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17 hours ago, FLYJACK said:

I never noticed this before,,

"According to him a high wind was blowing at Merwin Dam last night. At about 11:30Pm there was a burglary of a grocery store located roughly 10 miles South of the dam. Survival rations were taken including beef jerky, cigarettes, gloves, etc. The person who broke in was wearing military type boots with a corregated sole."

 

Average walking speed is 3.1 mph, if it was Cooper he could have walked 9-10 miles in the three hours between landing and the store break in. In other words, it matches the LZ south of Merwin.

 

storebreakin.jpeg

We are getting to the meat and taters now ;) wait until the next batch ;)

54471A22-E93E-4A4F-9DC4-FFECE692703B.jpeg

6EFA699C-9297-472A-8B51-A45C78BF80AF.jpeg

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I have returned from the wilderness...

I did shoot three separate videos, but won't be editing them for release until later this evening. This takes some time because of the addition of front and back credits, intro, and some still shots. 

The document concerning the break in at the grocery:  It would be interesting to know what brand of cigarettes were taken. If they were only Raleighs, then you have to consider it was a good bet that Cooper did the break in. Gloves are also not a normal type of theft item unless you happen to need them at the moment because your hands are cold. Taking food that can be carried in your pockets and eaten from there...another factor pointing to someone possibly on the run. This does not look like (to me) a theft to make money, but a theft of necessity. 

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'The 11:30 PM store break location in was 3 miles South and 0.5 miles East from point A on the LZ map...'

I'll bet it is. When people talk about the FBI dropping the ball on the Cooper case, one of the first things they should have realized is that a break-in to a small store on the evening prior to Thanksgiving, considering the items taken, etc...and the unlikelihood of someone busting into a store for such things unless they smoked and were on the run...that store should have been cordoned off right away and searched for evidence by an FBI team. They may have had their best chance to identify the hijacker right there. Long ago and far away, I suppose. If I had been in charge of the search for Cooper, I would have made that spot Grand Central Station for the search, and bet my money it was the hijacker who had the nerve to do such a thing practically on the morning of Thanksgiving. Most people on the day prior to Thanksgiving are either with family, or preparing to eat the biggest meal of the year, not breaking a window or door to steal cigarettes, gloves, and beef jerky. 

Flyjack:  I'm closing the book (discussion) on the parachute question. I will agree that you have brought up important points on chute, chute...who's got the parachute...I give you that. But the truth is I just don't care that much on which one went where, or which one Cooper jumped with...unless they actually find that chute out there in the woods someday. It's a fairly moot point, with the bigger question being WHO was WEARING the chute when HE jumped out the back of that jet. So I'll agree you have brought up some valid stuff regarding these chutes, but it still doesn't tell us who Cooper was. Interesting, though. 

UPDATE ON THE RECENTLY-FILMED Cooper Videos:  There are three, on three different subjects. They are being processed right now for YouTube, in the order shown below. The first will be uploaded to YouTube late this evening. I will link it here when it is ready. Here are the subjects, in the order of release:

1) I address Eric Ulis' first 60 'Cooper Bite' videos. I was supposed to do this in fifteen minutes or less, but the whole thing ran to just over twenty minutes. Still, that's an average of three videos per minute and that's not bad. B| At the very end, the camera glitched on me because I accidentally hit 'Still Shot' which puts any further video onto a different folder. I was able to work around this problem with a still shot, which fades back into the ending. 

2) A short video with updates on the upcoming film on the Cooper case currently in production by two companies working in partnership. About five minutes long. 

3) I address Eric Ulis' deceptive behavior regarding his scheduled 'Cooper Con 2019' and how he dealt with the Cooper combination party event, by naming names and showing the public How Eric Trashed the Biggest Cooper Event Ever Planned in Pacific Northwest History. (By accepting the hosting job as an opportunity to trash the whole thing in favor of his own, rather lame event in Vancouver.) About ten minutes in length. I mention the Kiggins Theater in Vancouver, WA in the video, but that is only accurate if Shutter didn't post up lies about it, since that info came from Shutter directly.) 

