NASA mission control celebrating successful return of Apollo 13

History’s oddities

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams

US Presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were both involved in drafting the US Declaration of Independence that was signed on 4 July 1776. Henceforth, the forth of July became Independence Day in the United States. Jefferson was Adam’s Vice-President until he himself became President in 1800. They were the last surviving members of the American revolutionaries. They had been bitter enemies but were also friends for many years. Both died on 4 July 1826, fifty years after the Declaration of Independence.1

Napoleon Bonaparte and Adolf Hitler

Napoleon Bonaparte and Adolf Hitler were the only two persons that ever conquered nearly all of Europe. There is a series of parallels between them. Napoleon and Hitler both came to power by a coup ending an unstable republic. They both turned Europe into a battlefield. They both ventured into Africa and both were repelled in Egypt. They both waged a war on two fronts because they both attacked Russia while England had not been defeated.

Napoleon was born on Corsica, an independent island that became part of France. Napoleon became the leader of France. Hitler was born in Austria, an independent country that became part of Germany. Hitler became the leader of Germany. Napoleon came to power after a coup to overthrow the government on 9 November 1799. Hitler was involved in a failed coup to overthrow the Weimar Republic on 9 November 1923.

The Titanic

The Titanic was the tallest ship in the world. It had compartments that could be sealed remotely. For that reason it was deemed unsinkable. Nevertheless the Titanic sank on its maiden voyage. In 1898 Morgan Robertson wrote the novel Futility. It described the maiden voyage of a transatlantic luxury liner named the Titan. Although it was touted as being unsinkable, it struck an iceberg and sank with much loss of life. In the book the month of the wreck was April like in the real event.2

The similarities between the Titanic and the Titan are striking:

  • similar names of the ships
  • both were described as the largest craft afloat and the greatest of the works of men
  • the sizes were similar: the Titan was 45,000 tons and the Titanic was 46,000 tons
  • both were deemed ‘unsinkable’
  • both had a triple screw (propeller)
  • both had a shortage of lifeboats
  • both struck an iceberg: the Titan, moving at 25 knots, struck an iceberg on the starboard side on a night in April, in the North Atlantic, 400 nautical miles from Newfoundland while the Titanic, moving at 22½ knots, struck an iceberg on the starboard side on the night of 14 April 1912 in the North Atlantic, 400 nautical miles from Newfoundland.
  • both sank and most of the passengers and crew died.2

In April 1935, the cargo vessel Titanian sailed in the North Atlantic. A sailor claimed that he had an uneasy feeling because of the similarity of the ship’s name with Titanic. That caused him to sound a warning. He claimed to have done this before ice was seen and that the vessel stopped just in front of an iceberg. Reports showed that the Titanian was slightly damaged on the voyage.3

One hundred years later a luxurious Italian cruise ship, the Costa Concordia sank after hitting a rock. The accident was on Friday 13 January 2012. The ship had thirteen decks. Some passengers claimed that the Titanic theme ‘My Heart Will Go On’ was playing in a restaurant when the ship hit the rock.4 On 27 February 2012, another cruise ship of the same parent company, the Costa Allegra, ran into trouble near the Seychelles.5

The John F. Kennedy assassination

“We’re heading into nut country today,” President John F. Kennedy said to his wife on the morning of 22 November 1963. She had just seen an advertisement of the John Birch Society in the Dallas Morning News suggesting that he was a communist. The advert was bordered in the black of a funeral announcement. “But, Jackie, if somebody wants to shoot me from a window with a rifle, nobody can stop it, so why worry about it?”6

A few hours later he was killed by someone shooting him from a window with a rifle. The date of the assassination, 22 November (22/11), consists of two multiples of eleven. There are some parallels between John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln:

  • Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.
  • Lincoln was elected President in 1860. Kennedy was elected President in 1960.
  • Both Presidents were concerned with Civil Rights.
  • When Lincoln became president in 1861, one of the persons that worried about his safety was John Kennedy, Superintendent of Police in New York. When Kennedy became president in 1961, one of the persons that worried about his safety was Evelyn Lincoln, his personal secretary.
  • Both presidents were shot in the back of the head in the presence of their wife.
  • Lincoln was shot in the Ford Theatre while Kennedy was shot in a Ford Lincoln.
  • They were both shot on a Friday.
  • Both assassins were killed and not brought to trial.
  • Lincoln’s successor was Andrew Johnson, born in 1808, while Kennedy’s successor was Lyndon Johnson, born in 1908.7

It has been suggested that these similarities are a coincidence and that there are similar similarities between other US Presidents.7

Kennedy’s brother Senator Robert F. Kennedy was shot a few years later. He died in 1968 on June 6 (6/6), just after Martin Luther King was murdered on April 4 (4/4). That is a bit peculiar because of the coincidences surrounding D-Day (6/6/44). There is a series of tragedies related to the Kennedy family called the Kennedy Curse.

