Numerology? Anyone?

Here’s one for you.

For the past, oh, I don’t know – couple of months? – I’ve been increasingly startled to see a line of numbers lined up whenever I glance at the clock.

It’s 1:11. Or it’s 11:11. Or it’s 2:22. Or 5:55. Or 12:12.

This has happened so often that I have started avoiding digital clocks. I don’t know, it’s just getting kind of creepy. Certainly has gotten my attention.

Get this: the digital clock in my car doesn’t work 98% of the time. Oh, except for the other night I happened to glance at it on the way to the theatre. It worked fine for that rare moment: 5:55.

I’ve been meaning to do some asking around in the New Age community to see if anyone has any insights or theories about this phenomenon — it’s happening way too often to be dismissed as a coincidence — but I haven’t done so yet.

In the wee hours of this morning, my dog awoke from a sound sleep and hopped off the bed. He never, ever does this unless he’s really sick so I immediately got up to see if he was okay. The clock read 3:33. I followed Max out of the bedroom, now almost angry about whatever was going on between me and the Unseen (well, let’s say irritated). He walked to the top of the stairs, looked up at me for a head pat, and turned around without further ado to return to bed. He hopped up, curled up in his little bed, and went to sleep. He wasn’t sick, he wasn’t distressed, he wasn’t agitated by a strange noise: nothing. Just had to wake up Big Mommy Beagle at 3:33 AM for some unknown reason.

I welcome all theories, including scoffing dismissals, Dr. Who-inspired time/space wackadoodle, and occult musings. When the clock shows 6:66 you’ll find me seeking refuge a a monastery in some remote and beautiful location.

12 Replies to “Numerology? Anyone?”

  1. Hi Peacbang,
    I’ve been an 11:11 watcher/noticer for a few years now, and it sounds like you are noticing the sequences of numbers too. I understand it as some sort of “hello” from another realm. I make a note of each time and location I notice 11:11 and have been keeping a written log for three years. I used to subscribe to a magazine called, “11:11.” My sightings seem to go in spurts, and I notice that more synchronicities happen when I notice 11:11. It’s a little sign for me to pay attention and keep alert. I find it a delightful thing when it shows up. A little pause when I’m typing away and happen to glance down and see it on the computer clock, or driving and see it on my car clock, or a couple times had an amount due of $11.11 at a store register. The 11:11 sighting has happened to me once this week and once last week, but sometimes it comes much more often. I wonder if your other sequential numbers are a more powerful sign. Something seems to be stirring. [Hi, Manda. I looked up again tonight and guess what? 11:11. Freaked me out. A stirring, but of what? I guess I’ll just keep noticing and appreciating the fascinating mystery of life. Thanks for writing. At least I know it’s not just me. – PB]

  2. Um, keeping records is all well and good, but are you keeping records of all the times you look at a clock and it’s *not* 1:11/etc? It’s not the universe sending you messages. Just that you notice the 1:11 times more, and so your mind seeks out significant moments around that time. It’s confirmation bias.

    Perhaps instead of the new age community you could try science. There, instead of personal anecdotes and wishful thinking you will find theories supported by actual data.

    PB, I am a big fan of yours, so please take my comment in the respectful spirit which it’s intended 🙂

  3. Hi PB.
    The 11:11 thing has been happening to me for about a year… maybe a bit longer. I would notice it on clocks and because none of the clocks or phones I have are synced it would happen multiple times. Like you, i would notice other strings of numbers. After doing a little research i’ve come up with nothing.
    The new agers seem to think it is some sort of signal. Others think it is some sort of group conciousness thing because more and more people are seeing it.
    The first time I “bumped into” 11:11 though was through a Christian friend of mine. She used to go to 2nd Baptist down here in Houston and she told me their contemporary service (geared toward younger, hip crowd) started at 11:11 and she cited some scripture which for the life of me i can’t remember. A lot of tweens say it’s good luck and when you notice it you should make a wish… you know like an eyelash found on your cheek.

    Anyway, i dont know if this helped or not. My wife says I’m crazy. I text her now and again something cryptic like “Look at the time stamp!”
    What do you think it reads? YEH! 11:11 !!!

    So besides that i got nuthin’, nada, zip, zero.
    GAH!!!! [hand over mouth] Do you see it???
    Four zeros. 😀

  4. Manda, I wonder if we were subscribed to the same 11:11 newsletter? Did this come out of Mount Shasta?

    I’ll give an alternate perspective. Someone please correct me if I’m thinking about this wrong. If you look at clock randomly throughout the day, everytime you look there’s a 1 in 60 chance you’ll see a number pair like that. If you look at a clock 10 times in a day, you’d expect this to happen to you a little more frequently than once a week. And given that most people’s cellphones, computers, microwaves, and tvs have clocks on them, you might be looking at a clock quite a bit more often than 10 times a day.

    So it shouldn’t be that infrequent to begin with. In addition, people naturally tend to attach significance to streaks or clusters of events in a way that is exactly backwards to how randomness works. (I think our brains are wired to detect patterns.) We think if events are random, then they should be evenly spaced out. But that is wrong. A random sequence naturally produces a lot of streaks or clusters. So it would be unusual if you didn’t have a stretch of seeing more xx:xx’s than you’re used to.

    Finally, factor in the human tendency for confirmation bias. We tend to treat every positive “hit” as proof that something is going on, and ignore all the negative “misses” which should be equally strong proof that nothing is going on. In other words, you strongly notice when the clock says 11:11 and you don’t as much notice when the clock says 3:17, but each event should be given equal significance. Again, I think our brains are just wired to so this. Confirmation bias is partly how cold readers are able to convince total strangers that they know all about them.

    On the other hand, I have no idea how often you look at a clock or how often you’re seeing 11:11 and 3:33, so maybe something truly spooky is going on.

  5. that’s why I wear a watch with roman numerals on it – to avoid this sort of mystery – it’s creepy in a way

  6. No — because like I said, it’s not just the 11:11 or 1:11. It’s the 3:33 and 4:44, too! Take THAT, Science!

    Well … does your clock sync up with the Naval Observatory time? It’s entirely possible that you’re noticing 11:11, 1:11, 3:33, or 4:44 at the times when it isn’t really that time.


    And if having an accurate clock really doesn’t matter here, maybe you should consider the comments about confirmation bias posted earlier. If all you’re doing is noticing the “hits” and not the “misses,” it probably isn’t that spectacularly mysterious.

  7. Not quite 1 in 60, since 6am to 12noon and 5pm to 12 midnight won’t have any times that follow the pattern (except 11:11) . The times that will occur, therefore, are only 11:11, 1:11, 2:22, 3:33, 4:44 and 5:55. They are definitely not randomly spaced throughout the day. Perhaps the early afternoon is a time that PB is more likely to be looking at a clock (working in the office/house?) Maybe after 6pm or before 1pm she is busy making dinner/going out on business, and so more likely to look at the time on her watch.

  8. Wait. Wait. I have an idea for an experiment.

    Cover up all the digital clocks you have (use a postit note perhaps). Put a notepad next to each one. Then each time you look at the clock, record the time, and any comments. The reason to cover up the clock is so that you are reminded to record every glance. There might be a paper in this!

  9. +1 on the confirmation bias idea.

    I look at these kinds of time stamps all of the time, because of my job. If one uses a 24 hour style clock, there’s also 22:22. In that case, if you zero-fill, it’s really 00:00, 01:11, 11:11, 03:33, 02:22, 04:44, 05:55. Then, would something like 12:12, 23:23, 21:21, 20:20, also count,
    since they include all four digits?

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