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D B Cooper Unsolved Skyjacking

 

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SafecrackingPLF

Jan 29, 2008, 2:50 PM
Post #1526 of 1694 (4786 views)
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     Re: [Sluggo_Monster] Popular Cooper Myths Debunked [In reply to]  

Sluggo_Monster,
Quote:
whole purpose of the hijacking was to settle a score

We know that Tina asked him if he had a grudge against the airline. He said "no". Then he added, "I just have a grudge."

We can rule out the airline, unless he's making a bold faced lie (which is certainly possible if he wanted to avoid detection)

The question is, was Cooper just making a comment to make a witty retort, or was he telling the truth about having a grudge?

If he did have a grudge, who is the grudge against and how does hijacking a plane make it better or prove a point?

I don't know, questions to ask thyself...

Your idea of the insurance company *would* answer that question nicely, especially since you're thinking a hijacking hurts the airline and the insurance company for sure (airline due to negative publicity & potential costs if they didn't have insurance to cover hijacks).

If it was against insurance, he'd have to know more about the details regarding the NWA policy. No mention from Ckret yet as to who the policy issuer was or the policy amount. I've heard this speculated, but nothing concrete.

The other possibility could be the US government or law enforcement... but how does hijacking a plane make that statement? Just to show how weak they are??? Well, if that were true, you'd expect a living Cooper to rub their noses in it a little... some post crime gloating. I think its likely that it would mean a letter to the papers or authorities vis-a-vis The Zodiac.

Another thing to consider Sluggo is the money...
He either leaves a percentage of it behind purposely like you're suggesting, or he took it all home and then returned at some point to throw it away.

The second one just doesn't sound right... unless he had a religious conversion... but if that were the case, wouldn't he send the cash to the FBI or to NW Orient anonymously?

That would leave the possibilty of Cooper leaving it all or a portion of it behind while he tried to get away. The bag only weighs 22 pounds, so is it that he has to go into public places and is worried about someone noticing a "weird guy weiring a tattered suit and carrying a canvas duffle bag"... ?

Many people have speculated that Cooper stole a car or had one waiting, or had an accomplice waiting to help... if this were true, then there's no reason to leave any percentage of the money behind, all of it, none of it, he'd take it all... he can make a clean getaway, afterall.


happythoughts  (D License)

Jan 29, 2008, 3:50 PM
Post #1527 of 1694 (4757 views)
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     Re: [SafecrackingPLF] Popular Cooper Myths Debunked [In reply to]  

Quote:
The question is, was Cooper just making a comment to make a witty retort, or was he telling the truth about having a grudge?

I'll still go with the idea that he was ex-airborne.

In 71, there were a lot of guys getting out of the army.
As my friend used to say, "I've got two job skills. I can blow the bridge up, or I can blow the bridge down."
He said that he wasn't qualified for civilian life.

It could just be an overall anger at society and govt.
In the army, you have a position of respect.
Once you leave, you can't find a job to support yourself. That is frustrating.

You are ok with jumping a round at night and surviving in the cold and rain.


SafecrackingPLF

Jan 29, 2008, 5:52 PM
Post #1528 of 1694 (4724 views)
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     Re: [happythoughts] Popular Cooper Myths Debunked [In reply to]  

Nice take.

Remember that the Vietnam war was still going on and it was a black eye for the USA.

So many people had very strong opinions, much like our modern day Iraq, though I'd think it was EVEN worse in the Vietnam days. Entire platoons were getting wiped out and our young men were returning in bits and pieces.

happythoughts, many people felt that Cooper was ex military, ex pilot... so perhaps you're correct.

So possible grudges:
1. Airline company (which would mean he lied)
2. FAA/Airline industry
3. Insurance issuer of NWA
4. US Govt for any host of reasons including military actions/inadequate training, etc

I'm sure there are others that we might be able to connect to the hijack. I mean, if he's mad that his wife left him, what's his statement?? "here, look what you made me do!"?

