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23 Enigma

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23 Enigma is the belief that all incidents and events associated with number 23 (e.g. which happened on the 23rd of any month) are somehow tied into a centuries-old plan, possibly, devised by THEM.


Robert Anton Wilson cites William S. Burroughs as being the first person to believe in the 23 enigma.[1] Wilson, in an article in Fortean Times, related the following story:

I first heard of the 23 enigma from William S Burroughs, author of Naked LunchNova Express, etc. According to Burroughs, he had known a certain Captain Clark, around 1960 in Tangier, who once bragged that he had been sailing 23 years without an accident. That very day, Clark’s ship had an accident that killed him and everybody else aboard. Furthermore, while Burroughs was thinking about this crude example of the irony of the gods that evening, a bulletin on the radio announced the crash of an airliner in Florida, USA. The pilot was another captain Clark and the flight was Flight 23.

Burroughs wrote a short story in 1967 titled "23 Skidoo". The term "23 skidoo" was popularized in the early 1920s and means "it's time to get [leave] while the getting is good".

Robert Anton Wilson considered it an actual material-plane demonstration of confirmation bias.


  • The chromosome conspiracy claims that humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes.
  • Julius Caesar was stabbed 23 times when he was killed.
  • Olof Palme was shot around 23:23 local time (give or take 1.5 minutes).
  • The Earth is inclined on it's orbital plane by 23.5 degrees. The "point-five" can be represented as 5 = 2 + 3.
  • The Number 23, is the 23rd Movie directed by Joel Schumacher. It was also released in the United States on February 23, 2007.
  • Serial killer Ted Bundy was allegedly executed on January 23, 1989. The records show that he was actually executed January 24, 1989 at 7:16 AM (7 + 16 = 23).
  • The sum of the first 23 primes is 874, which is divisible by 23.
  • There were 23 problems on David Hilbert's famous list of unsolved mathematical problems, presented to the International Congress of Mathematicians in Paris in 1900
  • The first message sent by telegraph was a quotation from the Book of Numbers, chapter 23, verse 23
  • 23 is the width of the Arecibo Message, sent into Space in search of Extraterrestrial Intelligence.
  • 23 is the TCP/IP port used for Telnet and is the default for the Telnet command.
  • the letter W has 2 points down and 3 up = 23 and is also bellow the numbers 2 and 3 or 23 it is also the 23rd letter of the alphabet

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