes gone I find a pair of womans shoes hidden in my bedroom. I see a post from wife of friend of my husband where she is talking like me. Things start happening pointing to her as other woman. Her husband dies of blood pressure medicine overdose that my husband takes. And all this in a 4 month period. My husband and the friends wife swear I'm crazy and theres never been anything going on. Also when her husband dies I find video of her on his fb wearing what appears to be shoes i found in my bedroom. I keep being told all this is coincidence. But I don't see how
Total votes: 235
Date submitted:Tue, 05 May 2020 07:42:59 +0000Coincidence ID:10448