Keep the thoughts comin


Ckret

Jan 29, 2008, 6:12 PM
Post #1529 of 1694 (4713 views)
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     Re: [SafecrackingPLF] Popular Cooper Myths Debunked [In reply to]  

My first post on September 7th, it may help to summarize who (or at least who I think) Cooper was and I wrote about the grudge.


Getting caught up on this thread is exhausting, but I have done it. So lets start from the beginning, who was DB Cooper?

-DB Cooper was not a drinker, he only had one drink and spilled a portion of that. If someone was a drinker, in a situation like this he would have had more than just one in the five hours he was on the plane.

-He was not a chain smoker, he was on the aircraft for five hours and only smoked 8 cigarettes. That would make him a smoker of less than a pack-a-day and this under normal conditions.

-He spoke in an intelligent manner and never lost his cool, he was always polite throughout the ordeal.

-He had brown eyes (Schaffner saw his eyes before he put on the glasses, he looked directly at her several times urging her to read the note)

-He is 5'10 to 6'1 (Mucklow is 5'8 and spent 5 hours with Cooper, she would know if he was her height or taller. Have someone 5'8 stand next to someone 6 feet, the difference is obvious. Better yet, position yourself at a level of 5'8 and look at someone at a 6' elevation. Now spend 5 hours with that person, you'll know the difference. No one put Cooper under 5'10.

-He had olive skin (no make-up, neither Mucklow, Schaffner or Hancock made comment on make-up which would have been very obvious. Again, do the math, put dark makeup on someone then sit next to them with your shoulders touching, you can see the make-up.)

-He had dark hair, receding with sideburns (no wig, this would have been painfully obvious, if a man was wearing a wig with a receding hair line and side burns everyone would have noticed, especially Mucklow and Schaffner.)

-He was med built (no one put him over 190 lbs, in fact most put him 180 or under. Find a man 6 foot 180 lbs, thats a med to thin build.)

These are the facts on his physical make-up, if your suspect does not match these you may want to start looking at someone else.

DB Cooper had A.D.D, his attention to detail was poor. He got the big picture, but missed the brush strokes. He was also a "know-it-all." The type of person who would learn a few facts and then become an expert on the subject. One of those people who has just enough knowledge to be dangerous.

DB Cooper most likely served in the military and upon leaving used his technical training as a contractor in the airline industry, in and around Seattle. He rose to a mid-level management position but when he could rise no further or his project never got off the ground, he quit or was fired, "because no one understood him or were just to stupid to get it."

Soon thereafter he ran into big financial problems that had a set deadline for resolution. Just as always he developed the "big picture" for getting the money but the escape was very poorly planned.

Would any of you make the following jump?

Here are some facts to consider if he survived and if you could pull it off.

The weather: Ceiling of 5,000 feet, broken clouds at 3,500, scattered clouds at 1,500. Winds of 12 to 14 knots, light rain showers.

The jump: DB's chute was a military style 28' canopy. The planes speed was 173 knots when he jumped at 10,000 feet in full darkness.

The landing: Forest with no lights. Possibly mountainous depending upon which theory you buy into.


skyjack71

Jan 29, 2008, 6:15 PM
Post #1530 of 1694 (4712 views)
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     Re: [377] Recovered Ransom [In reply to]  

In reply to:
Jo,

I have posed the question to Doug Houston who is on the Exec. Board of the National Smokejumpers Association. Is that the same Doug you refer to? Awaiting a reply to my email.

No the Doug I refer to was an investigative reporter who is now with HomeLand Security.


dumstuntzz

Jan 29, 2008, 6:18 PM
Post #1531 of 1694 (4708 views)
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     Re: [Ckret] Popular Cooper Myths Debunked [In reply to]  

once again, if cooper used an nb6 he had a 26 ft canopy NOT a 28 '.lets keep the facts straight, PLEASE.


labrys  (D 29848)

Jan 29, 2008, 6:24 PM
Post #1532 of 1694 (4705 views)
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     Re: [dumstuntzz] Popular Cooper Myths Debunked [In reply to]  

Quote:
once again, if cooper used an nb6 he had a 26 ft canopy NOT a 28 '.lets keep the facts straight, PLEASE.