The Lincoln connection

The son of President Lincoln, Robert Todd Lincoln, had his share of coincidences too. A few months before John Wilkes Booth murdered his father, he was rescued by Edwin Booth, the brother of John Wilkes. The Booth family and the Lincoln family were not neighbours, which makes the incident remarkable. Robert Lincoln was in the vicinity when his father was shot. He was also present at the assassination of President Garfield in 1881 as well as the assassination of President McKinley in 1901.8

From William Henry Harrison through John Kennedy, every President elected in a year ending in zero has died in office. The presidencies of Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, William McKinley, Warren Harding and Franklin Roosevelt all ended prematurely. The pattern has been called ‘The Zero Year Curse’. It ended with Ronald Reagan who survived an assassination attempt. First Lady Nancy Reagan reportedly had hired psychics and astrologers to protect her husband from the curse.9

Apollo 13

The number 13 is often considered to be an unlucky number. The voyage of Apollo 13 was haunted by accidents. The launch was on 11 April 1970 at 13:13 CST from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The departure time combined with the number of the spacecraft appears to be an attempt to challenge fate. The lunar landing was aborted after an oxygen tank exploded on 13 April. The crew made it back alive.10

Featured image: NASA mission control celebrating successful return of Apollo 13. NASA. Public Domain.

1. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams die. History.com (2009). [link]
2. Futility, or the Wreck of the Titan. Wikipedia. [link]
3. Titanian – Echo of Titanic. Encyclopedia Titanica (2004) [link]
4. Costa Concordia disaster. Wikipedia. [link]
5. MS Costa Allegra. Wikipedia. [link]
6. Three surprising details from the JFK assassination – and why they matter. James L. Swanson (2013). The Globe and Mail. [link]
7. Lincoln–Kennedy coincidences urban legend. Wikipedia. [link]
8. Robert Todd Lincoln. Wikipedia. [link]
9. Curse of Tippecanoe. Wikipedia. [link]
10. Apollo 13. Wikipedia. [link]

Satire on False Perspective. William Hogarth (1754).

Again, those properties

Coincidences like the licence plate number of Franz Ferdinand’s death car being a reference to the end date of World War I suggest that history is a script. Evidence of reincarnation indicates that memories can be storied outside the body. The universe may not be what is appears to be. The scientific approach is to ignore these phenomena as they can’t be reproduced in a laboratory. That doesn’t make these things go away. This universe might be a virtual reality created by an advanced civilisation. But perhaps there are other explanations for these phenomena. Most let go of time or the law of cause and effect.

Our usual way of perceiving events is that something happens on a certain place at a certain time. A place is seen as a constant as time passes. Events in the past have caused events in the present and events in the present cause events in the future. For example, the invasion of the Allies happened in Normandy on 6 June 1944. Normandy is still there but 6 June 1944 is history. The liberation of Western Europe from German occupation is seen as a consequence of D-Day. If D-Day hadn’t happened, history would have taken a different turn. We have time and cause and effect. That makes sense to us.

Some people claim that all points in time are connected in some other way than the past making the present possible and the present making the future possible. A psychiatrist named Karl Jung came up with the idea of a collective consciousness that connects all events via meaning. This could, for instance, explain the evidence of reincarnation. The collective consciousness can put the memories of a deceased person into someone else.

Others think of time as a dimension so that you travel to a time like you can travel to a place, even though nobody ever succeeded in doing that as far as we know. These ideas counter our notion of time as well as cause and effect but so does the theory of relativity. And the theory of relativity proved to be very useful so we consider it to be true.

A reference to the end date of World War I could end up on the licence plate of Franz Ferdinand’s death car because of some connection we do not yet know of. No plausible explanation is given as to what that connection that might be, but perhaps there is some property of the universe that is still unexplained. And maybe both are true. All points in time could be connected in some other way while the concept of causality also applies. Physicists have to work with queer phenomena that are hard to explain. For example, light behaves like particles but also like waves, but waves can’t be particles.

