I wrote the following words long ago, and they were first published in 1983. They ring true today, in terms of the synchromystic milieu in which we find ourselves.
Cryptologic or coincidence?
Jim Brandon should be credited with calling attention to the name Watts/Watkins/Watson, and its entanglement with inexplicable things. Some other names involved in mysterious events pinpointed by Brandon are Bell, Mason, Parsons, Pike, Vernon and Warren. The influence of such names as Mason, Pike, Warren, and Lafayette, for example, issues, in some cryptopolitical. and occult way, from their ties to the Masonic tradition. Jim Brandon's The Rebirth of Pan discusses this thesis in detail. Clearly, however, a massive name game is being played out across Mysterious America, and the proof of such a hypothesis goes beyond mere chance.
In Wild Talents, Charles Fort thought about some of these same things when he wrote: "My liveliest interest is not so much in things, as in relations of things. I have spent much time thinking about the alleged pseudorelations that are called coincidences. What if some of them should not be coincidences?"
Noting that the vanishing act of Ambrose Bierce was followed by the vanishing of Ambrose Small some six years later, Fort continued: "But what could the disappearance of one Ambrose, in Texas, have to do with the disappearance of another Ambrose, in Canada? There was in these questions an appearance of childishness that attracted my respectful attention."
Charles Fort, thus, engaged in the name game, and attempted to understand the quick explanation given for it, coincidence. "In the explanation of coincidence, " Fort emphasized in Wild Talents, "there is much of laziness, and helplessness, and response to an instinctive fear that a scientific dogma will be endangered. It is a tag, or a label: but of course every tag, or label, fits well enough at times."
So, in the midst of all the Fayettevilles, Wetzels, Decaturs and Devils, someone must feel comfortable in knowing they believe they are merely coincidences.
But ponder Fort: "There is a view by which it can be shown, or more or less demonstrated, that there never has been a coincidence. That is, in anything like a final sense. By a coincidence is meant a false appearance, or suggestion, of relations among circumstances. But anybody who accepts that there is an underlying oneness of all things, accepts that there are no utter absences of relations among circumstances."
And what of any one of our own name games? To look personally, closer at your name or the place you live, is instructive. For me, one who has examined deeply the pattern in names and things, I was struck by some insights pointed out to me, personally, by Jim Brandon concerning “Coleman.” Alfred Watkins...wrote in his The Old Straight Track, the “Coleman, who gave his name to all kinds of points and places on the tracks, was a head-man in making them, and probably worked from the Colehills, using beacon fires for making out the ley.”
In a similar vein, I. Shah's The Sufis demonstrates the origin of my name via Coalman, the charcoal burners, the Perceivers, the Carbonari, and their links with the occult.
Perhaps, then, the name game has played a special trick on me. I seem predisposed to try to scrutinize names of people and places for the purpose of perceiving the possible hidden meanings and patterns behind them. The lay of the land, and the sighters of the strange, then truly, hold many secrets as we hobnob about America. ~ from Mysterious America (Faber and Faber, 1983; Faber and Faber, 1989; Simon and Schuster, 2007).
Mysterious America: "An entertaining and open-minded book...A useful reference tool as well as a record of the unexplained."-- Library Journal