View Full Version : Amazing coincidences

26th Oct 2005, 13:11
I don't know whether this topic has already been aired on JB.
I have several, but let me start with this:-
Colleague from the UK was working in Denmark (for a Danish company) - having emigrated and married a Dane. He takes a business trip to Tokyo, with a one night stopover in Hong Kong. Naturally, he visits Victoria Peak to view the sunset. Whilst there he finds himself standing next to someone that he was at school with, who was doing the journey in reverse, having just come from Tokyo, having a one-night stopover in Hong Kong before continuing to the UK.

Onan the Clumsy
26th Oct 2005, 13:15
Maybe his mate was on his way to see your mate's misses to give her one.

26th Oct 2005, 13:24
I worked in Denmark for three years with this guy before returning to the UK. Whilst driving down the M1 en-route from Nottingham to Guildford I caught-up with a Danish-registered car, and yes, it was being driven by the same guy (we both pulled-in to Toddington Services to chat) who was on his way back to catch the ferry at Harwich.


26th Oct 2005, 13:30
Many years ago, while working in the Middle east, the telephone in my house started making funny noises (intermittant rings and bleeps). I picked it up, to discover I had a crossed line, and I could hear 2 people talking.
I listened in (as you do!), only to hear my name mentioned:eek:

It turned out to be a friend of mine, calling my boss to ask him if he knew my phone number.

All I can think of that caused my phone to ring, was that earlier in the day my boss called me, and somehow my phone didn't disconnect properly from the company switchbox.

26th Oct 2005, 13:38
I once had a minor road traffic accident, where I nudged the back of the car in front at a roundabout. I offered to pay for the damage rather than go through the insurance - I was only 17 and the insurance premium was sky high already with a huge excess.

Turned out the other driver wrote his car off a few days later, but he tried a few weeks later to get a few hundred quid out of me with a dodgy receipt.

I was recounting the story in a pub a few years later with some friends and a few random people I'd not met before. I even said I would never recognise the guy again if i saw him. You've guessed it - he was one of the random people sitting at the table.

Knowing my luck - he's probably a PPRUNER now and I've just gone and done it again...

Curious Pax
26th Oct 2005, 13:52
When I was living in The Netherlands last time round, I had to travel to London for a meeting. Was more than a bit surprised when the guy in the seat next to me on the flight got on at Schiphol, as it was someone in my class at school who I hadn't seen for a dozen years or more. He was returning home from a meeting. Same plane would have been a surprise, but adjacent seats was a real turn up. At least it made the journey pass quickly as we caught up.

26th Oct 2005, 13:53
As a child (living in the North East) I knew the name of a nearby resident (it was unusual). 35 years later I was staying one night at a B&B near Bristol with two other individuals. Myself and one other were being served an evening meal, whilst the third guy was waiting to be collected by a business contact (that he had not so-far met). Contact arrived and was recognised by my meal-companion as someone he had worked with in the Midlands. It also turned-out that he was the guy from my childhood. The hairs on the back of my head bristled that time, as none of us (three) had met each other before, and we were all there for one night only . . .

26th Oct 2005, 14:06
Got back from France, Had two days grace after a three week business trip and decided to spend it in London and was in the line to buy a tube ticket at LHR. "Hello David" came from someone behind me. Was one of my staff members from Vancouver.

Doors to Automatic
26th Oct 2005, 14:13
Back in 1996 myself and a good friend went to Hong Kong for a week's holiday.

Before we went my buddy's boss gave him the number of his nephew who lived in HK and suggested we give him a ring when we get there and arrange to meet so he could show us the best bars etc.

For whatever reason we didn't get in touch with the guy as we had had a fairly busy week which had gone by in a flash. On the last night we went to a nightclub and my friend got talking to a random bloke at the bar.

You guessed it! It was the boss's nephew!! Freaky or what?

Ace Rimmer
26th Oct 2005, 14:14
I'm a firm believer that the world is a very small place

Try these for size...

I few year's back I was in San Francisco on a work trip part of which was a site visit to the re-build at the airport that was going on at the time.

Anyway which waiting for the coach that was taking us all down to SFO I get talking to the bloke next to me (the way you do) and it turns out that Old Man Rimmer was his CO in Vietnam in 1967 (how the conversation got there I have no idea)...

