Some occurrences are just so coincidental, that people have actually believed that some paranormal force is at work? What do you think? Well, read on to find out more!
The Titanic was the greatest Maritime tragedy of all time. It was only matched by that of the Titan, a fictional luxury liner that also went down with a terrible loss of life in April 1898, fourteen years before the Titanic struck an iceberg that sent her to her watery grave, also on an evening in April.
The Titan sailed only in the pages of Morgan Robertson’s novel, named Futility. But the parallels between the two gigantic passenger ships stagger the imagination. Robertson’s prophetic Titan departed Southampton, England, on her maiden voyage, as did the "unsinkable" Titanic herself. Both ships were the same length, and of comparable tonnage. Each had three propellers and carried 3000 passengers apiece.
Each ship was jammed to the gunwales with wealthy citizens. Both struck an iceberg at the same spot and sank. And both boats suffered terrible casualties because neither carried enough life-boats. In the case of the Titanic, 1513 passengers died, most from exposure in the frigid Atlantic.
One of those who died aboard the Titanic was famous spiritualist and journalist W.T. Stead, who had written his own short story foretelling a similar sinking in 1892. Both stories failed the prevent the sinking, but another premonition, however, did avoid a tragedy.
In April 1935, seaman William Reeves was standing the bow watch aboard the tramp steamer Titanian, bound for Canada from England. The similarities and memories of the Titanic tragedy preyed on young Reeve’s mind and sent a shiver up his spine. His boat’s bow was cutting through the same still waters the Titanic had. And as midnight, the hour of the great ocean liner’s end, approached, Reeves remembered that the date the great ocean liner sank, was his own birthday. Overwhelmed by coincidence, Reeves called out, and the Titanian hove to, stopping just short of a looming iceberg. Soon after, other crystal mountains rose out of the night. The Titanian sat still, but safe, for nine days, until icebreakers from Newfoundland finally cut a swath through the deadly ice.
Shortly before he departed for Dallas in November 1963, President John Kennedy’s secretary, Evelyn Lincoln, warned him not to go. Kennedy dismissed her premonition of tragic consequences. On November 22, he was slain when Lee Harvey Oswald fired a bolt-action, Italian carbine from a window on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository.
The number of curious parallels between the American Presidents John Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln, also assassinated after a premonition warning of his death, strain the bounds of coincidence. Lincoln, for example, had been elected president on November 6, 1869, Kennedy on November 8, 1960. Both had also first been elected to Congress 100 years apart, Lincoln in 1846, Kennedy in 1946. The two men who succeeded them as president were also born a century apart, and their assassins were born 101 years apart.
Lincoln was shot in the head from behind, in a theatre, and his assassin fled to a barn. Kennedy was hit in the head from the rear, from a warehouse, and his assassin fled to a theatre. Both assassins were killed before they could come to trail. Both Kennedy and Lincoln were shot on a Friday, in the presence of their wives. Lincoln had been shot in a Ford’s Theatre, and Kennedy in a Lincoln made by the Ford Motor Company.
Both Presidents foresaw their own deaths. Lincoln told a guard on the day he was assassinated that there were "man who want to take my life…. And I have no doubt they will do it…if it is to be done, it is impossible to prevent it."
A few hours before he was felled by Oswald’s bullets, Kennedy said to his wife and personal adviser, "if somebody wants to shoot me from a window with a rifle, nobody can stop it, so why worry about it?"
Fact follows fiction. Take the uncanny case of the two Richard Parkers. The first was a cabin boy in Edgar Allan Poe’s uncompleted adventure novel. In the course of the story, four sailors are shipwrecked at sea and escape in a small lifeboat. Facing starvation, the four finally decide to draw straws to see who will be sacrificed and cannibalised by the other three. Parker draws the short stick and is promptly stabbed and eaten by the surviving trio.
More than forty years later, Poe’s unfinished tale was repeated in an amazingly accurate and grim detail. Four survivors of a shipwreck, adrift in an open boat, did draw straws to see who would survive and who would be eaten. The loser was Richard Parker, the ship’s cabin boy. His mates stood trail for his murder in England in 1884.
The macabre event might not have come to light at all but for a contest sponsored by the London Sunday Times seeking remarkable coincidences. Twelve year old Nigel Parker won the competition. The unfortunate cabin boy eaten by his comrades had been Nigel’s great-grandfather’s cousin.
In 1899 a bolt of lightning killed a man as he stood in his backyard in Taranto, Italy. Thirty years later, his son was killed in the same way and in the same place. On October 8, 1949, Rolla Primarda, the grandson of the first victim and the son of the second became the third.
Just as strange was the fate of a British officer, Major Summerford, who while fighting in the fields of Flanders in February 1918 was knocked off his horse by a flash of lightning and paralysed from the waist down.
Summerford retired and moved to Vancouver. One day in 1924, as he fished alongside a river, lightning hit the tree he was sitting under and paralysed his right side.
Two years later Summerford was sufficiently recovered that he was able to take walks in a local park. He was walking there when a lightning bolt smashed into him, completely paralysing him. He died two years later in 1932.
