Amazing Coincidences in History
A falling baby, saved two times by the same man. Twin brothers, killed in along the same road, two hours apart. The world is filled with astonishing occurrences of coincidence and synchronicity that defy explanation. Are these incredible true stories of mere coincidence… or the hand of fate?
James Dean’s car curse
In September 1955, James Dean was killed in a horrific car accident whilst he was driving his Porsche sports car. After the crash the car was seen as very unlucky.
a) When the car was towed away from accident scene and taken to a garage, the engine slipped out and fell onto a mechanic, shattering both of his legs.
b) Eventually the engine was bought by a doctor, who put it into his racing car and was killed shortly afterwards, during a race. Another racing driver, in the same race, was killed in his car, which had James Dean’s driveshaft fitted to it.
c) When James Dean’s Porsche was later repaired, the garage it was in was destroyed by fire.
d) Later the car was displayed in Sacramento, but it fell off it’s mount and broke a teenager’s hip.
e) In Oregon, the trailer that the car was mounted on slipped from it’s towbar and smashed through the front of a shop.
f) Finally, in 1959, the car mysteriously broke into 11 pieces while it was sitting on steel supports.
A falling baby, saved twice by the same man
In Detroit sometime in the 1930s, a young (if incredibly careless) mother must have been eternally grateful to a man named Joseph Figlock. As Figlock was walking down the street, the mother’s baby fell from a high window onto Figlock. The baby’s fall was broken and both man and baby were unharmed. A stroke of luck on its own, but a year later, the very same baby fell from the very same window onto poor, unsuspecting Joseph Figlock as he was again passing beneath. And again, they both survived the event. (Source: Mysteries of the Unexplained)
A bullet that reached its destiny years later
Henry Ziegland thought he had dodged fate. In 1883, he broke off a relationship with his girlfriend who, out of distress, committed suicide. The girl’s brother was so enraged that he hunted down Ziegland and shot him. The brother, believing he had killed Ziegland, then turned his gun on himself and took his own life. But Ziegland had not been killed. The bullet, in fact, had only grazed his face and then lodged in a tree. Ziegland surely thought himself a lucky man. Some years later, however, Ziegland decided to cut down the large tree, which still had the bullet in it. The task seemed so formidable that he decided to blow it up with a few sticks of dynamite. The explosion propelled the bullet into Ziegland’s head, killing him. (Source: Ripley’s Believe It or Not!)
Twin Boys, twin lives
The stories of identical twins’ nearly identical lives are often astonishing, but perhaps none more so than those of identical twins born in Ohio. The twin boys were separated at birth, being adopted by different families. Unknown to each other, both families named the boys James. And here the coincidences just begin. Both James grew up not even knowing of the other, yet both sought law-enforcement training, both had abilities in mechanical drawing and carpentry, and each had married women named Linda. They both had sons whom one named James Alan and the other named James Allan. The twin brothers also divorced their wives and married other women – both named Betty. And they both owned dogs which they named Toy. Forty years after their childhood separation, the two men were reunited to share their amazingly similar lives. (Source: Reader’s Digest, January 1980)
Just like Edgar Allan Poe’s book
In the 19th century, the famous horror writer, Egdar Allan Poe, wrote a book called ‘The narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym’. It was about four survivors of a shipwreck who were in an open boat for many days before they decided to kill and eat the cabin boy whose name was Richard Parker. Some years later, in 1884, the yawl, Mignonette, foundered, with only four survivors, who were in an open boat for many days. Eventully the three senior members of the crew, killed and ate the cabin boy. The name of the cabin boy was Richard Parker.
Twin brothers, killed on the same road, two hours apart
On 2002, Seventy-year-old twin brothers have died within hours of one another after separate accidents on the same road in northern Finland. The first of the twins died when he was hit by a lorry while riding his bike in Raahe, 600 kilometres north of the capital, Helsinki. He died just 1.5km from the spot where his brother was killed. “This is simply a historic coincidence. Although the road is a busy one, accidents don’t occur every day,” police officer Marja-Leena Huhtala told Reuters. “It made my hair stand on end when I heard the two were brothers, and identical twins at that. It came to mind that perhaps someone from upstairs had a say in this,” she said. (Source: BBC News)
NOTE: our reader Linus wrote us after reading local newspaper Helsingin Sanomat: “Your story about the Finnish twins is missing some details: The first brother was killed by a lorry while riding his bike and crossing highway 8. He apparently didn’t notice the lorry in the snow blizzard. The second brother was killed by a lorry only two hours later while riding his bike and crossing highway 8. The second brother couldn’t have been aware of the first brother’s death, as the police was still trying to identify the victim.”
