Thursday, March 23, 2023

A weird “glitch in the Matrix” experience

This morning I had a meeting at my school with the owner of a manufacturing company for which I do regular consulting work. He was coming to pay a bill and discuss some things. This was early, before the school's normal opening hours, so we were the only two there. I let him in and locked the door behind him. We do things the old-fashioned way, so he handed me an envelope of cash, and I sat down to count the money and write out a receipt by hand. He said he would go upstairs to the meeting room first and wait for me there.

When I counted the money, I found that it was $1000 short of the amount due. (A thousand is the largest denomination in everyday use in Taiwan, roughly equivalent to a twenty in the US, though its value is a bit higher than that.) I counted again several times, but the total kept coming up $1000 short. I checked to see if the missing bill was still in the envelope, or on the counter, or on the floor, but it wasn't. I counted again and again and checked everywhere, until I was 100% satisfied that he had given me the wrong amount. I took the cash upstairs and told him. He counted it himself, agreed it was the wrong amount, and handed me another thousand from his wallet.

I went back downstairs to stow the cash and write out the receipt -- and there in the middle of the counter, in plain sight, were two crisp new thousand-dollar bills in (using the term literally for once) "mint condition"! They were right there, on the otherwise empty counter on which I had counted the money, and where I had looked several times, very carefully, for the missing cash. It is simply not possible that the two bills were there all along. I had only gone upstairs for a minute, probably less; there was no one else in the building, and the door was locked. Yet there they were.

I thought to check the security camera footage to see what had happened, but the camera was -- very conveniently! -- out of order. My honest belief is that if I could view the footage, I would very likely see the $2000 just blink into existence out of nowhere. How confident am I that the money was not there when I left the counter? Extremely confident, not appreciably different from 100%. How confident am I that physical objects don't just materialize out of nowhere for no observable reason? Well . . . let's just say I've seen some pretty strange things in my puff.

After counting the cash several more times, to be absolutely certain that it was now $2000 more than the amount due, I went back upstairs and gave my client his receipt and $2000, explaining that I had somehow miscounted the first time around, and he had actually given me too much rather than not enough. He's the phlegmatic type who pretty much takes everything in his stride without asking too many questions, so he accepted this all as unremarkable, and we went on with our meeting.

But I didn't miscount the first time -- the first seven or eight times, rather -- and the two bills weren't there before. I'm as certain of this as I can be of any empirical matter. Even if we assume that I somehow did miscount, or somehow failed to notice the two bills lying right in front of me on the counter, isn't it remarkable that my error should have coincided with an equal and opposite error on his part -- with him mistakenly overpaying by $1000 and me mistakenly thinking he had underpaid by precisely the same amount?

Later, after the meeting, I counted the money several more times just to make sure the extra $2000 hadn't vanished again like fairy gold.

I realize that this story will not seem impressive to anyone except me, the one who experienced it. You'll just think, "Well, he must have made a mistake." But I'm sure I didn't. Either (a) things can just appear out of nowhere for no explicable reason, or (b) I can be 100% sure about something I've seen with my own eyes and carefully confirmed and reconfirmed and yet still be wrong. Either way, all bets are off.


Craig Davis said...

Perhaps you are "on a list". Perhaps you are on "the" list. Perhaps the watchers decided to play a trick on you. Maybe as a way to liven up their otherwise dull existence. Maybe to study your reaction. Just throwing it out there as a mundane explanation, albeit a really creepy, mundane explanation.

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

Craig, I assume you're talking about the Stasi, not the fallen angels from the Book of Enoch? Not that that's much better . . .

ben said...

Ah the ever-looming possibility of psychosis...

But I wonder what could achieve something like this. I mean how could spirits pull something off like this. Maybe spirits can teleport objects, but how could they provide crisp notes? They got them directly from the printer?

WanderingGondola said...

A small miracle of God, or one of his angels. Lovely!

Still, I have sometimes wondered how many other countries have similar levels of the secret surveillance Anonymous Conservative covers. Three-letter agencies watching my internet activity is disturbing enough...

a_probst said...

If you had jotted down the serial numbers of the two new bills, I wonder what a mint enquiry would have disclosed.

Ra1119bee said...


I believe (and have commented about before) that when odd events happen to us, events which doesn't have a 'logical' explanation, it's a message and/or lesson from our Soul.
When it happens in our waking hours , it's called synchronicity.

Perhaps this 'lesson 'was not for you but for the other person, the owner of the manufacturing company.
Sometimes we are teachers and sometimes we are students.

What lesson was needed to be learned/or taught ?
Maybe, the importance of Trust/Honesty.
Without trust in our Fellow Man, we live in fear, uncertainty, chaos and humanity

You wrote:"I went back downstairs to stow the cash and write out the receipt -- and there in the middle of the counter, in plain sight, were two crisp new thousand-dollar bills in (using the term literally for once) "mint condition"!

My response:

Interesting the reference to 2.
All power sources have a dual nature on this duality planet.

