From time immemorial, history has been sprinkled with events so bizarre and coincidental that they leave us questioning the very nature of fate. In this article, we delve into most jaw-dropping, unbelievable coincidences that have shaped history in ways you won’t believe.
Twins with Identical Lives
In Ohio, 1940, twins named Jim Lewis and Jim Springer were separated at birth, yet led eerily similar lives. Named James by their adoptive parents, both married women named Linda, and subsequently remarried women named Betty. They each had a son, naming them James Alan and James Allan. These uncanny parallels extended to their occupations, pets, and life habits. They met for the first time at the age of 39, becoming a frequently cited example in the nature versus nurture debate.
Predicting the Titanic
In 1898, 14 years before the Titanic’s maiden voyage, Morgan Robertson wrote the novel “Futility.” It depicted the journey of a ship named Titan, which also sank after hitting an iceberg. Remarkably, the Titan was similarly large and deemed “unsinkable,” lacking enough lifeboats, much like the Titanic. These parallels led to speculation about the author’s possible predictive abilities.
Bullet Returns after Years
In a bizarre twist of fate, Henry Ziegland ended his relationship with his girlfriend in 1883, leading to her brother’s attempted revenge. The brother fired a shot at Ziegland but missed, and the bullet lodged in a tree. Believing he had failed, the brother took his own life. Years later, Ziegland attempted to remove the tree using dynamite. The explosion propelled the lodged bullet, striking Ziegland and ultimately causing his death. This extraordinary series of events is often cited as a remarkable example of fate’s long reach.
The Deadly Hoover Dam
J.G. Tierney was the first worker to die during the construction of the Hoover Dam on December 20, 1921. His son, Patrick Tierney, was the last worker to die there, on December 20, 1935. This tragic date coincidence adds a macabre note to the dam’s history.
King Umberto’s Double
In 1900, King Umberto I of Italy, dining in a restaurant in Monza, met a man who not only resembled him but also shared his name, was born on the same day in Turin, and married a woman named Margherita. Both died on July 29, 1900, under mysterious circumstances, leading to numerous speculations and legends.
On March 12, 1951, two comic strips named “Dennis the Menace” were released – one in the UK by David Law and one in the US by Hank Ketcham. Despite striking similarities, the creators had never communicated or met. This unusual coincidence led to discussions about collective creativity and coincidences in popular culture.
Halley’s Comet and Mark Twain
Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, the famed American author, was born in 1835, coinciding with the appearance of Halley’s Comet. Twain, known for his wit and humor, often remarked that he came in with the comet and expected to go out with it. In a twist of fate aligning with his prediction, Twain passed away on April 21, 1910, just one day after the comet made its return. This coincidence has added a mythical quality to Twain’s legacy.
The Destiny of the Archduke
Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, whose assassination in 1914 sparked the beginning of World War I, was riding in a car with a license plate that read “A III 118.” In an eerie coincidence, the Armistice ending World War I was signed on November 11, 1918 (11-11-18). This strange numerical coincidence has been noted by historians as a bizarre and unlikely link between the start and end of the war.
Lucky Lottery Wins
Evelyn Adams of New Jersey experienced an almost unbelievable stroke of luck when she won the lottery in 1985. Defying all odds, she won the lottery again the following year, in 1986. The odds of winning the lottery twice like this were calculated to be 1 in 17 trillion, making Adams’ wins one of the most extraordinary cases of lottery luck in history.
Curse of Tecumseh
Beginning with the election of William Henry Harrison in 1840 and continuing until the election of John F. Kennedy in 1960, every U.S. president elected in a year ending in zero died in office. This strange pattern led to the speculation of a “curse” tied to Tecumseh, a Native American leader. The curse was said to be related to Harrison’s role in the defeat of Tecumseh in the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811. This uncanny sequence of events sparked both public fascination and historical debate about the potential of curses and their impact on American politics.
Stranger on the Titanic
In a series of unbelievable coincidences, Violet Jessop, a stewardess and nurse, had an extraordinary career on ocean liners. Most notably, at the age of 24, she was aboard the RMS Titanic during its ill-fated maiden voyage in 1912 and miraculously survived its sinking. In an even more astonishing twist of fate, Jessop was also aboard the HMHS Britannic, the Titanic’s sister ship, in 1916 when it sank during World War I, and once again, she survived. Her life story is often cited as one of the most extraordinary tales of survival and coincidence in maritime history.
A Twist of Fate in Battle
During the English Civil War, the Battle of Edgehill in 1642 saw a fierce clash between the Royalist and Parliamentarian forces. Years after the battle, locals reported witnessing ghostly re-enactments of the fight, so vivid and frequent that King Charles I sent investigators to look into these claims. These spectral sightings have been a topic of historical and paranormal intrigue, with some speculating that they were echoes of the past imprinted on the location.
Echoes from the Past
In a chilling coincidence in Bermuda in 1975, a man was killed in a moped accident when he was struck by a taxi. In an almost unbelievable turn of events, a year later, his brother was killed in the exact same way. He was riding the same moped and was hit by the same taxi, driven by the same driver, and carrying the same passenger. This series of events is one of the most startling coincidences, blurring the lines between chance and fate.
