Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Poking around last night for something to blog about today, I visited this great website Historivision, which caters to short attention spans and offers Ripleyesque content, and the post entitled "The Strangest Coincidence Ever Recorded?" Having blogged about coincidences before, I had a listen and suggest that you do, too. It's an amazing story about 3 shipwrecks decades apart (1664, 1785, and 1820) in the same location - each with a lone survivor of the identical name. When I searched for further information about these wrecks, I found that writer and blogger Rick Spilman had published the answers I was looking for a mere 38 minutes earlier. Spilman authenticates the story in his article, "The Unsinkable Hugh Williams – Truth Behind the Legend?," but points out the following:

  • The Menai Strait off the coast of Wales (depicted above) was treacherous, but was also frequently travelled. Spilman estimates that some 300 ships went down in the 2 centuries that the story spans and there were probably thousands of victims, increasing the likelihood that some would share the same name.
  • "Hugh Williams" is a very common Welsh name.
  • The date of the 19th c. shipwreck is in question, with sources indicating a different year (1842) and a conflicting month (August rather than May).

Spilman writes, "So it appears that the video version on the Internet may have been slimmed down and improved a bit." I agree with his conclusion that "It is a good sea story all the same." But perhaps the strangest maritime coincidence - although again the name of the victim is not uncommon - is that covered in my post, Custom of the sea.
Previous shipwreck-related posts:

No comments:

Post a Comment

You may add your comments here.