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Coincidences that really made you think...

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najaB

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Last Monday (the 3rd) I took a trip up to Stonehaven, and on the way back I had in idea for a thread titled "Is the UK 'overdue' a major rail accident?", and set the threshold for 'major' as three fatalities or 25 injuries. The thread got quite a few responses, a lot of which were to the effect that something bad could happen at any time. Then we had the tragic event this week.

Of course, it's purely coincidence but it still freaked me out a bit: thinking about a major accident, while on a trip from Stonehaven, with three fatalities.

Other than that, the only other time I've experienced a real "what were the chances" coincidence was walking down a street in New York city and realising that the person walking in front of me looked very familiar - and it turned out to be someone who was in the same class as me in high school (neither of us lived in the United States at the time). What examples do you have of freaky coincidences in your lives?
 
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Mitchell Hurd

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Last Monday (the 3rd) I took a trip up to Stonehaven, and on the way back I had in idea for a thread titled "Is the UK 'overdue' a major rail accident?", and set the threshold for 'major' as three fatalities or 25 injuries. Then we had the tragic event this week.

Of course, it's purely coincidence but it still freaked me out a bit: thinking about a major accident, while on a trip from Stonehaven, with three fatalities.

Other than that, the only other time I've experienced a real "what were the chances" coincidence was walking down a street in New York city and realising that the person walking in front of me looked very familiar - and it turned out to be someone who was in the same class as me in high school (neither of us lived in the United States at the time). What examples do you have of freaky coincidences in your lives?

Firstly thank you for asking. Well, it all started at the annual Abingdon St. Michaelmas fair in October 2016 - and have had a good few coincidences between then and like 2017/2018. Here's how...

1. Discovered there was a place in Scotland (haven't been there yet) which is similar to the name of a young lady Celebrity star.

3. At the Abingdon fair mentioned above: One of the burger / candy floss cabins I saw the name of a road / address ("something"dale road) but the "something" you'd be pronouncing the same celebrity star who was my crush since watching a programme on ITV in November 2015.

3. Noticed a road name - same pronunciation or nearly spelt the same - close to the celebrity star name - when on a Weavaway 16-reg E400 MMC on the way back from the New Year's Day 2017 bus rally at Hanborough in Oxfordshire.

4. I was on a delayed Megabus coach from Oxford to Portsmouth in June 2017 - spotted the same sort of thing on a road sign (the name was part of the) when in the Southampton area.

5. A bus biscuit tin has the similar name only it's got an 'm' in it.

I think they're may be a 6th - not sure yet.

I wouldn't call it a set of freaky coincidences I've had but rather strange ones, which to be fair I found rather happy.
 

lxfe_mxtterz

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Countless times have I thought about a specific name or location for whatever reason, and usually within hours, I would've seen a news article (or similar) mentioning said name or location.

Although, I suspect this is probably just some psychological trick which makes us more likely to pay attention to words fresh in our mind.
 

Mitchell Hurd

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Countless times have I thought about a specific name or location for whatever reason, and usually within hours, I would've seen a news article (or similar) mentioning said name or location.

Although, I suspect this is probably just some psychological trick which makes us more likely to pay attention to words fresh in our mind.

Same here. Like Leeds or Edinburgh for example.
 

61653 HTAFC

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Last Monday (the 3rd) I took a trip up to Stonehaven, and on the way back I had in idea for a thread titled "Is the UK 'overdue' a major rail accident?", and set the threshold for 'major' as three fatalities or 25 injuries. The thread got quite a few responses, a lot of which were to the effect that something bad could happen at any time. Then we had the tragic event this week.

Of course, it's purely coincidence but it still freaked me out a bit: thinking about a major accident, while on a trip from Stonehaven, with three fatalities.

Other than that, the only other time I've experienced a real "what were the chances" coincidence was walking down a street in New York city and realising that the person walking in front of me looked very familiar - and it turned out to be someone who was in the same class as me in high school (neither of us lived in the United States at the time). What examples do you have of freaky coincidences in your lives?
"Magical thinking" can be dangerous... coincidences happen all the time, and because humans are pattern-recognition machines we notice them.

That said, on Tuesday night I watched a documentary about the Eschede disaster, I didn't expect to wake up the next morning to images that bore such a chilling resemblance to that tragedy.
 

ABB125

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At school, I was in the music room waiting for some others to arrive for a lunchtime rehearsal, and was idly playing the start of Chopin's Funeral March on the piano. The head of music came past, and in his usual joking way commented that it was a bit early for him!
Shortly afterwards, he had a serious medical problem (may have been a heart attack) which also affected his eyesight, and was off sick for months.
Coincidence?
 

