I'm starting to think more about these "coincidences" & did a quick web search to find some theories. Jung had a theory on coincidences & synchronicity. Something Hanso Foundation & the two scientists could have been interested in. Here's a quick & dirty on Jung's theory:
Synchronicities are meaningful coincidences.
Psychologist Carl Jung believed the traditional notions of causality were incapable of explaining some of the more improbable forms of coincidence. Where it is plain, felt Jung, that no causal connection can be demonstrated between two events, but where a meaningful relationship nevertheless exists between them, a wholly different type of principle is likely to be operating. Jung called this principle "synchronicity."
In The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche, Jung describes how, during his research into the phenomenon of the collective unconscious, he began to observe coincidences that were connected in such a meaningful way that their occurrence seemed to defy the calculations of probability. He provided numerous examples culled from his own psychiatric case-studies, many now legendary.
"A young woman I was treating had, at a critical moment, a dream in which she was given a golden scarab. While she was telling me his dream I sat with my back to the closed window. Suddenly I heard a noise behind me, like a gentle tapping. I turned round and saw a flying insect knocking against the window-pane from outside. I opened the window and caught the creature in the air as it flew in. It was the nearest analogy to the golden scarab that one finds in our latitudes, a scarabaeid beetle, the common rose-chafer (Cetoaia urata) which contrary to its usual habits had evidently felt an urge to get into a dark room at this particular moment. I must admit that nothing like it ever happened to me before or since, and that the dream of the patient has remained unique in my experience."
Who then, might we say, was responsible for the synchronous arrival of the beetle--Jung or the patient? While on the surface reasonable, such a question presupposes a chain of causality Jung claimed was absent from such experience. As psychoanalyst Nandor Fodor has observed, the scarab, by Jung's view, had no determinable cause, but instead complemented the "impossibility" of the analysis. The disturbance also (as synchronicities often do) prefigured a profound transformation. For, as Fodor observes, Jung's patient had--until the appearance of the beetle--shown excessive rationality, remaining psychologically inaccessible. Once presented with the scarab, however, her demeanor improved and their sessions together grew more profitable.
Because Jung believed the phenomenon of synchronicity was primarily connected with psychic conditions, he felt that such couplings of inner (subjective) and outer (objective) reality evolved through the influence of the archetypes, patterns inherent in the human psyche and shared by all of mankind. These patterns, or "primordial images," as Jung sometimes refers to them, comprise man's collective unconscious, representing the dynamic source of all human confrontation with death, conflict, love, sex, rebirth and mystical experience. When an archetype is activated by an emotionally charged event (such as a tragedy), says Jung, other related events tend to draw near. In this way the archetypes become a doorway that provide us access to the experience of meaningful (and often insightful) coincidence.
Implicit in Jung's concept of synchronicity is the belief in the ultimate "oneness" of the universe. As Jung expressed it, such phenomenon betrays a "peculiar interdependence of objective elements among themselves as well as with the subjective (psychic) states of the observer or observers." Jung claimed to have found evidence of this interdependence, not only in his psychiatric studies, but in his research of esoteric practices as well.
Of the I Ching, a Chinese method of divination which Jung regarded as the clearest expression of the synchronicity principle, he wrote: "The Chinese mind, as I see it at work in the I Ching, seems to be exclusively preoccupied with the chance aspect of events. What we call coincidence seems to be the chief concern of this peculiar mind, and what we worship as causality passes almost unnoticed...While the Western mind carefully sifts, weighs, selects, classifies, isolates, the Chinese picture of the moment encompasses everything down to the minutes nonsensical detail, because all of the ingredients make up the observed moment."
Similarly, Jung discovered the synchronicity within the I Ching also extended to astrology. In a letter to Freud dated June 12, 1911, he wrote: "My evenings are taken up largely with astrology. I make horoscopic calculations in order to find a clue to the core of psychological truth. Some remarkable things have turned up which will certainly appear incredible to you...I dare say that we shall one day discover in astrology a good deal of knowledge that has been intuitively projected into the heavens."
Freud was alarmed by Jung's letter. Jung's interest in synchronicity and the paranormal rankled the strict materialist; he condemned Jung for wallowing in what he called the "black tide of the mud of occultism." Just two years earlier, during a visit to Freud in Vienna, Jung had attempted to defend his beliefs and sparked a heated debate. Freud's skepticism remained calcified as ever, causing him to dismiss Jung's paranormal leanings, "in terms of so shallow a positivism," recalls Jung, "that I had difficulty in checking the sharp retort on the tip of my tongue." A shocking synchronistic event followed.
Jung writes in his memoirs:
While Freud was going on this way, I had a curious sensation. It was as if my diaphragm were made of iron and were becoming red-hot--a glowing vault. And at that moment there was such a loud report in the bookcase, which stood right next to us, that we both started up in alarm, fearing the thing was going to topple over on us. I said to Freud: 'There, that is an example of a so-called catalytic exteriorization phenomenon.' 'Oh come,' he exclaimed. 'That is sheer bosh.' 'It is not,' I replied. 'You are mistaken, Herr Professor. And to prove my point I now predict that in a moment there will be another such loud report! 'Sure enough, no sooner had I said the words that the same detonation went off in the bookcase. To this day I do not know what gave me this certainty. But I knew beyond all doubt that the report would come again. Freud only stared aghast at me. I do not know what was in his mind, or what his look meant. In any case, this incident aroused his distrust of me, and I had the feeling that I had done something against him. I never afterward discussed the incident with him."
In formulating his synchronicity principle, Jung was influenced to a profound degree by the "new" physics of the twentieth century, which had begun to explore the possible role of consciousness in the physical world. "Physics," wrote Jung in 1946, "has demonstrated...that in the realm of atomic magnitudes objective reality presupposes an observer, and that only on this condition is a satisfactory scheme of explanation possible."
"This means," he added, "that a subjective element attaches to the physicist's world picture, and secondly that a connection necessarily exists between the psyche to be explained and the objective space-time continuum." These discoveries not only helped loosen physics from the iron grip of its materialistic world-view, but confirmed what Jung recognized intuitively: that matter and consciousness - far from operating independently of each other--are, in fact, interconnected in an essential way, functioning as complementary aspects of a unified reality.
The belief suggested by quantum theory and by reports of synchronous events - that matter and consciousness interpenetrate is, of course, far from new.
Synchronicity reveals the meaningful connections between the subjective and objective world.
Synchronistic events provide an immediate religious experience as a direct encounter with the compensatory patterning of events in nature as a whole, both inwardly and outwardly.
All synchronistic phenomena can be grouped under three categories:
1 The coincidence of a psychic state in the observer with a simultaneous objective, external event that corresponds to the psychic state or content, (e.g. the scarab), where there is no evidence of a causal connection between the psychic state and the external event, and where, considering the psychic relativity of space and time, such a connection is not even conceivable.
2. The coincidence of a psychic state with a corresponding (more or less simultaneous) external even taking place outside the observer's field of perception, i.e. at a distance, and only verifiable afterward (e.g. the Stockholm fire).
3. The coincidence of a psychic state with a corresponding, not yet existent future event that is distant in time and can likewise only be verified afterward.
Food for thought...