If you think the Strangers' World is too much like our own, take a brief look at this timeline. It's real - and most improbable from the SW point of view.
January 1 - Kurt Waldheim becomes Secretary General of the United Nations.
Impossible. There's no UN in the Strangers' World.
January 4 - The first scientific hand-held calculator (HP-35) is introduced (price $395).
Nearly impossible. The advance of computer technologies is slow due to Arrested Development Factor.
January 9 – The RMS Queen Elizabeth is destroyed by fire in Hong Kong harbor.
January 19 – The Libertarian enclave Minerva on a platform in the South Pacific, sponsored by the Phoenix Foundation, declares independence.
January 20 – President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto announces that Pakistan will immediately begin a nuclear weapons programme.
Absolutely impossible. Nuclear weapons are pure sci-fi.
January 24 – Japanese soldier Shoichi Yokoi is discovered in Guam; he had spent 28 years in the jungle.
Probably he was discovered in some British, Dutch or Australian territory. The U.S. stayed out of the Pacific War.
February 2 - A bomb explodes at the British Yacht Club in West Berlin, killing Irwin Beelitz, a German boat builder.
In the Strangers' World, the bomb should be planted by some anarchist or militant environmentalist group.
February 3 – February 13 – The 1972 Winter Olympics are held in Sapporo, Japan.
Absolutely impossible. Japan is boycotted by a vast majority of European, Asian and South American powers.
February 21 – The Soviet unmanned spaceship Luna 20 lands on the Moon.
Sci-fi, again - no space flights yet. Arrested development, you know.