How Many Coincidences does it Take to Become too Many?

Firefighters fight a large structure fire.
Firefighters fight a large structure fire.

I don’t know where I first heard that one is happenstance, twice is coincidence, and three times is enemy action, but it’s always struck me as right on the mark.

So let’s look at a recent collection of incidents. You can decide which category you think they fall into: Happenstance, coincidence or enemy action.

Fires at Food Processing Plants and Warehouses

Organic food seller Azure Standard’s headquarters in Oregon caught fire on April 19. The fire destroyed the building and their carob production facility and fruit packaging facility. it also halted production of liquids like oils, honey and vinegar.

On April 14, there was a large fire at Taylor Farms in Salinas, California, which processes many of the vegetables grown in the state. Both the Taylor Farms and Azure Standard buildings were a total loss.

Back in March, a Walmart distribution center near the Indianapolis airport caught on fire. There are some questions whether responding firefighters bungled the response, leading the 1.2 million square foot building to burn down.

Also in March, a Nestle food processing plant in Arkansas caught on fire. A week later, they were still assessing the damage.

In February, a fire broke out in the country’s largest soy processing plant in Claypool, Indiana. And the list goes on. In the past year, there have been more than 20 fires at meat, potatoes, rice, and other food processing plants.

So, is food processing simply a dangerous, fire-prone industry? Or is there an attempt to make the food crisis even worse? Sure, the local fire department came up with reasons for the fires, but who is to say a clever saboteur isn’t at work here? Or maybe some foreign hackers attacked automated machinery in a way that causes t to overheat or catch fire? If it can be done to Iranian centrifuges, what’s to say it can be done to food processing equipment?

Fires in Russia

Russia may have its own fire bug, or perhaps someone is using the same technique to attack their infrastructure in such a way that it is difficult to point fingers. Two days ago, a major building of the Russia Aerospace Defense Force, where they design missiles and other weapons systems, caught on fire. Just a few hours later, a major chemical production facility burned down. It was reportedly the largest producer of butyl acetate and industrial solvents in Russia and Eastern Europe.

Two fires on the same day in a country that is at war. Suspicious at best. Could it by a sleeper cell? Maybe our cyber folks or the volunteer hackers working for the Ukrainians decided to strike back? We’ll probably never know.

Two Russian Oligarchs Dead

Also, in just the past few days, two Russian oligarchs and their families have been found dead in suspicious circumstances. The Tass news agency reported that Vladislav Avayev was found dead of a gunshot wound. While the state says police suspect he killed his wife and children and them himself in a murder-suicide, I think we all know that the investigation will reveal not what really happened but what the Russian authorities want the public to believe.

Just a day later, Sergei Protosenya was found dead at his house in Spain with a bloody knife and axe by his side. His wife and daughter had also been killed. It sounds like a half-hearted attempt to implicate him in another murder-suicide, even though I’ve never heard of anyone committing suicide with an axe.

Is someone killing Russian Oligarchs for not supporting Putin? Or are these two random acts of violence? Again, you get to decide.

Too Many Coincidences

Sometimes coincidences are just that. Sometimes there is a sinister force in action behind the scenes. The difficulty is in knowing which is which, as often there is little or no proof either way.

As preppers, we need to note the trend, whether we believe it is happenstance, coincidence, or enemy action. If food plants are burning down, that becomes a data point that may impact our prepping plans, regardless of whether these are accidents or attacks. If NATO wants to prolong the war in Ukraine to weaken Russia without costing any German, Polish, or American lives, what should matter to us as preppers is that the war will last; the “why” isn’t as important.

It’s important to gather data, assess it, draw reasonable conclusions, and act upon them. Sometimes that data comes from unusual sources. Sometimes it is from people who see a false flag op behind every tree or a conspiracy theory behind every bush. Does that mean we should ignore their perspectives? No, but neither should it outweigh evidence to the contrary.

Another saying I like is that just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you. In my experience, a healthy level of paranoia is not a bad thing. Just don’t get carried away until you are sure it’s enemy action and not a coincidence.