View Full Version : Crossing paths

28th Jan 2015, 23:28
I was thinking the other day about how life can be a series of coincidences as paths cross.

I was in a pub in Sussex a few weeks ago with a couple of Rhodesian friends when a man at the bar came over to us, having overheard our conversation (not suprising as one of the guys is rather loud), and told us he had just got divorced from a Rhodesian lady. He sat down with us and it turned out that his ex-wife, from Bulawayo, was my ex whom I'd lived with in Cape Town for a year or so in 1975/6.

I was reminded of how a series of bizarre coincidences over a period of nearly 40 years kept me in touch with someone I first met in 1976, when I was working for a shipping agency in Rhodesia. I was in Cape Town on holiday and driving back from the beach one afternoon, stopped for a girl (Sally) who was hitching a lift, and when dropping her off at her shared student house in Rosebank, near the University of Cape Town, realised that

(coincidence 1) the address was the same as that of a young Swiss man for whom I had made a booking on a cargo ship from Cape Town to the USA. I met him and her other housemates, two of whom were a brother, Martin, and his sister, also Rhodesians studying at UCT. Years later, I was to meet her again in the Johannesburg suburb of Rosebank. This was the start of a remarkable chain of coincidences.

Sally ended up marrying a Swiss friend of her housemate. Although they split not long after, it gave her a lifetime right to a Swiss passport. We lost touch after a couple of years when she moved to Johannesburg.

Martin and his sister went their own ways but years later, I bumped into Martin,

(coincidence 2) as he was GM of a hotel I stayed in near Nelspruit, close to the Kruger National Park. About 20 years later, so now we're in about 1999, I was at the Rosebank market in Johannesburg and someone came up behind me and tapped me on the shoulder …....... it was Sally

(coincidence 3) We had a brief chat and she gave me her number, which I lost. A year or so after that I received an email from a friend who ran a travel company in JNB, and glancing at the names on the .cc line, saw that one of them looked like Sally's name.

(coincidence 4) I emailed her and it was the same Sally. She had done a TEFL course and wanted to teach in Europe. Her first job was in Bratislava and as I happened to be in Prague

(coincidence 5) I took a quick trip to see her in Bratislava, which she hated, so I persuaded her to have a look at the country whose passport she held, Switzerland, even though she'd never been there. We took a train to Zurich and just as we walked out of the station, a friend of mine, who didn't know I was going to be in Zurich, walked past

(coincidence 6). We went for coffee and he mentioned that he was shortly moving out of a small flat and would Sally be interested. It was next door to a language school, which turned out

(coincidence 7) to be the one where Sally had arranged an interview for a job teaching English. She got the job, tough work, long hours and badly paid. One weekend while I was in UK she came over and on the way to friends of mine for lunch I was telling her about the couple with whom we were going for lunch, and she said :
“I know him …....”
“Bollocks, ” I said, thinking it was impossible :
“How could you possibly know him when lives on the other side of the world?”
She described him and it turned out she'd met him

(coincidence 8) a few years before at a trade show in Johannesburg.

Last year, I was waiting for a train at Euston and got chatting to the chap standing next to me,

(coincidence 9) and within a few minutes had worked out that he was Sally's brother.

A few other odd coincidences I remember :

Spent a couple of hours chatting to my neighbour, a Canadian businessman, on a flight from LHR to Reykjavik (Keflavik for the pedantics). About a year later, I boarded a flight from CPT to JNB and the same chap was sitting next to me. He was on his way to visit friends who lived in the same block of flats in Tableview where I owned a flat.

Another time, I got off a LHR-CPT flight, took my suitcase off the carousel and went home with it. When I tried to open it, the combination lock didn't work, looked more closely and realised I'd picked up the wrong identical red Samsonite. No label on it, but I was able to open it (signs of a mis-spent youth) and found a label inside with the owner's name and telephone number, on the same CPT exhange as ours, in fact just a couple of digits different from our number. Called the number, asked for the person by name, and the lady said : "It's my daughter, she's just arrived back from London but her suitcase is lost and she's really upset."
Their house was one block from mine, I was able to walk round with the suitcase. As soon as I saw the girl, I realised that she was one of the waitresses at a pub that I used to go to in a small village in Surrey.

29th Jan 2015, 01:18
1967 - took a train from Poole to Plymouth, which required a journey via Southampton - Basingstoke - Exeter - Plymouth, or something similar as an RAF rail warrant was involved for this ATC cadet on the way to do his flying scholarship at Roborough. Met another young guy on the train from Southampton who was also going to Plymouth, and we got on very well ....we then went our separate ways.
1984 - went with friends from Cornwall to the Barbican Theatre in Plymouth. At the interval accidentally spilt a fellow theatregoer's drink, which I replaced. We fell into casual conversation, and I remarked that I felt we had met before. He said he had had the same thought - and yes, it was on the 1967 train.

Loose rivets
29th Jan 2015, 01:29
Gosh, Cape, do you ever feel you're being manipulated?

Try to figure out if any of these coincidences changed your life in a major way.

Ascend Charlie
29th Jan 2015, 02:02
In 1973, I was flying an air force Huey in support of a SAS troop doing their initial course. Part of the famil trip was to be hoisted into the chopper, so we did the lads one by one, with the officer waiting to be last.

With the officer on the horse collar, we lifted him clear of the ground, then moved a short distance to a dam, intending to just dip his boots in the water - the "tea bag" - much cheering from his troops. But the officer wasn't going to go easily, and was wriggling and trying to keep his feet out of the water - he even got his boots above his head, so we just had to dunk his whole body to get his boots wet. His name was Jock, and he took it pretty well, and it raised the morale of the troop considerably.

Now it's 1981, and I am in a rescue Huey, sent out to the Singleton army camp for a report of a cadet with an injured leg, in the bush, and needing to be taken to hospital. We found the group of cadets and their officer on the side of a steep ridge with tall trees, with a strong wind blowing. But this Huey only had a 100' winch cable, and even facing into wind and being down between the trees meant the cable was on the downhill side, didn't quite reach the ground, and was being blown away from the troops on the ground by the downwash. With some huge skill, I was able to hover downwind and finally get the injured cadet onto the stokes litter and up to the cabin.

