Winsor is right, but he and even Quade recognize that this forum intertwines investigation with fun and extreme speculation. Outlandish theories are accepted and even encouraged to some degree. We inevitably assign order to chaos in the process of reverse engineering Cooper's jump. Cooper's jump was likely extremely chaotic. If he had plans they didn't work out 100% or the money would never have been found (Winsor's point). It almost had to be chaotic given the circumstances: night, cold, rain, imprecise location info, unfamiliar gear, improvised money containment, fast exit , unsleeved canopy, fear, etc etc.
But what if??? Those what ifs are fun and nobody has positively ruled them out. Remember, NONE of the big stuff has been found, no body, no gear. We cannot rule out that Cooper walked away alive.
If Cooper executed a farmland jump, then his chances of survival increase. Sluggo has given a way that it might have happened, however unlikely.
Jumpship navigation isnt a trivial exercise once you are off DZ. To add to the problem, Cooper did not have command of the aircraft course athough Sluggo says he might have cleverly influenced it to suit his needs by specifying a maximum altitude and a particular destination.
In 1967, a surplus B 25 with VOR gear and in radio contact with ATC accidently dropped a load of jumpers over over Lake Erie, far from shore. Most drowned. It was cloudy. Mistakes were made by the pilot and by ATC. Stuff happens when you jump in bad weather and over unfamiliar locations. Bad stuff.
There is a principal used in scientific inquiry called Occam's Razor. Wikipedia describes it as follows:
"All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best." In other words, when multiple competing theories are equal in other respects, the principle recommends selecting the theory that introduces the fewest assumptions and postulates the fewest entities."
Applying Occam, the likeliest outcome is that Cooper went in and his body has not been found. Everything else takes more assumptions. I am sure others disagree and I welcome the oncoming backlash/dialog.
(This post was edited by 377 on Feb 20, 2008, 10:11 AM)