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# DB Cooper

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I'm not really dealing with theory, I'm dealing with physics.

The max "jolt" you're going to get is 174 pounds of force.

The theory part is:
"he lost the money mid air"
"he died upon impact"
"money flowed down a tributary"
"he would have decelerated quickly"
"he would have done a no pull"
"I think the timeline is off"
"I think the plane is further east"
"I think Cooper knew where he was"
"Cooper had this all planned out"
"Cooper buried the money"
"Cooper had an accomplice"

Those are theories. There's nothing wrong with a theory, but it would be nice if people with theories would actually support the theory with more than "I once held a guy's hand while jumping from a Perris DC-9 and we lost our grip and flew apart"

I realize what I'm about to do isn't totally accurate, but it's just to illustrate a point. Suppose you have a skydiver who's 6 feet tall & 15 inches wide. I realize the width isn't perfect and the total square footage is less. Rounding down, that's 7 square feet at 170 knots that would produce a max force of about 870 pounds. I again do not think it's really possible to get the "max" even with two jumpers... but supposing it's true, comparing 870 pounds of force secured only through holding hands is not the same as 174 pounds of force secured through suspension line.

It's two totally different things.

Then, to support the theory of a no pull or Cooper losing the cash mid-air, you must conquer several hurdles including the timeline, flight path, float time of money, condition of money, and the catch 22.

There's nothing wrong with the theory, it's just the theory has little to no support and has huge obstacles, none of which have been adequately addressed. That's all I'm trying to say here.

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I think what Safecrack is saying Orange1 is that if the bag doesn't float for very long, how did it travel so far in the water. And then wash up somewhere.

I also don't see it where info by jumpers is being ignored. What I do see is where the difficulty of this jump is being overstated.

Here is a simple question. If we recreated Cooper's jump using 100 jumpers, what percent of them would die? Are we talking 80%, 90%? Isn't the real answer probably closer to 0%.

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Here is a simple question. If we recreated Cooper's jump using 100 jumpers, what percent of them would die? Are we talking 80%, 90%? Isn't the real answer probably closer to 0%.

If you are talking about skydivers out of the Perris jet during the day the number approaches 0%.

However, if you're talking about the conditions under which Cooper jumped; rounds at night and in bad weather in unfamiliar and rough terrain, the number will be considerable. Under those conditions, you wouldn't need to die directly from the jump. A simple sprain could be enough to ensure you didn't walk out of the situation alive.
quade -
The World's Most Boring Skydiver

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I think what Safecrack is saying Orange1 is that if the bag doesn't float for very long, how did it travel so far in the water. And then wash up somewhere.

I also don't see it where info by jumpers is being ignored. What I do see is where the difficulty of this jump is being overstated.

While I understand what you're trying to convey, I feel it necessary to clear this up somewhat. I can't speak to the float time of the money bag, and that's precisely why I have a huge cache sitting here waiting to be tested. I need to know more about the bag and I need to wait for summer before I test the float time of the money bag. I can say that a single stack of cash sinks in less than 11 minutes. However, you're right that I do think it's highly improbable that a canvas bag of money could float for any length of time in LaCamas lake, let alone making the journey from the lake to the Columbia and then 20 miles down river to where it was found.

Second, there's been only minimal discussion of the actual difficulty of the jump itself. Actually, the DZ community has been somewhat split. Certain posters think the conditions made it highly unlikely that he survived, and others voiced their opinion that it wasn't all that difficult. Personally, I can't speak to the difficulty at all. How could I? I do know that Earl Cossey said if Cooper pulled the ripcord, he thought Cooper survived. I also know that I do not base my opinion on the conditions of the jump.

There's a big reason why I don't. It's because of all the evidence that suggests otherwise. Like I said, I can't speak to the difficulty of the jump, but I can tell you unequivocally that the plane was no where near a tributary if we're to believe the three eye witnesses and the understanding of the timeline from 1971. There's significant reason to believe the jump occured precisely where they originally thought, and there's basically no evidence suggesting otherwise. The location of the plane when the jump took place is paramount to proving the viability of any theory. I can tell you that going off of the tests conducted in Jan 72 and going off of radar information from the USAF and off of eyewitnesses (pilots), Northwest Airlines concluded that the jump occured between 8:10-8:12. I've heard 8:13 before, but never, ever has it been stated as later than this. Absence of any evidence to overthrow the original investigation, how can anyone disagree with this? Further, I illustrated on the previous thread that even if you extend the timeline out arbitrarily, there's still significant doubt that the plane was even within 2 miles of the tributary zone, let alone right on top of it.

