Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Cobblers!

During WW2, my father served with the RAF in Egypt and Libya. His younger brother also served in the RAF, but due to security restrictions, neither knew of the other's whereabouts. One day, some 18 months into his posting, my father needed to get his shoes mended. He was standing in the queue in Alexandria, when, on looking round, found his brother behind him in the queue.
Total votes: 160
Date submitted:Sun, 03 May 2020 14:59:28 +0000Coincidence ID:10444

Music from the past

When I was young, I played with a cassette tape recorder and typically recorded my brother, sister and me talking, singing, etc. and sometimes I'd record America's Top 40 music show. It was the only way that I got most of my music back in the 70's as a kid. My family wasn't into buying current records. I recently retired in January 2020 and because of the Covid-19 quarantine, I thought it would be a good time to listen to the tapes to figure out which to throw away finally. Some of the tapes were labeled, but because they were something my parents didn't want to spend good money on, they got a lot of re-use and re-recording, so I wasn't sure what exactly was on them unless I listened to them. Well, one tape that I listened to just this past week of April 25, 2020 had one of the America's Top 40 weekly summary recordings that had Kasey Kasum as the show host. I didn't realize it until after I listened to it that one recording was from the show for the week of April 30, 1977. At the time, I thought, I wonder if they even have this in some archive that could be replayed - am I the only one with this recording? And I found it coincidental that it was the same week 43 years later and I was listening to it. So, today, May 2, 2020, we ventured out for one of the first times during this quarantine to pick up some supplies and we have Sirius XM radio. So, we just happened to turn to the 70's on 7 station and while waiting for curbside pickup, I noticed a song that I had really liked as a teen at the time. Then, the announcer comes on and I realize its Kasey Kasum and the station is actually replaying an episode of American Top 40 from April 30, 1977!!! I immediately thought, what are the odds of that happening? Me having the recording at all and me listening to it exactly 43 years later on my old tape and THEN hearing that same recording on the radio around the same time.
Total votes: 122
Date submitted:Sat, 02 May 2020 21:05:10 +0000Coincidence ID:10443

Ice Cream Coincidence

I sent a random Good Morning text to my siblings with a photo of an ice cream parlor we’d frequent as kids. It was a chain called Wil Wright’s that’s been out of business for decades. Four hours later, I’m reading the comments section on an article about weird restaurant incidents when I come across a commentor’s tale about an incident that happened years ago at Wil Wright’s.
Total votes: 116
Date submitted:Sat, 02 May 2020 19:57:58 +0000Coincidence ID:10442

The One Family

When I was a kid in 1995 I went to school with a boy he was the only other Indian kid in my class. In around 1997 he moved to another suburb/school. That year when we were at a close family friends apartment and I ran into the boy and his sister. They had moved into the apartment below my family friends apartment. Forward to 2001 on an overseas trip to India, we saw a school photo of the boys dad at my mums cousins house. Turned out the boys dad had gone to school and was friends with with my mums cousin. We started seeing less and less of the boy and his family until we got invited to the boys sisters wedding (around 2010) at the wedding my mum met a lady that looked familiar. Turned out my mum had gone to school with this lady overseas and were next door neighbours (back in India). The ladies brother was now marrying the boys sisters. So many coincidences with one family! Feels like we were always meant to meet. I wonder what other coincidences the future will hold.
Total votes: 140
Date submitted:Sat, 02 May 2020 08:52:38 +0000Coincidence ID:10441

2 separate deaths, 2 same names, connected by 1 house, wut??

Two years after my boyfriend/band mate and I moved out of my parents house, our best friend/also band mate and his brother were killed in a head on collision on the 405 freeway in LA. 2 months later, after their death, my parents sold that house me and my boyfriend had left. We didn’t realize until later but it turned out my boyfriend’s mom’s friend was the buyer. 6 months after moving her family in (8 months after our friends were killed) she was also killed in a head on collision. After her death I found out her kids that moved into this house I grew up in had the same names as our friends, the brothers who had just died. Throw in years of spooky unexplainable events at that house and the fact that while living there was the only time in both me and my moms life that we’d experience terrifying sleep paralysis and the whole thing is quite scary! I’m still so confused.
Total votes: 133
Date submitted:Thu, 30 Apr 2020 13:25:18 +0000Coincidence ID:10439

And then, 35 years later. . .