The officer asked if the rest of his boys could be hoisted out too, but I told him that it used too much power and risk to hover downwind amongst the trees, so sadly they would have to hoof it out. So they did.

1994, and I am flying the state Minister for Transport and his advisor around the outskirts of Sydney, looking at a future land corridor for a highway. It was obvious that the minister was a d1ck, and his advisor thought so too. After landing, we realised that we had met before, this was Jock, and he had a good laugh over the incident.

1999, and I am flying the security advisor for the Olympic Games around the planned sites. Hello again, it's Jock.

2004, and I am flying the squillionaire head of the Commonwealth Bank back to Sydney from the country estate of a Seriously Rich Man. As we pass over Singleton, this chap says that he used to be in the Reserves, and had a few exercises there, and got abandoned in the bush by an inconsiderate helicopter pilot who would only hoist out his injured cadet. We had a good laugh over this one, and then he asks:

"Do you know my brother Jock?"

29th Jan 2015, 03:22
My father was part of a joint Canadian/British expeditionary force sent to help the Ghanaian Air Force in the 1960's. He had recently married my mother, who had to leave the RAF upon marriage. They lived at Takoradi Air Force base.

I was born in Accra military hospital in 1963---I was one of two "white" babies born there that year, (the other was a Canadian girl---if anyone knows her.....). Lived in Takoradi for a year or so before moving back to the UK.

Fast forward to 2005, and I am working for a helicopter company in the US training foreign nationals to fly helicopters as part of the war on drugs, (sub contractor to Dynacorp). I happened to train some Ghanaian pilots in the Bell 206 helicopter. On graduation day, the Ghanaian Ambassador to the United States is present to "give" them their "wings".....wee get to talking......He was a junior officer in the Ghanaian Air Force in the 1960's and worked with my father....I now have an official invite from the government of Ghana to go and "collect" my "Nationality Certificate".

29th Jan 2015, 05:13
I tell ya......somebody has finally built the improbability drive, probably with the help of a strong brownian motion device (cup of tea).....it'll end in tears!

Krystal n chips
29th Jan 2015, 06:10
What a remarkable set of, well, coincidences.......

When I tried to open it, the combination lock didn't work, looked more closely and realised I'd picked up the wrong identical red Samsonite. No label on it, but I was able to open it (signs of a mis-spent youth

As you do...breaking into another persons property....thankfully, and by a happy coincidence this had a happy ending....however, it does rather beg the question as to why you didn't simply return it to the airline who could have then contacted the true owner....if you don't mind me asking ?

29th Jan 2015, 07:22
Oh come on, KnC.
Firstly, there was no "breaking" and secondly, an excellent result, for the girl, was achieved.

If, for example, you find a wallet on the way home do you immediately rush to the police station with it - or, do you have a look inside it to see if you can find contact details.

Commonsense is becoming an increasingly rare commodity these days, it would appear.

29th Jan 2015, 07:23
Hey Cap. It's no wonder the poor fellow had to divorce his wife, with you 'just happening' to be there every time she was on the loose!

29th Jan 2015, 07:39
Just remembered another odd couple of coincidences.

I'd been to see a friend and his wife who ran a camp site near Carnac in Brittany, just before they headed to Switzerland. Two days later I was driving round the Boulevard Peripherique near Paris, on my way to Madrid, when I glanced to my right and there, on this crowded 6-lane motorway, there they were, moving at the same speed as me in a the next lane.

A year later, I was returning an Avis rental car at Heathrow and the person in the car behind hooted to attract my attention, and it was him. A further coincidence was that we were both on the same flight (out of 5 that night) to JNB.

29th Jan 2015, 08:02
What a remarkable set of, well, coincidences.......

When I tried to open it, the combination lock didn't work, looked more closely and realised I'd picked up the wrong identical red Samsonite. No label on it, but I was able to open it (signs of a mis-spent youth

As you do...breaking into another persons property....thankfully, and by a happy coincidence this had a happy ending....however, it does rather beg the question as to why you didn't simply return it to the airline who could have then contacted the true owner....if you don't mind me asking ?

Now if you want to talk about an absolutely amazing coincidence here is the ultimate in examples,

Cape posts in Prune land and very shortly after KnC post some bilious attack about his offering, who would of expected that :rolleyes:

29th Jan 2015, 08:20
Whilst working as an engineer in the oilfields of Sumatra, Indonesia, in the early 1980's, I was also the Secretary of the company golf club. Having service company reps over from Singapore who were sponsoring the weekend golf tournament, I took them out for a few holes and a beer.
One of the chaps was from the north east of the UK and on asking where, he replied Gateshead or to be more exact Whickam. I said that I had lived there for a while whilst overseeing a north sea structure being fabricated in Tyneside and we realised we had lived a few streets apart.

He then said that his boss in Singapore also lived in the same area and mentioned his name. I recognised it as I had rented his house!

29th Jan 2015, 08:34
Around 2000 I got to know an ex Welsh Guards officer who eventually became a good friend. It was only after a few months that we discovered when chatting that we had sat together on a VC10 trooping flight to Hong Kong in 1968 and hadn't seen each other again since going our separate ways at Kai Tak. However a statistician will tell you that this, and most of the other coincidences described here have no significance, when set beside all the thousands of times we dont bump into someone we used to know/were married to etc.

That is apart from Capetonian, whose life is obviously part of an experiment being conducted by an alien intelligence, as Loose Rivets has hinted at ;)

29th Jan 2015, 09:09
In the early 60's I was on a certain Valiant Sqdn, that TTN knows well.

In 1982 in a later life, in my Johannesburg office I am discussing things with a fellow Anglo.

When my RAF service is mentioned he asks if I was ever at Marham? He had been a brat on the married patch. It turned out that his father was one of our Crew Chiefs, that I of course knew well.