Anyway after the site visit I return to hotel and as I open the door to my room the phone is ringing... guess who's on the phone yep... OMR (who never calls... especially when I'm on a work trip).

While back I was on my way out to Long Beach to do a Flight Test Report on the 717 for a mag. So I'm in the queue at VS check-in and the old bloke in tofont of me in the queue looks vaguely familiar and I dismiss it.

Anyway it becomes apparent that he's been saving aplace for his daughter (BTW a very trim ship so she catches my eye...well she would) Anyway, turns out that she's the daughter of a very old friend of Old Mother Rimmer and we used to play together - 30 odd years back...hadn't seen her since then(seeing the way she turned out I wouldn't having minded going back to old times fnarr fnarr...)

But the weird part was having just got divorced she was moving to SFO to start a new job having lived until that week literally around the corner from Schloss Rimmer.

Then just a few weeks back I was at the bus stop in the long term car park at Gatwick (there is a theme to these stories it seems) and while waiting for the shuttle bus I see a couple coming towards me. Blimey I think she's a bit of all right but she looks familiar....then I look more closely at the bloke with her - ah ha that be it thinks I as clap eyes on a very old mate of mine (though one I hadn't seen in 10 or 11 years) I was their best man.

Followed by a very quick recap of the intevining years of each other and every one else of the the old gang that we are still in touch with - well as much as possible in the time it takes to get from the NCP to the North Terminal.

26th Oct 2005, 14:17
When I was in business I was done for three thousand quid by a smooth talking prosperous looking fellow with a Canadian accent. I put it down to experience.

I next saw the bloke 18 months later when he walked into the dock of a court that I was chairing, having been charged with fraud (of someone else).

I asked the clerk to transfer the case to a different bench, but I had a long steady look at him before he went out.

I never did get the three grand back, but seeing him in the dock made me feel better.

26th Oct 2005, 14:27
I guess major/intl' airports are quite a good place for chance meetings to occur...they're a "hub" for transport so a large number of people in one place at one time....

I'm rambling.

Nick Riviera
26th Oct 2005, 14:43
Rented a house in France a couple of years ago. It was in a tiny hamlet in the middle of nowhere. The owner advised that the house 'next door', actually about half a mile away, was owned by an English couple who would prepare the house for our arrival and help us with anything we needed while we were there. Turned up in the hire car to see that the couple were still cleaning the house. When I got out I was immediately greeted by name; turned out I had worked with the woman in a previous job, in fact I sat next to her for 3 years. Hadn't seen or heard from her for 7 years. We only rented this house because the original one we booked, in a different area, was suddenly unavailable.

Also, last year my sister sold her sofas on ebay. When the winning bidder rang for the address, it emerged she was a previous owner of my sister's house.

26th Oct 2005, 14:46
Oh Unwell!
“.... a smooth talking prosperous looking fellow with a Canadian accent. I put it down to experience.
I next saw the bloke 18 months later when he walked into the dock of a court that I was chairing, having been charged with fraud (of someone else)”.
and you promised you would never tell.

My tale. I worked in a corporation in Canada with chap X. He left to start his own outfit in defence/aviation supplies. I never saw X again. Then I left too. I moved overseas. I fell ill when I was in England on business. Months later I got out of hospital and joined a company in Scotland. One Saturday I was alone in the office. The teletype machine (remember those?) was outside in the corridor. It started to rattle away, so I went out to tear off the message. It was for X from the Department of National Defence in Ottawa. I sent DND a reply to the effect that I had just received this misdirected message, it was for X, and X could be reached at Y.............. in Canada, but not in Scotland. Of all the 50,000,000+ people in the UK, only I knew X, only I knew about his business and his address, and .... this was the UK remember, so probably only I .... was in the office on a Saturday out of normal business hours, exactly when the teletype arrived. Odd.

26th Oct 2005, 14:50
Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846.
John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.

Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860.
John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960.

The names Lincoln and Kennedy each contain seven letters.

Both were particularly concerned with civil rights.

Both of their wives lost their children while living in the White House.

Both Presidents were shot on a Friday.

Both were shot in the head.

Both were shot with one bullet.