Edited by RobertMBlevins

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Do you ever just sit and look at him? I do! It’s such an honor to be able to look at him. Many died not ever knowing what he looked like. In the next batch or so of files we will see why LC did what he did and why it was a smart move. No matter if anybody believes a word I say or trust any of my work, I don’t hold it against you. Nobody that sees his face can say that they haven’t seen the hijacker Dan “DB” Cooper. Even Rackstraw who died recently. It hasn’t been too long since I was a 29 year old underachiever so I have no doubt that Cooper was a hero to Rackstraw and people like him. It gives me peace at least knowing that Rackstraw got to see the person he idolized. Another big time DB Cooper fan, a woman by the name of Michelle McNamara who married actor Patton Oswalt, but some of you may know she wrote a New York Times best seller about her hunt for the Golden State Killer, but she died 2 years before he was caught. That always bothered me . I didn’t really like the people she socialized with but she was very smart. One day while reading her book I realized even though she was dead, she had a picture of the Golden State Killer in her book the whole time and had most likely at least glanced over his face. I’ve got to get one more man who killed 2 teenage girls on my birthday and then I will most likely stop if I can. 

8C1300BF-B1B9-4F25-9C16-FA31546409D7.jpeg

4C08215A-9C00-441F-8676-2D7E2BC51DC7.jpeg

0E828B1D-7F51-4F1B-B57C-9CE95C380EA7.png

Edited by GoingBoeing

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GoingBoeing: I appreciate your efforts here, I really do. But you are Going to have to present more than just pictures that look like the sketch of the hijacker...

Do you have any witnesses at ALL for this guy? Anyone who can say where he was or what he was doing, or even what he was SUPPOSED to be doing on the day of the hijacking? Any relatives or friends who have offered up evidence pointing to your guy as a possible suspect? 

I support any presentation on any suspect except maybe Rackstraw or Sheridan Peterson, neither of whom I believe was Cooper. 

Come on, be reasonable. They don't call the sketch the Bing Crosby sketch for nothing. Cooper's general description could fit a million different people. Even the stews on 305 couldn't agree completely on what he looked like. All three of them, Mucklow, Schaffner, and Hancock...all of them gave different combinations from the FBI's Facial Identification Catalog. 

How about unexplained spending? His life just prior to the hijacking? His life after the hijacking? A single witness who agrees with you, or who has gone on the record saying he or she believes your guy might be Cooper?

I support the forwarding of your guy completely. But you have to give people a little more than just pictures and the fact he worked at Boeing. My DAD worked at Boeing just prior to the hijacking, and was laid off just like the other 70,000 or so employees who got dumped at that same time. He ended up pulling heavy sheets of plywood from a dryer line and grading them for five bucks an hour, just to help feed the family. I can tell you with assurance he wasn't Cooper. You have to give people more than just pictures and your declaration he was Cooper. Something, anything that possibly links him to the crime. Motive, opportunity, a witness, etc. Something. 

NOTE: I am up late (for those who seem to concern themselves with my hours) because the first version of the Eric Ulis video was not to my liking. I went cheap on the parameters and the results were not up to standards. I increased the parameters and I am still waiting for the processing to finish. It will take at least an hour. I may just hit the sack and let it keep processing until morning. Knew I should have gone for 'high definition display' in the parameters even though it takes longer. 

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Late Night With Robert:  Took me until four in the AM here in Seattle, but I finally managed the edit and upload to YouTube for my first EU video. I didn't hit below the belt, but IMHO he deserves this to be made public. Wait until you see the one on how he managed to Trash the Biggest DB Cooper Event Ever Planned in NW History. 

Sometimes comedy and a few laughs are the best way to not only reach people, but to express points you try to make in the Cooper case. B|

 

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Wind in Seattle, SSE at 8PM...

Averaged winds at Salem and Portland were used as a proxy for wind direction.. this is a guess for the LZ and Placard find location, it is not a fact.

Salem, Portland and Seattle are too far from the LZ/Placard to have any confidence.

 

 

windseattle.jpeg

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5 hours ago, RobertMBlevins said:

Late Night With Robert:  Took me until four in the AM here in Seattle, but I finally managed the edit and upload to YouTube for my first EU video. I didn't hit below the belt, but IMHO he deserves this to be made public. Wait until you see the one on how he managed to Trash the Biggest DB Cooper Event Ever Planned in NW History. 