Christ. Crazy Is it really that important?


Ckret

Jan 29, 2008, 6:41 PM
Post #1533 of 1694 (4701 views)
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     Re: [dumstuntzz] Popular Cooper Myths Debunked [In reply to]  

I agree, if it was an NB6 it was most likely a 26' canopy, however, the reports state it was an NB6 with a 28' canopy. As stated before, I believe the agent reporting made a mistake but it is in two different reports and attributed to Earl Cossey, the man who packed them.


AggieDave  (D License)

Jan 29, 2008, 6:56 PM
Post #1534 of 1694 (4694 views)
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     Re: [labrys] Popular Cooper Myths Debunked [In reply to]  

Quote:
Christ. Crazy Is it really that important?

Yes. That could be the difference between breaking both ankles or not, so it could end up determining if he lived or not on landing.


labrys  (D 29848)

Jan 29, 2008, 7:06 PM
Post #1535 of 1694 (4688 views)
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     Re: [AggieDave] Popular Cooper Myths Debunked [In reply to]  

Quote:
Yes. That could be the difference between breaking both ankles or not, so it could end up determining if he lived or not on landing.

Since landing location, wind speed, time of the jump, and the exact airspeed of the jump are all undetermined, I think it's bullshit that a 26' round vs a 28' round really "matters"


AggieDave  (D License)

Jan 29, 2008, 7:13 PM
Post #1536 of 1694 (4684 views)
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     Re: [labrys] Popular Cooper Myths Debunked [In reply to]  

Its the little details that solve a case. Every little detail is important. Sometimes the seemingly trivial things turn out to be the single most important thing to break a case wide open! Sounds like bullshit TV legal drama, but that's actually true to life.


377  (F 666)

Jan 29, 2008, 7:20 PM
Post #1537 of 1694 (4678 views)
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     Re: [AggieDave] Popular Cooper Myths Debunked [In reply to]  

In reply to:
Quote:
Christ. Crazy Is it really that important?

Yes. That could be the difference between breaking both ankles or not, so it could end up determining if he lived or not on landing.

Very small trivial point but when I started jumping in the late 60s many surplus containers had extensions sewn in to the closing flaps to accomodate larger canopies than the original container was designed for and/or to make packing easier. If you look at the old ads for military surplus containers marketed to skydivers there was nearly always an extended container option offered for a few extra bucks. Old timers could tell us whether extended NB6 containers were ever used to hold 28 foot canopies like the C9.

I have jumped both the 26 ft Navy conical and many C9 and other types of military rounds, 28 ft and larger. Given all the other hazards Cooper faced that night I seriously doubt that the size or type of the chute (26 Navy or 28 USAF) determined the outcome.

If he deployed at 170 knots he had one HELL of an opening shock in my opinion. That is knots, not mph and a lot faster than 120 mph terminal. Energy increases as velocity squared. It isnt linear. Trying to decelerate 200 lbs going 170 knots down to open canopy speed in a few seconds is going to be very painful.


(This post was edited by 377 on Jan 29, 2008, 7:23 PM)


labrys  (D 29848)

Jan 29, 2008, 7:21 PM
Post #1538 of 1694 (4676 views)
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     Re: [AggieDave] Popular Cooper Myths Debunked [In reply to]  

Quote:
Its the little details that solve a case. Every little detail is important. Sometimes the seemingly trivial things turn out to be the single most important thing to break a case wide open! Sounds like bullshit TV legal drama, but that's actually true to life.

Fair enough, Dave.. but I'd argue that (as someone who has been in the business of applying "details" to helping provide evidence for solving crimes for a very long time) that given a set of variables where some of the variables are undetermined (either the agent made a mistake or the rigger did and there's no way to prove which without actually finding the canopy at this point in the game) it just doesn't matter anymore.


skyjack71

Jan 29, 2008, 8:49 PM
Post #1539 of 1694 (4659 views)
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     Re: [Ckret] Popular Cooper Myths Debunked [In reply to]  

In reply to:
-DB Cooper was not a drinker, he only had one drink and spilled a portion of that. If someone was a drinker, in a situation like this he would have had more than just one in the five hours he was on the plane
FACT - Most business individuals do not drink when they know they need all of their faculties about them to make a close on a sale.