Those two pieces of information right there are where my points of contention are. If you would like to discuss the difficulty of the jump, you're obviously welcome to do so, but we'd be better served to deal with the information at hand. The only "evidence" that remotely suggests a no pull or a lost ransom was the money found in 1980. If you argue this route, you're still going to have significant issues.

Guru312 did a wonderful thing in speaking with a bag supplier. However, I'd put some money on him forgetting to ask THE imperitive question: Given the dimensions of 10,000 bills and the year (1971), what is the likely brand and style of bag that would fit the description? It was described as having "handles" with no zipper. If I'm wrong Guru, then I'd be happier than could be... I'd love nothing more than to see a list of likely bags that could have been used.

Like I said, I have the cash sitting here ready to be tested this summer, and when I do the test, I'd like it to be as accurate as we can make it. I would most certainly video tape the experiment (the other test I did I only took photos).

But make no mistakes about what I'm saying. For me to test floating money is like testing to see the odds of winning the lottery. While it's possible the money had the opportunity to reach a tributary, we're really talking about a minute possibility that's hardly worth discussion. In addition, if a money bag cannot float for more than a few days, then the argument will be completely nullified.

In other words, I can't speak to the difficulties that Cooper faced. I think we can all agree, saying that he jumped in less than ideal conditions would be dishonest... he jumped in horrible conditions. Whether or not he made it out is certainly a debate we will likely have for a long, long time, but if you do not think that someone moved the money, then you simply were not paying attention. My argument has nothing to do with conditions of the jump or probabilities of survival... it has to do with the infinitesimal likelihood that the money naturally traveled to where it was found.

One final thing. If we're to spend time perusing this thread and this topic, then we owe it to ourselves and to each other to remain intellectually honest.

I once made the mistake of saying there aren't any creeks that flow east in Clark County. That was a stupid thing for me to say, especially without taking the time to look at a map. Similar things have been said on this thread and those comments go unchallenged and even applauded at times. This does everyone a disservice.

Along those lines, there was some question as to the veracity of the geologist's conclusion. First, you must understand that geology is a science. If an object is found above a known layer, and the layer is undisturbed (no earthquakes or such), then the object was placed on the ground AFTER the layer was formed. Please see the two photos. In the first one, you will see Mr. Palmer in a pit that was dug on the beach and he is showing you the distance between the surface and the 1974 layer of river silt dredged from the Columbia. The money was found at the surface of the sand when young Brian raked across the sand to smooth it out. I have drawn in a red line where the 74 layer is, and then in the second picture, you can look for yourselves to see the same layer. It's approximately 18 inches below the surface, and keep in mind, the layer is 1974 not 1971. The 71 era sand would be even further down.

This is truly where the discussion ought to be directed. However, it would be frivolous to discuss this without Ckret here. Therefore, let's hope he returns.

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SafecrackingPLF:

Welcome back! I hear you loud and clear. You Sluggo and Guru raise some really interesting and thought provoking points on the found money, flight path, hydrology and topology etc.

What then is your most likely explanation of how the money got to where it was found? Start with Cooper's exit and end with the kid finding the cash. Sluggo and Guru, you too.

Since long distance river transport of that money sounds nearly impossible (given its condition), then I think we need to adjust the flight track so that the money lands at a place where natural means can transport it to the find site. I know my theory will be ridiculed, and that's OK. I am keeping an open mind.

What can we do to get Ckret back? Is he still the agent in charge on the case?
2018 marks half a century as a skydiver. Trained by the late Perry Stevens D-51 in 1968.

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I also don't see it where info by jumpers is being ignored. What I do see is where the difficulty of this jump is being overstated.

