My Writing Setup
Comic Lettering
Science Fiction Writing
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Wildly Improbable

Category: Whimsy Tags: Probability UFOs Cartoons


Slightly freaked out at the moment — but only slightly — having just experienced an utter doozy of a co-incidence. Everyone has one of these at least once in their lives, and this is mine.

I Spy As part of one my my side-projects I’m investigating a story1 where a mysterious explosion, and strange object crashed, happened just off the Isle of Lewis in 1996. It’s mysterious because nothing was supposed to be there, no wreckage was found, and nothing was reported missing.

Well, no wreckage from the right time. A helicopter crashed in the area in 1982 and parts were recovered, but obviously had no connection to the 1996 event. Today I found a newspaper item which had the helicopter’s tail number: XZ247. And so I added that to the story.

A few hours later I’m scrolling through Facebook, I see someone’s posted an old Sparky cartoon from the early 1970s, I, Spy. A few panels in and there’s a thought-bubble. “XZ247 (which is code for AHA!)”


What? How is that possible? That those sequence of characters exist independently in two contexts is perhaps not so surprising.

But to encounter both of them within two hours of each other… eep!

  1. By which I mean the National Library of Scotland’s newspaper archives, the National Archives, etc. Not just some bloke with a YouTube channel. 

 Extra Intel Additional Intel

I use British English spelling and idioms, if you tend to worry about that sort of thing.

Additionally I'm Scottish, so 'outwith' is unquestionably a real word. As is 'drookit', 'puggled' and 'numpty'. I am occasionally all three of those.

I created this site using a combination of W3 CSS, Jekyll, Emacs and my inability to enjoy web development IDEs.

 Claims to FameClaims to Fame

My name is in the very first paragraph of the first page of the first GTA design document*. (Excluding cover and table of contents. I mean, right?)

I directed Britain's first ever Star Trek fan film, which we started production of in 2003 and released in 2007. We're still making episodes: Starship Intrepid