In reply to:
He was not a chain smoker, he was on the aircraft for five hours and only smoked 8 cigarettes. That would make him a smoker of less than a pack-a-day and this under normal conditions.

FACT - some consider 1 pack a day chain smoking and I have never said he was a chain smoker talk to anyone who knew him. There was something published that erroneously said this.


In reply to:
He had olive skin
FACT: There are quotes that he may have been Indian or Latin - I have never seen an olive Indian.


(This post was edited by skyjack71 on Jan 29, 2008, 8:50 PM)


Zing  (D 6343)

Jan 29, 2008, 9:19 PM
Post #1540 of 1694 (4650 views)
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     Re: [Ckret] Popular Cooper Myths Debunked [In reply to]  

"Would any of you make the following jump?

Here are some facts to consider if he survived and if you could pull it off.

The weather: Ceiling of 5,000 feet, broken clouds at 3,500, scattered clouds at 1,500. Winds of 12 to 14 knots, light rain showers.

The jump: DB's chute was a military style 28' canopy. The planes speed was 173 knots when he jumped at 10,000 feet in full darkness.

The landing: Forest with no lights. Possibly mountainous depending upon which theory you buy into."


Whether it was 26' Navy conical or a 28' C-9 is irrelevant for a guy of the size and weight described, even one carrying an additional 22 lbs. of money.
Lots of folks did hundreds of jumps landing the same round parachutes at weights over 200 pounds in "the good old days."

I've not only jumped in similiar weather conditions, I've flown loads of jumpers in them too. Clouds don't hurt, rain does a little, but no big deal and broken layers means a modicum of visibilty to gauge altitude and to steer the canopy (such as one can with rounds) to landing.
Winds of 12 to 14, a bit breezy, but lots of us jumped round parachutes in higher winds on a regular basis, and did night jumps with rounds too.

Though a lot of the terrain was a challenge, there are many places along the supposed route, especially when considering the unknowns of the exact time/place of the jump, where the terrain had a lot of wide open space.

The airplane actually flew over the general locations of two dropzones that night, didn't it?

If Cooper knew anything about parachutes and jumping, the jump would have been a freefall delay to slow down.
I'd rather dump a C-9 or Navy Conical at 170 knots than most of the squares I've jumped. Both the C-9 and the Navy Conical are built for that speed and higher. Very few squares are built as ruggedly.

If his getaway after the jump was so poorly planned, where is he? Or any items he took with him? The parachute and harness he jumped, the dummy reserve that was no longer on the airplane, the briefcase, and whatever else the FBI knows he had that night.
The placard that blew off the door was found, but nothing else of Cooper's was, until some of the money shows up on a beach by a river. One that, according to Safecracker, doesn't fit a location it could get to without a minor miracle, or by someone physically transporting it, to account for the bundles getting there.
Hundreds of folks have spent many days tramping the woods and hills and waterways expressly seeking Cooper's parachutes, carcass, clothes and cash, not to mention the unknown numbers of hunters and fishermen that have been through the area too. Nothing found of Cooper's, but some folks did find an airman's body that had been hanging dead in the trees since a bailout from a military plane the 50s, if I recall correctly, and that, too, was not in the suspect landing area.

Say he bounced in a body of water after failing to pull a ripcord ... and nothing else ever washes up except for a very small chunk of the cash.

Seems to me, the Mt. St. Helens eruption was far enough south of the suspected landing area that the changes in the geography wouldn't have covered, or uncovered any evidence of Cooper, but I can't say that for certain. Any one know?

Bottom line is, getting from the airplane to the ground intact, with or without the money, is definitely doable, even though its a high pucker factor jump.
If he knew something of aviation and routes in the area, he could readily put himself into a specific area, give or take a mile or two, just by timing the flight and noting the turns onto course for the VOR's that make up Vector Airway 23.
Getting away undetected after he landed presents a bigger obstacle than the jump itself.

