Author Topic: What are the odds of this happening  (Read 1008 times)

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Offline PPI Tim

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From the Buenos Aires Herald July 22, 1975 and found in the book "Bizarre Phenomena" by Reader's Digest.
This story left me astounded. Check this out,

In Hamilton Bermuda
In July 1974, 17-year old Neville Ebbin was knocked off his moped by a cab and killed.
The following year another young man was killed in exactly the same way.
The victim was Neville Ebbin's brother, Erskine. He was the same age as Neville when he was killed.
The month was the same. He was riding the same moped. The accident occurred in the same street.
It was the same cab that had killed his brother AND the same driver was driving WITH the same passenger.

How in the hell did that happen? :o
« Last Edit: July 25, 2009, 03:19:10 PM by PPI Tim »
Sounds interesting...Go on.

Offline Gary

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HA, that is crazy.  I spent a few minutes to serach and see if I could find anything else on this, but mainly just the same results, mentioned on forums and personal websites.  BUT, found some other crazy coincidences.

The car in which Archdude Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated is now in a Vienna museum. The archduke's assassination started World War I. Since then, the same car was in nine accidents before it was taken off the road.

In 1664, 1785, and 1820, three unrelated men who were the sole survivors of three different disasters at sea were all named Hugh Williams.

Brothers Erskine L. Ebbin and Neville Ebbin of Bermuda died exactly one year apart after being struck by the same taxi, driven by the same driver, and carrying the same passenger.

A bank customer who tried to cash a check in Monroe Township, NJ, was arrested when the teller turned out to be the Linda Brandimato to whom the check was made out.

A customer presented a stolen credit card to cashier Diane Klos in an Irvington, NJ, department store. Klos recognized that the card was stolen immediately, since it belonged to her. Klos and her boss chased the thief to the street, where she was apprehended by two policeman.

While Stephen Law of Markham, OT, was hunting in five feet of water for a ring lost by his father, he found a topaz ring his grandmother had lost 41 years earlier in the very same lake.

In 1938, a hurricane damaged or destroyed 6,923 churches along the East Coast of the U.S., but spared all the synagogues and Episcopal churches.

Identical twins Mark Newman and Jerry Levey, adopted by different families five years after they were born in 1954, did not meet again until 1986. Both grew up to be volunteer firefighters and found each other entirely by chance while attending a firefighters' convention.

Snow fell three times in New England in July of 1816, fulfilling a prediction in that year's The Old Farmer's Almanac that had been inserted as a prank.

Moses Carlton, a wealthy ship magnate of Wiscasset, ME, thew his gold ring into the Sheepscot River and boasted, "There is as much chance of me dying a poor man as there is of ever finding that ring again." A few days later, he found the ring in a fish served to him in a restaurant. Carlton's fortunes changed almost immediately. President Madison placed an embargo on American ships, Carlton went bankrupt, and, sure enough, he died a poor man.

The schooner Susan and Eliza was wrecked in a storm off Cape Ann, MA. Aboard was one of the ship owner's daughters, Susan Hichborn, on her way to her wedding in Boston. All 33 passengers perished, and no trace of the ship was ever found, except for a trunk bearing Susan's initials and containing her possessions. The trunk washed ashore at the feet of her waiting fianc?.
Gary \m/
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Offline PPI Tracy

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Like they say: "Truth is stranger than fiction"

Offline PPI Brian

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Wow, those are all very strange, aren't they?  :)

I agree; truth is stranger than fiction.
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."--Carl Sagan

Offline PPI Karl

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From the Buenos Aires Herald July 22, 1975 and found in the book "Bizarre Phenomena" by Reader's Digest.
This story left me astounded. Check this out,

In Hamilton Bermuda
In July 1974, 17-year old Neville Ebbin was knocked off his moped by a cab and killed.
The following year another young man was killed in exactly the same way.
The victim was Neville Ebbin's brother, Erskine. He was the same age as Neville when he was killed.
The month was the same. He was riding the same moped. The accident occurred in the same street.
It was the same cab that had killed his brother AND the same driver was driving WITH the same passenger.

How in the hell did that happen? :o

Brothers Erskine L. Ebbin and Neville Ebbin of Bermuda died exactly one year apart after being struck by the same taxi, driven by the same driver, and carrying the same passenger.

