Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Books a plenty

Two weeks ago I went into a used book store to sell some books and look at what they had in stock. While I was browsing the fantasy section, I came across a book-- The Name of the Wind. I was shocked to find that my eyes lit on it almost as soon as I went into the aisle. The reason It hit me was that I had just learned about this book from an online store that I came across while trying to find the only US distributor for a game I had just bought that week. The writer of that book was the person who created that organization and apparently that was the book he was most famous for. Before I left the aisle, though, a more shocking coincidence hit. I saw an out of place book on preaching in the section-- a non-fiction advice guide in the middle of the fiction area. I usually get dread picking these up because of the striking, well, coincidental messages I find in them. I was confident though that a how-to guide wouldn't have one. I was so wrong. The page I randomly opened to compared the Gospel story to fantasy and fiction yet how it was true.

Pokémon coincidence

On July 4, 2020, I first watched Pokémon. 1 year later, today, I started watching Pokémon Journeys. I also posted it here:

A long way from home

My wife and I were travelling in southern Ecuador with my wife's brother and his wife. In a Panama hat factory the guide told us she had once been to England. Me: "Whereabouts?" Guide: "You won't have heard of it. It's a little village called Brinklow." Me: "Between Rugby and Coventry?" Guide: "Yes." Sister-in law: "I was born there."

Burning Man spiral and Polish ancestry

So I went to the Burning Man festival (north Nevada, US) in 2013. One night I went out taking photos on my own in the desert and, at dawn, hitched a ride on an art car that dropped me off by the Hookah Dome. I ran straight into my friend from England who I'd travelled with, which, although it is a large site and there were 68,000 people at the festival and it was a good catch, was nothing to write home about in the context of these coincidences... However. My friend was with another of our campmates, Dirty Dave, who had, not 10 minutes before bumped into someone he hadn't seen since childhood and we were all chatting away, watching the sun rise while drinking tequila and Kahlua and I'm talking to the wife of Dave's long-lost friend... turns out she's Polish. My surname is Polish but my ancestry is complicated Russian/German and we had a long conversation about the fate of the Polish nation in the 20th century. Totally not off my head. Honest. Long story short; we ascertained that our grandfathers fought in the same battalion in WWII. She also kindly told me the derivation of my surname in Polish as well.

Meeting a monster actor by chance

When I was ten or eleven years old, I remember watching a movie about cops busting some corrupt laboratory where they brought people back from the dead, a sort of modern day frankenstein. It's called “Dead Heat” made in 1988. There is this scene in the movie that never left my memory, it’s forever embedded. This huge re-animated biker monster with multiple eyes, noses and mouths gets loose from the lab while the cops are scoping out the lab and they get into a fight. I was immediately fascinated with the monster, his makeup and costume and gruesome appearance was the coolest thing ever in my mind. I loved it so much that I remember thinking, “wouldn’t it be so cool if one day I got to meet this actor?” I don’t know why I thought that, but I did and soon forgot about it. Fast forward a few years into the future, I was thirteen years old and our family moved to the tiny town of Ardmore, Oklahoma where I had no friends and people were close minded and weird. I finally made a fast friend at church when a new family moved to town. Jini Bannister quickly became my new best friend and since we wanted to have a sleepover, our parents had to meet and they invited us over for dinner.

Me and a friend played the same drum beat on a table.

Me and my best friend were sitting at a table alone in high school. I was being silly and I looked at him with wide crazy eyes and played a drum beat on the table. It wasn’t a “normal beat” if that makes any sense. The weird part about this is at the EXACT SAME TIME, my friend did exactly what I did. While I looked up and widened my eyes, he was doing the exact same thing. Than he played the SAME EXACT BEAT. We stared at each other after that and both said something like “omg, that was really weird”. We were both freaked out and told all of our friends about it. But nobody understood how insanely weird it was.

The girl I haven’t seen in years..

My story starts while I was driving to work when I saw a Jeep. I immediately thought of this girl from a speech class I had 4-5 years ago. I thought to myself, “that’s the type of car she would drive”. I sat next to her in that class. I NEVER think about her. I didn’t have a crush on her, I wouldn’t even call us friends. We barely talked in that class other than small talk. So, for no reason she popped in my head. That wasn’t the weird part. I worked my whole shift as a “cook” where I get to interact and talk to every guest. The last 30 minutes of the day, she walks in with her boyfriend. My mind was immediately blown. I questioned myself “that is not that same girl?”. I haven’t seen this girl for 4-5 years and she walked in the ONE AND ONLY day I thought about her. I know she lived out of town and I never saw her again. Writing down this situation does not justify how weird this was for me. I met and saw tens of thousands of people and never did I have such a random thought lead to an encounter.

song lyrics over the internet

Years ago, I was text-chatting online with a friend. Out of nowhere, I decided to make a random, off-topic comment: I simply sent a single line of lyrics from a song I had heard recently and that was stuck in my head. He replied, telling me that as he read my message, that exact line from that song had played. It is something we still remember and refer to once in a while today. I should point out that the song was not a current Top 40 song or anything that got much radio play at the time. It was a fairly obscure country song that had been popular probably 10+ years prior to this happening.

World Trade disaster

While on holiday on a narrow boat on the Kennet & Avon canal, we moored up in Bath. We had the television on and watched in horror as the two planes crashed into the World Trade Centre. Feeling very disconcerted, I went for a walk into the town of Bath. I went into a large bookshop and started browsing computer books as is my interest. My blood ran cold when, flicking through one of the books I saw an ink drawing of a plane flying towards a skyscraper. I was so shocked that I went up to another customer and showed him. Shaken, I replaced the book and left the shop, and have ever since regretted not buying that book!

Somehow positive sign

Lockdown gave me the opportunity to follow a childhood dream. I start painting again doing a serious dedicated to mental health. It’s shows the three steps of depression I went through after my partners suicide it culminates on a fourth painting about him, what aggravated his mental health and it shows on his own words how he was afraid to end the way it did. What motivated me to start painting again was/is to voice my discontent and disgust of how he was ignored. The coincidence is that six years ago, to this day he was thanking me on Facebook for the support I gave him to find the job he dreamed. Unfortunately, in the end it didn’t work out as it was a zero hours contract. Coincidence or not I see it as a sign of appreciation. So much for my atheism…