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steve1

Old jumpers who went to the Big House

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I don't mean to embarrass any of these guys. They have all been out of jumping a long time, and I doubt if anyone remembers them so I guess I can change their names and tell what happened. Maybe these are some lessons in what not to do in life, but at any rate they are interesting stories....

I jumped with a guy in the 70's who was the grandson of one of our state's former governors. I heard he even competed in the Olympics in his early 20s in the luge event. In the 80's he did some jumping in at least one James Bond movie. In the 90's he ended up owning a bar and motel and big ranch. We were all impressed with how successful he was and more than a little jealous. Then the authorities caught him. He had a very large boat, loaded with marijuana, that he was trying to smuggle into Canada. It started to make sense how he had become some wealthy so fast. He lost most everything and went to jail. I heard he now works as a preacher.

Another fellow I jumped with in the 70's tried to do the same thing but on a much smaller scale. He went way south of the border and bought a big box of whacky tobaccy and then mailed it to his home address. Upon arriving home the federal authorities were waiting for him when he went to pick up his mail. So he too spent some time in the slammer.

Also back in the 70's we had a good jump pilot who also flew helicopters for the national guard. He seemed like a really nice guy who wouldn't hurt a fly. He was single when I knew him but he later got married to a gal who was unfaithful to him. He ended up shooting the poor boy friend with a 44 magnum while they were still in the sack. As far as I know he's still locked up.

Another great jump pilot and jumper ran afoul of the law back in the 80's. He didn't go to prison, but something worse happend. I read his obituary in the news paper, saying he had died in Texas with no details. I later found out he was flying guns into Mexico and making big money. Apparently a gun deal went sour and someone murdered him. They found his body in the bottom of an out-house.

All of these were great guys, great pilots, and jumpers.....I guess they were living just a little too close to the edge....Steve1

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We used to call it "no visible means of support" when a guy with no real job started driving a fancy new car, bought land, started a busuness, etc. Everybody knew, or shall I say suspected, they had been down south and probably jumped back home with something strapped to their belly.

How about those guys that never came home? I knew a few that started their own artificial reefs in the Gulf of Mexico with twin Beeches and/or Lodestars.

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We used to call it "no visible means of support" when a guy with no real job started driving a fancy new car, bought land, started a busuness, etc.
I was approached once back in 1981 about making a smuggling jump.I politely turned it down.I'm curious, though about how much smuggling is really done by parachute and how much gets caught vs. how much is gotten away with.Seems like a very innefficient means of smuggling to me.

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I was remembering when he was jumping at Spaceland; he had some west-coast demo team he was working with too.

Guy got around. Nice guy, too. And yes, Holy shit was the phrase that crossed my mind.

Wendy W.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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I want to be VERY CAREFUL about how I ask this question, as he's loved by one and all and went in last summer. But what exactly happened with Roger Nelson's smuggling conviction ? I'm only asking because I remember Skydiving Magazine carried a story about his conviction at the time on a cocaine trafficking charge and it looked as though he was facing a life term for it. Roger had claimed at his trial that he'd been operating with the CIA's full knowledge and consent (and it is widely believed, though not proved, that the Contras were funded through CIA endorsed cocaine sales). I sort of lost track of the story after the original verdict, but obviously Roger was freed and resumed his place as a leading figure in our community. And I'm glad he did. I'm not trying to drag his memory down either. It's just that I'm something of a history nut and I've really been curious about whatever happened for some time. So if somebody out there can explain how that ugly story turned out, I'd really like to hear it. Was the conviction reversed, or what ?

Your humble servant.....Professor Gravity !

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Yeah, but was there an appeal, was it reversed or thrown out ? Any legal minds out there with the facts ?



No. Roger did several years. Seven seems to be popping into my head but I'm not sure if that is the correct number. He was in for a long time.
--
Murray

"No tyranny is so irksome as petty tyranny: the officious demands of policemen, government clerks, and electromechanical gadgets." - Edward Abbey

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I jumped with Chris back in the '70s in Downsville (Near Hagerstown, MD.) We did some SCUBA, too. Anyone seen his old girlfriend Nancy Previti, Wheaton (MD) High Class of '67? If so, ask her to get in touch. Anyone know what prison Chris is in? I'd like to drop him a line.

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I remember Chris is engaged while at Lake Elsinore, and SHE says, is it Vickie or Nancy?, I'm not sure . . . ?

"Lose twenty pounds before the wedding . . . or no wedding," so he's going around the DZ saying, "I can't get the munchies, I can't get the munchies . . ."

Nick :)BASE 194

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I jumped with Chris back in the '70s in Downsville (Near Hagerstown, MD.) We did some SCUBA, too. Anyone seen his old girlfriend Nancy Previti, Wheaton (MD) High Class of '67? If so, ask her to get in touch. Anyone know what prison Chris is in? I'd like to drop him a line.



I knew I knew Chris' name from somewhere, I jumped with him at Downsville in the mid 70's as well. Was there about a week on vacation. Small world...

-----------------------
Roger "Ramjet" Clark
FB# 271, SCR 3245, SCS 1519

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There was a guy who ran a jump operation in New Mexico, in the early 80s. John Early. The memory's fuzzy but seems I heard he got busted for 'gun running' and might still be a prison guest somewhere in Brazil. Anyone remember him or know his status?

_________________________________________
The older I get, the better I was!

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Nick; I couldnt get the attachment to open ; I remember Chris from Downsville too. He was forming a professional demo team last I heard. Where is he now?............................J.....................
" 90 right, five miles then cut."---Pukin Buzzards

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There were some successes also.However I did here a story of a jumper found expired in some southern street wearing a rig (deployed) contraband night vision goggles and a stiletto(knife) and some kugerands............................................J............
" 90 right, five miles then cut."---Pukin Buzzards

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There were some successes also.However I did here a story of a jumper found expired in some southern street wearing a rig (deployed) contraband night vision goggles and a stiletto(knife) and some kugerands............................................J............



Andrew Carter Thornton III, Knoxville TN, Aug 85'
75 Kilos uncut cocaine strapped to his chest. Street value at the time appox. 6mil. To me that is pretty cost effective.
GUNFIRE, The sound of Freedom!

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