Laura wrote a message giving her name and address on one of the helium-filled balloons used in the festivities, along with a request to send the balloon back if discovered. She then released the balloon into the air.
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About ten days later, in Milton Lilbourne, Wiltshire, a farmer noticed a balloon that had become tangled in one of his hedges. On removing the balloon he read the message and the name, Laura Buxton.
He then took the balloon to his nearest neighbor, whose daughter’s name was Laura Buxton, presuming it would belong to her. However, this was a different Laura Buxton and she lived more than 140 miles away from where the original Laura had released the balloon.
But the strange coincidences didn’t end there. The Wiltshire Laura, promptly wrote to Laura in Staffordshire.
Because of the extraordinary coincidences, both girls’ parents allowed them to meet. This is where the story gets even weirder.
The girls were the same height, which was unusual because they were both tall for their age. They both had brown hair and wore it in the same style. They both had three-year-old black Labrador Retrievers at home, as well as gray pet rabbits.
They both brought their guinea pigs, which were the same color and even had the same orange markings on their hindquarters. It was almost as though these two Laura Buxtons were the same person.
In June 2009, Radiolab interviewed both Laura Buxtons, and their story was also chronicled in the following Ripley’s Believe It or Not segment:
The girls recalled the astonishing similarities that arose as they spoke for the first time: they both had three-year-old female black labrador dogs, grey rabbits, and guinea pigs with identical markings (orange spots on hind legs). Upon meeting, they unintentionally chose to wear identical outfits — a pink sweater, and jeans.
Laura Buxton and her doppelgänger refuse to believe the incident was anything other than fate at work. Convinced that some force greater than mere chance had brought them together, the two formed a bond, they are still friends.