Alternatively, a time traveller could have gone back in time and put the number on the licence plate even though the theory of relativity doesn’t allow for that. Time travel to the future is possible but going back in time creates all kinds of logical problems. For instance, such an action would alter future events. Chaos theory suggests that even the slightest disturbance of the past can cause dramatic changes in the future so that the end date of World War I would change and perhaps the war wouldn’t even start.

So maybe we should let our imagination run free. Anything is possible if we can think of it and can corroborate it with experiments. That is the way science makes progress. A piece of fruit could be an apple as long as you look at it but turn into a banana as soon as you look the other way. And you can never be sure that an apple doesn’t become a banana when nobody watches. Scientists believe things like that if experiments confirm these beliefs. For instance, some particles turn into waves when you don’t observe them. And believing this can bring us energy or other things we desire.

An obvious explanation for the unexplained phenomena and peculiar coincidences like the licence plate number on Franz Ferdinand’s car is that this universe is a virtual reality created by an advanced civilisation. You don’t have to assume anything about the properties of our universe. You only have to believe that the technology to create virtual reality universes can be made cheap and that humans will use this technology once it becomes available. That makes more sense to the human mind than apples turning into bananas. But then again, it is dangerous to assume the obvious. If an apple really turns into a banana when you don’t watch then one plus one doesn’t have to equal two as long as you don’t solve the equation and this universe may be a virtual reality als long as you believe it.

Featured image: Satire on False Perspective. William Hogarth (1754). Public Domain.

The law of large numbers

Coincidence or not?

On 11 November 2017 (11-11) I went to Groningen with my wife and son by car. While driving I noticed the date and time on the clock. The date was 11-11 and the time was 10:35. “Wouldn’t it be nice when I look at the clock at exactly 11:11 today because it is 11-11,” I was thinking. Then within a second I noticed the distance recorder standing at 111.1. It had been 111.1 kilometres since I last filled up. That is a bit curious but peculiar coincidences can happen by chance. With seven billion people living on this planet, and so many things happening all the time, remarkable incidents happen.

That is easy to see. Imagine you have five dice, and a remarkable incident is throwing five sixes. If you throw the five dice only once, the remarkable incident probably won’t happen. On average it only happens once every 7,776 times. But if you throw the dice a million times, it will almost certainly happen, and almost certainly more than once. You should not be surprised when it happens 120 to 140 times.

Welcome to the law of large numbers. If we intend to make the case that this universe is a virtual reality running a script, and use coincidences in evidence, this is a big hurdle. A list of random coincidences is not evidence of a script. A possible way around it may be to see if the most important historic events are tainted by peculiar coincidences. That may be more telling for two reasons. First, there are only a few major historic events, so the law of large numbers may not apply. Second, if major historic events are tainted with peculiar coincidences, it would more plausibly suggest interference because these events are important. Nevertheless, even then the argument remains problematic, for what important historic events and what are peculiar coincidences.

Probability

Humans are good at attributing a cause but bad at guessing the likelihood of an event. A psychologist named Daniel Kahneman came up with an example. It is about a study of the incidence of kidney cancer in the 3,141 counties of the United States. The research revealed a remarkable pattern. The incidence of kidney cancer was the lowest in mostly rural, sparsely populated counties in traditionally Republican states in the Midwest, the South, and the West.1 So what do you make of that?

You probably came up with a few reasons why kidney cancer is less likely to occur in these counties, such as a healthy rural lifestyle or low pollution levels. But you probably didn’t think of randomness. Consider then the counties in which the incidence of kidney cancer is the highest. These counties were also mostly rural, sparsely populated, and located in traditionally Republican states in the Midwest, the South, and the West.1

The apparent contradiction can be explained by the fact that those counties all had small populations. And with smaller populations greater deviations from the average can be expected. Our intuition easily makes connections of causality but our reason doesn’t come into action to check whether or not it could just be randomness. We are inclined to think that some cause makes unusual things happen while these could just be random events.

In the summer of 1913 the ball fell on a black number twenty-six times in a row at the roulette wheel at the Casino de Monte-Carlo. Some people lost a fortune by betting that the ball would fall on a red number the next time. They didn’t realise that the chance of the ball falling on a red number never changed. The ball doesn’t remember where it fell the previous times. If we represent black with a B and red with an R, and assume for simplicity’s sake that there is no zero, it is possible to represent falling twenty-six times in a black number like this:

B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B

The probability of the next twenty-six numbers being black is one in 67,108,864. That’s a long shot. What might surprise you is that the following combination of black and red numbers is exactly as likely to occur:

R B B R B R R B R B B R R B R R B R B B R R B B R B

You wouldn’t be thrilled if that happened unless you became a millionaire by betting on this particular sequence of twenty-six. And even then you didn’t think of the 67,108,863 sequences that didn’t materialise. We tend to consider only the things that did happen, but we rarely think of all the things that could have happened but didn’t. That might explain why events like the ball falling on a black number twenty-six times in a row impress us. And I am even more impressed because twenty-six happens to be my lucky number.