Sometimes comedy and a few laughs are the best way to not only reach people, but to express points you try to make in the Cooper case. B|

 

Robert I appreciate your efforts here. However nobody gives a crap about your campout. Your campout has nothing to do with DB Cooper. This is 2019. You know nothing about finding people. You know nothing about modern evidence and techniques. You know nothing about improvisation. You know nothing about evolving. Criminals always have and always will evolve and if you don’t evolve with them you get left at Blevins cookout. They don’t draw sketches for no reason. They don’t check surveillance cameras for no reason. 

3B4F435B-4FC1-4312-BA47-1A7FE46C7E7A.jpeg

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Robert I appreciate your efforts here. However nobody gives a crap about your campout.
(Except the people who attend these things.)

Your campout has nothing to do with DB Cooper.
(Except for the fact we show Cooper media, sometimes shoot Cooper-related media, discuss Cooper, and encourage continued public interest in the Cooper case.)

This is 2019. You know nothing about finding people.
(Except when I spent over a year driving all over the Northwest USA hunting down anybody and anyone who knew Kenny Christiansen. I'm also a former member of King County Search and Rescue.)

You know nothing about modern evidence and techniques. 
(Haven't seen any 'modern evidence or technique' regarding YOUR suspect, just some pictures so far, but I'm hoping.)

You know nothing about improvisation. You know nothing about evolving.
(I like improv comedy and I believe Darwin was right. Does that count?)

Criminals always have and always will evolve and if you don’t evolve with them you get left at Blevins cookout.
(No they don't. Sometime it is a one-off type of crime, such as Cooper's. Had he 'evolved' and done more hijackings, they would have caught him.) 

They don’t draw sketches for no reason.
(Yes, this is true.)

They don’t check surveillance cameras for no reason.
(No footage available for Cooper, unfortunately. And you are not the first to blow up and present a picture of the Boston Marathon bombing suspect. I did the same thing at the time it happened.) 

***********
EDIT:  On another subject, 'three miles ENE of La Center' puts the landing zone for Cooper in a heavily wooded area just south of the airstrip called La Center View Air Airport, which almost certainly was NOT in existence in 1971. This dropzone is also just south of the area between Green and Bald Mountains, the location of the Amboy Parachute found in 2008. 

The population of La Center is just over 2,000 today. In 1970 it was about 300. The location mentioned in the FBI document (today) is a heavily wooded area surrounded by a developed area that was NOT developed in 1970. From there, it would be about five to six miles to the Interstate 5 freeway. If you believe the winds at the time of Cooper's jump WERE coming basically from the SOUTH, then his dropzone would be just about where everyone had it figured in the first place, i.e. south of Ariel and northeast of Vancouver, WA. 

Because no one has been able to narrow down the time of Cooper's jump in relation to the exact position of the aircraft to anything less than two, or possibly even three minutes...this leaves you with a search area of between 12-16 square miles. And since the real search for Cooper didn't begin until sometime in the morning after the hijacking, he would have had a head start on any search of at least ten to twelve hours...more than sufficient time to reach civilization and possibly a telephone before the hunt was really on for him. 

LaCenterShotMap.jpg

Green_BaldMountains.jpg

(In the map just above, note that La Center is in the extreme lower left hand corner. The Amboy chute was located somewhere along the yellow line shown in the picture.)

I keep wondering WHERE that store was that suffered the break-in the night of the hijacking. One thing about these Google Map shots of the general area you have to remember:  All those brown clear cuts and developments you see in them? They were mostly just green and undeveloped back in 1971, and there were far fewer streets and roads. This is especially true for any areas down there outside of an organized town or village. Just not a whole lot of people lived out there back then, unlike today. 

Edited by RobertMBlevins

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Interesting picture turned over to AB of Seattle today:  Bruce Christiansen, (Kenny Christiansen's nephew) with Flight 305 co-pilot Bill Rataczak. They talked about Kenny, the case in general, and the upcoming movie naming Kenny as the hijacker. 