Move on to 1989, I am on a course in Boston Ma. and have arranged to meet a former colleague from Joburg, he brings a friend who is the brother of my Joburg based friend and he is introduced to me and says I understand that you know my brother, to which I have to inform him that I worked with his father!

3 members of the family, met on 3 different continents.

29th Jan 2015, 09:47
Mine us short and sweet - in Sept 2011 arrive LAX on the Thursday after Labor Day weekend for a months motorbike touring in USA. Do the same the following year, also Thursday after Labor Day. We ended up being processed through immigration by exactly the same officer as a year before. Not that much of a coincidence in some ways - equivalent day, same shift; but the chances of us getting to the processing point as he was on duty was amazing to me at the time.

29th Jan 2015, 10:05
Originally Posted by Krystal n chips http://www.pprune.org/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.pprune.org/jet-blast/555543-crossing-paths.html#post8844457)
What a remarkable set of, well, coincidences.......

When I tried to open it, the combination lock didn't work, looked more closely and realised I'd picked up the wrong identical red Samsonite. No label on it, but I was able to open it (signs of a mis-spent youth

As you do...breaking into another persons property....thankfully, and by a happy coincidence this had a happy ending....however, it does rather beg the question as to why you didn't simply return it to the airline who could have then contacted the true owner....if you don't mind me asking ?

Now if you want to talk about an absolutely amazing coincidence here is the ultimate in examples,

Cape posts in Prune land and very shortly after KnC post some bilious attack about his offering, who would of expected that
No ..... Shirley not!
The pathetic stalker is back.

Here's what really happened.

I broke into the suitcase, damaging the locks beyond repair, hoping that there would be something of value to steal. Having rifled through the contents, I was disappointed to find that there was nothing of real value, but by a fortunate coincidence, the girl must have been the same size as me, because her underwear was just my size. What a fortunate coincidence. I was able to get a few rand from selling some of her stuff, and put everything else into the dirtbin, because I am such a nasty, vicious, spiteful and dishonest person.

Now, K&C, I'm sure you'd like to 'get me into trouble' so here's the telephone number of the Rondebosch police station ..... +27 21 685 7345. Please call them and report me for theft of items from an airline passenger's baggage.

29th Jan 2015, 10:20
A few years ago I wanted to sell a rather specialised piece of technical equipment. I advertised it in a national journal, but got no interest. On a off-chance I asked a German colleague to advertise it there in a German technical magazine.
Very quickly he got a reply from a prospective buyer living in England, and his address - next door but one from me. No P&P required!

29th Jan 2015, 10:27
Every time I go to buy something with 'my' credit card, it never works. Quick call to the wife and she says maybe try another one. That one doesn't work adding to the awkwardness and embarrassment with people behind me as I try to buy something maybe $20.

Another phone call and she says the card must have a problem. Maybe I'll have to get the thing I was buying next time. Ok. Bummer.

Day or two later my wife walks in with shoes, dresses, handbags etc. Smiles and happy with her amazing purchases. As she walks into the bedroom I ask about the card. Yeah it's working fine now she says. It works on the day she goes shopping 'needing' stuff.

See, now THAT is nothing more then pure coincidence. Never ceases to amaze me. :hmm:

29th Jan 2015, 10:28
Just shows, when you come to a fork in the road....take it.

Krystal n chips
29th Jan 2015, 17:09
" I broke into the suitcase, damaging the locks beyond repair, hoping that there would be something of value to steal. Having rifled through the contents, I was disappointed to find that there was nothing of real value, but by a fortunate coincidence, the girl must have been the same size as me, because her underwear was just my size. What a fortunate coincidence. I was able to get a few rand from selling some of her stuff, and put everything else into the dirtbin, because I am such a nasty, vicious, spiteful and dishonest person

Well, if you don't mind me saying so, unlike an entry for this years Booker Prize parts of your statement above do appear to have some plausibility.

However, as yet, no explanation as to why, unlike an inferior such as myself, you elected to go to the trouble of opening a suitcase, with a combination lock, that didn't actually belong to you and simply just return it to the airline for them to find the owner.

Did the lady, who, by a happy coincidence you knew, do the same to your coincidental red Samsonite suitcase at all ?....probably not.....or did she do as most of us would do, and return it to the airline.

The comparison between a wallet...and a suitcase....and access to both...aircrew wallets aside, which tend to be welded shut in the bar until "advised otherwise", I would be interested to see a wallet with a combination lock on it......

29th Jan 2015, 18:38
My son did exactly the same thing as Captonian and we ended up sorting it within a few hours.

If we had not done that the problem would have taken some time to sort out.

There are not too many ways of recovering a bag from the north of Finland quickly.

I think KnC is being a bit disingenious.

He is probably the sort of person who calls the bomb squad when perhaps looking in the package would save everybody a lot of hassle!!

Hope I don't get put in the sin bin for playing the man!!

29th Jan 2015, 18:49
Hope I don't get put in the sin bin for playing the man!!

Oh I think you are on pretty safe ground and you are certainly not the first and wont be the last to have voiced such an opinion :p:p:p

29th Jan 2015, 18:51
What happened to a sense of humour?

29th Jan 2015, 19:42
^ It got lost in transit.

29th Jan 2015, 20:06
When you cross yourself in the street...it gets a bit hairy:eek:

29th Jan 2015, 20:15
Back in the '60s I worked with an American who was in Australia, more or less on a working holiday. He became quite good friends with my then girlfriend and me. In the past he had worked for the USGS in Albuquerque.
After a couple of years, he moved on to work in Bougainville. After a couple of years there, he came back to Australia, but soon after, I went to B'ville, and we lost contact.

Roll forward to about 2000, I'd moved back to the original employer in Sydney, and was getting some info from the USGS web site. I wondered if he had gone back there to work, so sent a message to the webmaster there. Had a message from him within about 4 hours. We've been in touch ever since, including a visit by him and his wife, and don't intend to lose contact again.