You don't, huh? How about this:
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There's nothing wrong with a theory, but it would be nice if people with theories would actually support the theory with more than "I once held a guy's hand while jumping from a Perris DC-9 and we lost our grip and flew apart"

In other words real life experiences by real live experienced jumpers out of real live jets are being dismissed in favour of a bunch of numbers on a piece of paper. Somehow that is more "support" to a theory than guys that have actually done the thing?

As for the difficulty of the jump, real live experienced jumpers have posted time and time again to that but oops... it doesn't suit your theory. Tell me Albert18, have you ever jumped a jet? At night? With a load? In extreme weather? Over rough terrain? When you do, then let us know if the difficulty is being overstated. The simple fact of you even putting that sentence is is proof exactly that people are ignoring what the jumpers have to say.
Skydiving: wasting fossil fuels just for fun.

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But Orange1, I don't have a theory.

I'm just trying to make sense of the information we have. If part of the money is found then that would suggest to me Cooper died that night. But then the FBI says the money wasn't exposed to the elements for a very long time period and was deposited to it's found location years after the hijacking. I don't know what to make of that information.

Some of the FBI thinking does give me pause though.

For example, on several occasions Ckret said they thought Cooper planned to jump immediately after the plane took off from Seattle.

But Cooper didn't start putting the gear on until after he sent Tina to the front of the airplane. He sent her to the front after the airplane had taken off. If he was planning to exit the airplane around Seattle wouldn't he have been ready to go before the airplane took off?

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Albert, yes but you seem to be defending other people's theories (unless i misread your post). It is still possible that the money was separated in air but did not land in the water immediately. It is not automatic that if he lost the money it was in the water immediately, that is why all that stuff about float time doesn't necessarily matter. Theories are good but they need to be backed up by empirical evidence. So numbers on a piece of paper are great, but if a bunch of people who have been there empirically say otherwise, well you gotta take that into account. i work all day with the difference between theory and reality and numbers may be interesting but by themselves they don't prove a damn thing.

btw i don't know much about jet jumps but i believe the jump would have been survivable if the jumper was experienced enough, and from what i can see the only real experience for a jump like that would have been paratrooper training. the only paratrooper that i am aware of that has ever been put forward as a suspect is christiansen. sure it's possible an experienced skydiver of the era may have got lucky and made it out. otherwise i pretty much can't see much other option than that there are bones somewhere with bits of harness attached. sorry though to SCPLF, i have no numbers on bits of paper to back that up, just common sense and the accumulated wisdom of others who have "been there done that".

other than christiansen i personally don't see anyone who has been mentioned as a suspect as having the ability to survive the jump plus some proof of actually having some real money afterwards (i.e. not a just couple of grand that could have been made in some other petty scam and explained away as garage sale proceeds) but the fbi dismissed christiansen on the physical description. so i don't have a theory either, anymore.
Skydiving: wasting fossil fuels just for fun.

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First, it's great to be able to chat about this stuff again, although I will need to scale back some just for real life purposes.

Several regulars have left the discussion, and by regulars, I mean DZ regulars.

Orange1 said:
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In other words real life experiences by real live experienced jumpers out of real live jets are being dismissed in favour of a bunch of numbers on a piece of paper.

I think you raise a valid concern. What has happened in the past though is that there are different people talking different languages. Every single person on this thread has contributed in some way or another. Your experience or those of others who have exited a jet at a high speed (Perris) have some keen insight.

The important thing is to make sure all insights and arguments are classified in a proper way. In other words, a personal experience of exit turbulence is a great thing to discuss, but what is the end argument? It's fallacious to think Cooper's loot couldn't stay attached to him because two skydivers could not hold hands while exiting. The reason it's fallacious is that the two don't exactly equal, and that's why I calculated the wind force of the two different surface areas at the same 170 knots just to show the point.

That doesn't mean the experience isn't valid, it just means the two may not be fully the same. This is what I meant by intellectual honesty.

Albert18 said
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But Orange1, I don't have a theory.

Technically Albert is correct. He has not laid out a specific theory on these pages, but the first Albert post was chalk full of what he thought. Those thoughts are somewhat transparent to someone who has studied this case as much as most of us have. There's definitely an underlying theory; it's just unspoken. That first post you made told me what theory you suscribe to. Your comments, ideas, and insight are all valuable to moving closer to objective truth from the realm of endless speculation.