At this stage of the game, Ckret, you need to put some of those FBI computer nerds onto the task of using modern radar and computer technology into narrowing down a more exact location where Cooper left the airplane.

I am willing to accept that Cooper might still be out there, dead in the woods, but if he is, then the question becomes, which neck of the woods is it.


itllclear  (D 6366)

Jan 29, 2008, 9:27 PM
Post #1541 of 1694 (4647 views)
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     Re: [SafecrackingPLF] Recovered Ransom [In reply to]  

In reply to:
The Perris Valley DC-9 is more than likely equiped with something to prevent any aft stairs from slamming into the fuselage

The lower portion is removed when conducting jump operations. All that remains are the first couple of steps that are part of the fuselage, not the aft stair.

Just keep running toward the back of the plane till there's nothing left there.


SkydiveJack  (D 6486)

Jan 29, 2008, 9:44 PM
Post #1542 of 1694 (4639 views)
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     Re: [Zing] Popular Cooper Myths Debunked [In reply to]  

 
What Zing said!

Unimpressed


377  (F 666)

Jan 29, 2008, 10:21 PM
Post #1543 of 1694 (4629 views)
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     Radar, DSP & Cooper. Ignore if you are tired of my ranting [In reply to]  

Radar, that is the key. If we can get the tapes wonders can be done with DSP, digital signal processing. If the Cooper echo is in there, even if masked by noise, rain clutter, etc, DSP can bring it out, ESPECIALLY if you give it some idea of what Cooper's echo should look like which is: initially traveling at plane velocity, same course, then forward speed decays but course remains essentially the same as it falls further behind the aircraft. We could model expected jumper forward speed decay pretty accurately. If the tapes are destroyed say so, but if they may exist let's have a look. McChord ATC radar may be only one source. If the military interceptors (initially two F 106s and later a single T 33) were being given intercept vectors from a USAF air defense radar then there may be additional tapes to look at, and this type of radar would have something normal ATC radar can't tell us if the target has no altitude reporting transponder: Cooper's altitude, changing with each sweep until he disappears. Guru has confirmed that civil and military ATC radar in 1971 could track and accurately count jumpers at distances of 50 miles. I worked at a huge military radar company for six years in the 80s and know that seeing jumpers was easily within its products' technical capabilities although I never personally operated the radars we built. I have personally spent thousands of hours operating low power marine radar which could see birds miles away. DSP came after all this, but I have kept up on the technology and have some knowledge of what it can do. It is truly astounding. If we can see Cooper's exit echoes we will know where to look for his remains if he died and where his ground trek started if he lived. If Ckret tells me for sure that the radar tapes no longer exist I will shut the hell up.


dumstuntzz

Jan 29, 2008, 10:22 PM
Post #1544 of 1694 (4627 views)
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     Re: [labrys] Popular Cooper Myths Debunked [In reply to]  

whether you believe it to be bull shit or not ,the fact is there IS a difference in rate of descent,which would affect the landing area based on a significant difference in the amount of time under canopy.


airtwardo  (D License)

Jan 30, 2008, 12:15 AM
Post #1545 of 1694 (4614 views)
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     Re: [dumstuntzz] Popular Cooper Myths Debunked [In reply to]  

In reply to:
whether you believe it to be bull shit or not ,the fact is there IS a difference in rate of descent,which would affect the landing area based on a significant difference in the amount of time under canopy.

The variable in canopy size is next to meaningless without knowing exactly what kind of delay Cooper took.

Consider opening at 2000 vs. 9000...the 2 foot difference in the canopy size makes the 'rate of decent' argument moot.


labrys  (D 29848)

Jan 30, 2008, 2:19 AM
Post #1546 of 1694 (3986 views)
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     Re: [dumstuntzz] Popular Cooper Myths Debunked [In reply to]  

Quote:
whether you believe it to be bull shit or not ,the fact is there IS a difference in rate of descent,which would affect the landing area based on a significant difference in the amount of time under canopy.

20 lbs more / less weight under the canopy will also affect rate of descent, so until someone can put Cooper and everything he was carrying when he exited on a scale and do the math I still believe that 28 vs 26 feet is meaningless.