Ascend Charlie
29th Jan 2015, 20:35
In 1993, I flew a charter job for David Lowy, the aviation-keen son of billionaire shopping centre owner Frank Lowy. He was a great passenger, fun to chat with, but it was only a short flight.

The following week, I flew to the US of A, first time ever on that side of the puddle, and toured Hawaii, LA, Miami, Atlanta, Washington, then back via San Francisco. Stopped in a shop in Fishermans Wharf, looking at T-shirts with Kliban's cats on them, and started chatting to the salesman.

He asked where my accent was from, I replied Australia, and he said,

"Oh, I know a guy from Australia - David Lowy! Do you know him?"

When I said I did, he just accepted it as normal, you know, there are only three people in Australia after all...

29th Jan 2015, 23:20
There is apparently people with some sort of brain ability that can recognise a face in a crowd.
Face of somebody they just crossed path with (in another crowd) years ago.

Their life must be full of coincidences :eek:

I recognised Harrison Ford this way one time (tall guy) does this count!?

1st Feb 2015, 15:25
My primary email address includes my middle initial. Unfortunately a lot of people send me emails without the middle initial, and they go to someone with the same first and surnames as me. Realising that this was happening, I emailed him and apologised for any inconvenience and asked him if he'd be good enough to either forward them to me or return to sender.

We exchanged a few emails and then out of the blue I got an email from him saying that he would be having a birthday drink at a well-known pub in Skipton (The Woolly Sheep) and if by any chance I was going to be in the area, to join him. By one of those million to one chances, I happened to be working in nearby Bradford that week, and I did!

1st Feb 2015, 16:43
Many coincidences are just fortuitous timing.

I work in an industry where I spend a lot of time in various airports around the world, with LHR being my usual return base. It's become a bit of a standing joke in the family that I can't go through LHR, especially T5, without bumping into at least one person that I know.

1:/So, it was a little surprising last year when my wife and I were flying to LIN to see my MiL and I'd seen no-one that I knew. SWMBO even commented on the way to the gate that we'd not seen anyone familiar...

Arrived at the gate, boarding was well underway so we proceeded onto the aircraft; only to discover that a good friend and working colleague was sitting in the seat directly behind me.

While a lot of my travel involves travelling as part of a larger group there are many times that I will be making my own way somewhere.

Picture the scene:

2:/I'm on my way to Tokyo with BA (when they were based at T4) as the only Brit working on a Japanese production. Check in, and do the security thing.

Walk out of the security area and immediately bump into a friend of mine who was then working for the F1 circus and was on his way to Melbourne. (We hadn't seen each other for about 15 years)

"Let's go and have a quick beer then!"

We start walking towards the bar and on the way bump into another colleague who was on his way to Sydney to start a tour by a well-known British artist whose initials are PC. (I hadn't seen this one for about 8 years)

"Let's all go and have a quick beer!"

So, the three of us continue towards the bar.
No more than a couple of dozen footsteps later we bump into another American work colleague who was on his way home to Boston. (Who I hadn't seen for 10 years)

"I think we all need a beer!!"

A surfeit of beers were consumed and many stories swapped until it became time for us to stagger towards our respective flights.

I start to walk towards the gate....and, on the way, bump into my favourite husband and wife American production team who are transiting through LHR on their way home to LA..

A VERY weird and lovely set of coincidences.
Long may they continue...

1st Feb 2015, 19:52
Smeagol's 2nd coincidence

(well it was actually the first but I remembered the other one first!)

This involves my closest mate from grammar school. We both studied engineering but went to different universities and lost touch. After graduation (and working as a plasterers labourer for almost a year) I emigrated to South Africa to work for a large engineering and construction company. Almost 3 years later I was walking around a supermarket in a Cape Town suburb, turned a corner into another aisle and ..............bumped into my mate from school!

We had a suitable reunion and found that he was living only a few hundred yards from us and his wife (who was also his girlfriend from school) walked past our house every day on her way to work.

After some months I left South Africa and returned to the UK (better job offer), the first of many moves which caused me to lose touch again.

Years later I was in a supermarket in Penzance, Cornwall (we both went to school in nearby Helston) whilst on a week-end visit to the wife's family (from my UK base in Norfolk), walked around a corner into another aisle and ..............bumped into aforementioned mate! He was still living in Cape Town but on a brief visit to the UK and in Penzance for only a day. No time for anything but the briefest of conversations but we have agreed to meet in a supermarket sometime in the future in a country to be decided.

No meeting yet but we are in touch now via the infamous Linkedin (after losing touch again, due to my continuing changes of job, country etc.

1st Feb 2015, 19:56
Lot's of flying but nothing exciting in unexpected meets. Only one I can think of is at LHR on way back from business in Issoudun and on the underground towards Piccadilly. Lug suitcase on and stand in anticipation of long, slow journey when I hear - David? Turn around and it's one of my clerks from operations who I didn't know was on holiday. Only 8,000 miles away from homes. And was actually my first time back in the UK since 57.

1st Feb 2015, 20:45
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.
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.

1st Feb 2015, 21:18
I think KnC is being a bit disingenious.Oh I think you are on pretty safe ground and you are certainly not the first and wont be the last to have voiced such an opinionLast time I was in California I kicked a Smartphone/cellphone out of the grass alongside a road I was crossing.

I managed to find out how to turn it on -an achievement in itself, never having handled such a machine - then open the "contacts" file and found one called "Mom" so rang that number -horrors of horrors, I was using up the data credit, evil me - and had to leave a message suggesting that I had found her daughters' cellphone on the corner of XX St. and XX St. and was making my way to Starbucks on XX Ave. my name was XX and I was wearing a red shirt.

20 minutes later a very relieved woman came in - and paid for my coffee.

What was I supposed to do - go out of my way to take it to AT&T, or Sprint, or T-Mobile, or a host of other carriers ?