Mojo

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Countless times have I thought about a specific name or location for whatever reason, and usually within hours, I would've seen a news article (or similar) mentioning said name or location.

Although, I suspect this is probably just some psychological trick which makes us more likely to pay attention to words fresh in our mind.
Is this something like the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon, or maybe frequency illusion?

I’m always amazed by this; will often come across a place or a word that I’ve never heard of before, and then all of a sudden it pops up at least once in the days following.
 

lxfe_mxtterz

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Is this something like the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon, or maybe frequency illusion?

I’m always amazed by this; will often come across a place or a word that I’ve never heard of before, and then all of a sudden it pops up at least once in the days following.
Oh, wow. Never knew there was a name for it. Having Googled "Baader-Meinhof phenomenon", it certainly does sound very much like it! :D
 

Mojo

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Oh, wow. Never knew there was a name for it. Having Googled "Baader-Meinhof phenomenon", it certainly does sound very much like it! :D
Expect to hear of this phenomenon sometime shortly ;)
 

Bayum

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I will often check the time at random intervals during the day/night and see xx:49
 

MotCO

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The strangest coincidence I'm aware of affected my maternal aunt, and paternal aunt and uncle, all of whom live in England.

My maternal aunt was on holiday in Australia, and doing what tourists do, took a northbound coach ride up the east coast of Australia. The coach stopped off at a cafe for afternoon tea, and who should she meet but my paternal aunt and uncle, who hadn't seen each other for many, many years! They were also on holiday in Australia, but taking a southbound coach trip, but neither knew the other was in Australia at that time.
 

Bald Rick

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Last year, walking in Scotland, I had just reached the summit of my seventh and last Munro of the day, when a couple already at the summit were just leaving. They were the first people I had seen, let alone been close to, for hours. We walked off the hill together, and in the course of chatting it emerged that the the guy:

i) worked for my next door neighbour
ii) had a best friend (who would normally have been walking with him) who was the son of a colleague of mine.

Either one of those justified the words ‘small world’, but both together was extraordinary.
 

61653 HTAFC

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Oh, wow. Never knew there was a name for it. Having Googled "Baader-Meinhof phenomenon", it certainly does sound very much like it! :D
Just googled to find out if the Baader and Meinhof of the phenomenon were the same notorious West German leftist terrorist group, or a pair of coincidentally-named researchers. Ironically for this thread, the phenomenon is in fact named for the leaders of that group, so isn't a coincidence! :lol:
 

Cowley

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I will often check the time at random intervals during the day/night and see xx:49
Me as well. 15:21 almost every day...
Part of that sequence of numbers relates to my birthday, one of my favourite locos and quite a few other things that always seem to pop up for me.
 

CC 72100

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Oh, wow. Never knew there was a name for it. Having Googled "Baader-Meinhof phenomenon", it certainly does sound very much like it! :D

The wikipedia page is very brief, but does detail other cognitive biases, one of which amused me greatly:

IKEA effect

The tendency for people to place a disproportionately high value on objects that they partially assembled themselves, such as furniture from IKEA, regardless of the quality of the end product.

 

trainophile

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Is this something like the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon, or maybe frequency illusion?

I’m always amazed by this; will often come across a place or a word that I’ve never heard of before, and then all of a sudden it pops up at least once in the days following.

Not never heard of before, but the last couple of weeks everything is "nuanced", I must have heard it about a dozen times a day.
 

Cowley

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I thought of an interesting little coincidence today.
A couple of years ago I was up in the loft and I heard a very fast moving vehicle coming along the road by our house. I stopped what I was doing because I could sense by the sound that it wasn’t going to end well. Sure enough the sound of squealing tyres, a bang, some slithering and another bang soon followed and although I couldn’t see what had happened I was already dialling 999 as I ran out the front door.
There was a white Citroen Berlingo type van crashed into a wall up the road and three slightly dazed lads heading off in various directions (one ridiculously clutching the front number plate which he then threw into the bushes opposite my stepdaughter on the way past. I mean we’re not talking master criminals here).
The driver had hit the nearside bank and rebounded across the road before hitting the opposite side and had just missed slamming headlong into a car coming the opposite way with a lady and her two young children in it. She was still sat at the wheel of her car shaking when I got there. Three seconds earlier and it would have been horrendous.
We chatted to her and made sure she was ok while the police took statements etc and then she went on her way.