Napoleon’s Unbelievable Lineage
Both Napoleon Bonaparte and his nephew, Napoleon III, shared remarkable parallels in their reigns and fates. Napoleon Bonaparte, crowned as Emperor of the French in 1804, faced his defining defeat at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. He was subsequently exiled to the island of Saint Helena, where he died in 1821. Similarly, Napoleon III, who became Emperor of the French in 1852, suffered a major defeat at the Battle of Sedan in 1870 during the Franco-Prussian War. He was then exiled to England and died in 1873. These striking similarities in their lives, reigns, military defeats, and exiles to islands have fascinated historians and lent a sense of eerie symmetry to the Bonaparte legacy.
Lightning Never Strikes the Same Place?
Major Summerford’s story is one of the most astonishing tales of lightning strikes. During the last days of World War I, he was struck by lightning, resulting in paralysis. Years later, while fishing, he was struck again by lightning. Following his death, lightning reportedly struck his gravestone four years later. This series of lightning strikes has become a legendary example of incredibly improbable events, challenging the common saying that lightning never strikes the same place twice.
The Monk’s Manuscript
The 19th-century book detailing the coincidences between Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy highlighted eerie similarities between the two assassinated U.S. Presidents. Elected exactly 100 years apart (Lincoln in 1860 and Kennedy in 1960), both Presidents had vice presidents named Johnson (Andrew Johnson and Lyndon B. Johnson) and were assassinated on a Friday. These uncanny parallels have fueled numerous conspiracy theories and speculations about historical patterns and coincidences.
The Foreseeing Poe
Edgar Allan Poe’s 1838 novel “The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket” is noted for its chilling narrative of shipwreck survivors resorting to cannibalism. In a case of life eerily mirroring fiction, the 1884 shipwreck of the Mignonette saw its crew facing a similar desperate situation. They killed and ate a cabin boy for survival, and in a bizarre twist of fate, the cabin boy’s name was Richard Parker, the same name as the character in Poe’s novel. This coincidence has fascinated both literary and historical circles for its improbable nature and the eerie foresight of Poe’s writing.
In the 1930s, a remarkable event took place in Detroit involving a baby falling from a high window. A passerby named Joseph Figlock happened to be there to catch the baby, miraculously saving its life. In an almost unbelievable twist, the following year, another baby fell from the same window, and once again, Joseph Figlock was in the right place at the right time to catch the child. This extraordinary coincidence of being in the exact spot to save not one, but two falling babies, has been a source of amazement and speculation about the odds of such an event occurring twice.
The Two Authors and the Comet
The lives of two renowned authors, Mark Twain and Eudora Welty, were curiously intertwined with the appearances of Halley’s Comet. Mark Twain, born Samuel Langhorne Clemens, was born in 1835 and passed away in 1910, famously predicting that he would “go out with” the comet, which indeed made its appearance in both years. Eudora Welty, a celebrated American writer, was also born and died in years when Halley’s Comet was visible from Earth – 1909 and 2001, respectively. These coincidences add a poetic touch to the lives of these literary figures, linking their existence to the celestial event of Halley’s Comet.
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams: A Founding Coincidence
In an extraordinary historical coincidence, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, two of the United States’ Founding Fathers, died on the same day: July 4, 1826. This day marked the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, a pivotal document in American history, which both men had a significant role in drafting. Jefferson, the principal author, and Adams, a key advocate, both passed away within hours of each other, symbolizing their deeply intertwined roles in the birth of the nation.
The Fateful Lincoln-Booth Connection
President Abraham Lincoln’s eldest son, Robert Todd Lincoln, witnessed or was indirectly linked to three presidential assassinations, an eerie and rare historical occurrence. He was present at his father Abraham Lincoln’s assassination by John Wilkes Booth in 1865. Later, in 1881, he was in close proximity when President James Garfield was shot, and in 1901, he was also nearby when President William McKinley was assassinated. This sequence of tragic events surrounding Robert Lincoln is one of the most remarkable coincidences in American political history.
The Repeat of the Wilmer McLean Home
Wilmer McLean, a Virginia resident, had the unique distinction of his home being a site of both the start and end of the American Civil War. The war commenced in 1861 with the First Battle of Bull Run, fought in part on McLean’s property. In a remarkable twist of fate, the war effectively ended in 1865 when Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant in McLean’s parlor in Appomattox. This coincidence symbolically represented the war’s impact on the lives of everyday Americans, as it began and concluded within the confines of a single civilian’s home.
The Dual Survival of Tsutomu Yamaguchi
Tsutomu Yamaguchi holds the extraordinary distinction of surviving both atomic bombings in Japan during World War II. On August 6, 1945, Yamaguchi was in Hiroshima on a business trip when the city was bombed. He sustained serious injuries but managed to return to his hometown of Nagasaki. Tragically, on August 9, he experienced the second atomic bombing in Nagasaki. Surviving both catastrophic events, Yamaguchi’s story is a remarkable testament to human resilience in the face of unprecedented destruction.
The Double Survival of Ann Hodges
In a nearly unbelievable event, Ann Hodges became the only person confirmed to have been directly struck by a meteorite. On November 30, 1954, in Sylacauga, Alabama, a meteorite crashed through her roof and hit her while she was napping on her couch. Despite the extraordinary nature of the incident, Hodges sustained only minor injuries. This incident is considered one of the most extraordinary in medical and astronomical history, highlighting the rare intersection of human life and extraterrestrial objects.