When I was a rebellious teen living in northern Virginia during the early '70s, I ran away from home one summer. My dad, a veteran of three wars, went looking for me at a nearby hippie commune; emerging from the woods behind the commune dressed in full camo gear, armed with a military rifle, but I wasn't there. Many years later, while living in Florida, I went to lunch with a business associate, who told me a funny story she had heard from a old friend the week before. When the friend was young in the early '70s, she lived for a time in a hippie commune in northern Virginia, and one summer day, while the residents were outside relaxing, a "crazy" man came out of the woods, dressed in camo gear and carrying a rifle, and scared them all half to death. I had to tell the business associate that man had to be my dad, and we both marveled at the coincidence.
Total votes: 137
Date submitted:Sun, 26 Apr 2020 14:32:49 +0000Coincidence ID:10438

Trivia game connections

I play a trivia game and the number of times I answer a question, often about something totally obscure, and then look up and see it on the tv, or hear a news item about it. I once asked a friend of mine in Phoenix whilst holidaying with them (I’m from Australia) while I was playing my game, “do you know the name of a particular US politician Mario somebody?” He answered immediately and then said “that’s him” and pointed to the TV within a second of answering
Total votes: 151
Date submitted:Wed, 22 Apr 2020 21:16:16 +0000Coincidence ID:10436

Because my grandma lived in Arkansas! Yeah, right /s

I'm a Californian. Arkansas, a place so foreign to most of us Californians, had never entered my mind until a free e-book about a young woman in Southern Arkansas landed in my iBooks library a few years back. I read lots of books so I decided what the heck, it's free, I'll read this one too. Although I didn't love the book, somehow I felt compelled to buy the other books in the series and read on. After several books, I became enraptured like no other book series in my life. I couldn't figure out why. I kept joking to my family that I was obsessed with the series because our grandma had lived in Arkansas even though we all knew she was a New Yorker, and they doubted she'd even visited there, let alone lived there. Fast forward a year, I delved into my family's genealogy on ancestry.com, and upon researching my grandmother (who had passed away in 1980), I found that in 1945 she had filed an application for a social security number (SSN) under an alias maiden name. The image of the actual application wasn't online, but the SSN and family members (whose names were correct) were in indexed. I googled the number, and was shocked to find out the first three digits indicated the SSN application was filed in Arkansas. She had also filed for another SSN in New York, so I thought the Arkansas filing had to be a mistake. A few months went by and I couldn't resist applying for a copy of the social security application through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Several months later, a copy of her application arrived in the mail. And her name, signature, where she stayed in Arkansas, and where she worked in Arkansas, were all right there in the application. My grandma had indeed lived in Arkansas. Why I would delve into a book series about Arkansas and divine a justification for my obsession by conjuring a fake story that my grandmother lived in Arkansas, when in fact, unbeknownst to anyone in the family, she did, seems like a weird coincidence to me.
Total votes: 163
Date submitted:Tue, 21 Apr 2020 23:18:38 +0000Coincidence ID:10434

Same Book, Same time

I was in my bathroom and saw a book on the back of my toilet. I had read the book before, and I enjoyed it so I thought I should read it again sometime. I then started running other books through my head that I’ve read that I would possibly want to read again. “Ooo, The Shack! That was a good one, I should read that again.” Then for some reason I thought “I wonder if Haley (a friend of mine) has read it? I think she’d like it. So I texted her and asked if she’d read the shack? She replies almost instantly in as much shock as I was. She was reading the book when I asked her this!! How?? I could have thought of that book at any point, and asked her that question at any point since we’ve know each other (4 years or so) and I happen to ask in the exact moment she is reading the book.
Total votes: 168
Date submitted:Tue, 21 Apr 2020 03:50:28 +0000Coincidence ID:10433

Now Voyager

Now Finale' to The Shore Now Life and Love, Finale' and Farewell Now, Voyager, Depart After listening to a moving choral setting of these new-to-me Whitman lines, by Thomas Ades, I went to the Peabody Institute Library in Danvers to return some books. The first book I saw, on a New Books rack, was a biography of Bette Davis, which had material on her 1942 film Now Voyager, although it turned out that the phrase was from another Whitman line: Now voyager, sail thou forth to seek and find. This was already a same-day coincidence, but the book mentioned that the novel was written by Olive Higgins Prouty, a name unknown to me, and mentioned that she had also written Stella Dallas. Donna and I had watched the 1937 film of that a few nights before. I took out Prouty's autobiography right then and there. Wikipedia has a biographical note.
Total votes: 163
Date submitted:Tue, 21 Apr 2020 01:48:40 +0000Coincidence ID:10432

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