Try to imagine all what could have happened but didn’t happen. Imagine the probability of you sitting here and now reading this page on a tablet or a mobile phone, but as a prediction from 3,600 years ago. Imagine Joseph telling the Pharaoh: “I see (your name comes here) reading a pile of papyrus pages, not real papyrus pages, but images of papyrus pages appearing on something that looks like a clay tablet. It is named The Plan For The Future. But don’t be afraid, dear Pharaoh, for it will happen 3,600 years from now. But if we don’t set up this grain storage, there will be no Natural Money based on this storage, and this money is needed for the plan, so we must do it. And by the way, Egypt will starve when we don’t.”

The odds for this prediction to come true weren’t one in 67,108,864, and also not one in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 either. Even if you add considerably more zeroes to that number, the odds still remain far smaller. The probability is so close to zero that nobody can tell. Nevertheless you are sitting here reading this text. So how could this happen? The answer to this mystery is that so many things could have happened but didn’t happen, but something had to happen, and that’s what happened. It would have been impossible for Joseph to make this prediction unless the future is predetermined.

The licence plate on Franz Ferdinand’s car

So what to make of the reference to the end date of World War I on the licence plate number on Franz Ferdinand’s car? There are not many events in history as important as the start and end of World War I so the law of large numbers may not apply. It could still be a freak accident however. A chance event helped the perpetrator. Franz Ferdinand’s chauffeur took the wrong turn after three conspirators had already failed. This gave the assassin the opportunity to strike. He was hindered by the crowd surrounding him so he couldn’t aim well. Nevertheless he managed to kill both the archduke and his wife with just two shots. This sequence of events is already remarkable.

The licence plate number makes it even more inconceivable. It might be possible to guess the end date of World War I by chance if you know when it starts. If you assume that the war wouldn’t take longer than twenty years, a random guess of the end date would be right one in 7,305 times. But something doesn’t add up here. The assassination succeeded after a series of mishaps, so if it were a prediction that accidentally turned out right, it would also imply a prediction of the assassination succeeding, Franz Ferdinand being killed in this particular car, and this being the trigger for the first world war.

That’s hard to do. And so Mike Dash in the Smithsonian noted: “This coincidence is so incredible that I initially suspected that it might be a hoax.”2 And because it isn’t a hoax, investigative minds could have probed other options. Conspiracy theorists didn’t take notice either, even though this incident fits into their schemes perfectly.

There is a story about a Freemason named Alfred Pike, who allegedly disclosed a secretive plan of the Freemasons to bring about the New World Order and predicted both world wars with uncanny precision already in 1871. Alas, nobody ever heard of this plan before 1959. It is hoax. In the Netherlands they call it a monkey sandwich story. The licence plate number could have added some credibility to it. But then again, the truth is overrated. It matters more what people believe. It could still be chance, but the aim of this argument is not to prove that it isn’t, but to plausibly suggest that it isn’t, and the argument isn’t over yet.

Seeing meaning when there isn’t any

“Everything is just random,” some pundits are eager to explain, “but because your mind is wired to see meaning, you see meaning. AIII 118 is just a random sequence of characters, but you attached meaning to it.” There is a problem with this argument however. This book might be a random sequence of characters too, and yet you think it isn’t. Are you delusional because you see words? Others might argue: “The language of Austria is German. Armistice in German is Waffenstillstand, so why doesn’t it read WIII 118, or even better, W1111 1918?”

If someone gives you a message, you don’t quibble about such details. If I say “hello” to you, you are not going to discuss with me why I didn’t say “hi” instead, unless you are a philosopher with a lot of time on your hands. Great Britain, the United States and France, which were all major participants in the war, all use the word armistice. It might be better to ask yourself how many sequences of characters with a length of six to eight are possible, and how many of them could refer to date of the armistice ending the war? That’s only a small portion for sure.

The law of small numbers

Everything is random and weird coincidences happen by chance. This is the law of large numbers. Pundits use the birthday problem to demonstrate that weird coincidences happen more often than we think. If you happen to share a birthday with another person in a small group, it might strike you as odd, but the chance of someone sharing a birthday with another person is already 50% in a group of 23. What they don’t tell you, is that the chance of you being one of those persons is a lot smaller. Weird coincidences are likely to happen, but less likely to happen to you. So if they happen to you all the time, it would be hard to explain that as mere randomness.