Three suicide attempts, all stopped by the same Monk
Joseph Aigner was a fairlly well-known portrait painter in 19th century Austria who, apparently, was quite an unhappy fellow: he several times attempted suicide. His first attempt was at the young age of 18 when he tried to hang himself, but was interrupted by the mysterious appearance of a Capuchin monk. At age 22 he again tried to hang himself, but was again saved from the act by the very same monk. Eight years later, his death was ordained by others who sentenced him to the gallows for his political activities. Once again, his life was saved by the intervention of the same monk. At age 68, Aiger finally succeeded in suicide, a pistol doing the trick. His funeral ceremony was conducted by the same Capuchin monk – a man whose name Aiger never even knew.(Source: Ripley’s Giant Book of Believe It or Not!)
Poker winnings, to the unsuspected son
In 1858, Robert Fallon was shot dead, an act of vengeance by those with whom he was playing poker. Fallon, they claimed, had won the $600 pot through cheating. With Fallon’s seat empty and none of the other players willing to take the now-unlucky $600, they found a new player to take Fallon’s place and staked him with the dead man’s $600. By the time the police had arrived to investigate the killing, the new player had turned the $600 into $2,200 in winnings. The police demanded the original $600 to pass on to Fallon’s next of kin – only to discover that the new player turned out to be Fallon’s son, who had not seen his father in seven years! (Source: Ripley’s Giant Book of Believe It or Not!)
A novel that unsuspectedly described the spy next door
When Norman Mailer began his novel Barbary Shore, there was no plan to have a Russian spy as a character. As he worked on it, he introduced a Russian spy in the U.S. as a minor character. As the work progressed, the spy became the dominant character in the novel. After the novel was completed, the U.S. Immigration Service arrested a man who lived just one floor above Mailer in the same apartment building. He was Colonel Rudolf Abel, alleged to be the top Russian spy working in the U.S. at that time. (Source: Science Digest)
Mark Twain and Halley’s Comet
Mark Twain was born on the day of the appearance of Halley’s Comet in 1835, and died on the day of its next appearance in 1910. He himself predicted this in 1909, when he said: “I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it.”
Three strangers on a Train, with complementary last names
In the 1920s, three Englishman were traveling separately by train through Peru. At the time of their introduction, they were the only three men in the railroad car. Their introductions were more surprising than they could have imagined. One man’s last name was Bingham, and the second man’s last name was Powell. The third man announced that his last name was Bingham-Powell. None were related in any way.(Source: Mysteries of the Unexplained)
Two brothers killed by the same taxi driver, one year apart
In 1975, while riding a moped in Bermuda, a man was accidentally struck and killed by a taxi. One year later, this man’s bother was killed in the very same way. In fact, he was riding the very same moped. And to stretch the odds even further, he was struck by the very same taxi driven by the same driver – and even carrying the very same passenger!(Source: Phenomena: A Book of Wonders, John Michell and Robert J. M. Rickard)
Swapped Hotel Findings
In 1953, television reporter Irv Kupcinet was in London to cover the coronation of Ellizabeth II. In one of the drawers in his room at the Savoy he found found some items that, by their identification, belonged to a man named Harry Hannin. Coincidentally, Harry Hannin – a basketball star with the famed Harlem Globetrotters – was a good friend of Kupcinet’s. But the story has yet another twist. Just two days later, and before he could tell Hannin of his lucky discovery, Kupcinet received a letter from Hannin. In the letter, Hannin told Kucinet that while staying at the Hotel Meurice in Paris, he found in a drawer a tie – with Kupcinet’s name on it! (Source: Mysteries of the Unexplained)
Two Mr. Brysons, same hotel room
While on a business trip sometime in the late 1950s, Mr. George D. Bryson stopped and registered at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. After signing the register and being given his key to room 307, he stopped by the mail desk to see if any letters had arrived for him. Indeed there was a letter, the mail girl told him, and handed him an envelope addressed to Mr. George D. Bryson, room 307. This wouldn’t be so odd, except the letter was not for him, but for room 307’s just-previous occupant – another man named George D. Bryson. (Source: Incredible Coincidence, Alan Vaughan)