1st Feb 2015, 21:21
What causes coincidences ? Some of them are too bizarre and abstract to be by chance, yet…..they appear to be so. Is there a governing intelligence that coordinates them, are we part of some cosmic computer program ? You think of someone and they phone minutes later, you start the day in a good state of mind and pass a serendipitous period where all goes as well as can be imagined, others when bad luck causes coincidences that defy belief when malevolent comings together derail our lives and our plans. It's a conundrum.


1st Feb 2015, 22:02

We're all just part of the Matrix!

1st Feb 2015, 22:07
Years ago I got a job in the West Country, whilst still living in Bedfordshire.
For a few months I stayed in guest-houses whilst looking for somewhere to buy a permanent dwelling.
In order to get an appreciation of the localities, I hopped from guest-house to guest-house (intentionally mostly, but, sometimes, forced due to unavailability at my 'chosen' location).
One such evening I was staying (one night) at a guest-house that was not one of my 'usual' haunts.
As we (the half-dozen 'residents') sat down to our evening meal, a 'visitor' arrived to take one of the 'residents' to dinner.
The visitor was an employee of the company to which the 'resident' was due to visit the following day, and had agreed to take the resident out (as an alternative to eating at the guest-house). The 'resident' was staying just one night.

When the visitor entered, two of us (myself and one other 'resident') greeted the visitor as someone that they knew.
Myself from some 25 years previously - the visitor had lived in my home town where I grew up in Northumberland.
After I left 'home' (to live in Bedfordshire), the visitor had moved to Lancashire, where he became acquainted with the other 'resident' (who, like myself, was staying whilst he sought somewhere to live for his new job).
The visitor had moved from Lancashire to the West Country some ten years previously to the date of the incident described.

Thus, two people, who, by chance, were staying in a random guest-house, were known to a visitor, who, by chance, was collecting a guest who was, by chance, staying that one night.

What would be the probability of that? It sent shudders down my back!

Oh, and the guest-house wasn't located in a town where it might have been a regular choice, but it was remotely-located 'out in the countryside'. It was probably the fifth or sixth guest-house that I had tried to find accommodation for that night.

2nd Feb 2015, 00:00
I would be interested to see a wallet with a combination lock on it......



Krystal n chips
2nd Feb 2015, 04:10
What was I supposed to do - go out of my way to take it to AT&T, or Sprint, or T-Mobile, or a host of other carriers

Well you could have done, however, as a smartphone is easy to access, then it would be perfectly logical to search the contacts and call one...as you did.

Congratulations therefore on your successful first encounter with 21st century technology !

That was a very nice photograph of a wallet. You learn something everyday and, thanks to a "well known search engine" I had already viewed the same image. The item isn't that common on my local market stalls you understand.

Meanwhile, I am still aghast at the coincidences that continue to emerge !....although I am utterly bemused as to how not one, but two, red Samsonite cases, both identical and without any distinguishing marks came to be on the same carousel at the same time. How in fact, did you know the case was yours, or did you just assume it was because it was a red Samsonite.

Then there's the little matter of how, when you returned the item to it's rightful owner, you recognised her immediately yet presumably she was on the same flight and surely, if you knew her that well, you would have spotted her, erm, around the carousel or even in the dep / arrival halls.

Coincidences do happen of course. In fact, only this weekend, I caught the bus to Stafford....2 hrs later, returning home, I found myself on the same bus with the same driver !.....what a coincidence !

2nd Feb 2015, 05:08
I'm with you KnC.

Reading your post and saying that most here are lying and also are thieving criminals caused me to go back and re-read their posts.

So just to let you know again, I have the same view as you. Which is that you think that they are all lying and are thieves. That's your thoughts and I'm the same as you.

In fact, I think that your coincidence and my coincidence are they only truthful ones here and I also again have the same view when you say that everyone else is lying and are thieves.


Krystal n chips
2nd Feb 2015, 05:31
Not all Ruddman, some are perfectly credible in fact.

I once walked out of bar in Aalborg, looking for a snack and encountered and individual I had been in training with some 5 years before.

Coincidences do happen.

As does having fertile imagination......

2nd Feb 2015, 05:37
Yes you're so right. And I'm so glad you have felt the need to call them all out . And as you might call them - bastards - making outrageous claims of conicendece when in fact they're not.

I say we appoint you as the coincidence scam checker for pprune. You're amazing.

Krystal n chips
2nd Feb 2015, 06:10
I say we appoint you as the coincidence scam checker for PPRuNe. You're amazing

Alas, whilst that's terribly kind of you, the post is already taken.

However, here's another "amazing coincidence " from, have a guess.

Said poster was "confused" as to parking charges......some time later, and by an amazing coincidence, this confusion arose again....the same times and the same costs !....

If you don't mind me asking however, do you take everything and everybody you meet in the real world at face value ?....

That, and some of the more prolific posters on here do have a tendency to self-aggrandize.

2nd Feb 2015, 06:16
Yes, I agree.
So, let's have everybody up-standing and, can we have an enthusiastic round of applause for that beacon of propriety and righteousness, KnC.
What a powerful intellect - being possessed of such discerning powers of observation and outstandingly astute judgement!

"Some mothers do have 'em."

2nd Feb 2015, 06:18
Well, kindness is one of my many traits. So I find it easy to be kind. :O

Well, like you, I just assume everyone is a bastard and a liar until proven otherwise. I guess we the same.

Maybe we can be friends and hang out together?

2nd Feb 2015, 06:54
16 years ago, and being already retired, I was asked to help establish a new freight airline being formed at Heathrow. I spent 6 months there, then returned to my new found domicile in New Zealand.

Last month my wife and I were driving home and noticed an Open House sign in an area that we might become interested in moving to, so stopped and investigated.

Entering the property my wife heard the elderly Estate Agent talking about Los Angeles, and as my wife hails from LA, when our turn to be greeted by him came around she asked what his connection with LA was ?

Turned out he had recently finished a career as the LA rep. for our local airline and spent some 20 years there. 2 coincidences there - like me worked for an airline, and like my wife had lived in LA.