And the law of large numbers may not apply to the licence plate number on Franz Ferdinand’s car. It applies to large numbers. How many historic events are out there that equal the importance of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the Armistice of 11 November 1918 or D-Day? The answer probably is not many. It is less likely that meaningful coincidences happen to such major historic events. To make it even harder to believe, the licence plate number coincidence may not only imply a prediction of the end date of the war, but also the success of the assassination attempt, and this event being the trigger for the war, if it isn’t chance.

Only a few historic events equal the importance of the assassination of Franz Ferdinand and the end of World War I. Perhaps this is just randomness like the incidence of kidney cancer varying wildly in small population samples. There are only a few historic events of similar importance. D-Day is one of those events, and the scheme surrounding D-Day is even more puzzling. This is a bit like four people out of a population of six suffering from kidney cancer and this population being the royal family of the country. Perhaps it is just randomness, but an experienced physician would consider other options.

The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 was predicted. The coincidences surrounding the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 are truly dumbfounding. So if you are God, and you want your minions to notice, then what are your options? Framing the question like this makes the answer appear obvious. Indeed, there are countless other options, but asking why this particular path is chosen is as meaningless as asking why I said “hello” instead of “hi”. If you took a certain course of action to a certain aim, there are countless others you didn’t take. So if God wants us to take notice, we live in interesting times.

1. Thinking, Fast and Slow. Daniel Kahneman (2011). Penguin Books.
2. Curses! Archduke Franz Ferdinand and His Astounding Death Car. Mike Dash (2013). Smithsonian. [link]

Church tower in pond

Psychics, mediums, and premonition

Our intuition processes more information than we realise. Sometimes this seems like magic. For example, when you drive your car, you may suddenly discover that you travelled a long distance without being aware of it. This is more likely to happen when you are a frequent driver. Research has demonstrated that many abilities can be trained to the point that they become a subconscious process. An important domain of our intuition is social information. Most humans intuitively read body language and facial expressions and adapt their actions to the clues other people give while not being aware of it. It may be that mediums are so good at asking the right questions to influence people’s minds and reading people’s body language and facial expressions that they appear psychic.

A medium named Char appeared regularly on Dutch television between 2002 and 2010. She did readings and claimed to contact the dead. Sometimes she appeared to retrieve specific information that only the person receiving the reading and the deceased person could have known. In 2008 journalists from the Dutch television programme Zembla investigated her performances. People wanted to hear that their deceased loved ones were doing fine, and guess what, they were always doing fine up there somewhere.

Zembla claimed that the best parts of the readings were shown so that her performance on television appeared better than it was in reality. Char was often wrong but many of these situations weren’t aired. Also James Randi weighed in. Randi is sceptical of paranormal claims. He argued that much of the information she retrieved was extracted from the people receiving the reading. It was Zembla’s intent to expose Char as a fraud so it wasn’t fair journalism. The episode of Zembla is on YouTube. It is in Dutch with some parts in English.

Now it happens to be that the name Char equals the first four characters of the word charlatan. Notice the word characters in the previous sentence because this word starts with the same four characters. Interestingly, I am discussing Char’s character, so this is indeed a funny coincidence. Yet I still remember quite a few guesses she made that defy conventional explanation and left the people receiving the reading dumbfounded. It seemed impossible to extract this information from the persons receiving the reading. Zembla didn’t address these cases. If these had been incidents of fraud, for example if there had been actors involved in the programme, Zembla would have mentioned it.

So what to think of these unexplained cases? Can mediums sometimes make better guesses than chance allows for? If we assume this universe to be a simulation running a script then it must be possible. A so-called gift can just be a sequence of coincidences that aren’t really coincidences because of the script. And this can make a medium believe that he or she has a gift. An incident in my life showed how a premonition can come true. It can’t be explained in a conventional way. On 9 February 2009 Western Europe was hit by a heavy storm of the kind that happens only once in a decade or so. I predicted such a storm on this exact date two months earlier. Only I feared that it would strike the Netherlands while it ended up in Northern France, a miss of 400 kilometres (250 miles). But that is still remarkable and beyond mere chance.

