[Adapted from Lying Wonders, Strangest Things]:
Do you believe in “coincidence” — that is, certain astounding circumstances whirling into our reality through mere chance?
Sometimes, that concept stretches the imagination and even human rationality.
How far will mathematicians and statisticians go in trying to explain the… unexplainable. God is God. The Power of the Almighty can cover us with a shadow.
Case in point:
There was Irv Kupcinet, a famous newspaper columnist and television talk-show host in Chicago. I did his show back in the 1980s. Many years before, when he was a reporter, Irv took a trip in London, covering the coronation of Queen Elizabeth I. He was staying at a luxurious hotel, the Savoy, when, in the bedside table, he found several items, all with the name “Harry Hannin” on them. That was strange enough: Kupcinet knew a Harry Hannin who starred with the Harlem Globetrotters. Was it the same one? When Irv called Hannin to ask if he had stayed there recently, the answer was yes, but before he could tell the basketball player about the items, Harry interrupted, no doubt with excitement: for, as he quickly explained, he had been in another hotel, the Le Meurice, two days before, and found a tie in his room. The name on it: Irv Kupcinet.
It can get wild. As a matter of fact, it can get very wild. In Detroit there was the baby that fell and miraculously hit a fellow passing by, breaking its fall, and then fell a second time a year later and was caught by the same man, passing by, at that exact moment, again.
There was Mark Twain… born the year of Halley’s Comet and dying the year of its return (and predicting this!).
There were John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, two signers of the Declaration of Independence: both dying on July Fourth, of the same year.
On December 5, 1664, a ship went down in the Menai Strait off the coast of Wales. The only survivor was a fellow named Hugh Williams. Precisely 121 years later, on December 5, 1785, another ship disappeared below the waves of Menai Strait, and once more, all perished but for a passenger named… Hugh Williams. Nearly a century later, on December 5, 1860, yet a third ship, this one carrying twenty-five passengers, swallowed by the insatiable Menai Strait, the sole survivor a fortunate gentleman who like his predecessors was named Hugh Williams.
There were the twins, separated at birth, yet each were named James by adoptive parents; each had a keen interest in law enforcement; each married a woman named Linda; both had sons they named James Alan (one of them spelled it with two l’s); both divorced; and each remarried women named Betty.
If that’s not enough to impress the actuary (as was found out when eventually the men were reunited), both of their new wives had dogs — named “Toy.”
There was Anthony Hopkins… When this British actor was chosen to play the lead in a movie based on the novel, The Girl from Petrovka, by George Feifer, he tried a number of bookstores in search of a copy but could find none. In London’s Leicaster, Square, waiting for a ride home, he noticed a book someone had left on a bench. Remarkably, it was The Girl from Petrovka. If that wasn’t enough, two years later, filming in Vienna, and meeting with Feifer, the author lamented that he had no copy of his own book: he had lent the last one, with notes scribbled in the margins, to a friend in London who had lost it. Whereupon Hopkins produced the book he had found… complete with annotations!
What cosmic force puts these things together? They call it “synchronicity,” but that impressive scientific appellation tells us little…
There was the case of an evangelist from the state of Washington who was walking down a street in Dayton, Ohio, looking to buy a Pepsi in this city he had not previously visited when a payphone he was passing suddenly began to jangle insistently at that very moment. At first startled, he picked it up, only to hear an operator announce that it was a person-to-person call — for a person by his name! He thought it was Candid Camera. It wasn’t — the operator was putting through a call from an emotionally distraught woman who had once seen him on TV and was contemplating suicide. She had been desperately praying to find him and said the phone number… flashed into her mind in a vision. “What are the odds of that?” he asked. “A billion to one?”
Perhaps a bit more than that. [Scroll below ad for more]
Amazing too was one I personally heard from a woman who owned a beauty salon on the Gulf Coast in Florida. Her world had been falling apart. She and her husband were doing well financially — she had all kinds of clothes, all the accoutrements, all the “toys” — but there were deep personal issues…
Then came the “event.”
It was July… the sweltering summer of 2003. “That day we were out on our jet skies and I got stuck in the mud,” she said. “When I got back, I realized that I had lost my watch.” Her valued timepiece was somewhere in the water, amid the muck and stone crabs.
Nine months later, in January, she and her husband were staying at a bed-and-breakfast that they later bought. She was feeling a peculiar presence around her and wasn’t sure what it was. “We had gotten a brand new boat, put it in water, and headed out to this island, but the presence never left me,” she testified. “Suddenly I turned right with the boat. I didn’t know why. I had been bee-lining for the island and suddenly took a right and I thought, ‘Why am I doing this? What is going on? What — does God want me here?’
“I was zig-zagging in and out of mangroves and I hit this sand bar. I came to a spot where there was a sandbar and my boat stopped. And I saw a reflection, like a jewel.”
There, on the exposed sand, was her Tag Heuer designer watch — four miles from where she had lost it and nine months later. Obviously the tide had taken it out, dragging it along the bottom day after day, week after week. “It still worked,” she exclaimed, “and the date was correct. The message was ‘time.’ There were all these magazines at my beauty salon and they were falling all over the place and I had them brought out and that’s when I noticed that every one of them was Time.”
[resources: Lying Wonders, Strangest Things]
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