You said a few other things:
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For example, on several occasions Ckret said they thought Cooper planned to jump immediately after the plane took off from Seattle.

But Cooper didn't start putting the gear on until after he sent Tina to the front of the airplane. He sent her to the front after the airplane had taken off. If he was planning to exit the airplane around Seattle wouldn't he have been ready to go before the airplane took off?

The theory that Cooper wanted to originally jump in the Seattle area is pure speculation based on some points of interest, most notably the fact that Cooper wanted the stairs down on take-off.

I'm not really sure that Cooper waited until Tina was in the cockpit before he started putting on the equipment. In fact, he had harnessed up and was finishing off his securing the money bag to his person when she left. You raise a legitimate concern that he may have purposely delayed everything while they were taking off.

The rest of it, I'd like to defer to Ckret.

377 wrote:
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Since long distance river transport of that money sounds nearly impossible (given its condition), then I think we need to adjust the flight track so that the money lands at a place where natural means can transport it to the find site. I know my theory will be ridiculed, and that's OK. I am keeping an open mind.

What can we do to get Ckret back? Is he still the agent in charge on the case?

First of all, I do think the lengthy water route is improbable, but I can't really speak to it being impossible; it just appears that way as of now.

I think suggesting that the plane was way off course is a valid thought. I would only add that the map created in Jan 72 was based on USAF data as per Ckret's post. It shows within 1 mile where the plane was at a given time. For the plane idea to hold up, both the timeline and the location would have to be incorrect. There's very little, and actually nothing, that suggests either of these were inacurate. The idea is fine, there's just nothing as of now that supports it.

I will do what I can to get Ckret back. I haven't had contact with him very much since our thread was shut down. I did inform him of my renewed access to the thread, but I don't know if his timeout was the same duration as mine. Still, he's a busy guy with many things to work on, and the Cooper stuff is more of an ancillary hobby stemming from his work. Let's give him some time, and my guess is that he'll be back.

It shouldn't be understated, we can't really make progress here without Ckret.

Regarding the money float: as it is now, we have some reason to believe the approximate path of the flight and we know where the tributaries are. When I put all that stuff together in the previous thread, I operated under a major assumption: that every waterway is viable.

I cannot say if LaCamas lake is even viable. I will have to visit this area by foot before making such a judgement and I have requested some help from Sluggo privately (since he has maps like crazy). In other words, it may not even be possible for a 12x17x9 bag to leave the lake. If that turns out to be the case, then float times will be of little value because we'd be relegated to the Washougal river.

The Washougal river has about 0% chance of fitting a waterway theory simply because it's so far from the flight path (11+ miles). See post 1443 on this in the previous thread.

Therefore, there's two key points left to investigate. The float time of money (which may be rendered meaningless) and the viability of LaCamas Lake.

Should either of those two fail, we'd be left with your idea (plane was way off course and the timeline was way off) or some other.

Right now, I can't really say what my "theory" is, because it would be incomplete. I do not know, and I need to figure out the speed of the river to back into a theory. Using float time and river speed, I might be able to back into a theory as to how it got where it was found.

Currently, we have too many unanswered questions.

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It's fallacious to think Cooper's loot couldn't stay attached to him because two skydivers could not hold hands while exiting. The reason it's fallacious is that the two don't exactly equal...

I go away for a weekend skiing with my daughter and come back to find people still "arguing" about DB...and mentioning my "research" but misunderstanding my conjecture in the process.

Regarding the above quote: I think that as a non-jumper you are misunderstanding what we jumpers are saying regarding DB's exit. The turbulence forces involved during a high-speed, aerodynamically dirty aircraft exit would be extremely difficult to compute. The forces act in three dimensions and could be described as what you'd expect if you jumped into the wall of a tornado. One can not pick a Calculus I formula, punch in airspeed, and expect to determine pounds of pressure for a situation such as the one before us. Doing so is way too simplistic not representative of the situation. IMHO.