But ... he went on to talk about a difficult time he had experienced in connection with freight and airlines ( details unimportant here ) and there was another coincidence, both of us being involved with air freight at some time. He then went on to say how he had visited a new, start up freight airline at Heathrow some 16 years ago with a possibility of forming some sort of Alliance !! ( didn't happen) Turned out that although I never had dealings with him personally, he had spent discussion time in our offices whilst I was there.

What are the chances of visiting an Open Home, and finding that the previously totally unknown Estate Agent had commercial connections with one, of a totally different sort, 16 years ago, in another country. Spooky. One has to consider that there is "someone" up there pulling the strings - no ?

K n C - of course I've just made the whole thing up to achieve some sort of self aggrandisement. ( and I use an s not a z)

2nd Feb 2015, 07:12
Oh dear, has K&C been partaking of the vitriol bottle again?

2nd Feb 2015, 09:45
I have a red Samsonite suitcase and the combination is my RAF 'last 3'!

What are the chances of it being opened?

cockney steve
2nd Feb 2015, 14:12
What are the chances of it being opened?

About 45 seconds:8

These cheap, nasty mass-produced locks are only there bas deterrents to accidental opening or casual snoopers.
Surely every schoolboy has handled one if those cylindrical bike-locks with a loop of chain ending at each domed end of the cylinder?....Slightly loading the lock, one can feel the tightest end, rotating the wheel....you'll feel the gap line up....move to the second and repeat until the final ring releases the lock.
we used to delight in swapping them around in the bike-sheds. mayhem at "home- time :} There were some who abandoned their steed and walked home. If they were lucky, morning saw an open lock draped across their handlebars or saddle......then some wailed the lock was no good to them because they didn't know the combination.
Have rescued 3 serviceable padlocks recently, using this technique.

Of course, a professional thief just breaks off the lock anyway.

2nd Feb 2015, 19:27
When I joined the airlines, all crew seemed to be using those blue Globetrotters - before shifting to the Samsonite Oysters that then came along - all had a small key bearing the same number, No. 3 if I recall.

Not long ago I visited a suitcase warehouse, and was tempted to buy one that had been created as a floor sample, the top, bottom, sides and handle had all been constructed of material of a different colour ! Looked like something that had escaped from Bertram Mills' Circus. At least it would stand out from all those identical black roll-along things that is all one sees going around the carousels these days. That Capetonian had two red ones available at the same time is a very rare event now.

cockney steve
2nd Feb 2015, 20:38
Back in '72, I was offered a job as a Rep which entailed me getting a full range of samples together and a set of Globetrotters to take them.....we had a few well-worn ones at the warehouse and , when the main agents' new stock arrived, I cleared the lot....I was told "no discount" argued that "Access" card would cost them 3%, and when was the last time they sold 12 to one customer, before they'd even got from stores to shop, please call the manager.......yep, got a discount.

A long-time Rep told me they were the ONLY suitcase that would stand the punishment...I carried 17, packed into a Maxi and later, Mk.3 andMk.4 Cortina estates they also went to Dublin twice a year and were humped in and out of 10 different hotels/trade shows twice a year....meanwhile they were humped in and out of shops up and down the Northwest and Scotland some had probably done well over a million miles, my "new" ones went back with over 150,000 hard miles on them. only failure was a small one packed with glass ashtrays, the leather handle snapped halfway across a busy Glasgow main road the metal loop at the end had worn right through the leather...not bad for a 30 year old case!

Yes, they all had the cheap, nasty "Cheney" locks which opened with 3 keys between the 17, or 1 of the Partner's hairgrips would do the lot.

2nd Feb 2015, 22:57
I have this hilarious "vision" of Capetonian seating in the lounge of an Hotel on the Isle of Lewis, sipping a good whisky and there are three huge black guys playing cards at the table next to his... Asked if he would join them to be the fourth for a game of poker, he accepts, but as he takes place around the table, he cannot help but notice that they all have a big bulge around the waist, like they are all carying a "piece"... and in the course of the conversation they tell him that they have been touring the UK for the last ten years trying to locate a "clown" who caused havoc in their Pesky Nigerians Scam........... THAT would be a coincidence!!!!!!

3rd Feb 2015, 00:06
^^^^ Pick a hole in that KnC :p:D:D

Krystal n chips
3rd Feb 2015, 04:28
" Pick a hole in that KnC"

Au contraire !.......hope, as they say, springs eternal.

There again, the owner of the hotel would probably be Sally's long lost Scottish cousin, the Captain of the "Cal-Mac" ferry a former lover and you can only imagine the chaos and coincidences that would ensue on the carousel at Stornoway Airport.

10th Mar 2015, 07:26
oh it's such a jolly diversion being impressed by so many coincidences
recounted by strong (and sometimes engaging) personalities
no . . . I mean that . . honestly
It used to be the stuff of prolonged sessions round the bar after sign off
Today its lone ranger stuff. . . .the house so quiet. . so different
when round followed round and the stories became more and more improbable . .. with a little effort I can still hear 'laughing boy' holding forth

Here's one for you though. There was a CFI at an aero club, where I was a member . JP had long been married to the daughter of a French couple who had migrated to Australia years ago. It was around the time JP was courting his wife to be that they discovered they both had great grandparents who had lived in a town in Provence. But it was not until they went on holiday to France, where they delved into a bit of genealogy , that they found out their respective great grandparents had once been neighbours.

Once I was telling a fairly long involved, recent, truthful story, to
a former wife, that concluded with a twist, so far against the odds, you could never quantify it. She stared at me blankly , spread her
beautiful hands wide, and said "So?"

I could think of no answer to "So?"

10th Mar 2015, 07:39
We have two dogs, they were from a litter of 3.
We advertised a bed we didn't want, free to a good home if you take it away.

Guy comes to get the bed and looks at our dogs and says....funny, our dog look exactly the same as your dogs.