I made the prediction on 19 December 2008 on an internet message board:
https://www.maroc.nl/forums/het-nieuws-van-de-dag/260485-9-februari-2009-de-duistere-zijde-de-maan-1-print.html

It is in Dutch so I made a translation that can be found here:
http://www.naturalmoney.org/feb9darkside.html

On 9 February 2009 the Charles De Gaulle Airport of Paris had to be closed because of the storm.1 How the prediction came to be is a peculiar story. Somehow I did get a hunch that a super storm might strike the Netherlands on 9 February 2009 and that large parts of the Netherlands would be flooded. It began with an article on an alternative news website about a programme called the webbot that allegedly had made accurate predictions in the past. In the autumn of 2008 the webbot predicted that in the first half of 2009 large areas of land would be permanently flooded. The article did not mention any specifics about the location but the word ‘permanently’ suggests that the area is below sea level. That narrowed it down to the Netherlands.

The date of 9 February also came up as I believed it to be the birthday of the lady of the dormitory who appeared to interfere with my life by making strange coincidences happen. There was a list of names, telephone numbers of parents, and birthdates of the students living in the dormitory. I remember the birthdays of some of my schoolmates from secondary school because there had been a similar list. I once stupified a few of them by telling them their birthdates so my memory on these issues can be quite exact. Only a genealogy site mentions her birthday as being 7 February.

More so-called clues came in confirming the suggestion. For instance, a blogger on the website Sargasso.nl had written on 2 September 2008 (2/9) about a storm that would strike the Netherlands on 9 February 2009 (9/2) and that large parts of the Netherlands would be flooded. The numerical coincidence of the dates was also a bit peculiar. That scared me. A flooding of the Netherlands would put millions of lives in danger. This is the link to the article in Dutch (you might need Google translate to read it):
http://sargasso.nl/wat-als-het-toch-fout-gaat/

The article features some cool graphics showing parts of the Netherlands being flooded on 9 February 2009. It was intended as a what if scenario, not as a prediction, but as I already suspected that an epic storm would hit the Netherlands on this specific date, I saw this as an eerie warning sign. And I didn’t come across the website or the information before I had the premonition. I found it as a result of looking for clues confirming my suspicion.

netherlands
The Netherlands

On 13 December 2008 my son Rob and I went to Enschede and we visited the campus of the University of Twente were I lived as a student and where I had met the lady. Rob didn’t know of my premonition because I hadn’t discussed it with him. On the campus was a work of art, a church tower in a pond that refers to flooded land (see featured image). It was evening and it was dark. The moon was shining. There was a thin layer of ice on the pond. Suddenly Rob told me that he saw the coastline of the Netherlands reflected in the moonlight on the ice surface. I couldn’t see this at first but Rob kept on pointing at the ice until I saw the coastline too. The Dutch coastline has a shape that is unlikely to be mimicked by some random accident (as you can see on the image above).

Lage Landen album cover
Album cover of Lage Landen of Boudewijn de Groot

This freaked me out as the church tower in the pond refers to flooded land while the storm could threaten the coastline of the Netherlands. There would be a lunar eclipse on 9 February 2009. That was an eerie coincidence. There were a few more coincidences that pushed me into making the prediction. For instance, there is an album from Boudewijn de Groot named Lage Landen (Low Countries). The 11th track named Lage Landen is about a super storm hitting the Netherlands. The song suggests that the storm will hit on a Monday while 9 February 2009 was a Monday. Monday is the day dedicated to the Moon (Moon-day). This is another peculiar coincidence because of the lunar eclipse and the coastline of the Netherlands being reflected in the moonlight.

There is some interesting numerology in it. The song being the 11th track lasting 5:55 minutes is a peculiar coincidence (see picture). The date 9 February 2009 refers to 11:11. The date 9 February 2009 can be rewritten as 9-2-2009 while 9 + 2 = 11 and 2 + 0 + 0 + 9 = 11. Many people see 11:11 on clocks and I did too. When I first came to the campus during the introduction weeks, I stayed at Calslaan 9-2. This was the most notorious residence hall on the campus by far. The combination of this address being a reference to 9 February, it being the most notorious residence hall, the campus being the place where I met the lady who appears to be God, and her birthday being 9 February, makes this coincidence remarkable.

I issued the warning a few days later on 18 December 2008 even though it seemed nearly certain that it would be ignored. Normally I don’t have predictive powers but this prediction was far more accurate than chance allows for. As a prediction it was pretty useless. Luckily it wasn’t taken seriously. Imagine that people had been evacuated because of this. That is why I don’t venture into making more predictions, even more so because most of my predictions don’t come true anyway. At least the incident sheds some light on why mediums can be more accurate than chance allows for while they make many misses at the same time.