BillAndBruceC.jpg

Edited by RobertMBlevins

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Now at YouTube:  Second in a series of three videos shot in the Olympic Mountains this month about certain issues in the Cooper case. This one is a six-minute informational video on the latest updates to 'Into The Blast,' the first-ever dramatic feature film on the hijacking. Movie is scheduled for release in 2021. The final in this series tells the story of how Eric Ulis managed to trash the biggest Cooper event ever planned for the Northwest...simply by agreeing to host it. (The final video will be released in a few weeks.) Ulis, the host of 'Cooper Con 2019,' agreed to host a combination event and then decided it was better for him if it never happened. He then rented a theater in Vancouver, WA and invited people to come there instead. In the opinion of AB of Seattle staff, it was a dirty trick indeed...and without any real headliners to attract the public, will probably only garner a few attendees. Ulis would have been smarter to follow through with the original plan, the one he agreed to in group emails seen by quite a number of people. After learning the TRUE story about all this, at least one of Eric's scheduled speakers is having a crisis of conscience. I also discovered recently that an email campaign from a few people in Cooperland contributed to the whole thing, and that Eric supported this effort. This resulted in a rather lame 'Cooper Con' alone, which will probably be attended by fewer people than he thinks. I don't have a problem with Cooper Con itself, but deliberately trashing another event by agreeing to host it and then doing nothing is probably the biggest disservice ever done to Cooper fans. Here at Adventure Books, the staff sees Ulis as little more than a DB Cooper huckster. 

 

Edited by RobertMBlevins

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1 hour ago, DFS346 said:

Attached are summaries of NOAA data on upper-level winds at Seattle, Gray AAF and Salem on or around 11.24.1971, plus data for Portland in November 1972 (no data available for November 1971).

72793 1971-11 weather aloft.xlsx

74207 1971-11 weather aloft.xlsx

72698 1972-11 weather aloft.xlsx

72694 711124 weather.xlsx

The problem is the data for the identified "LZ" and placard find location for the 8 to 8:12PM time frame isn't available.

The FBI estimated the wind using Portland and Salem average winds from 8-9.. Portland and Salem are too far away and using an average over an hour is too vague.

Best data shows winds shifting between SSE to SSW... 

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EU wrote.. 

"I sent Cliff Ammerman a copy of the yellow FBI Flight Path map and asked him to review it and let me know if it looked right to him. He called me this morning about the map and said he “would not argue with this track.” In other words, that it may well be correct."

 

Can we end the western flight path nonsense already..

 

Flight path came from SAGE..

sagepath.jpeg.c5d9cee51ad991824e89640a5a5e05be.jpeg

 

Edited by FLYJACK

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2 hours ago, FLYJACK said:

EU wrote.. 

"I sent Cliff Ammerman a copy of the yellow FBI Flight Path map and asked him to review it and let me know if it looked right to him. He called me this morning about the map and said he “would not argue with this track.” In other words, that it may well be correct."

 

Can we end the western flight path nonsense already..

 

Flight path came from SAGE..

sagepath.jpeg.c5d9cee51ad991824e89640a5a5e05be.jpeg

 

Very dishonest and misleading. Below is my entire post:

I sent Cliff Ammerman a copy of the yellow FBI Flight Path map and asked him to review it and let me know if it looked right to him. He called me this morning about the map and said he “would not argue with this track.” In other words, that it may well be correct.

Naturally, I asked him how this all adds up given the comments about turning south east of Kelso and the T-33 not changing headings as it trailed at least five miles behind 305.

Cliff explained to me in great detail how this all works.

First off, he did say that he thought 305 turned south (or SW according to the FBI map) before Battle Ground. But he explained to me that on his radar screen back in 1971, targets resembled an equal (=) sign. And, that the location of the target would actually be located somewhere on that equal sign line which was not very precise.

Cliff stated that this equal sign would align itself perpendicular to the radar station that the data was coming from. Therefore, as the target is moving, the equal sign is ever so slowly realigning itself relative to the radar station that the radar data is coming from.

In addition, he stated that the further away the target is from the radar station the bigger the equal sign gets. In other words, the precise location of the jet is more uncertain.