Turns out his dog was our dogs brother, the other one from the litter.

tony draper
10th Mar 2015, 07:59
Well you know what they say, once is happenance, twice is coincidence, three times it's enemy action.
Had Library book out once about coincidence believe me all of the above pale into insignificance compared to some of the weird shit in that book.

10th Mar 2015, 08:12
1. In 1964 I researched and wrote a piece for a magazine about the DH71 Tiger Moth (one of only two built, a small low wing monoplane). Most of the story was about its pilot, David Smith, who was killed in 1930 when he was thrown out due to pilot induced oscillation. (and no harness done up)

2. Shortly after that piece appeared my parents sold our Sydney home
to a man from Scone called Norman Smith

3. A few years after that I met a woman in Canberra. We became engaged and then married. Her mother's maiden name was Thelma Smith.

4. My own mother, around this time, recalled that in the early thirties
in Sydney she went out with a man by the name of Kenneth Smith on one or two occasions

5. David, Norman, Thelma and Kenneth were the only children of WJ Smith, once a prominent industrialist.

Thelma had married a man who had been adjutant of a Catalina squadron in the RAAF. (my father in law). Prior to my marriage I had been living with a woman who had never known her father, as he was a bomber pilot in the RAAF (over Europe), whose crew was MIA and never accounted for. Some years later, the aforementioned marriage having failed, I lived for a few years with a woman whose father had been a Catalina pilot in the RAAF.

And now I wait in the wings, wondering, should someone such as J Travolta somehow be rendered hors de combat, . .. who better to look after the collection?

North Shore
10th Mar 2015, 12:28
Late 1950's, Manchester Uni. Dad, who was a student there, bought his 8mm camera to school one day, and took a few minutes worth of footage of his pals having lunch. Randomly, in the background, 3 (unknown)young women walk by and are filmed. 50 years later, having moved to Canada, we find the film at the bottom of the film drawer, rent a projector, and sit down to watch. Dad names all of his frineds, what they were doing that day, and then notices the women.."That's Diane xx!" a long-time friend in Canada. Diane verifies that it was her, as she recognized the coat she was wearing...

10th Mar 2015, 14:01
About half a century ago, when I was a child, a bunch of us were walking past a public telephone box some distance from home (the ancient button A and button B type). Strangely, the phone in there began ringing. A young pal, just out of curiosity, went in and answered it. He opened the door and with raised eyebrows said "It's for YOU!"

I didn't believe him and wasn't keen to pick up the handset but it turned out to be my uncle, who lived over 150 miles away. He was trying to contact my father about an urgent family issue (dire illness of his sister) but we had no phone at home (not many people did back then). My uncle was in a desperate situation and he hoped someone would answer the public phone and pass on the message. I have no idea how he got the number, but for me to be walking past at that time was bizarre.

Another story, more recent.

I had just met my new copilot. Our flight was delayed by foggy weather so we decided to go to the nearby UK motorway services for a coffee and a chat. We had been sitting at a table for about ten minutes or so and we were explaining our aviation backgrounds to each other. I was telling my copilot about my earlier days working in the far east and the issues of bringing up kids in that part of the world. I mentioned, in context of that conversation, someone by name (he was the father of my sons' friends). I turned my chair, looked across to the next table and noticed someone sitting with his back to us. It gradually dawned on me was it was that very same person. He was driving to his mother's funeral and had stopped for a 20 minute break. I'd not seen him for over five years.

A similar thing has just happened again, over the last two days, in fact. On Sunday, for no apparent reason, I suddenly found myself thinking about a dear friend who used to post here quite regularly but has since moved to other pastimes. We haven't been in touch for a very long time and I had lost all contact details when my phone died a year ago. I remember thinking that I hoped she was doing well in her new career.

Then, yesterday (Monday) another friend on this very forum sent me a text message to say that my PPRuNe PM box wasn't accepting inbound messages. I checked the details, nothing seemed amiss. While I was looking at my PM page, an inbound message popped up. I assumed it was from him. It wasn't - it was from the other friend who I had lost contact with. Spooky!

I think it is known as "synchronicity".

10th Mar 2015, 18:13
There definitely seems to be sychronicity in life and good luck often attracts more good luck and bad luck, bad in simple terms. I can't match many of the examples already given, but have bumped into people randomly that were connected to my life elsewhere, picked up supposedly non working phones that had exactly the person needed on the other end of the line and so on….There must be an energetic phenomenon at work, otherwise there must truly be an intelligent force guiding things.

Some years ago whilst living in Italy, I had been seeing a lady who was somewhat high maintenance and becoming very difficult to be normal with, so when meeting a beautiful easy going other, I decided to take her out to see if it might be worth pursuing further. The winter evening was foggy, very foggy and near freezing. No one on the streets, few cars, silence…..I collected said damsel and we walked innocently :E arm in arm to the theatre some 10mins away. Halfway there, out of the fog a figure became visible, and the closer we came to the figure the more it started to look like a woman and not just any woman, but miss high-maintenance….Completely the wrong part of the city from her home, just happened to be waiting for he father to come out of a function room. Awkward :O What were the chances of that happening, and all by chance ?


10th Mar 2015, 18:31
I currently live on a plot in East Africa overlooking the Indian Ocean.
My next door neighbour ( a Zimbo) used to share a flat in U.K. with two guys I was with as Flight Cadets on the same squadron at Cranwell in the late 60's.
You get used to it, if you are one of those in life that it happens to all the time.

10th Mar 2015, 19:02
Many years ago at age 18 my friend and I were interested in all things paranormal/psychokinetic or whatever. We did (several times) the test with 25 playing cards and you have to predict each card before turned. Apparently 25% correct is normal, more than one either way is really abnormal. On one go I got all 25 correct. 100% true story. Never repeated since. (The result that is - not the story).

10th Mar 2015, 19:27
Over 20 years ago, I was living in San Diego CA. As I lived there, I almost never went to Old Sown since it was for me a bit too touristy.

One fine afternoon (the weather in San Diego guarantees that nearly every afternoon is fine) I was in Old Town to investigate a cigar shop. I was walking by a bar which had an outside seating area and looked to see two men sitting at a table. One was a friend from my soccer team in high school (mid 1970's) and I said
"Hello Jonathan!"

