Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Car Registation Plate

In 1972 I sold an Austin A40 car to someone who lived near High Wycombe, Bucks. In 1976 I bought a second hand MGB from a dealer in Chalfont St Peter, Bucks. A month later my wife said that she thought that there was something strange about the number plate of the MGB. She looked in the files and found that it was exactly the same number plate, both letters and numbers that was on the A40 sold 4 years previously. Fearing that that there may be something illegal about out 'new' car I obtained details from the DVLA. This is what had happened. The person who purchased the Austin A40 from me moved to Norwich with the car and sold it to someone in Norwich sometime later. The new owner of the A40 also owned an MGB and legally transferred the cherished number plate to the MGB. That MGB was later sold to someone locally in Norwich who subsequently moved to Chalfont St Peter a few miles from where I lived, and traded the MGB in for a new car. I saw the MGB advertised and purchased it without realising that the registration number was the same as the A40 when I owned it. So some 4 years later and with 3 intervening owners, the number plate returned! What are the odds on that happening? It has to be tens of millions to one! We still have the number plate, we could never let it go now. It has been transferred on every time my wife has changed her car and people often ask what it means, as the two letters are not her initials.
Total votes: 943
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 12:23:49 +0000Coincidence ID:3341

Family History

When researching my family history I found that two men very closely related to my family line had been transported on the same ship to Australia (the Claudine 1829). One was from my maternal line (Aston, Birmingham) and one was from my paternal line (Udimore, Sussex), in 1956 my parents met in the UK.
Total votes: 989
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 12:22:03 +0000Coincidence ID:3340

Salmon Farming

This morning I was talking with a work colleague about food scares and we went on at length to discuss salmon farming, a very much off-topic discussion. In fact, I've never spoken about salmon farming before. Later this morning I was researching on Youtube the work of the poet Kwame Dawes, who spoke about a salmon farm as a setting for his poem, Progeny of Air. (35.38)
Total votes: 860
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 12:20:24 +0000Coincidence ID:3339

birth dates

My brothers' dates are 11/01/49 and 11/07/51 Add up the day and month and you get 22/08 And I was duly born on 22/08/53. Spooky!
Total votes: 968
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 12:17:54 +0000Coincidence ID:3338

ID and phone number

My father's National Service number was 3138479. His home phone number (which he had no hand in choosing) was 38479 when he first moved in. It has since been updated to 338479, and a 1 has been added to the STD code.
Total votes: 1025
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 12:11:22 +0000Coincidence ID:3337

Lion King

I have always wanted to see The Lion King on Broadway/in the West End, but could never go for various reasons. After over a decade of waiting, I finally saw it a few days ago. Right after the show, I got home and turned on the tv and a cartoon that I watch all the time that and that as far as I know, has never mentioned the Lion King, was showing an episode about a boy who really wanted to see The Lion King on Broadway but could not go because nobody else was interested.
Total votes: 996
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 12:01:32 +0000Coincidence ID:3336

Pan Mun John

In 1984 i was working on the construction of a new pharmaceutical manufacturing plant in South korea close to the N Korean border at a place called Balan. This new business park was in a agricultural area (the middle of no where) and about a 3 hour drive north from Seoul (no highways then). One morning i had a call from the now completed reception area informing me that i had a visitor and so glad of the break i wandered down to reception to find an ex colleague who had got stranded in Seoul for a few days. In the reception of his hotel he had read an article about the new construction site for his ex company and decided to get someone to drive him (3hrs) to take a look. On getting there and seeing a completed office block he thought he would pop in to see if he could talk to someone as his current company could supply products materials we would use in that Plant. He was amazed to find that when he introduced himself as having worked for our company many years before that i was based there. I was shocked to see him as the location was remote you would not go there on any tour and also that by shear fluke he had been grounded in Seoul again not a popular destination in the early 80's and again by shear fluke he had picked up a magazine with an article about this new venture. I hope this is of interest but i am sure you have had thousands of other chance meetings just strange as mine
Total votes: 910
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 11:54:48 +0000Coincidence ID:3335

Miss N J Dalton

The numerical/symbolic coincidences are based on a string of events currently being examined by a parapsychologist - all evidence is backed up in email, facebook printouts, birth records, photos, legal documents. It has been turned into a book (true story) which has already had one contract offer which I am delaying until a top literary agent - Luigi Bonomi (they requested a full manuscript last week) have made a decision because I would rather have the support of an agent behind me. A journalist who writes for the national newspaper and magazines is also interested in the story. It is too complex to explain in a few words (hence why its a book) but the numbers and symbols show uncanny coincidences throughout, and then later formed the exact location, date, time (to the second) and actual damage to the cathedral in Christchurch, NewZealand caused by an earthquake in February 2011. The story covers every single experience listed by yourself above and more! Plus Zeta Riemann plays an important role here along with something said by Marcus Du Sautoy in an article a few years ago - and for the record my maths didn't go beyond GCSE! I would love to speak with you and I am sure if coicidence is your thing then this story will fascinate you. An American statistician had a brief look, but wanted to charge me about a grand to put probability figures behind it - he said it was pretty much improbable, but would have to put in an upper limit figure so people could actually grasp the unlikelihood of the events. I can you send you a copy of the manuscript if you would like to go through the material. Kind regards Nicola Dalton
Total votes: 988
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 11:45:17 +0000Coincidence ID:3334

Mnemonic special days

We never forget special days in our family as they tend to be close to another relevant special date. My children, aged 7 and 11 now, have birthdays on consecutive days and so are unlikely to forget each others' birthdays in the future (though they may pretend to). My husband's birthday is within a week of Fathers Day every year and mine is within a week of Mothers Day. Our wedding anniversary (admittedly we DID choose our wedding date) is the day before Valentines Day. This is all very convenient as we can halve the number of celebrations by merging them!
Total votes: 946
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 11:45:17 +0000Coincidence ID:3333

how many words in the bible!!!!

many years ago i was doing a quizword puzzle in the mail on sunday question was on the bible and not being a student of this but having inherited the family bible i flipped it open at a random page to find the answer staring me in the face. i do not recall the question but it concerned jail companions and i opened the book on the page relating to shadrach, meshach, and abednego, who i read were in jail together. my answer was confirmed correct in the next issue. is this coincidence, or a random event?
Total votes: 970
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 11:40:20 +0000Coincidence ID:3332