Cliff told me that his display utilized radar data from a station near Salem, OR. Moreover, that the scale of his screen was probably 150 miles because he was covering two sectors. What this meant was that at the point where 305 was handed off to him, north of Teledo, the equal sign represented a line about 15 miles long. In other words, he would know that the jet was somewhere along that 15-mile-long line.

He stated that as the jet continued south and got closer to the Salem radar site the equal sign would get smaller—in other words, more precise. He estimates that the equal sign measured between 5 to 8 miles wide around the PDX area. What this means is that 305 could have been anywhere along this 5 to 8 mile long equal sign line at that point. Consider, that the orientation of the equal sign display near PDX would be essentially northwest to southeast.

Therefore, looking at his radar display, he could not target precisely where the jet was located. Rather, he had a general idea. Also, he stated that given the 150-mile scale that he was on, he would not notice a change in 305’s direction unless it was something that was held for a little while.

All of this means that the T-33 could have stayed on a consistent heading of 160 even though 305 itself was making turns here and there as depicted on the yellow map. Moreover, that he would not notice these turns on his radar screen. Again, the equal sign target display on his screen would simply show 305 heading south with the T-33 trailing behind.

I asked him about the problems of knowing whether 305 stayed within V23 proper given that the equal sign target display is actually longer than the entire V23 corridor is wide at certain points. He said that what they would normally do is notify the pilots if the center of the equal sign display got to the outer edge of the Victor airway. But, in fact, that the jet may actually already be a few miles out of the airway or a few miles within the airway. In other words, the system was not very precise.

Cliff and I discussed the map and he stated that regardless of who put it together that he would think that they would have to use an array of radar data from different sites to be as accurate as possible. In particular, he stated that Portland Tower radar should be pretty precise because the scale they were working with was probably 40 miles as opposed to the 150-mile scale he was working with.

All of this said, I have a hard time believing the Air Force contacted Portland Tower, or any other non-military radar facility, to get their radar data to craft the flight path. That said, perhaps they did.

Nonetheless, we are faced once again with the $64,000 question: How exactly did the Air Force plot this flight path and with what data? After all, the path they plotted is very precise.

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3 minutes ago, EJU said:

Very dishonest and misleading. Below is my entire post:

I sent Cliff Ammerman a copy of the yellow FBI Flight Path map and asked him to review it and let me know if it looked right to him. He called me this morning about the map and said he “would not argue with this track.” In other words, that it may well be correct.

Naturally, I asked him how this all adds up given the comments about turning south east of Kelso and the T-33 not changing headings as it trailed at least five miles behind 305.

Cliff explained to me in great detail how this all works.

First off, he did say that he thought 305 turned south (or SW according to the FBI map) before Battle Ground. But he explained to me that on his radar screen back in 1971, targets resembled an equal (=) sign. And, that the location of the target would actually be located somewhere on that equal sign line which was not very precise.

Cliff stated that this equal sign would align itself perpendicular to the radar station that the data was coming from. Therefore, as the target is moving, the equal sign is ever so slowly realigning itself relative to the radar station that the radar data is coming from.

In addition, he stated that the further away the target is from the radar station the bigger the equal sign gets. In other words, the precise location of the jet is more uncertain.

Cliff told me that his display utilized radar data from a station near Salem, OR. Moreover, that the scale of his screen was probably 150 miles because he was covering two sectors. What this meant was that at the point where 305 was handed off to him, north of Teledo, the equal sign represented a line about 15 miles long. In other words, he would know that the jet was somewhere along that 15-mile-long line.

He stated that as the jet continued south and got closer to the Salem radar site the equal sign would get smaller—in other words, more precise. He estimates that the equal sign measured between 5 to 8 miles wide around the PDX area. What this means is that 305 could have been anywhere along this 5 to 8 mile long equal sign line at that point. Consider, that the orientation of the equal sign display near PDX would be essentially northwest to southeast.

Therefore, looking at his radar display, he could not target precisely where the jet was located. Rather, he had a general idea. Also, he stated that given the 150-mile scale that he was on, he would not notice a change in 305’s direction unless it was something that was held for a little while.