Ckret

Jan 30, 2008, 5:00 AM
Post #1547 of 1694 (3968 views)
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     Re: [labrys] Popular Cooper Myths Debunked [In reply to]  

We put Coopers total weight that night at 230 lbs.

In regards to the jump, we no it can be done (McCoy and others) but can it be done under the conditions Cooper did it. Its not just 15 MPH winds it's almost 30 MPH winds at 10,000 feet and its not just rain and clouds it's freezing rain at 200 mph. If you tried to recreate this jump, find a night under these conditions with his equipment, would the jump be sanctioned by any governing body? if not why?

I know we could debate forever the above and still get no where so lets move forward. However, based on what we know: his age, 45 to 50, puts him out of the general population of sport jumpers of the day, his request for "two front chutes and two back chutes" puts his "lingo" out of a sports jumper. His cavalier attitude of equipment (chutes and clothing) choice makes it seem as if he doesn't realize the challenge he is facing. He new some things about the aircraft but not as much as he thought he did.

I believe all of these things, plus many more discussed here, add up to an inexperienced jumper making a jump that would challenge the most experienced. Could he have beat the odds? Sure. Finding nothing points as much to making it as it does to not. Finding a portion of the money in the condition it was found I think tips the scale to not but even still does not mean its so.

And lastly, I hope he did make it and he is alive. DB WHERE ARE YOU!!!!!!!!!


labrys  (D 29848)

Jan 30, 2008, 6:36 AM
Post #1548 of 1694 (3949 views)
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     Re: [Ckret] Popular Cooper Myths Debunked [In reply to]  

Quote:
If you tried to recreate this jump, find a night under these conditions with his equipment, would the jump be sanctioned by any governing body? if not why?

Yes, as far as I can tell. The USPA doesn't have wind limits, doesn't tell us we can't jump in the rain, and allows night jumps for people meeting the requirements (which are very basic). As long as the equipment was certified for jumping that wouldn't be a problem. The clouds might be an issue as far as the FAA is concerned, but... well... it's not like it would be the first time someone jumped into heavy industrial haze. Wink


dumstuntzz

Jan 30, 2008, 7:06 AM
Post #1549 of 1694 (3940 views)
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     Re: [Ckret] Popular Cooper Myths Debunked [In reply to]  

230 lbs ouch! that opening HAD to hurt (if he opened).can anyone do a computer simulation for the jump w/winds and all the other factors plugged in?start w/ different freefall times,as well as different times for the jump.


Orange1  (B License)

Jan 30, 2008, 8:04 AM
Post #1550 of 1694 (3918 views)
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     Re: [SafecrackingPLF] Popular Cooper Myths Debunked [In reply to]  

In reply to:
Nice take.

Remember that the Vietnam war was still going on and it was a black eye for the USA.

So many people had very strong opinions, much like our modern day Iraq, though I'd think it was EVEN worse in the Vietnam days. Entire platoons were getting wiped out and our young men were returning in bits and pieces.

happythoughts, many people felt that Cooper was ex military, ex pilot... so perhaps you're correct.

So possible grudges:
1. Airline company (which would mean he lied)
2. FAA/Airline industry
3. Insurance issuer of NWA
4. US Govt for any host of reasons including military actions/inadequate training, etc

I'm sure there are others that we might be able to connect to the hijack. I mean, if he's mad that his wife left him, what's his statement?? "here, look what you made me do!"?

Keep the thoughts comin

The grudge could simply be: you go fight for your country, go through hell and come back to find you can't get a job, or a decent job. I can imagine very many people would get a grudge in that situation. $200K would be nice under those circumstances. ("I was trained to jump in shitty circumstances, it doesn't help me get a decent job in civilian life, at least i can make money this way out of it"...)

Re Ckret's question about whether such a jump would be sanctioned by USPA or whatever, i think the real question is to ask the ex-airborne guys here: could you expect to be ordered to do a military jump under similar conditions? If so ... Cooper may have already done a jump or two like that?


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