But lightning sought him out one more time. Four years later, during a storm, lightning struck a cemetery and destroyed a tombstone. It was Major Summerford’s.
In May 1979 an American Airlines DC-10 crashed near O’Hare Airport in Chicago shortly after taking off for a flight to California. Among the victims was author Judy Wax, whose book, Starting in the Middle, had just been published.
The flight number of the doomed plane was 191. On page 191 of her book Mrs. Wax had discussed her fear of flying.
Allan Falby was a motorcycle captain with the El Paso, Texas, Country Highway Patrol in the 1930s when a collision with a speeding truck almost ended his career. His life was slowly seeping out on a severed artery in his leg when a passerby, Alfred Smith, stopped to rendered aid. Smith tied off the bleeding leg and Falby survived though it was several months before he was fully recovered and able to resume his duties.
Five years later it was Falby who arrived at the scene of another accident in the area. A man had crashed his car into a tree and was bleeding profusely from a severed artery in the right leg. Before the ambulance arrived Falby was able to tie off a tourniquet and save the man’s life. only then did he realise that the victim was his own savior of five years before – Alfred Smith.
Falby took the incident in professional stride. "it all goes to prove," he said, "that one good tourniquet deserves another."
Thomas baker had finished his shopping at the Northgate Shopping Centre, and he was about the return home. He walked up to what he thought was his 1978 maroon American Motors Concord and unlocked the door. But something was wrong. The seat seemed out of whack. He couldn’t fit his six-foot-six-inch frame comfortably under the wheel. Glancing around the car, he noticed a caddy holding coffee cups and other unfamiliar items. He called the police.
While he was discussing the situation with officer, an identical Concord drove up. The elderly couple inside explained they were loading groceries into the car when they found it contained unfamiliar personal objects. A check of the license plates showed that even though the car they were driving looked like theirs, it was someone else’s.
The odds for such an event occurring were a ten thousand to one, and the fact was that the two owners had the same last names!
One of the oddest coincidences ever recorded spans a period of nearly 200 years and involved three ships that sank in the Menai Strait of the coast of Wales. The first vessel went down on December 5, 1664, and of its 81 passengers, only one survived, and he was called Hugh Williams. On December 5, 1785, 121 years later, another ship sank in the Menai Strait, and again, all of the passenger perished except one – named Hugh Williams.
Two ships sinking in the same area on the same day of the month certainly is not earth-shattering, but when each of them have only one survivor of the same name, it gets a little eerie. But the story does not end at that.
On December 5, 1860, yet another ship, a small 25 passenger vessel, sank in the Menai Strait. And once again there was only one survivor – and once again his name was Hugh Williams.
Frederick Chance was speeding down a lonely road in Stourbridge, Worcestershire, when he saw the headlights of an oncoming car. As both vehicles were travelling at a high speed, they were unable to swerve in time. Emerging from the wreckage with only minor injuries, Chance checked in the other car and satisfied himself that its driver was also relatively unharmed. Thankful that the accident had not been worse, Chance introduced himself to the driver, and was incredulous for he, too, was named Frederick Chance.
German magazine Das Beste ran a reader competition for the most interesting personal experience, a pilot named Walter Kellner of Munich, West Germany submitted his story of survival. He had been flying a Cessna 421 over the Tyrrhenian Sea between Sardinia and Sicily, he wrote, when the plane experienced engine trouble. Plunging into the sea, he survived by floating in a rubber dinghy until he was rescued.
Impressed by the tale, the Das Beste editors placed Kellner’s account among the finalists. They then set out to verify the incident and found that it was true, and he was named the winner.
The competition results were announced, and Kellner was awarded his prize. However, the editor-in-chief received a letter from a Walter Kellner of Austria, who claimed the German’s story was his own, although it had a different ending. The second Kellner accused the first pilot of being an imposter and that his personal story was a hoax.
The first Walter Kellner admitted that he was aware from the plane’s records that another pilot named Kellner had flown the same Cessna but, he said, he had not known that they shared the same first name and had experienced similar mechanical failures while flying over the same location.
With further checking, the editors learnt that both stories were indeed true.
They may have lived during different periods and in different countries, but Thomas Jefferson and Prince Bismarck had at least one thing in common. The number 3 figured greatly in their lives. Among other tertiary facts, the third President of the United Sates, was his parents’ third son and the family’s third Thomas. He wrote the Declaration of Independence at the age of 33, for 3 years served as the third ambassador of France, was appointed the third president of the American Philosophical Society, and lost the presidential election in 1796 by three votes.
A passionate lover of three arts, architecture, painting and music, Jefferson hated three things, royalty, nobility and fanaticism. Jefferson would probably, then, have been displeased by Bismarck’s three titles, Count, Duke and Prince. Like Jefferson, however, Bismarck studied in three schools, although the Prince then went on to server 3 kings, fight in 3 wars, had 3 horses killed under him, signed 3 peace treaties, served as ambassador to 3 countries and established the Triple Alliance. And unlike Jefferson, Bismarck, the father of 3 children, escaped 3 attempts on his life. His coat of arms, moreover, bore a three-leaf intertwining three oak threes.