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Strange, and Unbelievable Coincidences

Updated on July 5, 2011


Titanic and the Titan

The word coincidence is often described as “a striking occurrence of two or more events at one time, apparently by mere chance.” But this definition is a far cry from explaining some coincidences. For some of the following coincidences you are about to read, divine intervention or an unseen supernatural force at work would be far more believable.

But the true events in this article are perhaps some of the strangest and amazing you'll ever find.

The first story involves the well known Titanic tragedy. Author Morgan Robertson penned a tale of an “unsinkable” ocean liner named Titan…fourteen years before the Titanic met its catastrophic fate. Events in the book have uncanny similarities to the true life story of the Titanic. The fictionalized ship in the book was called unsinkable and the same size as the Titanic. However, the story becomes eerie when comparing little details. For instance, Titan sinks after striking an iceberg around midnight in April. Both ships meet their end 400 miles from Newfoundland while traveling at around 24 knots.Both ships were also hit in the starboard.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Our next story tells the strange tale about Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, an 18th century German poet. Von Goethe was traveling along the road to Drusenheim. Coming from the opposite direction was someone who could’ve been his identical twin. The only difference was this fellow was sporting a gray suit trimmed in gold. Eight years later, von Goethe, traveling on the same road, but in the opposite direction, met up with the same gentleman. Only this time he was wearing a gray suit trimmed in gold.

Now, here is one to give you goose bumps. It takes place during the First World War and was said to be the catalyst behind the war. It involves the assassination of Frantz Ferdinand by Gavrilo Princip. What makes the story interesting is the way the assassination took place and puts the blame on nothing less than a sandwich.

Gavrilo was a known member of the Black Hand, a Slavic independence organization whose main goal was exterminating Ferdinand. The organizations plan was simplistic and uncomplicated… just throw a grenade while he passed by in a parade being held in the city of Sarajevo.

However, Murphy’s Law was in effect on this particular day. The grenade exploded a few seconds too late, destroying the car behind their intended target. This should have been the end of the story and the First World War would have been blamed on something else. However, Ferdinand concerned about the injured occupants in the second vehicle decided to visit them in local hospital to see the extent of their injuries.

Apparently the cars’ driver was unfamiliar with the city and he stopped right next to a coffee house where Gavrilo Princip was eating a sandwich. Gavrilo recognized Ferdinand and shot him, thereby instigating the First World War…and all over a sandwich.

Death By Taxi

In 1975, a man was accidentally struck and killed in Bermuda by a taxi while riding a moped. Exactly one year later, the man’s brother was killed riding the same moped. Stranger still, he was struck by the same taxi and driver, carrying the same fare!

Bad Luck McLean

This next chap would have had no luck at all if it wasn’t bad. Wilmer McLean was determined to avoid the American civil war at all costs. But fate and coincidence had a different plan. Despite his best efforts to steer clear of the war, McLean somehow always ended up right in the middle of the worst battles.

When the war began, McLean’s property was adjacent to the soon to be site of the Battle of Bull Run, his home was commandeered by Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard as his headquarters. Wilmer survived, despite his house being bombarded.

Thinking he was now out of harm’s way Wilmer hung around not knowing there would be a second Bull Run encounter. He survived this confrontation also but now believed his house was bad luck. Wilmer moved to Virginia, but the dark cloud of war followed. Ulysses S. Grant and General Robert E. Lee, who was retreating from Grant, eventually ended up at Wilmer’s house. The declaration of peace was signed in Wilmer’s front room. Wilmer later remarked: “The war began in my front yard and ended in my front parlor.”

King Umberto

The next story is another look-a-like incident. In Monza, Italy, King Umberto the 1st was dining in a small restaurant. When King Umberto’s order was taken by the owner, he noticed the restaurant owner and he were virtual doppelgangers. Both men began remarking about their striking resemblance to each other and found many more details they hadn’t bargained for.

Both men were born in the same place, the same day and same year…March 14th, 1844 in Turin, Italy. On the same day Umberto married Queen Margherita, the restaurant owner had married a lady by the same name. In addition, the restaurant owner opened his business the same day the King was crowned King of Italy.

On the 29th July 1900, Umberto learned the restaurateur had died that very day in a mysterious shooting accident. As Umberto expressed his sorrow, a radical in the audience assassinated him.

Its’ been said lightening never strikes in the same spot twice. British officer, Major Summerford would quite likely have disagreed. While fighting in the fields of Flanders in February 1918 Summerford was knocked off his horse by a bolt of lightning, paralyzing him from the waist down. Summerford was forced to retire and he moved to Vancouver.

In 1924, while fishing alongside a river, lightning hit the tree he was sitting under, paralyzing his right side. Two years later Summerford recovered enough to take walks in a local park. One summer day in 1930, as he casually took a leisurely stroll through the park, a lightning bolt struck him once again. However, this time he was permanently paralyzed. He died two years later. But, someone in the heavenly realm apparently had a dislike for the poor major. Four years later, lightning struck his grave, demolishing the tombstone.

It should be obvious by now strange coincidences can happen anytime, anyplace to anyone…even lottery winners. A newspaper in Oregon printed winning lottery numbers for June 28, 2000 in advance. The newspaper, intending to print the previous set of winning numbers, erroneously printed those for the state of Virginia. In the next Oregon lottery, the same exact numbers were drawn.

And lastly, Mark Twain was born the day Halley's Comet appeared in 1835. Twain died on the day of its next appearance in 1910. He had accurately 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."


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    • JY3502 profile imageAUTHOR

      John Young 

      7 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Thank you Lucky and Dirt Farmer. I appreciate the comments, and Lucky is Pretty too, :-)

    • Lucky Cats profile image


      7 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Thank you, JY, for this truly amazing hub. Coincidences? Wow. Makes one wonder. Too uncanny and eerie, really. A wonderful interesting and thought provoking article with so many instances which suggest, to me, that "there is more out there....!"

      UP AWESOME my frined

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 

      7 years ago from United States

      Now I've got to read more about Umberto. What a fun hub!

    • JY3502 profile imageAUTHOR

      John Young 

      7 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Ya really gotta search for them.

    • profile image

      alastar packer 

      7 years ago

      Good ones Jy. and I'm someone interested in coincidences. The only aware of was the Ferdinand so these were a treat.


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