All of this means that the T-33 could have stayed on a consistent heading of 160 even though 305 itself was making turns here and there as depicted on the yellow map. Moreover, that he would not notice these turns on his radar screen. Again, the equal sign target display on his screen would simply show 305 heading south with the T-33 trailing behind.

I asked him about the problems of knowing whether 305 stayed within V23 proper given that the equal sign target display is actually longer than the entire V23 corridor is wide at certain points. He said that what they would normally do is notify the pilots if the center of the equal sign display got to the outer edge of the Victor airway. But, in fact, that the jet may actually already be a few miles out of the airway or a few miles within the airway. In other words, the system was not very precise.

Cliff and I discussed the map and he stated that regardless of who put it together that he would think that they would have to use an array of radar data from different sites to be as accurate as possible. In particular, he stated that Portland Tower radar should be pretty precise because the scale they were working with was probably 40 miles as opposed to the 150-mile scale he was working with.

All of this said, I have a hard time believing the Air Force contacted Portland Tower, or any other non-military radar facility, to get their radar data to craft the flight path. That said, perhaps they did.

Nonetheless, we are faced once again with the $64,000 question: How exactly did the Air Force plot this flight path and with what data? After all, the path they plotted is very precise.

You have been falsely claiming Ammerman supported your you alternate flight path nonsense..

Now, you are forced to admit he accepts the FBI flight path and somehow others are dishonest.

 

Dishonesty is claiming the wind direction is a fact, contrary to the FBI files and data. FACT.

Dishonesty is claiming that the placard came from NORJAK is a fact, FBI walked back the Sheriff's claim. FACT.

 

The flight path came from SAGE, you'd know that if you did something as simple as reading the FBI files.

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In 1971, ASR2 radar would show two aircraft as separate entities at a range of ten miles if the aircraft were at least 600 feet apart. At max range, or about 150 miles, accuracy is less, but nowhere NEAR what EU claims. If radar was as inaccurate as he says, passenger jets would crash into each other on a regular basis. During this same year, the slightly improved ASR7 was coming into existence and it was even a bit MORE accurate. If a different system was being used by PDX, then ground clutter would be eliminated, but it is still the same concept. I will assume that 305 also had its transponder turned on. This enables the aircraft to be tracked by both primary and secondary radar systems. 

Here is an article about radar from the Feb 1971 issue of Flying magazine that explains it well enough for even a novice like me to understand (most of it anyway). I would also remind EU that 305 was being tracked by more than one radar source, and that everyone involved in tracking the flight had ample time to prepare to do so. And once they got the military to turn on the SAGE system for them, it was party over. Jet was pinpointed within meters in any direction. 

You can find the article in Flying magazine (describes the basics) HERE. 

The term 'SAGE' (semi-automatic ground environment) radar gets tossed around a lot in the Cooper case. But people don't appreciate how accurate (and deadly to an enemy) it really WAS. It cost more than the Manhattan Project to do, it WORKED beyond its inventors wildest dreams, and on Cooper Night there were TWO of them in the Northwest, one in Portland, one in the Seattle area. It's a complicated story, and very underappreciated. When they brought in SAGE to track Cooper, you can forget any idea that they didn't know exactly where 305 was the entire time. 

Quora question on 'How accurate is ATC radar?'  Response: 

Quote

 

"In general, the further the range that a radar needs to look, the slower it rotates. An airport surface radar may rotate as fast as twice per second, long range en-route radars can go as slow as once per 12 seconds. For typical TMA / TRACON use, 5 seconds would be in the right ballpark, for en-route 8 seconds will be about right.

The accuracy depends on the type of antenna, whether it is primary or secondary radar, and the distance of the aircraft from the radar head. The accuracy of the distance measurement are not so much affected by the range, and varies from about 5 meters to 300 meters..."

Radar, when a good system is working properly and free from most interference and ground clutter, is pretty accurate even at 100 NM. In the measurements given below, the single 'M' refers to METERS, not miles. (I don't claim expertise on radar, but after some simple research, even I was able to figure out that under normal conditions, ATC radar is fairly accurate. I believe the units shown below are the ones installed on aircraft, not used by ATC. The ATC stuff is better, I would assume. 

