The Principia Discordia states that "All things happen in fives, or are divisible by or are multiples of five, or are somehow directly or indirectly appropriate to 5" this is referred to as the Law of Fives. The 23 Enigma is regarded as a corollary of this law. It can be seen in Robert Anton Wilson Robert Shea's The Illuminatus! Trilogy (therein called the "23/17 phenomenon"), Wilson's Cosmic Trigger I: The Final Secret f the Illuminati (therein called "The Law of fives" and "The 23 Enigma"), Arthur Koestler's Challenge of Chance, as well as the Principia Discordia. In these works, 23 is considered lucky, unlucky, sinister, strange, or sacred to the goddess Eris or to the unholy gods of the Cthulhu Mythos.
As with most numerogical claims, the enigma can be viewed as an example of apophenia, selection bias and confirmation bias. In interviews, Wilson acknowledged the self-fulfilling nature of the enigma, implying that the real value of the Laws of Fives and Twenty-threes lies in their demonstration of the mind's power to perceive "truth" in nearly anything.
In the Illuminatus! Trilogy, he expresses the same view: that one can find a numerological significance to anything, provided "sufficient cleverness."When you start looking for something you tend to find it. This wouldn't be like Simon Newcomb, the great astronomer, who wrote a mathematical proof that heavier than air flight was impossible and published it a day before the Wright brothers took off. I'm talking about people who found a pattern in nature and wrote several scientific articles and got it accepted by a large part of the scientific community before it was generally agreed that there was no such pattern, it was all just selective perception."
Robert Anton Wilson cites William S. Burroughs as being the first person to believe in the 23 enigma. 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 Lunch, Noua 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.
Here are some incidents:
***2/3= .666 the number of the beast
The New York Yankees won the World Series 23 times
The Uranium isotope used in Nuclear bombs is U235
AOL chat rooms only allow 23 people at a time
In the film Airport, the mad bomber has seat 23
***There are exactly 23 charicters, numbers and letters, on the face of all U.S. coins
***Every 23rd wave crashing on a beach averages twice the size as normal
In the film Airplane II, the name of the spaceship is XR-2300
230 people died in the conspiracy plagued TWA flight 800 disaster
The Unibomber killed or wounded 23 people
The address of the Freemasons lodge in Stafford, England, is 23 Jaol Road. In New York City it's on 23rd street.
***The letter W is the 23rd in the alphabet and has 2 points down and 3 points up
The first Apollo landing on the moon was at 23.63 degrees east; the second was 23.42 degrees west.
April 19th the date of the battle of Lexington, the holocaust at Waco, and the Oclahoma city bombing is written 4/19 by Americans and 19/4 by Europeans. Either way it adds up to 23.
In Star Wars Princess Lea was held in cell AA-23
***Shakespeare was 46(2*23) when the King James Bible was published. Psalm 46(2*23) has it's 46th word "shake" and the 46th word back from the end is "spear".
On the Seinfeld show, Kramer hides an Air-Conditioner on levl purple 23 of a parking garrage.
***William Shakespeare was born on April 23,1556 and died on April 23, 1616.
51, as in Area 51 breaks down to 23 + 23 + (2*3)=51
August 23,1305 William Wallace was exicuted for treason.
August 23, 1970 River Pheonix was born.
The original Star Trek, as well as Babylon Five are set in the 23rd century
***The human Biorhythm cycle is 23 days
***It takes 23 seconds for blood to circulate through the human body
***Julius Ceasar was stabbed 23 times by the assasans.
X-Files: 10.13 productions.10 + 13 = 23
"Scottish Rite Freemasonry" has 23 letters.
A technological singularity has been predicted by "experts" in the near future. It is expected around 2030 AD.
***Geosynchronous orbit occurs at 23,000 miles above Earth's surface.
Psychic Edgar Cayce started having visions of lost Atlantis in 1923.
Hitler joined a secret society in 1923.
Avagadro's number as used in the ideal gas law is 6.02 * 10^23
The CIA headquarters in McLean, VA is located on rt. 123.
***The tilt of Earth's axis is roughly 23o accounting for the changing seasons and the procession of the Zodiac.
***Homo sapiens are given 46 chromosomes from their parents, 23 male and 23 female.
***The Dog Days of Summer begin on July 23 when Sirius the Dogstar rises from behind the sun.
Sydney Carton was the 23rd man beheaded in the climax of Dickens' Tale of Two Cities
Accordidng to Noam Chomsky over half of the national media is owned by 23 companies
The average smoker inhales 23 ciggarettes a day
There are 23 chapters of the Cult Awareness Network
Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints was born on December 23, 1805.
On December 23, 1805 the Federal Reserve Act passed i
***According to ancient Mayan prophesy on December 23, 2012 the world will end.
***In both ancient Sumaria and Egypt July 23 is the start of the new year.
The Nissan car takes its name from "Ni" which means 2 in Japaneese and "san" which means 3. Nissan means 23.
The articles of Impeechment used against Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton are under Article 2, section 3 of the constitution.
The United States set off 23 atomic bombs at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific.
Lines 22-23 of Book I of Milton's Paradice Lost "What in me is dark/ Illumine, what is low raise and support."
In a recent film version of Alice in Wonderland a stuffed
Rabbit comes alive and runs away from a case numbered 23.
***The first prime number in which both digits are prime and add up to make annother prime is 23.
It is believed that Adam and Eve had 23 daughters.
It is believed that the verses of the Qur'an were revealed over a period of 23 years. There exist hadith that support this figure, but many more that give other lengths of time.