To me, if this is documented fact, it sounds likely that Neville plotted a revenge suicide and selected his moment knowing the taxi driver's routine pick-up of a regular customer.  The other possibility is that all parties involved went to pay their respects to Erskine at a roadside memorial for him (perhaps to lay a wreath of flowers), and Neville stumbled into the same dangerous patch of road that led to Erskine's demise.  Or, it could be some combination of these two ideas.  [Okay.  That's my Sherlock Holmes moment for today. ;D]
If you want to end your misery, start enjoying it, because there's nothing the universe begrudges more than our enjoyment.

Offline PPI Tim

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Or it could be a hit on both of the brothers
Yeah see...
Take out the older brother see...
On his moped see....
Wait one year and look for the other one see...
I'll be riding in the back of the taxi to point them out.
Yeah, Yeah, P^/
Sounds interesting...Go on.

Brian Johnson

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Very good story Timmy. I think there is no such thing as coincidences, so you are probably not to far off with your last post.

Offline Brigham

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Most of these I could buy as unlikely but definitely possible coincidences. Not that I take them as fact, but they're certainly plausible. Some aren't even all that impressive. "He was looking for a lost, shiny object on the lake bed and, (gasp!) he found a lost, shiny object!" Now if it made him invisible, and allowed him to escape from orcses, that would be something...

The penultimate one definitely seems apocryphal to me, though. Any time you hear of a (pruportedly) historical figure doing nonsensical things or making odd declarations, that's a red flag right there.

Additionally, the fish would have either had to nab the ring on the way down (a very short trip for a heavy, gold ring), or eaten it off the bottom of the river. And bottom feeders are accustomed to finding hard, inedible objects down there, like rocks and twigs. It seems highly unlikely that it would have swallowed a chunk of metal. But even allowing for the fact that a fish would eat the ring, it would have been contained within its digestive tract. When the fish was gutted, the ring would have been tossed out unknowingly with the offal, with no one ever realizing. The person sitting down for a meal would especially never have any idea what used to be inside the fish. If the contents of the fish's gullet were mixed in with the meat, I'd say he definitely ought to be picking another restaurant, and possibly inducing vomiting and taking antibiotics. (Of course, Pasteur wasn't even born for over a decade...)

Further, the story is cast deeper into doubt by historical inaccuracies. The Embargo Acts of 1807 -1809 occurred during the Jefferson administration. "President Madison" wasn't president yet. While this does not implicitly invalidate the rest of the premises of the story, it does cast into doubt its factuality. Such inconsistencies smack of fabrication and/or unchecked passing along of half-truths.

One last point: the Embargo Acts were largely ignored and even openly flouted. It did in fact result in unemployment and economic depression, but many people simply ignored  the (largely unenforceable) embargo, and reaped great profits as a result. If such a man as Carlton did exist, he would have had to have been one of the rarer folk that actually complied with the law.

All this doesn't in any way disprove the sad story of Moses Carlton, but it does cast enough doubt that we ought not to take it as fact without consideration and research. You might ask, "What me worry? It is just meaningless trivia, no?" True, on the face of it. And yet, in our field, a healthy skeptical attitude, a need for verification of facts and stories, is what separates us from the metaphysics and "paratainment" crowds. I'm not prepared to accept stories like these as actually true without at least some cursory research that supports the claims, rather than argues against them.

Neat stories though  ;)


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Offline PPI Tracy

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Ummm....yeah....what he said.  Exactly.   :)

Offline PPI Tim

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So Brigham,
Are you saying that something like this can never happen?
That the odd are so great they could never happen?
I'm not so sure.
I have had somethings happen to me that I think are quite astounding.
Thank God nothing like this.
But
Do you think the odds of hitting all six numbers in the lottery is too great to ever be done?
People get all six numbers all the time. I think that stories like this are possible.
Sometimes the truth is stranger then fiction.
Sounds interesting...Go on.

Offline Brigham

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I,m not saying it didn't happen. I'm just saying that we shouldn't believe that it happened just because we read it somewhere.
Anybody wanna peanut?

Offline PPI Tim

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Quite true Brigham, quite true.
It is my hope that if am able to dig for that I could find the article.
I don't know if I could due to the fact that the story was from 1975
in Buenos Aires.
I think I will see if there is anything in Ripley's Believe It or Not.
Sounds interesting...Go on.

Offline JP

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Or it could be a hit on both of the brothers
Yeah see...
Take out the older brother see...
On his moped see....
Wait one year and look for the other one see...
I'll be riding in the back of the taxi to point them out.
Yeah, Yeah, P^/

lol, or perhaps the cab driver has something against mopeds . :P

Offline PPI Tim

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That might be true. They can be irritating to drive behind. Maybe the guys on the moped were also jerks.
Sounds interesting...Go on.