Forums: Skydiving: Skydiving History & Trivia: Re: [Sluggo_Monster] Take This Plane To Mexico: Edit Log

Guru312  (C 6814)

Mar 3, 2008, 9:59 AM

Views: 61639
Re: [Sluggo_Monster] Take This Plane To Mexico

In reply to:
That’s why I’m trying to build a data base of “facts”...

And thanks for your effort. This mystery needs as many facts as it can get. What I'm going to relate below is not a "fact" it’s speculation. But the presented material may change our perspective on a few things. If nothing else, it creates a much larger “Drop Zone” for DB’s possible landing point. More correctly, it creates a much larger possible DZ for the money bag’s landing point. Allow me to explain...

About three weeks ago I sent an email to the owner of a company which has been in the business of manufacturing bank bags for over one hundred years. I asked him in my email if the SeaFirst bank, being in the continually wet NorthWest, would have had purchased water proof canvas bags.

After three weeks time, I got no reply. I figured he thought my questions too bizarre to be worthy of a response. Much to my delight, he sent this response:

You recently wrote concerning a money bag that may have been used in a hijacking by DB Cooper.
I would be happy to talk with you about this if you will give me a call.

NOTE: The gentlemen asked that I not use his name and not identify his company but he was quite willing to answer all of my questions and discuss the issue with that provision of anonymity. I agreed reluctantly to not identify him or to mention of his company.

Almost as good as getting his email was the fact that he supplied an 800 number in the email and his company paid for our 50 minute telephone call! I told him that after waiting three weeks for a response I really didn't expect to hear from him. He said, "After more than 35 years what's another few weeks?" I laughed and liked him immediately after that comment.

He told me that he remembers the hijacking and all fuss from back then. He and his friends talked about it often. He was so interested in my questions that he took the time to look back through his company records and found sales records showing sales to the "Seattle First National Bank" but the oldest records he could find were for the late '70s and early 80s.

Also, he indicated that in 1971, no bank bag manufacturers made truly waterproof canvas bags. During the 70s and prior his company sold "treated" bags, which he called "water repellent", but they were not truly waterproof as bags made today actually are.

So, DB wasn't given a true water proof bag.

I called the bag manufacturer because of my hypothesis: I'm assuming that DB lost the bag either when exiting, because of the violent turbulence from the 200 MPH speed and the dirty aerodynamic configuration of the plane, or that he lost the bag during opening shock.

I’m assuming that he lost the bag because of the difficulty he would have had trying to tie the bag onto his body or the harness. I don’t think he, or any other person working alone, could have tied it sufficiently.

So, I'm assuming that the bag itself was tied closed very well but he had considerable difficulty getting it tied to himself.

I tried to get into DB's mind. While in there, I determined that he would be overly 'protective' of the money. After all, that's what the whole gig was about: the money. He tied the bag of money with one of the two the roughly 14 foot lengths of suspension line. He'd tie the bag as absolutely tight as he possibly could with many turns around the bag and thus making the bag and the money into a very tight package. That tight package would have voids within because of the multiple packs of money. The voids would hold air for some unknown time and allow the “package” to float for a considerable time.

The bank bag manufacturer thought the bag tied tightly as described would float for hours, probably even days, until becoming waterlogged and finally slipping beneath the surface and then slowly sinking deeper into the water...but being carried ever farther downstream.

Even after the bag finally became submerged it would still be intact. It could bang along the stream/river bottoms for years. It could get stuck in debris, branches or between rocks. But it would still be intact and move further downstream with flooding…only to get stuck again…and then to continue on its way downstream.

After many years, the bag would finally tear open from the canvas rotting…maybe only a hole big enough for a few pack of money to get out…maybe the whole bag would eventually unload into the water from turbulence. Never the less, somewhere, potentially VERY far downstream from where the bag originally entered a tributary of the Columbia, a pack of money ended up on a bank of the Columbia and was found years later by young Mr. Ingram.

The bag manufacturer asked me if the money found was in “money sleeves” or wrapped with rubber bands. I told him rubber bands and asked what significance that was. His answer was that money sleeves were made of paper strips and held with glue. He said the glue would be dissolved very quickly; rubber bands could hold money for years—if not subjected to direct sunlight which caused rather rapid degrading of the rubber. [The sun sure dried lots of rubber bands when I was jumping.] He said rubber bands in water could last a very long time.

He thought that money wrapped with rubber bands and contained within a canvas bag and wrapped with parachute cord could last in tact for many years.

Of all the possible ways the money could have ended up where it did, the above seems to be one of the best explanations.

Therefore, Cooper’s point of exit could be anywhere within the web of tributaries leading to the point of the found money on the bank of the Columbia River.

This area is probably hundreds, if not a few thousand, square miles of territory. Protected money, wet or not, will last a very long time if there is not physical abrasion of the money.

Given all of the above, even if totally plausible and even if totally correct and representative of what actually happened, the next question must be asked.

“So what?”

(This post was edited by Guru312 on Mar 3, 2008, 11:59 AM)

Edit Log:
Post edited by Guru312 () on Mar 3, 2008, 11:59 AM

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