My hypothesis is that he used a 14 ft length of suspension line to tie the bank bag into a tight bundle. My money bag manufacturer source said a bag that size would have handles to make carrying the bag easy. He also said it would proably be 10 or 12 oz canvas and most likely treated with a water repellent. Remember, he found invoices in his files that Seattle First National Bank had purchased from him but there were no invoices still in existence since 1971. He said Seattle First purchased bags of that size--which is very common--with handles and with zippers and some with just handles but most had zippers. He discussed and agreed in speculation that DB's bag would most likely be water-repellent, have two handles and probably have a zipper. He found it unlikely that a bank in the NorthWest wouldn't have a zipper and water repellent to keep the money dry in that rainy invironment for interbank transfer or movement of money outside a bank. Intrabank transfer is usually done with a none zippered bag. Personally, I find it very odd that the bag wouldn't have a zipper.

Think about it folks: a dark, windy and rainy night...and they send \$200,000 in 20s in an open bag to a hijacker with a bomb in his briefcase?! Can't you just hear the conversation among all the authorities, "How about if we really piss off this jerk with the bomb and send his ransom in one of them no-zipper and no-repellent bags so he'll end up with wet soggy money? Call that bank manager and ask him to send a bag without zippers instead of what they'd normally use."

I find it inconceivable that the money was not protected with a zipper...for water and theft protection. It's entirely too easy to drop money out of an open bag. Can you just imagine an average day among money couriers: "Gee, I'm sorry boss, we hit a bump and five of them danged open, nonzip bags dumped out on the truck floor. We probably missed a couple of packets when we was a pickin' them up; that's why a few packs was missin'. Don't be too upset. The bags fall over and the money pours out every time we make a delivery on that dang mountain road! Oh, and we're sorry about all those wet hundreds from yesterday. That was one hell of a downpour."

Any bank logistics manager in the Northwest who distributed money outside of the bank in un-zippered bags would be looking for a job. IMHO.

Continuing...When DB gets the bag and parachutes he uses one 14 ft piece of line and ties the bag into a tight bundle. As I figure it, considering the volumes of money and bag volume, he has some folding and tieing of the corners and sides. Not a terribly difficult thing to do. Most Americans know how to wrap Chrismas gifts and that's just what he's wrapping up: A Christmas gift. [He's acquiring his gift two days before Black Friday.]

14 feet of line gives him enough for a few turns around the bag. One length of cord is enough for him to tie a reasonably secure and tight package. It doesn't have to be water proof! What it has to be is securely tied.

It does not have to float but if he folds the top and cinches the cord around the fold, the bag will float, and keep out water for quite some time. The money bag man thought a bag securely wrapped could last quite a few days. But...it doesn't need to be water tight. It doesn't need to float forever. It needs to stay tied and bang along the river, moved by the current. Heavy rains and flooding could easily move the bag many miles over many years; 14 feet of 550 lb breaking strength material will keep it closed for many years.

Then, sometime later, the canvas finally splits open and the packs pour out. One packet finds it way to the river bank for the boy to find...and a few bills make it to eBay.

Did I say the money bag doesn't have to float for the entire time?

Synopsis: Tying the money bag securely as a package is fairly easy. Tying the bag securely enough to prevent it being ripped from his body is very difficult. The money bag doesn't have to float for years. The money in the bag, although saturated, is protected from physical degradation by the strength of the tied bag. When the bag finally disintegrates, many of the rubber-bound packets tumble out and one finally ends up on the banks of the Columbia.

Years later, total strangers waste countless hours discussing the situation.

Guru312

I am not DB Cooper

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Years later, total strangers waste countless hours discussing the situation.

Skydiving: wasting fossil fuels just for fun.

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Years later, total strangers waste countless hours discussing the situation.

"waste"? I know you really meant to say "spend" Guru.
2018 marks half a century as a skydiver. Trained by the late Perry Stevens D-51 in 1968.

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Wonder if the FBI is interested in an old knife that has some cord stuck in it - looks like parachute cord and it is real dirty? Where-ever he kept that knife it was there for a long time collecting dirt. There were some things I am glad I did not let the FBI have.