I found this information ( copy and paste below )
to be very thought provoking :

"In the bible, the number 2 has, ironically two different meanings. The first meaning is about unity and reflection, like a mirror or two sides of the same coin.

It involves the idea of a witness, a pair or two becoming one. The second meaning biblical meaning of the number 2 is about division or differences and centers around the idea of a choice or a duality in options.

cae said...

I love reading about things like this, and what I try to do 'going in' is keep an open mind, not automatically 'buying in', but also not 'looking to debunk'...and what I do, is read in a sort of measured way - mentally noting any impressions that arise along particular points of the narrative.

So, first, I absolutely believe you experienced the episode exactly as you perceived it, no miscounting on your part & the two $1,000 bills just showing up on the counter.

Second, and this 'impression' came thru quite strongly, that it was a test (by the spiritual realm? Angels?) of your honesty - I mean, there are people in this world who would simply have pocketed the extra money - this feels significant to me...a precursor to something else that may happen...maybe.

ben said...

Did ya give him the crisp ones or two that he'd given you?

Might be interesting to investigate those crisp notes. If you hadn't already thought of that.

Rara Avis said...

I’m open to all possibilities, but consider the fact that mint bills tend to stick together, in a way that rough, used bills don’t.

WanderingGondola said...

RA, I presume you mean paper notes? I haven't particularly noticed that with the polymer notes used here in Australia.

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

I gave the two new bills to my client without thinking to photograph them or note the serial numbers. They weren't stuck together, but were laid out neatly side by side.

I tend to agree that it was some kind of test of honesty. It did occur to me that I could just pocket one or both of the bills, but it wasn't really tempting enough to be much of a test. I mean, it's like 70 bucks US, nothing that would make any real difference to my financial situation.

Rara Avis said...

A man had 17 cows. He died. His will said:
The first son gets 1/2 of the cows.
The second son gets 1/3 of the cows.
The third son gets 1/9 of the cows.
The sons could not figure out how to divide the cows.
A neighbor wanted to help, so he gave a cow to them.
Then a miracle occurred.
The first son took 1/2 of 18 cows = 9 cows.
The second son took 1/3 of 18 or 6 cows.
The third son took 1/9 of 18 or 2 cows.
That makes 9 + 6 + 2 = 17 cows.
Then the neighbor took his cow back home.

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

The sons had trouble taking 94.444% of 17 cows, so just took 100% of them and figured it was close enough to what their father wanted.

Rara Avis said...

Either that, or cows just appear and disappear for no explicable reason.

No Longer Reading said...

If it is a paranormal explanation, I would guess that it is transporting bills from somewhere else. I'm skeptical about money winking into being from nothing, but I could see money being somehow transported from elsewhere in Taiwan.

cae said...

Wait...something isn't adding up...
When you came back downstairs, you were carrying the correct amount of money, because your client had counted - agreed that $1,000 was missing - and given you a $1,000 bill...

So, when you got downstairs and saw the "two crisp, new, thousand-dollar bills" on the counter, you were carrying the full amount of money the client owed you, and since he had only given 'one' thousand-dollar bill over the originally owed amount... of those "crisp new thousand dollar bills" which you gave to him was in excess of the total amount of money 'present', so should have been kept by you...
...unless, there's something I've missed in the narrative?

ben said...

I wonder if the missing note was actually accidentally/deliberately left out by the man or if the same force/s that provided the two crisp notes also removed a note at the beginning.

Given this possibility, after handing you a note after the main envelope, the man could have been owed a crisp note. Which would leave the question of what to do with the excess crisp note. And obviously an odd number can't be divided between the two of you.

Looks like a moral quandary!

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

Carol, my working assumption -- not what I really believed, but the assumption I acted on so as to err on the side of honesty -- was that all of the money must have somehow come from him, since it certainly didn't come from me. If nothing paranormal happened, then he must originally have given me $1000 too much, but I missed $2000 when I counted it and therefore thought he had given me $1000 too little. He then gave me an additional $1000, for a total of $2000 too much, so I "returned" $2000 to him.

As I wrote in the original post, this makes me even more certain that what happened was more than a mere counting error -- because it would have to have been a coincidence of two equal and opposite counting errors, which is exceedingly unlikely. He miscounted when he gave me the money, unintentionally giving me $1000 too much, and I miscounted it when I received it, thinking he had given me $1000 too little.

If the extra $2000 appeared paranormally, which is what I actually believe, then of course neither of us had any more right to it than the other. (If, as Kevin suggests, it was magically transported in rather than materializing out of thin air, then some unknown third party must be the rightful owner.) In the end, I felt I had no choice but to give it all to him since, as certain as I was that it hadn't come from him, I was even more certain that it hadn't come from me.

cae said...

I see...that makes sense, William.
For what it's worth - I do agree that the money "appeared paranormally" (I sure wish the security camera had been operative!)

Also, I'm in agreement with Kevin - that the paranormal 'means' by which the money appeared was more likely 'apportation' from some outside source, than materialization from nothing.

At any rate - if it was a test - I'd say you passed with flying colors!

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