More Amazing Coincidences or Synchronicity
This hub is a sequel to my previously published hub "Mere Coincidence or Unexplained Phenomena". I had such good feedback and the subject seemed to appeal to a lot of readers that I decided to write another hub of 'coincidences'.
The Lincoln/Booth Encounter
No, not John Wilkes and Abraham. but Edwin and Robert.
Did you know that a few months before John Wilkes Booth became notorious for murdering the President Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theater, the President’s son, Robert Todd Lincoln, was waiting on a narrow, crowded platform for a train in Jersey City, New Jersey when he lost his footing and fell beneath the slowly moving carriage of a departing train? Fortunately, he was pulled to safety before any serious harm befell him. Robert Lincoln turned to thank his rescuer and was surprised to recognise the well known actor Edwin Booth, the brother of John Wilkes.
In what has to be one of the most remarkable coincidences in history, the son of a president was rescued by the brother of the same president’s assassin! But then, Abraham Lincoln’s only son had a penchant for such occurrences, having been present at the assassination of President Garfield in 1881 (he was Garfield’s Secretary of War at the time and an eyewitness to the event) and of President McKinley in 1901. It seems that Robert Todd Lincoln could have been considered somewhat of a Jonah.
The First World War Almost Wasn't.
A 19-year old Bosnian peasant named Gavrilo Princip would not have expected that his actions, one beautiful June Sarajevo day in 1914, would have such a drastic effect on the course for the rest of the twentieth century, but that’s exactly what it did when he took out his pistol and fired twice at the motorcade carrying Austro-Hungarian leader Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, killing them both.
Their deaths set off a chain of events that would plunge the world into one of the bloodiest wars in history and foster the advent of Communism and Nazism over the next few decades.
And the sad thing is, World War I need never had happened except for a single, remarkable coincidence; Princip was part of a band of conspirators who had planned on killing the Archduke. However the planned assassination had been aborted after an earlier attempt that day to kill the Franz Ferdinand with a bomb had failed. Walking into a café for a quick bite to ease his disappointment—as well as his appetite—Princip had just stepped outside when he spotted the Archduke’s car stopped not twenty feet away. The driver had apparently taken a wrong turn and, in the process of backing up, had stalled the engine, leaving the Archduke and his wife sitting ducks. Thinking quickly, Princip pulled his pistol and the rest is, as they say, history—all because the Archduke’s driver got lost and Princip's hunger got the better of him.
For the full story of the above check out the wonderful hub by UnnamedHarald.
- World War 1 History: The Assassins of June 28, 1914
Archduke Franz Ferdinand, next in line to succeed the aging Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary, was assassinated by Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina on June 28, 1914. His death set in motion a chain of events which led to the star
On Jan 18, 1890 the Quebec Daily Telegraph reported that “a well-to-do" farmer named Campbell Hanna, had thrown himself into the Maitland River running through his farm and was drowned before assistance arrived. Three of Mr Hanna's neighbor’s witnessed the event and rushed to assist him, but the swollen river was raging and they were unable to save him.
A weird coincidence in connection with this was that the previous owner of Hanna’s farm, named McCourt, drowned himself in the same spot and in the same manner some years before. Authorities could not establish a cause for either act.
The John Lennon/Mark Chapman Connection
On December 8th 1980, Beatles singer, songwriter, and guitarist John Lennon was shot and killed by an obsessed fan named Mark Chapman in front of the Dakota Apartment Complex in New York City. Chapman shot Lennon four times in his back and remained at the scene reading the novel Catcher in the Rye, until police arrested him. Chapman was a night security guard and general loser, who was found to be schizophrenic and has ever since been serving his 20 years to life sentence in Attica Prison, New York.
Five years after the shooting, the NBC decided to do a biographical film about Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, entitled John and Yoko: A Love Story. Unfortunately, the look-alike actor they hired to play Lennon, unbeknownst to them, happened to be named Mark Chapman, making for one eerie and almost unbelievable coincidence. Once news of this fact got out, the studio quickly recast the role ( giving the part to an actor who was not named Mark Chapman) and life went on as normal.