A few months later my best friend Paul had started a new relationship and I went round to his to do railway things one evening, I walked in and realised that his new partner was Anna. The lady who just missed being ploughed into outside our house! Completely bonkers and it could have been a totally different story if she’d have been on time that day!
(She won’t mind me saying that because she’s lovely and has a great sense of humour. :lol:)
 

Busaholic

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One day the actor Bernard Bresslaw walked into my bookshop in Cornwall and bought a few books: I'd never seen him before, and assumed he was on holiday. We had no communication other than the usual shop/customer one. Three days later, I'd arranged to stay with my sister in S.E.London, and drove there arriving in the evening. For some reason that I have no explanation for, not only did I decide to drive the 'long way' via Bristol and the M4, but I chose to go via a pub in Grays Inn Road, way outside where I was aimed for, that I'd not visited since working in the area 25 years earlier. I quickly realised that one of the rooms was hosting a meeting of comic actors, because I could see various recognisable faces from British film and TV, mostly second or even third string. After about half an hour, the meeting ended and the actors (all men) wandered out, mostly to the bar. All of a sudden, the unmistakeable figure of Bernard Bresslaw appeared, and he noticed me too, and I could see a look of surprise, or shock, or something, on his face. I felt so embarrassed that I quickly left, lest he thought I was stalking him! About two weeks later, his obituary appeared in the newspapers, which mentioned his role in that comic actor's society. All very rum.
 

Tetchytyke

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Either one of those justified the words ‘small world’, but both together was extraordinary.

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon is a wonderful phenomenon.

My best example of it is a woman I met, shortly after my divorce, on a dating app. She only showed up as I was on the dating app on a train as it went past her house, about 100 miles from where I lived. We didn't date but did become friends before I moved to London. She was in the same tutorial group at Cambridge as another of my friends, and after that lived with a colleague I worked with in London. She's now in the same dancing group as my ex-wife and, to cap it all, used to date my ex's new partner.

What do you do with that?
 

edwin_m

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I had some work a few years ago that involved travelling to Swansea with a colleague and getting a taxi to an office on the edge of town. Each time my colleague started engaging the driver in the usual football-related conversation (I don't do football) and on occasions #2 and #3 we mutually realized after a couple of minutes that it was the same driver as on the previous occasion(s). Perhaps there's only one taxi in Swansea?

Going back to the accidents issue, I was having lunch in the Railway Technical Centre some years ago when a senior personage in what used to be British Rail Research came and sat with us. He was musing about whether it was a coincidence that the East Coast had avoided major accidents for many years when the Great Western for example had had several. The next day was Hatfield.
 

Mag_seven

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What examples do you have of freaky coincidences in your lives?


Whilst on a forum walk in Bristol today we crossed the line on a footbridge between Bristol TM and Filton just as a Cross Country HST was passing. There are only about 2 or 3 per day on this stretch at the moment. This was not planned in any way!
 

SteveM70

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1 My mum tells a tale from when she was at teacher training college at Wentworth Woodhouse in the 1960s. Woke up at 2am with chest pains. They eventually subsided and she went back to sleep. Found out a few days later that her grandad had died of a heart attack at pretty much exactly the same time

2 Mate of mine did a round the world trip in his gap year. Halfway through it he bumped into his next door neighbour’s daughter on Bondi beach. Three months after that, he bumped into her again in Argentina. They’d got there by totally different routes. Just before he came back home he was in Rome, and hey presto met the same girl again near the Spanish steps. Spooky
 

Trackman

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I knew someone who was killed by a hit-and-run driver at 8am on the 8/8/88.
Makes me think...
 

Mojo

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Went to a restaurant in Poole on Wednesday for dinner. Just as we were finishing our mains it got me thinking about dessert and I remember talking to my boyfriend about how the desserts used to be listed on a small blackboard that the waitress would put at one end of the table. We got into a discussion about how come you never see this anymore because the desserts menu is normally either a box on the full menu or a smaller bit of paper/card that would be brought round after the plates were cleared.

Well, about 5 minutes later we had eaten up and the waitress asked us if we wanted desserts, and less than a minute later she plonked a small blackboard at the end of the table with the desserts listed!

I wonder if maybe I had subconsciously seen the blackboard on someone else's table which put the thought into my head, but hadn't taken it in enough to actually realise that there was one in that restaurant.
 

MotCO

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I know a couple who have both got children from former marriages. Both chidren have the same name and both were born on the same day, albeit a year apart.
 

brad465

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In a similar part of the world to the OP's first point, I was staying in Aberdeen in August 2018, where on the way I was texting someone who I periodically do so with, but hadn't seen for 3 years at that point. I mentioned I was going to Scotland as what I was up to, only for her to reveal she was also in Scotland (staying with her partner's family near Perth). We found time to make a spontaneous meeting in Dundee (kinda halfway from our respective accommodation) happen. She is an old friend from Sixth Form, where as we went to school in Dartford, Kent, we found ourselves meeting up unexpectedly around 500 miles from where we're actually from.