Both were rumored to be killed in a conspiracy.
Neither was confirmed to be a conspiracy.

Lincoln was shot in the Ford Theater.
Kennedy was shot in a card made by the Ford Motor Company (a Lincoln no less)

Lincoln's secretary was named Kennedy.
Kennedy's secretary was named Lincoln.

Both were assassinated by Southerners.

Both were succeeded by Southerners.

Both successors were named Johnson.

Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, was born in 1808.
Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1908.
Their first names both contain six letters.

John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated Lincoln, was born in 1839.
Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated Kennedy, was born in 1939.
Both assassins were known by their three names.
Both names comprise fifteen letters.

Booth ran from the theater and was caught in a warehouse.
Oswald ran from a warehouse and was caught in a theater.

Both assassins were assassinated before their trials.

The only complete filming of Kennedy's assasination was shot by Abraham Zapruder.
The only complete account of Lincoln's assasination was written by John Zelfindorfer.

A week before Lincoln was shot, he was with friends in Monroe, Maryland.
A week before Kennedy was shot, he was with his friend Marilyn Monroe.

Lincoln's last child, Tad, had his funeral held on July 16, 1871.
Later he was exhumed and moved to a different grave site.
Kennedy's son JFK Jr. was lost at sea on July 16, 1999.
Later he was found, brought up, and then re-burried at sea.



26th Oct 2005, 14:57
I coughed and farted at the same time once.

Bon Giorno
26th Oct 2005, 14:57
Like Unwell_R I was also done down in business by a few $thou
AUD by a sleazy Kiwi (I love the rest of them BTW).

Found myself amongst a large crowd at a house auction in Melbournes's Eastern suburbs - missus and I were both quite keen on the property.

Held my cool while bids went up and up and up in $5Ks, then $2Ks and finally down to $500 when I suddenly became aware that the last bidder across the crowd was none other than the aforesaid sleazy Kiwi.

Immediately raised it loudly and confidently by $2K - end of auction.

And we lived there happily for some 10 years before moving on. No way was that sleaze going to outbid me using my own money.

Even if I paid a little over the top the satisfaction was well worth every penny!

26th Oct 2005, 14:57
A week before Kennedy was shot, he was with his friend Marilyn Monroe.

That would have been tricky. Marilyn Monroe died 5 August 1962, more than a year before Kennedy's assassination.

Matt Skrossa
26th Oct 2005, 15:07
I was on Easter Island last year, (which in case you didn't know is the most remotely inhabited place in the world). We took a minibus tour of the island and got chatting to our fellow tourists (4 Brits, 2 Aussies and 1 Canadian). The subject got round to 'where are you from', it turned out one of the English couples were from my home town in Kent and still lived about a mile from my old house. The other English couple were from my wife's home town in Yorkshire. All this was pretty spooky, but the Aussies were from Ballarat near Melbourne, which is twinned with Peterborough UK, our new home town! Finally we asked the Canadian where she was from and she announced, 'Peterborough, Ontario'. Small world?? .....too right!!!

26th Oct 2005, 15:24
I shared a barrackroom in HM forces with a fellow who would regularly:
" .... cough and fart at the same time ...".

and also do two other bodily functions at that one and the same time.

26th Oct 2005, 16:05
Was at a hotel on Grenada a decade ago. All the other people at the manager's welcome party were older Canadian couples. The mother of my best friend here in the USA was Canadian so I asked where they were from. One was from the same small town in southern Ontario. Not only that, when young she had ridden the wagon to town with her father to buy things from my mate's grandparents' store.

When I was a schooldchild my parents spend a number of weeks on a driving trip from home (Washington, DC) around the American West. We went into a restaurant in Santa Barbara, Calif, and there was one of my schoolmates. The opposite side of the continent.

26th Oct 2005, 16:32
My Mother's cousin (from Durham) joined Scotland Yard in the 60s. I went to University starting in 1962 and used to change trains (and stations) in London. Walking down the street between stations I came face-to-face with the ONLY person that I knew in London (and no, he wasn't in uniform).

Paris Dakar
26th Oct 2005, 16:53
I kid you not..............

When young Paris met the now, Mrs Paris, we did all of the 'where did you go to school' 'what was your first job' etc etc bits that you do.

