Forums: Skydiving: Skydiving History & Trivia: Re: [ltdiver] Speculators DOOMED: Edit Log


Mar 9, 2008, 11:50 AM

Views: 61048
Re: [ltdiver] Speculators DOOMED

Bad news. I'm back.

First, my sincere apologies to everyone. I take full responsibilty for getting the old thread locked down. If Jim Hooper happens to read this (which I doubt), my sincere apologies to him, and to everyone. I mean that 100%, I was out of line.

Having said that, the speculation that has permeated this forum since Ckret was kicked off was enough to make me squeamish. I think the reason is because people don't really read and take the time to work through the posts. As such, we're left with one group arguing conjecture verses others who are working with the actual FBI file or in using actual data. You must have some common ground to avoid endless speculation.

Let's assume for a moment that the money bag was a parachute. Effectively, that's what the "he lost the money mid air" crowd wants to say.
The first question would be:
How long would a bag of money act like a parachute?
Second question would be:
How much drag would this parachute produce at the exit speed?

I can answer one of the questions. But first, I must dispel the misunderstanding regarding the size of the bag. ltdiver referenced a post in the prior thread where Ckret said the bag was the approximate size of a small toddler. ltdiver failed to show the post where Ckret gave an actual dimension of the bag... 12x12x9.

However, these dimensions were based on descriptions, and I'm not sure there wasn't a typo. Perhaps Ckret will come back and shed some light on this. I have asked him to clarify these dimensions privately.

We may not know how big the bag was, but we know how big 10,000 bills would be. Depending on the condition of the bills and the tightness of the rubberbands, the average volume of the money would be about 26,600 cubic centimeters. If the money was in great shape and the bands were tight, it would be slightly less than this and vice versa.

The dimensions would be about 19.5 cm by 31 cm by 44 cm if the bills were stacked 12x9 according to the description. The height would be about 17 or 18 inches tall. That means if you were to take your stacks of cash and arrange them 3 stacks by 2 stacks and then make a pile. Based on the description, this is my best guess as to how the money was arranged.

Your biggest surface is roughly 12 inches by 17 inches. It's about 1.4 square feet.
The exit speed was about 170 knots.

If we pretend the bag of money were a parachute that was deployed prior to the jump, the surface area combined with the wind speed would produce a force equal to 174.38 pounds.

This would be the maximum force we could expect from the bag of money upon exit. This force would only be attainable if Cooper were grounded and the bag of money behaved like a parachute. This isn't reality, and therefore, the force of wind produced by the bag of money would be dramatically less than 174 pounds.

The next question is how long would the force of wind act against Cooper?
I can't answer this, but I can tell you that if the bag of money produced that much force on Cooper, it would "pull" him because he has no grounding, he's in mid air.

The 170 knots was produced by the plane, and since both the bag and Cooper are no longer on the plane, deceleration through air friction would occur rapidly. We've discussed this at length on the old thread.. .Cooper would decelerate horizontally as he accelerates vertically.
The vertical force of the bag against Cooper would be neglible from a poundage standpoint.

The obvious question to ask yourself is if 174 pounds maximum and very momentary force would be enough to snap the suspension line or the knots that Cooper tied on the bag or his waist.

Because this force would at the most be a fraction of a second, I stand by my contention that the bag would not come loose from Cooper's waist.

Organe1 properly stated that we do not know how secure the bag was. Either on exit or on chute deployment, the line surrounding the bag of money may have come loose. The problem with this thinking is that if the bag of money comes loose with nothing to secure it, the money would have went everywhere and would not explain the find in 1980. We can debate this at length if you wish.

We're then left with the line around Cooper's waist failing in some way. This is the catch 22 that skyjack71 mentioned. You have to assume that Cooper could secure the bag very well, but that he could not adequately secure the bag to his waist to withstand a fraction of a second worth of force equaling 174 pounds. Even if Cooper used a simple double knot, this force would not be enough to break the knot or the line. At the very least, it would pull down towards his ankles, and I'm guessing since Cooper made his make-shift belt with the bag drooping at a full 22 pounds, that he made sure the belt was secure enough to stay up and not slide off his waist.

Keep in mind, we're talking about a fraction of a second.

Because Cooper is not grounded, this "force" would pull Cooper, and once it pulls Cooper, the force would diminish. This would be almost instananeous. We're literally talking about a fraction of a second.

Organe1 said that we do not know how well the bag was tied. That's true, but we do know one very important fact...

The bag was not airtight.

Upon entering the water, the bag would allow water to soak through the fabric and through the top (because it's not airtight). As the money absorbs the water, the bag would become heavier, which would push the bag further into the water, which would then force air out of the bag. This process would be slow at first and would accelerate exponentially through time.

The reason we need to know what type of bag this was is because I'm going to test the float time of of 10,000 bills in a similar bag. Before I do such a test, I need to know the approximate size and style of the bag.

Shortly after being timed-out from the board, I performed a float test on one stack of bills.

I took 100 bills and threw them into water. The water was fresh, and the properties of the water were deemed to be close enough to those of creeks or LaCamas lake. I used 2 rubber bands on the money. The more compressed the money is, the longer it can float (due to air being trapped).

The test lasted 10 minutes, 25 seconds.

I can tell you that a stack of money floats less than 11 minutes. The next question will be how long the money bag could float. My hypothesis is that it would float longer, but would not float more than a few hours. If you're to believe that Cooper lost the money mid-air, then you're also to believe that the money landed near a tributary that fed LaCamas lake. Once in LaCamas lake, it would have to float indefinitely until it drifted far enough to reach the southern most point of LaCamas where it might flow over some rocks and enter the Washougal river where it would then go into the Columbia and drift 20 miles to where it was found.

If you believe Cooper lost the money mid-air, you also believe the calculated timeline that the FBI and NWA came up with was completely off. You also believe the flight path itself was significantly east to put the plane directly above the tributary zone. You then have to believe that Cooper could secure the bag really well, but could not secure the line around his waist very well at all. You must then believe the force of exit wind was enough to rip the bag from Cooper's waist. You then have to believe the bag was capable of floating in these waterways, not for hours, not even for days, but for years!

The money washed up to where it was found less than a year before it was found.

If I calculate the time from the crime to one year before it was found, it spans more than 7 years.

That means we need to measure the float time of the bag in years and not in minutes. That's quite a big leap.

That is, unless you believe the FBI really messed up in their "less than a year" calculation.

(This post was edited by SafecrackingPLF on Mar 9, 2008, 12:04 PM)

Edit Log:
Post edited by SafecrackingPLF () on Mar 9, 2008, 12:04 PM

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