An example linked to work: In year 12 my Geography teacher invited her husband in to give a lesson on an environmental subject similar to what he works in (she used to work in his organisation). This in a way kick-started my interest in the organisation I know work for 4-5 years later, where after graduating Uni, his organisation was dominant in my job-hunt, and started working there in December 2017, in the office my former Geography teacher's husband was and still is working in. Both of them are well aware of this and some other staff whose careers are long enough to remember my former teacher were shocked at this connection.
 

baz962

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When I was much younger , my brother and I used to play football with a lad from the next street , where our street's met. On the week we went on holiday , we told him that we would be away and not playing that week and he said me too. We went on our holiday , a cruise on the Qe2 and promptly bumped into him on deck.

Some year's ago and on holiday in Cyprus with friends. Myself and one other had a holiday fling with two lasses . We lived in Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire and they were from Birmingham area. Lost touch with them and a couple of year's later , was on a lads weekend with the same lads from the Cyprus holiday. We went to Liverpool on the Friday and Blackpool on the Saturday . Went to a huge club in Blackpool on the Saturday that our friend managed , but then moved on to some club a bit further down the road and was having a dance and a drink and suddenly saw the two girls, walking down the stairs.

Many many times I have bumped into ex school friends and ex colleagues in holiday destinations.

Once or twice I have thought about a person that I haven't spoken to in a few year's and the phone has rung , literally a second or two later and it's the person I just thought of.
 

Busaholic

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The most extraordinary coincidence I think I've ever heard of was this tale on the radio years ago.

A man from Nottinghamshire went on a walking holiday in Scotland with a group of others: he'd never met any of them before or ever been to Scotland.They were walking through a hamlet when the phone in a public call box started to ring as they passed it; after a few moment's hesitation George (as I shall call him) answered the call with a tentative 'hello'. The voice on the other end was startled: 'George! I thought you were walking in Scotland!' It turned out to be his wife's friend ringing his wife on their home phone and the call had been misrouted (as sometimes used to happen) to this phone box in the wilds of Scotland, just at a random moment when he happened to be passing. What are the chances?? It was all verified by other walkers, wife's friend, etc etc before this was broadcast, so unless it was an extremely devious hoax I'd nominate that as being virtually unbeatable.
 

trebor79

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Few weird coincidences spring to mind.

1. Before I went to university, the internet was just becoming a thing. I used to chat to random people on Yahoo Messenger and made a few online friends and a bit of flirting and banter with one or two girls.
Years later, when I was working in my first job, I'd moved to Norwich. I knew nobody other than the random guy I ended up sharing a house with, and he was in a similar position. We decided speed dating would be fun. The last girl of the night was "Natalia", quite liked her and she obviously quite liked me as the computer said we'd both ticked each other. I saw her surname as part of her email address, quite a distinctive name and thought "hang on, I've heard that be before!". We went on one date, confirmed that she was one of the girls I used to chat to on Yahoo (she was astonishedd when I told her the name of the fancy private school she went to). Also confirmed we weren't that interested in each other, so that was that!

2. Whilst I was training for my PPL, my instructors plane was in Bournemouth for maintenance. We agreed a bit of a day out where a member of the club would fly me to Shoreham, where we'd pick up the instructor, then to Bournemouth where instructor and I would fly home in one plane and the member in the other.
I rock up on the day and Steve says "I think you'll really like Graham, he's nice chap and about your age. Ah, here he is now."
I'm thinking this guy looks familiar, and just as I twig who it is he says "Oh my God, it's you!"
Graham and I were on the same course at university, and were good friends. I'd dropped out after 2 years and we hadn't kept in touch at all in the intervening decade. Haven't kept in touch since either.

3. Whilst making arrangements for my wedding, my parents and I, wife to be and in law's to be went for lunch in Holt. Sat down, my mother looks across to the next table and says "oh hello, fancy seeing you here". Our next door neighbours from when wed lived in Durham 15 years earlier. They were also in Norfolk organising a wedding.

4. A few years ago I had a job that involved lots of driving round the countryside., About 25,000 miles a year on mainly country roads. For reasons that are very dull I was using a Fiat 500.
This used to generate quite a bit of ribaldry. One day a guy said "well I wouldn't want to crash one". I said I thought it was quite strict despite its diminutive size and would be ok in a crash.
An hour later, driving along a country lane I was musing to myself that doing lots of miles on rubbish roads meant I was probably at high risk of a crash. At that point someone pulled out of a junction in front of me and I hit them head on at 55mph. I was completely uninjured and the car did prove to be sturdy as there was no damage at all behind the front wings.
 
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