There is someone in law enforcement who knows a lot about analyzing parachute cord fibers. CHECK THIS OUT:

Prisoner Accused Of Killing Six Women As 'I-5 Strangler' Save Email Print
Posted: 4:21 PM Mar 8, 2008
Last Updated: 4:21 PM Mar 8, 2008
0 comments

A | A | A

STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) - A state prisoner suspected of being the "I-5 Strangler" could face the death penalty if he's convicted of six murders committed more than two decades ago along Interstate 5 in California's Central Valley.

Roger Reese Kibbe, 68, was arraigned in San Joaquin County Friday on charges he murdered five women in 1986 and a sixth woman in 1977.

He is currently serving a life term at Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga for strangling a 17-year-old West Sacramento prostitute and leaving her naked body in the mountains south of Lake Tahoe in 1987.

Investigators have long said they suspected Kibbe in the other slayings.

El Dorado County prosecutors presented some of that evidence at his 1991 trial for Darcie Frackenpohl's murder. The runaway from Seattle was killed after she disappeared from a West Sacramento street frequented by prostitutes.

At the time, the state Department of Justice said fibers from nylon rope used by skydivers was among the microscopic evidence linking Kibbe to three of the other slayings. Witnesses alleged Kibbe, who was a skydiver, had a murder kit including handcuffs and scissors.

But prosecutors previously said the multiple jurisdictions where the crimes occurred and complications in state law made it difficult to press other charges. California law has since been changed to let one county prosecute crimes from several jurisdictions.

Only one of the victims' bodies was dumped in San Joaquin County, but investigators from Sacramento, Napa, Contra Costa and Amador counties all testified before the San Joaquin grand jury that indicted Kibbe Feb. 25.

He faces six counts of murder with special circumstances including rape, kidnapping and multiple murders that make him eligible for the death penalty.

Kibbe, a furniture maker whose brother was a police detective, has been portrayed on television crime shows and was the subject of a 1999 book by Bruce Henderson entitled "Trace Evidence: The Search for the I-5 Strangler."

Prosecutors released few details on the victims and would not comment.

According to the indictment and media accounts, Kibbe is charged with the murder of Lou Ellen Burleigh of Walnut Creek in 1977 and five other slayings in 1986:

- Stephanie Brown, 19, of Sacramento, was sexually assaulted,
strangled, and her body dumped in a ditch. A crumpled map was found
near her car parked along I-5.

- Charmaine Sabrah, 26, a mother of three from Sacramento, disappeared after her car broke down along I-5 and she drove off with a strange man who offered to help. Her strangled body was found three months later.

- Heedrick, 21, of Modesto, was last seen getting into a car. Her body was found along I-5 five months later.

- The other two victims are Katherine Kelly Quinones, 25 and Barbara Ann Scott, 29.

Kibbe, who has receding short white hair, is being held without bail for a court appearance Monday. He spoke briefly and barely audibly during Friday's arraignment, saying only that he wants an attorney appointed to represent him.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-03-08-08 1750EST

2018 marks half a century as a skydiver. Trained by the late Perry Stevens D-51 in 1968.

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Great post. I also saw the I-5 strangler thread. It's most definitely related just because skyjack71 spoke of thread in the knife. Personally, I think it's very low (like less than a percent) probability that Duane would have a knife with parachute line in it, even if he was Cooper, but it's certainly worth looking into.

Guru312,
My apologies if I took your hypothesis out of context.

Let's have the discussion, shall we?
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He found it unlikely that a bank in the NorthWest wouldn't have a zipper and water repellent to keep the money dry in that rainy invironment for interbank transfer or movement of money outside a bank.

There's a big difference between accepting facts from the FBI file, and challenging every one of them. Ckret specifically said "handles with no zipper". If anyone comes along and says otherwise, there should be significant reason other than what they think SeaFirst did.

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14 feet of line gives him enough for a few turns around the bag. One length of cord is enough for him to tie a reasonably secure and tight package. It doesn't have to be water proof! What it has to be is securely tied.

If you have 14 feet of line, and all you do is wrap it around the bag, you have enough for three wraps and a foot of line to knot it. This is based on using the narrow dimensions, although we can debate if he'd secure it on all six sides (more likely).
17+9+17+9=52 inches is the narrow side.
17+12+17+12=58 inches is the wide side.