Mrs Paris is exactly six days younger than myself, we both started work for the same organisation on the same date in Oct 1978 but didn't actually meet up until 1990. We were repeating this conversation during a family gathering, when my mother-in-law asked my mum which hospital I was born in.

You've guessed it, my mother-in-law left hospital on the same day my mum arrived, and my mum was given the exact bed she had vacated. 'The Green' Hospital, Wallsend Tyne & Wear.


26th Oct 2005, 17:06
A couple of years after me and Mrs H went our separate ways I decided to give the old bat a call and see what she was up to.

I dialled her number and instead of a ringing tone all I got was a silence. Finally I said hello and a voice on the other end said hello.

You guessed it, it was ex Mrs H who had decided to call me to see what I was up to - at precisely the same moment.

Never did find out who paid for the call.


26th Oct 2005, 17:11
1968 (long before Mrs G-CPTN). Living in Luton (under the end of the runway). Several cars - none of them working! Friend from same home village 'near Newcastle' (then living in London) offers camping holiday on South Coast (Weymouth).
Next tent occupied by Hell's Angel with young woman and child. Hell's Angel ups and leaves. Child comes over with nude photographs of said (young) woman - her mother, and says 'My Mummy wondered if you like to see these' (what DID she mean?) . . . 'Conversation' ensues (we're in luck here), and then it was 'la de dah de dah!'.
As we pack-up to leave (still no sign of Hell's Angel), young woman enquires about the possibility of a lift back to London (so far so good, plenty of room in Triumph 2000, London is a big place). Further discussion reveals that her parents now lived in . . . the little village where our parents still lived (I'd played safe and identified our location as 'Newcastle').
'Fraid we left her there in Weymouth . . .

Curious Pax
26th Oct 2005, 17:14
Another one: my great uncle was a Methodist minister. That job entails (normally) a move of location every 5 years, and so he toured the country during his working life. I was vaguely aware that he had been somewhere in SW England as my parents had been to see him whilst engaged to see if he would take part in their wedding ceremony, but didn't really know where.

A few years after Mrs CP and I were married I got interested in geneaology (which I still can't spell!) and so her mother dug out various certificates she had, including my wife's baptism certificate - and no prizes for guessing who had performed the ceremony! Sadly he died many years ago, so I couldn't show him how she'd grown since!

So I wasn't the first from my family to hold her in my arms!!

26th Oct 2005, 17:38
A few weeks ago, I flew from Riyadh to Bahrain on a GF flight and was quite surprised to find that I didn't know a single person in the same row as me,or even rows close by.

Couple of days later, I flew BAH-LGW, again on GF, and there was no sign of any long-lost friends in the aircraft near me.

Last week, I took US99 from LGW to PHL in Envoy class - I really couldn't believe that there were no people at all that I had ever met, or any pop-stars, in the entire Envoy class cabin!

Now how what are the odds against that;)

Onan the Clumsy
26th Oct 2005, 18:07
My misses knew a bloke wot was talking to some totty in a bar one evening when a friend of his pulled him aside and got him out of there.

Turned out wot the bloke didn't know was that the totty was a daughter wot he didn't know he had :ooh:

Close call that one cos the evening was probably going really well "Talking to you...it feels like I've known you for ever" :} :ugh:

26th Oct 2005, 18:30
This is not exactly in the same class of coincidence, but my father was a minister in the Church of Scotland. At times he found human nature hard to take. He never mentioned the names or date, but during the war he performed, with great reluctance, a marriage for a young Scottish lady and an American serviceman. The reluctance was because the sweet young thing had frankly confessed her motivation: "If he gits kill't, ye git a guid pension. If he disnae git kill't he's goat tae keep ye".

I was idly surfing Google and plugged in the name of my father's Parish church. Up came a raft of unexpected data, including some records of marriage. There it was, an American servicman and Miss X.... late in the war. But there was more. The serviceman died quite recently at Y................. in the mid-West, and Miss X .... died there a couple of years later. From its unpromising start the union had evidently lasted fifty years. Obviously, he didnae git kill't.

26th Oct 2005, 19:00
Chatting to Mrs DM before she was Mrs DM.
As she is from Glasgow, and her father was a lecturer there wondered if he knew my cousin's husband also lecturer her.
Turns out my cousin and her mum were very good friends.