Featured image: Church tower in pond on the campus of the University of Twente. Source Unknown. [copyright]

1. Storm shuts Paris airports. The Guardian (2009) [link]

Toujours pas d'attentats en France. Charlie Hebdo

Aftermath of the 11 September terror attacks

The above cartoon from the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo’s new year’s edition of 2015 eerily foreshadows the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo that was to happen a few days later. Most of the editors were killed. Stéphane Charbonnier, the editorial director, drew a cartoon pointing at the possibility of a terrorist attack in January 2015. In English, the title reads: “No attacks yet in France.” The man then says “Wait! We have until the end of January to send you New Year wishes.”1

Pim Fortuyn and Theo Van Gogh assassinations

There are 911 days between two recent political killings in the Netherlands. This is remarkable as both incidents are related to the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks. On 6 May 2002 the Dutch populist politician Pim Fortuyn was assassinated by a left-wing extremist. Fortuyn gained momentum after the attacks of 11 September 2001 because of his stance against Islam and immigration.2

On 2 November 2004 the Dutch film producer Theo Van Gogh was killed by an Islamic fanatic for insulting the prophet Muhammad. The last film Van Gogh completed before his death, 06/05, was about the assassination of Pim Fortuyn.3 The date 2 November can be rewritten as 11/2 (American notation), while 112 is the European emergency telephone number. This is remarkable in combination with the 911 days between both assassinations.

On 2 November 2011, the French satirical paper Charlie Hebdo was attacked in Paris, shortly after the prophet Mohammed featured on its cover.4 This date being the same as the date of the assassination of Theo Van Gogh made the Dutch website Geenstijl.nl declare 2 November to be the most humourless day in the history of Islam.5

On the same day photographs of Umar Patek and his wife appeared in the news. The mastermind behind the attacks in Bali in 2002 posed with his wife for the camera during a reconstruction of his actions in Jakarta.6 The other perpetrators of the Bali bombings had already been executed on 9 November 2008.7 The date 9 November can be rewritten to 9/11 (European notation).

Madrid train bombings of 2004

On 11 March 2004 the Madrid train bombings took place. It was the largest terrorist attack after 11 September 2001. There were 912 calendar days between 11 September 2001 and 11 March 2004. Due to the different time zones Spain and the United States are in, the number of full days between the events was 911. In the Madrid train bombings 191 people were killed,8 a number that has the same digits as 911.

7 July 2005 London suicide bombings

The number seven appears to be behind the London suicide bombings of 7 July 2005. 7 July can be rewritten as 7/7, while the numbers of 2005 added up make 7, making three sevens or 7-7-7. The number of people killed, including the four suicide bombers was 56,9 also a multiple of seven. Two weeks later (which is 2 times 7 days) on 21 July 2005, another attack on London was staged,10 while 21 is three times seven or three sevens.

During the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 343 FNDY personnel were killed while 7 x 7 x 7 = 343.11 On 11 September 2001 the North American Aerospace Defense Command was conducting a military exercise named Global Guardian. One of the scenarios being simulated was a hijacking of planes.12 The London Police completed a terror training exercise which envisaged an attack on London’s transport network just days before the 7/7 terrorist attacks.13

Benghazi attack and China riots

On 11 September 2012, exactly 11 years after 11 September 2001, the US consulate in Benghazi was attacked. The ambassador and three others were killed. After the attacks riots broke out in a number of Islamic countries and angry people violated a number of Western embassies.14

On that day President Barack Obama was exactly 18,666 days old while 18 = 6 + 6 + 6. He was born on 4 August 1961. It just happens to be that 4 August is the 216<sup>th</sup> day of the year while 216 = 6 * 6 * 6. This is curious as many people considered President Obama to be the Antichrist.15 In this respect it is also remarkable that Satan’s character in History Channel’s Bible series resembled President Obama.16

Also on 11 September 2012, a territorial dispute between China and Japan over a group of islands in the East China Sea intensified. Anti-Japanese riots broke out in China and protesters gathered outside the Japanese embassy in Beijing.17 Japan’s ambassador-designate to China then fell ill and died in a Tokyo hospital a few days later.18

The coincidence is peculiar for a few reasons. It was 11 years after 11 September 2001 so this is an 11:11 related coincidence as 9 + 1 + 1 = 11. In both incidents there was violence near embassies. And in both instances an ambassador died. The relation with Obama 666 is also remarkable as he was born on the 216th day of the year. But that’s not all what happened on that day.

