A while back, Oddee presented a list of the 20 Most Amazing Coincidences. The article proved to be so popular that we're doing it again, folks!
In fact, I was about to present my idea of doing another list of coincidences when my editor beat me to the punch and emailed me asking if I would like to do a list of – you guessed it – coincidences! (Insert the theme from The Twilight Zone here).
Are they divine intervention? Fate? We might not agree on how they happen, but we can all agree that at some point in our lives, we have experienced some kind of freaky coincidence. Here are some more of the really strange and mind blowing ones.
1The Wizard of Oz jacket that found its way to both the author and the Wizard
Actor Frank Morgan played numerous roles in the iconic film The Wizard of Oz. He was a taxi driver in Emerald City, fortune teller Professor Marvel and the Wizard of Oz himself.
For Professor Marvel, MGM's wardrobe department wanted the look of a down-on-his-luck gentleman. So, Frank Morgan and director Victor Fleming went to a second-hand store and bought a nice looking – but tattered – coat.
While shooting the film, Morgan turned a pocket of the coat inside out and incredibly saw the name L. Frank Baum, the author of The Wizard of Oz! Both Baum's widow and the coat's tailor confirmed that the jacket originally belonged to Mr. Baum.
Talk about amazing coincidences!
2The Presidents who were oddly similar in life and in death
A list of similarities between Presidents Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy has been floating around since pretty much right after Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. Sure, things like the letter count in both of their names is stretching it, but there are other details about the two men that are somewhat eerie:
• 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. ?
• Both defeated an incumbent Vice- President.
• Both were particularly concerned with civil rights.
• Both wives lost their children while living in the White House.
• Both Presidents were shot on a Friday.
• Both were shot in the head.
• Lincoln was shot in Ford's Theater. Kennedy was shot in a Lincoln Ford.
• Lincoln and Kennedy were both 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.
• Both assassins were known by their three names.
• Both names comprise of fifteen letters.
• Booth ran from the theater and was caught in a warehouse. Oswald ran from a warehouse and was caught in a theater.
• Booth and Oswald were both assassinated before their trials.
• The names Lincoln and Kennedy each contain seven letters.
3The newlyweds who were both in a photo taken 11 years before they met
Cornwall, England's Aimee Maiden and Nick Wheeler were just two people in love who were set to be married. Just before their wedding, the couple went to Wheeler's grandparents' house and flipped through a family photo album.
They come across a photo of Nick as a child with his family on a beach in Cornwall. To their astonishment, they spotted Aimee with her family in the background – the photo was taken years before they met!
Aimee said the unbelievable coincidence just confirmed that she'd found her soul mate.
The couple were married about a minute's walk from where the photo was taken all of those years ago.
4The crossword puzzle that gave away D-Day Invasion code words
Retired school teacher Leonard Dawes had been producing and compiling the crossword puzzle for London's Daily Telegraph newspaper for over twenty years, when in May 1944, it was discovered that he put together a series of puzzles that somehow managed to include the codenames of two D-Day beach invasions that were to be carried out by the U.S – the Utah and Omaha. Within a two-week period, the crosswords also contained several other super secret codewords like Juno, Overlord, Sword and Mulberry that nobody outside of General Eisenhower's staff was supposed to know. The MI5, Britain's counter-espionage service, assumed Dawes was a German agent and interrogated him, but released him a short time later once they became convinced the words were chosen randomly.
5The couple that couldn't get away from acts of terrorism
It is unthinkably horrible to witness an act of terrorism, but to witness three? Birmingham couple Jason and Jenny Cairns-Lawrence inexplicably witnessed three international terrorist atrocities over the course of seven years.
On September 11, 2001, the couple was visiting New York when the Twin Towers were struck. In July 2005, the two were visiting London for a few days when a series of coordinated suicide attacks on the three Tube trains and a bus claimed the lives of 52 commuters. The couple was also in Mumbai in November 2008 when a coordinated shooting and bombing spree brought tragedy to the city.
In an understatement, Mrs. Cairns-Lawrence told reporters: "It's a strange coincidence. The terror attacks just happened when we were in the cities."
6The long-lost siblings who unknowingly lived across the street from each other
“The search is over, you were with me all the while…” Okay, I'll mercifully stop quoting a song by Survivor, but those lyrics came to my head when I heard about the next story.
At just three months old, Rose Davies of Garndiffaith, Gwent had been given up for adoption. She was taken in by a foster family and as she grew, discovered she had three long lost brothers. She easily found brothers Sid and John, but there was no trace of younger brother Chris.
In a strange twist, she found Chris and his family lived right across road from her and at the time she discovered they were related, she had already known him for three months. It turns out Chris had been searching for his big sister too!
7Two women who shared the same name, social security numbers and led parallel lives
A computer error gave two American women named Patricia Ann Campbell the same Social Security number. Okay, that's weird enough, but when the ladies were brought together to rectify the error, they made a few more similar discoveries…
In addition to having the same name, both were born on March 13, 1941. Both of their dads were named Robert Campbell. Both got married to men who served in the military in 1959 and had two children, aged 19 and 21. Both had studied cosmetics, worked as book-keepers and both were even interested in oil painting.
??We have to imagine the Campbell ladies became the best of friends or the worst of enemies!
8The long lost father and daughter who appeared in the same newspaper
In 2007, Michael Dick was a concerned father who had been traveling around the UK with his family to track down his daughter, 31-year-old Lisa. He had lost contact with her ten years earlier.
Dick approached the Suffolk Free Press who agreed to help him by putting word of his search in their newspaper. The Press took a photo of Mr. Dick and his other daughters for inclusion in the newspaper.
Michael Dick's long-lost daughter saw the appeal and the pair were reunited. It was discovered to everyone's astonishment, that she also appeared in the photo, right behind him!
Lisa said,“I was completely shocked. Me and my mum had been standing in that exact place where the picture was taken about a minute earlier, and you can see us in the picture walking away. It is incredible.”
9Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17's many coincidences
You can certainly read a lot into numbers. Recently, a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist, C.J. Chivers, pointed out the numerous 17s and 7s involved with the tragic Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 that crashed in eastern Ukraine in July 2014.
Chivers tweeted: “Haunting: Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, Reg 9M-MRD, made 1st flight on 7-17-97. It met its end 17 years later, to the day-aviation official,” meaning Flight MH17, a Boeing 777, first flew on 7-17-97 and crashed 17 years later, on 7-17-14.
Of course, there was also the Dutch cyclist who was supposed to have boarded not only that very same Malaysia Airlines flight (MH17) but also the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in March!
Maarten De Jonge, a cyclist who rides with Malaysia's Terengganu Cycling Team, switched from MH370 in March to avoid a lengthy stopover and instead took a different flight. Trusting his instincts, De Jonge noticed that a later flight was cheaper than the one he booked already booked which was the MH17. He cancelled that flight and took the cheaper, later flight saving his life once again.
10The same crime perpetrated by Mr. Thornton - 157 years apart
Truth can be stranger than fiction! Two women, Barbara Forrest and Mary Ashford, were both victims of a similar crime committed in the small town of Erdington, England, about five miles outside of Birmingham. The name of the man accused in both their crimes was Thornton, and both Thornton's were eventually acquitted for their crimes!
Both women had been raped and strangled, their bodies were found 300 yards apart, and both had been found on the same day – May 27, but 157 years apart (1817 and 1974)!
These two women were also twenty-years-old and happened to share the same birthday.
Even more unbelievably, both had just visited a friend that evening, both had changed into a new dress that night, and both had gone to a dance where they supposedly met their killer.