When I travelled to Perth WA for work in 2000 found I was making a presentation to a chap I had been speaking to, through work, in aberdeen some years before.

Oh and Angels frequently pops into the village I grew up in.

There's some "rule" I heard of recentlt that virtually everyone is just five acquaintences from pretty much everyone else.

I'll try and dig it up.

26th Oct 2005, 19:16
I thought it was seven. But that must only apply to people with a European background. I seriously doubt that I'm only 5 or 7 acquaintances removed from every Chinese peasant.

26th Oct 2005, 19:27
"Six Degrees of Separation"

Apparantly the actor Kevin Bacon is the most common link in any celebrity-based chain......


26th Oct 2005, 19:35

What an amazing coincidence....so did I.

White Bear
26th Oct 2005, 19:57
In the mid 70’s I was working for the MOD, and in an ‘official’ capacity was sent to Kuwait. I was there for several weeks. One afternoon, accompanied by a member of the Kuwaiti Liaison Team I stopped into the Hilton Hotel for a coke. Walking through the entrance I spotted an old friend from my home town I had last seen in a late night club weeks before. Of course we greeted each other like long lost pals, and made quite a fuss. As we quietened down we were astounded to see, lookin at us from across the hotel lounge another friend, also from our home town, also well know in that same late night club. We were all there working for different companies, on different projects.
It was very weird at the time, not least because 3 well known beer lovers stood looking at each other over the rim of glasses filled with coke! Months later we met again, in our home town, in that late night club, and toasted each other properly.

27th Oct 2005, 04:23
My sister and bro-in-law (Australians like me) had been living in the west of England for five or six years.

I was on the platform at Bond St tube station, visiting London on business. I overheard an unknown group of people next to me discussing whether a certain couple were going to France or Scotland for their holidays. I realised that the couple in question was my sister and her husband, whom I knew were going to France.

'Excuse me. They're going to France because they've been offered a house there by (bro-in-law's) boss,' I confidently assured them.

'Who are you?' they asked in surprise.

'I'm Y, X's brother,' I replied, and jumped onto the train which had pulled into the station.

I can still see their stunned looks.

Loose rivets
27th Oct 2005, 05:50
Long storey, so will race through it.

Dad goes off to war. See him when I'm c 4 years old. He meets another woman marries her and has 4 kids.

I'm aged about 32 and working for Sir Fred at LGW...decide to drop in on him (Dad )cos he lives in the green belt near Hayward's Heath. Meet him and his wife, (nearly kill him with shock) and talk for hours. They say one of the kids are due round.......and they don't know if he is aware of me!!

Turns out that the daughter overheard a row, and did learn of me, but never told the other 3 boys.

I say I will beat a hasty, and we'll talk soon. Life goes by at speed of light, and next time I try to call, both Dad and his wife have died.

When I had time on my hands. (Airline bust after 9/11) I set about finding my semi-siblings. Random phoning was no good. The first namesake was so friendly that we talked for best part of an hour!.....and there were potentially hundreds more to go.

I got a company to search for them. Nothing.

I was alone in Frinton....fire-side late at night etc. Searching through old letters from pater. Pick up on a clue that I had missed many times. Next day, a uni micro-fish sp? Gives me more initials to one hot lead. Will not give me address of course.

that night BT data-base is narrowing down addresses. AND AERIAL PICS OF HOUSES.

I go to the bookshelves and take out Reader's Digest atlas. Remember, all alone, late at night...big fire-side and loadsa whisky. By total chance, a Daily Mail supplement had been lodged in the RD for....years? And it falls on my desk. Its front page is a view of the Breckan Beacons from Space! I look at the BT screen.

I'm looking at the same area. One brother's home was almost in the middle of the page.

( I finally got through to one of the ‘boys', and bingo. I have met two of them several times and chatted to others on phone.)

When I made the first call, I was told that they had only known about me for two weeks! Their sister had finally let on..

