Synchronicity? Don't believe in it.
Cheap plot device? No one could be either that artless or that audacious.
Ever since Fred's sudden and unmentioned disappearence I've been stumbling across these little references and allusions to him in the most unlikely places. If I look for them I turn up nothing (and without bragging on myself, I happen to know a thing or two about navigating the hypersphere). The man vanished into the void without a trace. But if I take a wrong turn down a dirt road I find something like:
Foot prints. A trail of bread crumbs in the woods. He's out there somewhere.