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Reddit Asks the Question: 'What Was the Most Incredible Coincidence in History?'

By Petr Knava | reddit | November 16, 2018 |

By Petr Knava | reddit | November 16, 2018 |


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Guys, you know what’s totally crazy? How, like, every time a politician’s approval rating dips, or their image is otherwise marred, there’s always a convenient war to be had or some other external threat to be defended against. What’re the odds?! And I know that JFK’s approval rose from 61% to 74% during the Cuban missile crisis and that Elder Bush’s leapt from 59% to 74% during the first Iraq massacre and Simpler Bush’s soared into the stratosphere of 90%—the highest Presidential approval rating ever—in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, and then sorta gently descended as the shock of the attack wore off…

Until!

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(Source)

Hey I wonder what happened there?

So there’s a pretty good correlation and historical precedent there, between external ‘threats’ and approval.

Do you remember the scary ‘migrant caravan’ that was heading towards the U.S.? The horde of deadly immigrants, poor, hungry, displaced by a Clinton-backed coup, that Donald Trump and his complicit media lackeys bleated about ceaselessly in the lead-up to the mid-terms but which since then have mentioned just once?

Weird, innit? Where did that deadly threat disappear to? I’m sure that historical precedent for distraction was nowhere near the mind of Tangerine Mussolini or his team when they were stirring up fear of the refugees.

Anyway, real coincidences are much more fun and less depressing. So here are some actual coincidences from history, courtesy of an AskReddit thread (which you can check out in full here):

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From user unnamed887:

In June 2001, Laura Buxton, a 10 year old from Staffordshire, England released a helium filled balloon on her grandparent’s 50th anniversary with her name and address on it tagging “Please write to Laura Buxton.”

The balloon floated 140 miles away and landed in the back yard of a house, in the same geographic region Milton Lilbourne, Marlborough, where also lived a 10 year old girl named Laura Buxton.

The “Lauras” were the same height (tall for their age), had the same build and eye color, both were fair-haired.

They both had brown hair and same hairstyle.

Both wore blue jeans with pink jumpers to their first meeting.

Both had grey rabbits, guinea pigs, and three-year-old black Labradors as pet animals.

Both had bought their guinea pigs to their first meeting which surprisingly had same color with similar orange markings on their hindquarters.

Fact checked here https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/whether-balloon/

https://youtu.be/A_j3bVYwAp4 (u/itsjustchad)

While the story sounds like an anomaly of crazy coincidences, it’s actually been used as an example of how human perceive patterns and ascribe meaning to random chance.

The WNYC public radio show “Radiolab” did an episode on the occurrence in 2009 and interviewed both girls.

(It’s completely worth listening to and can be found right here https://www.wnycstudios.org/story/91686-a-very-lucky-wind)

In it, experts pointed out the tendency of people telling the story to point out similarities between the girls, while leaving out differences, for the sake of a more interesting tale.

For instance, in the original report of the story, the balloon supposedly landed in the second Laura Buxton’s back yard. It didn’t; a neighbor discovered it in a hedge near his property, read the card, and then delivered it to the Laura Buxton he knew, thinking it was hers. And both girls weren’t actually 10 years old: one was 10, and the other was a few months shy of her 10th birthday.

..,the Laura Buxton story is a good illustrator of how the desire to see patterns can add meaning to coincidences where there is none. https://www.thewrap.com/fargo-season-3-laura-buxton-balloon-real/

On a darker note: Reminds me of this…

Japan used 9000 incendiary balloons against the Continental United States using the newly discovered Pacific Jetstream during WWII. Also called fire balloons or balloon bombs.

On May 5, 1945, Pastor Archie Mitchell, his pregnant wife Elsie, and five other children went to Gearhart Mountain in the Fremont-Winema National Forest for a picnic. Upon getting there, the children alighted from the car and began playing on the rocky landscape-where they immediately discovered a deflated balloon.

They thought it to be just that, but it was unlike any other balloon they had ever seen. Trying to examine it further, the children reached too far and the balloon exploded, killing the five children and pregnant Elsie. Mitchell only survived because he was trying to park the car properly at the time of the explosion.

The deaths of Elsie and the five children are the only ones recorded as a result of the fire balloons on American soil during World War II.

https://m.warhistoryonline.com/instant-articles/attack-of-fire-balloons.html

As I got out of my car to bring the lunch, the others were not far away and called to me they had found something that looked like a balloon. I had heard of Japanese balloons so I shouted a warning not to touch it. But just then there was a big explosion. I ran up there — and they were all dead.

—‚ÄČArchie Mitchell, 1945 interview[6]

Mitchell later remarried (to Betty Patzke, the older sister of the two of the children killed by the balloon) and became a missionary in Vietnam. In 1962, the Viet Cong kidnapped him, and he was never seen again. (u/AKA_Rmc)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archie_E._Mitchell

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Petr is a staff contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.



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Image sources (in order of posting): Reddit, Gallup










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