The Hague and Eindhoven public transport accidents

On 11 September 2012 a collision of trams 9 and 11 near the Hollands Spoor Station in The Hague in the Netherlands caused 36 people to be wounded.19 A few days before 11 September 2012, a report came into the news that Al-Qaeda had recruited two Somali men to carry out a suicide attack in The Hague.20

Also on 11 September 2012, a major bus accident took place in Eindhoven, causing 27 wounded,21 while 27 = 9 + 9 + 9 and 999 is the emergency telephone number in Great Britain and Ireland. The bus accident in Eindhoven happened 11 years after the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, while two emergency landings happened in one day on Eindhoven Airport on 11 September 2010, exactly 9 years after the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001,22 producing a 9:11 related coincidence. As 36 = 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 and 27 = 9 + 9 + 9, the numbers of wounded people in both accidents are also interesting.

Some other tidbits

Exactly ten years after the attacks, on 11 September 2011, a blogger using undisclosed sources noted that the estimated death toll in Iraq and Afghanistan amounted to 911,911. An interesting number, he added.23

On 8 August 2012, about 100 firemen responded to what the FDNY called an equipment fire likely sparked by welding on the 88th floor of 1 World Trade Center that was being built.24 The date, 8 August (8/8) and 88th floor make an 11:11 related coincidence. It is also related to the World Trade Center and emergency services.

On 11 September 2015, a powerful storm toppled a construction crane at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Islam’s holiest site, killing 111 people. It is remarkable that the crane fell over on 11 September and that it was operated by the Saudi Binladin Group, founded by the father of Osama Bin Laden, while most hijackers of the 11 September 2001 attacks came from Saudi Arabia. An engineer for the Binladin Group said the accident was an act of God.25

The 22 March 2016 Brussels bombings consisted of two attacks. The first bombing targeted the desk of American Airlines on the Brussels’ airport. American Airlines was one of the airlines used for the attacks of 11 September 2001. The second bombing was exactly at 9:11 AM.26 The perpetrators probably did not plan this as the bombings have been executed hastily after the Belgian police caught the mastermind of the Paris terrorist attacks a few days earlier.

Featured image: Toujours pas d’attentats en France. Stéphane Charbonnier. Charlie Hebdo (2015). [Copyright]

1. Murdered French Cartoonist Charb Predicted Attack In Chilling Cartoon. Huffington Post Canada (2015). [link]
2. Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn assassinated. The Guardian (2002). [link]
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4. French satirical paper Charlie Hebdo attacked in Paris. BBC (2011). [link]
5. Tijdschrift Charlie Hebdo vangt Moslim-molotov. Van Rossem. Geenstijl (2011). [link]
6. The bomber and his bride: Chilling smile of Al Qaeda mastermind behind Bali bombings as he is paraded with his wife. Wil Longbottom. Mail Online (2011). [link]
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8. 2004 Madrid train bombings. Wikipedia. [link]
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10. 21 July 2005 London bombings. Wikipedia. [link]
11. September 11 attacks. Wikipedia. [link]
12. Global Guardian. Wikipedia. [link]
13. Counter-terrorist training exercise days before 7/7 was ‘entirely a coincidence’. Mail Online (2011). [link]
14. 2012 Benghazi attack. Wikipedia. [link]
15. Poll: 13% think Obama is the anti-Christ; 29% believe in aliens. Ruth Brown. USA Today (2013). [link]
16. ‘The Bible’ producers: Satan/Obama? ‘Utter nonsense’. Ann Oldenburg. USA Today (2013). [link]
17. Senkaku islands dispute escalates as China sends out patrol ships. Associated Press (2012). [link]
18. Japan’s ambassador-designate to China dies in Tokyo – ministry. Reuters (2012). [link]
19. Tientallen gewonden door aanrijding trams in Den Haag. Nu.nl (2012). [link]
20. ‘Den Haag doelwit van al-Qaeda’. Nu.nl (2012). [link]
21. Gewonden door aanrijding passagiersbus in Eindhoven. Nu.nl (2012). [link]
22. Twee noodlandingen in korte tijd op Eindhoven Airport. Ronald. Travel.blog.nl (2010). [link]
23. Humbug. Dan Dailey. Wandervogel Diary (2011). [link]
24. FDNY Responds to Fire Report at WTC. Katherine Creag. NBC New York (2012). [link]
25. Mecca crane collapse. Wikipedia. [link]
26. Strikes Claimed by ISIS Shut Brussels and Shake European Security. Alissa J. Rubin, Aurelien Breeden and Anita Raghavan. New York Times (2016). [link]