Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Libby G

Listen to this - I think it is quite an amazing co-incidence! Years ago I lived and worked in Namibia - or South West Africa as it was called then. Two of us spent a wonderful weekend camping in the Namib Desert. Namib means "vast" and it is all of that. Distances between places are huge and in those days I think the population in the whole huge country was something like one million people. Traffic on the main roads was minimal and in the desert virtually non-existent.

Roderick M

1) In 1983 I attended a one-week seminar in Donaueschingen. The seminar was held in French, but attracted teachers of languages in the main from various European countries, including Germany, where I once lived and worked. When on the course, I met Alfons G, from Germany, who also was a teacher of modern languages. He gave me his address and said I was welcome to stay at their house in Germany. A year later I was in East Berlin for three days, walking in the centre, when I saw a familiar head. I went up to this person.

School/university

When I had done one year at grammar school my parents moved from Warwickshire to Surrey and I entered my new school in the second year and took over the text books and place in class of a girl called Angela who had moved to north London. After school I went on the university to study agriculture. The first woman fresher that I met was the same Angela. The school she had moved to was the one my mother had attended.

Walking into a window

I was in my local (Worthing) Citroen garage collecting my car following it's service when there was a loud bang. Everybody in the place turned to look and saw a man holding his face in his hands. He had walked into the showroom window. A few minutes later, there was another loud bang and unbelievably, somebody else had done exactly the same thing. The staff at the garage could not understand what was going on and the service manager said he had worked at the same place for a number of years and that nobody had ever walked into the window before in all the time he had worked there.

Liverpool in the mind

As a university professor, I get to supervise PhD students. I was in my office chatting with one of them, an Iranian, who had done some interviews in his home city. We were listening to one of these, and I noticed the word 'Liverpool' (I didn't understand anything else). I asked about it, and he replied that lots of people over there supported Liverpool. I then responded by saying that, through my work, I had briefly met a man in Norway who regularly came over to attend Liverpool matches. As I was finishing speaking, the phone rang. It was that man.

The greater significance of co-incidence

This box doesn't offer enough space for the experiences I would like to pass on to you. May I leave my e-address for you to contact me. Esme Ellis

weight of a soul

I was considering watching the film "21 grams" which uses a theory developed by a real scientist, which has never been verified, as "accepted real" in order to provide poetic license for the story. The theory is that the soul weighs 21 grams and is equal to the amount of body wight lost at the point of death. I took out some stuff - a handkerchief I think, from my pocket as I considered the possibility of reality of the theory as proven, and dropped excacly 21 pence onto the floor, by accident.

Chance Meetings

I completed a PhD at Leeds University in 1964 and spent the next 47 years working in London. During my time in London I had chance meetings in town with former student colleagues from the same Leeds department on only two occasions. Both encounters took place on the same day, one at lunch time in a vegetarian restaurant and one the same evening at the English National Opera. Incidently I very rarely dine in a vegetarian restaurant or go to the opera.

Double Date

On Saturday, 18th April 1992 I started to decorate my bedroom in an old cottage. A lot of the plaster was damaged especially around the window frame. Whilst raking this out I came across a wooden peg I had assumed was there to wedge in the window frame. When I look at it there was writing on it which read: John Moss mounted round this window frame on Saturday, 18th April 1874.

Insignificant to everybody but me

in 1977 I was studying to repeat my A levels and as part of the curriculum we did "General Studies", a Friday afternoon chat with a well meaning sort whose name escapes me. He was talking about a story where the earths entire population had been destroyed, presumably in some form of M.A.D..

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