27th Oct 2005, 12:55
It used to happen to me all the time. Don't travel as much now so the coincidences are fewer. The best ever was:

I'd had a visitor in Santos, the ops manager of a Japanese car carrier company. We'd tramped around docks and a swamp for three days looking for a good place to rent or build a car park for the increasing number of exported cars. I put him on a flight back to London and, a few days later, went on holiday myself. Straight to my brother's in Cambridge and straight to a nearby pub on the Cam. We're on our second pint when Capt Hagiwara shows up with his wife and daughter, sits at the next table, doesn't see me. I don't turn round, just wait until they're served, then try to project my voice back, "good afternoon Hagiwara-san". It takes three tries before he realises it's him. The look on his face when he recognised me was priceless.

27th Oct 2005, 13:03
Minor spooky moment:-

Yellow pages sales dept., trying to sell me some space. Girl says 'if you look at the top right on page 357, there's an advert in that style'.

I opened the directory on that page at first try.

27th Oct 2005, 23:02
Almost 50 years ago, I was on a tanker tied up on a layby berth in Sydney harbour. To get to Sydney you had to catch a ferry from an isolated little jetty, i was waiting in the dark for the ferry when a guy asks me for a light for his cigarette. I recognise his accent and say he comes from Hull. He replies that he hasn't been in Hull for more than 30 years, lives in New Zealand and this is his first holiday since he left Hull. We talk on the ferry journey and it turns out that he was born in the house next door to my Mother and went to school with her!!

27th Oct 2005, 23:19
The bloke that cleans my windows at our home in Scotland used to have his Hull Daily Mail shoved through his letterbox in East Hull each night by me, 30 years ago.

28th Oct 2005, 00:29
Decades ago we hired a young engineer. After a few weeks he asked if I knew Frank <my_family_name>. Yes, Frank is my only male first cousin.

Turms out that our new hire's dad was best man at Frank's wedding about 30 years earlier. They graduated uni in the same Chemical Engineering class in 1942. Went their separate ways in the Service.

28th Oct 2005, 09:06
Well, seeing as the name of the thread is Amazing coincidences...

isn't it an amazing coincidence that the biggest gas guzzling country in the world found an excuse to invade the country with the biggest oil reserves in the world?

Oh no, now I've gone done ruined the thread :*

28th Oct 2005, 10:01
PanPan - When did the US invade Saudi Arabia??

Let's get this entertaining thread back on track.

Me and a mate are having a two day stopver in Bangkok. We're in Woodstock in Nana Plaza and in walks another mate of ours who we hadn't seen in two years. He was in the middle of a round-the-world backpacking trek which eventually took five years.

And BTW, we weren't in Nana for the girls, Woodstock used to do the best western brekker in Bangers (sic).

+'ve ROC
28th Oct 2005, 10:56
My current girlfriend and I went to the same secondary school but didn't know eachother.

A few years up the educational ladder, we bumped into eachother on a train returning from uni (Cardiff) back home.

2 weeks after that I was on a flight from Palma when I turned round and there she was.... the rest, as they say, is history.

Now, a big "aaaaaahhhhhhhhh" for ROC and Rachel :=

Send Clowns
28th Oct 2005, 12:51
Was in the flying club bar earlier this year with my then girlfriend. She is from Zimbabwe, and we were meeting a friend of hers from back home who now flies in the UK. We'd been chatting for a while when she realised that the singer hired for the small private party at the other end of the bar was someone she had last seen 17 years before, in Harare!

Her friend still knew him, but did not know he was to be singing that night, and even I knew him as he works next door.

28th Oct 2005, 14:03
In an attempt to recreate my coughing and farting trick, I actually sneezed and followed through. Another 1st! :ok:

28th Oct 2005, 15:00
Had a good mate in school in deepest, darkest Cornwall. Lost touch when he went to uni in Liverpool and I went to London. I got married and emigrated to Cape Town, RSA. After 3 years there ws walking around a local supermarket and almost literally walked into him. He had also emigrated to Cape Town and lived about 400m from us. His wife was his gf from school and walked past our house every day!

There is more, however.

A few months after getting reacquainted Mrs S and I left South Africa and returned to the UK and from there to various other places around the world. Some 15 years later I was on a quick visit to Cornwall for only a day and visited a local supermarket........

Yes, we met again. He was on a similar, one day, visit whilst on holiday from South Africa where he still lived.

We agreed to meet in another 15 years in an, as yet unspecified, supermarket somewhere in the world!

And we have lost touch again......................