In any event, a claim that a passenger jet being tracked by radar sources within a reasonable range could be 'off' by miles in either direction is patently ridiculous. This is DOUBLY true when that aircraft is put under the watchful eye of SAGE, as well as ATC and a couple of military aircraft. Forgettaboutit. 

Some results of radar units are indicated in the following table as example:

radar unit accuracy in bearing accuracy in range accuracy in height
BOR–A 550 < ±0.3° < 20 m  
LANZA < ±0.14° < 50 m 340 m ≈ 1150 feet (at 100 NM)
GM 400 < ±0,3° < 50 m 600 m ≈ 2000 feet (at 100 NM)
RRP–117 < ±0,18° < 463 m 1000 m ≈ 3000 feet (at 100 NM)
MSSR-2000 < ±0.049° < 44.4 m  
STAR-2000 < ±0.16° < 60 m  
Variant < ±0.25° < 25 m  
Edited by RobertMBlevins

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12 hours ago, EJU said:

Very dishonest and misleading. Below is my entire post:

I sent Cliff Ammerman a copy of the yellow FBI Flight Path map and asked him to review it and let me know if it looked right to him. He called me this morning about the map and said he “would not argue with this track.” In other words, that it may well be correct.

Naturally, I asked him how this all adds up given the comments about turning south east of Kelso and the T-33 not changing headings as it trailed at least five miles behind 305.

Cliff explained to me in great detail how this all works.

First off, he did say that he thought 305 turned south (or SW according to the FBI map) before Battle Ground. But he explained to me that on his radar screen back in 1971, targets resembled an equal (=) sign. And, that the location of the target would actually be located somewhere on that equal sign line which was not very precise.

Cliff stated that this equal sign would align itself perpendicular to the radar station that the data was coming from. Therefore, as the target is moving, the equal sign is ever so slowly realigning itself relative to the radar station that the radar data is coming from.

In addition, he stated that the further away the target is from the radar station the bigger the equal sign gets. In other words, the precise location of the jet is more uncertain.

Cliff told me that his display utilized radar data from a station near Salem, OR. Moreover, that the scale of his screen was probably 150 miles because he was covering two sectors. What this meant was that at the point where 305 was handed off to him, north of Teledo, the equal sign represented a line about 15 miles long. In other words, he would know that the jet was somewhere along that 15-mile-long line.

He stated that as the jet continued south and got closer to the Salem radar site the equal sign would get smaller—in other words, more precise. He estimates that the equal sign measured between 5 to 8 miles wide around the PDX area. What this means is that 305 could have been anywhere along this 5 to 8 mile long equal sign line at that point. Consider, that the orientation of the equal sign display near PDX would be essentially northwest to southeast.

Therefore, looking at his radar display, he could not target precisely where the jet was located. Rather, he had a general idea. Also, he stated that given the 150-mile scale that he was on, he would not notice a change in 305’s direction unless it was something that was held for a little while.

All of this means that the T-33 could have stayed on a consistent heading of 160 even though 305 itself was making turns here and there as depicted on the yellow map. Moreover, that he would not notice these turns on his radar screen. Again, the equal sign target display on his screen would simply show 305 heading south with the T-33 trailing behind.

I asked him about the problems of knowing whether 305 stayed within V23 proper given that the equal sign target display is actually longer than the entire V23 corridor is wide at certain points. He said that what they would normally do is notify the pilots if the center of the equal sign display got to the outer edge of the Victor airway. But, in fact, that the jet may actually already be a few miles out of the airway or a few miles within the airway. In other words, the system was not very precise.

Cliff and I discussed the map and he stated that regardless of who put it together that he would think that they would have to use an array of radar data from different sites to be as accurate as possible. In particular, he stated that Portland Tower radar should be pretty precise because the scale they were working with was probably 40 miles as opposed to the 150-mile scale he was working with.

All of this said, I have a hard time believing the Air Force contacted Portland Tower, or any other non-military radar facility, to get their radar data to craft the flight path. That said, perhaps they did.

Nonetheless, we are faced once again with the $64,000 question: How exactly did the Air Force plot this flight path and with what data? After all, the path they plotted is very precise.

A314418A-72E5-434C-A687-47907B079BD6.jpeg

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