He looked up and nearly fell out of his chair.
He was living in Virginia at the time, and was out in San Diego on business with his German colleague, on a joint IT/Comms contract deal of some sort.

My cigar shopping went lacking, as I sat down for a few pints. And a few more pints.
Got home late and got an asschewing from Mrs Lonewolf, but I didn't mind. We had Jonathan over for dinner the next evening.

Ran into a guy I knew in high school in the early 70's, when I lived overseas, last summer at a wedding of a mutual friend here in Texas. I nearly tripped over him at the church. So we caught up, having not seen one another for over 30 years.

More pints.

10th Mar 2015, 19:56
You get used to it, if you are one of those in life that it happens to all the time.I think there possibly is a lot of truth in that.

Some years ago, whilst temporarily living 6,000 miles from home I underwent a whole series of strange, if not uncanny coincidences (not the previously mentioned ones). On the Sunday morning after this all occurred I had awoken early, thinking about what had been going on. It preyed quite heavily on my mind and I couldn't get back to sleep so I decided to drive down to the village shop and buy a Sunday paper, something I never normally bothered with.

I was very surprised to find that leading article in the magazine was about coincidences.

Since then I often think about things which come up as news headlines a few days later, out of the blue.

10th Mar 2015, 20:52
So you're the one responsible for all of this?

The Butterfly Effect: fear it! :eek: :hmm:

10th Mar 2015, 23:40
The Butterfly Effect: fear it! :eek: :hmm:

I knew you would say that.... :E

10th Mar 2015, 23:42
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

- Hamlet (1.5.167-8), Hamlet to Horatio

11th Mar 2015, 08:51
Hamlet to Orphelia -- I am of a mind to make of you a sketch and am in need of counsel as to the pencil most fit to the task . . . 2B or not 2B?

Curious Pax
11th Mar 2015, 12:56
I've probably mentioned these 2 in other threads, but here goes:

Discovered just before I got married that my wife was baptised by my great Uncle.

When I was based in The Netherlands in the 1990s I boarded a BA flight at Schiphol for a work trip to London. An old class mate who I hadn't seen to 15 years ended up sitting next to me.

11th Mar 2015, 20:44
Elsewhere I've mentioned the need for a recent colonoscopy, the results of which were not good, but could have been worse, i.e. evidence of a problem but no apparent evidence of it having spread, so far. Procedures and treatment now being planned, but before the colonoscopy I was asked to undergo an ECG, and the surgeon asked if I knew what that meant, and had I had one before !

I explained that as a commercial pilot I'd experienced an ECG every 6 months of my career past the age of 40, a necessary part of the medical to retain my licence.

He then explained that he held a private pilot licence and who had I worked for ?

Xxxxxxx Airways, I replied. Oh, he said, did you know a Captain Xxxxxx ?

I nearly fell off me chair. Capt. X I stuttered in rage, he was the colleague who started screwing my wife during my overseas absences, eventually causing the break up of two families, his and mine.

Turns out the surgeon, English, was friendly with the the son of the barsteward when they both attended the same school !

All this some 35 years ago, in another Country 12,000 miles away.

One does sometimes wonder !

11th Mar 2015, 21:02
In my last years at school was "going out" with a scrumptious girl whose father was in the Army air Corps ground based in Oxford, sadly he got posted, girl friend left and we lost touch,I joined the Air Force from school and was eventually posted to Aden on the Argosy, did frequent trips into Africa with stop off`s in Nairobi, so making a change from the usual haunts decided to frequent the New Stanley Hotel, a posh establishment for a poor impoverished airman, so sat waiting to be served one morning with coffee and a good breakfast out comes this waitress, who should it be but my long lost girlfriend from school days, just what do you say ??? after the shock found out about what we had done etc in the intervening years . seems her Father had left AAC, Mother originated from Kenya, they returned and bought shares in the New Stanley, so I caught up those missing years and every route stop instead of the Spread Eagle stayed in luxury in the New Stanley with all the comforts that allowed, sadly didn't get to marry her but do keep in touch, that all happened now nearly 55 years ago, now that was a coincidence.

11th Mar 2015, 22:10
As a toddler, I lived in a small mining town, now long gone, in Queensland. We left there when I was four, And the only names I knew from there were a couple, my parents best friends.

Sixty years later, I visited there to show my daughter, and as a bit of a nostalgia trip for me. There was a couple camped there, she turned out to be the niece of my parents friends.

12th Mar 2015, 10:24
Mary Kathleen?

Very first girl friend and I went to school in Canberra. Passion was short lived. We went our separate ways without any contact or knowledge of respective movements. Six years later, in Perth, I went to the surgery of Dr Harold Dicks, (of RFDS fame),
to do a medical. Not only was Jan the receptionist who took down my details, but as a memorable aside, she handed me a brown paper bag containing what proved to be an empty jar. Oh thank you I said, for a moment naively totally bemused, thinking the old girl friend was giving me a jar of her best marmalade.

Now would you believe that she met and married in Perth the chief pilot of a local charter company whose father had been a Beaufighter pilot in 30 SQN and whose nav and best mate through the war years had been my own dad? No?
As Gough Whitlam said to Clyde Cameron one Easter. . . . "Comrade . . if you can cop the resurrection . . . you can cop anything."

12th Mar 2015, 10:48
Mary Kathleen?
No, Mt. Mulligan.

tony draper
12th Mar 2015, 11:18
Perhaps some people are coincidence prone, in a similar manner to being accident prone?,personally I've always been luck prone, always been lucky, mind you I've known peeps just the opposite, life has continuously shat on them with almost supernatural consistency.
I'm like Mr Macawber but in my case summat always did turn up.

12th Mar 2015, 11:35
Coincidence, meeting some one who is the friend of a friend is apparently explained by the theory "Six degrees of separation "

Six degrees of separation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_degrees_of_separation)