Twins brothers, same heart attack
John and Arthur Mowforth were twins who lived about 80 miles apart in Great Britain. On the evening of May 22, 1975, both fell severely ill from chest pains. The families of both men were completely unaware of the other’s illness. Both men were rushed to separate hospitals at approximately the same time. And both died of heart attacks shortly after arrival. (Source: Chronogenetics: The Inheretance of Biological Time, Luigi Gedda and Gianni Brenci)
A novel that predicted the Titanic’s destiny, and another ship that almost followed
Morgan Robertson, in 1898, wrote “Futility”. It described the maiden voyage of a transatlantic luxury liner named the Titan. Although it was touted as being unsinkable, it strikes an iceberg and sinks with much loss of life. In 1912 the Titanic, a transatlantic luxury liner widely touted as unsinkable strikes an iceberg and sinks with great loss of life on her maiden voyage. In the Book, the Month of the Wreck was April, same as in the real event. There were 3,000 passengers on the book; in reality, 2,207. In the Book, there were 24 Lifeboats; in reality, 20.
Months after the Titanic sank, a tramp steamer was traveling through the foggy Atlantic with only a young boy on watch. It came into his head that it had been thereabouts that the Titanic had sunk, and he was suddenly terrified by the thought of the name of his ship – the Titanian. Panic-stricken, he sounded the warning. The ship stopped, just in time: a huge iceberg loomed out of the fog directly in their path. The Titanian was saved.
A writer, found the book of her childhood
While American novelist Anne Parrish was browsing bookstores in Paris in the 1920s, she came upon a book that was one of her childhood favorites – Jack Frost and Other Stories. She picked up the old book and showed it to her husband, telling him of the book she fondly remembered as a child. Her husband took the book, opened it, and on the flyleaf found the inscription: “Anne Parrish, 209 N. Weber Street, Colorado Springs.” It was Anne’s very own book. (Source: While Rome Burns, Alexander Wollcott)
A writer’s plum pudding
In 1805, French writer Émile Deschamps was treated to some plum pudding by the stranger Monsieur de Fortgibu. Ten years later, he encountered plum pudding on the menu of a Paris restaurant, and wanted to order some, but the waiter told him the last dish had already been served to another customer, who turned out to be de Fortgibu. Many years later in 1832 Émile Deschamps was at a diner, and was once again offered plum pudding. He recalled the earlier incident and told his friends that only de Fortgibu was missing to make the setting complete — and in the same instant the now senile de Fortgibu entered the room.
King Umberto I’ double
In Monza, Italy, King Umberto I, went to a small restaurant for dinner, accompanied by his aide-de-camp, General Emilio Ponzia- Vaglia. When the owner took King Umberto’s order, the King noticed that he and the restaurant owner were virtual doubles, in face and in build. Both men began discussing the striking resemblances between each other and found many more similarities.
a) Both men were born on the same day, of the same year, (March 14th, 1844).
b) Both men had been born in the same town.
c) Both men married a woman with same name, Margherita.
d) The restauranteur opened his restaurant on the same day that King Umberto was crowned King of Italy.
e) On the 29th July 1900, King Umberto was informed that the restauranteur had died that day in a mysterious shooting accident, and as he expressed his regret, he was then assassinated by an anarchist in the crowd.
The 21st, a bad day for King Louis XVI
When King Louis XVI of France was a child, he was warned by an astrologer to always be on his guard on the 21st day of each month. Louis ws so terrified by this that he never did business on this day. Unfortunately Louis was not always on his guard. On June 21st 1791, following the French revolution, Louis and his queen were arrested in Varennes, whist trying to escape France. On September 21st 1791, France abolished the institution of Royalty and proclaimed itself a republic. Finally on January 21st 1793, King Louis XVI was executed by guillotine.