However, Mark Chapman (the actor, not the assassin) got his just rewards by playing John Lennon in a 2007 film called Chapter 27, which was a huge flop. Apparently, by then looking like John Lennon but having the same name as his assassin was no longer considered weird for some reason.
English politician and justice of the peace Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey was found murdered on October 17, 1678. His body had been left in a ditch on Greenberry Hill in London. Three men were arrested and tried for the crime. Their names were Robert Green, Henry Berry, and Lawrence Hill.
The Message on the Balloon
June 2001 in Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, England, 10 year old Laura Buxton was visiting her grandparents for the celebration of their golden wedding anniversary. Laura wrote a message giving her name and address on one of the helium-filled balloons used in the festivities, along with a request to send the balloon back if discovered. She then released the balloon into the air.
About ten days later, in Milton Lilbourne, Wiltshire, a farmer noticed a balloon that had become tangled in one of his hedges. On removing the balloon he read the message and the name - Laura Buxton. He then took the balloon to his nearest neighbour, whose daughter's name was Laura Buxton, presuming it would belong to her. However, this was a different Laura Buxton and she lived more than 140 miles away from where the original Laura had released the balloon.
But the strange coincidences didn't end there. The Wiltshire Laura, promptly wrote to Laura in Staffordshire. Because of the extraordinary coincidences both girls' parents allowed them to meet. This is where the story gets even weirder, as the similarities between the girls are listed below:
- both girls were of similar height and were tall for their age.
- both girls wore pink sweaters at the meeting with each other.
- both girls had brown hair and wore it in similar styles
- both girls had 3 year old black Labrador Retrievers and pet rabbits.
- both girls took a pet guinea pig to their meeting.
The Prime Minister's Boat Is Missing
Former British Prime Minister Edward Heath must have thought he was having a bad dream on September 4, 1974 when he learned that his yacht Morning Cloud III had been lost at sea en route to the Isle of Wight. Only two days earlier the same fate had befallen his former yacht Morning Cloud I.
The previous week he had posed for a photo with author John Dyson at the launch of his thriller 'The Prime Minister's Boat Is Missing'.
The Erdington Coincidence
In a somewhat grisly coincidence, two young women, Barbara Forrest and Mary Ashford, were both victims of a similar crime committed in the tiny village of Erdington, some five miles outside of Birmingham in England. Both twenty-year olds (who happened to share the same birthday) were raped and strangled, and their bodies were found 300 yards apart. Both the bodies were found on the same day—May 27th—157 years apart (Mary Ashford in 1817 and Barbara Forrest in 1974)! Even more remarkable, both had been visiting friends on the evening of their murder, both wore a new dress that night, and both had gone to a dance (where they presumably met their killer). Still not amazing enough for you? How about the fact that the men accused in both their murders were named Thornton, and that both Thornton’s were eventually acquitted for the crime? Reincarnation? Coincidence? Who knows?
Psychologist Carl Jung believed the traditional notions of causality could not explain some of the more improbable forms of coincidence. Jung felt that where no causal connection can be demonstrated between two events, but where a meaningful relationship exists between them, a wholly different type of principle is likely to be operating. Jung called this principle "synchronicity."
"A young woman I was treating had, at a critical moment, a dream in which she was given a golden scarab. While she was telling me his dream I sat with my back to the closed window. Suddenly I heard a noise behind me, like a gentle tapping. I turned round and saw a flying insect knocking against the window-pane from outside. I opened the window and caught the creature in the air as it flew in. It was the nearest analogy to the golden scarab that one finds in our latitudes, a scarabaeid beetle, the common rose-chafer (Cetoaia urata) which contrary to its usual habits had evidently felt an urge to get into a dark room at this particular moment. I must admit that nothing like it ever happened to me before or since, and that the dream of the patient has remained unique in my experience."
(from Synchronicity, An Acausal Connecting Principle  by C. G. Jung.)