It's likely he'd tie line around both sides. He would then have slightly less than 5 feet to do something else (tie it around his waist, or wrap it one more time). He cut two lengths of line, not one, so assuming he used one to secure the bag only is certainly a valid thought.

I will come back to your "waterproof" idea in a moment.

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It does not have to float but if he folds the top and cinches the cord around the fold, the bag will float, and keep out water for quite some time. The money bag man thought a bag securely wrapped could last quite a few days. But...it doesn't need to be water tight. It doesn't need to float forever. It needs to stay tied and bang along the river, moved by the current.

The bag will float. The bag will still float even if the top isn't cinched. The question is, how long will it float?

A bag with no zipper (this does not preclude drawstrings however) will not keep water out no matter how you cinch the top. You didn't mention this in the post, but you're assuming that the top of the bag would not be in the water and the material not able to saturate with water. The fold staying out of the water isn't possible because the large surface of the bag (17 inches) would be the side the bag floats on. If the bag had 17 inches vertically, it would be unstable and wobbly (top heavy) and it would tip to the lower center of gravity. With one of the 17 inch sides being the one the bag is floating on, the seal at the top would be pivotal to determining the rate of air escape. No matter how you shake it, however, the seal itself would not be airtight, and thus, very sinkable. Having excess to fold up implies that the location of the handles aren't attached to the very top edge, otherwise the handles would have been folded under to get the seal you describe.

That's certainly a possibility, but we need to know more about the handles or types of handles this bag may have had.

I'm fairly sure though that the bag would float with the fold horizontally. This is because the width is only 9 inches, which having the fold vertically when floating would require a 12 inch height. The Bag would tip to one of the 12x17 sides which would force the fold horizontal. While you can say this fold could stay above the waterline, there would be a point where enough water would soak through and weigh the bag down to force the fold underwater. At that point, the bag would be in serious trouble.

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Then, sometime later, the canvas finally splits open and the packs pour out. One packet finds it way to the river bank for the boy to find...and a few bills make it to eBay.

If we assume your hypothesis, the "some time later" is actually about 7 years later. "One" packet is not consistent with the facts. There were three packs that were found.

One single pack can only float for 10 minutes and 25 seconds. The bag would need to be within this distance and the pack would need to be completely dry, even after seven years in the elements, including the canvas bag itself floating in water. Therefore, your hypothesis actually requires that the entire bag itself make it's way to the sand bar and get snagged on something. Not to fret though, this was Ckret's hypothesis as well.

Yes, a few bills made their way onto eBay, but none of them have actually been sold there to my knowledge (the price was too low).

Bernie, you know I was enthusiastic about you contacting the bag supplier. I'm now 100% confident that you and him never discussed makes and models of the likely bag; you knew that I was researching vintage bags for this test. The most important element of this debate is to figure out what bag was used, or the type of bag that was used.

I don't disagree with the general crux of your hypothesis, but your hypothesis violates three key pieces of information that have been established:
1. The bag had no zipper
2. The time of the jump was between 8:10-8:12
3. The location of the plane at this time was near Merwin Dam / La Center.

Even if everything you say is true, we would still be left with the money floating in LaCamas lake indefinitely. As I stated yesterday, I'm not even sure it's a viable waterway. We need to determine how water escapes from the lake to complete the hypothesis. Otherwise it's beyond speculative.

One last thing, if I understand what you're saying, are you telling me that dirty air will have more force of power than straight wind? Are you suggesting that calculating 3 dimensions of force will make the forces themselves greater?

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I realize that my posts have been on the long side, and I never intended to stifle the discussion. My approach to this case has always been to work with the facts at hand and use the process of elimination. Many on this board have been willing to turn a blind eye to the facts as they were presented. That's okay, just be honest with yourself about it.

There's a paradox in this case. Since 377 asked what my "theory" was (even though I once told him privately), I should at least answer this better than I did, just to be fair.

The paradox is as follows:
The money washed up. We don't know how much of it washed up, but it was at least 3 stacks (280-300 bills). It could have been more, but it may not have been. But we can reasonably assume that the money itself did get to its final resting place via the Columbia River.
However, there's only two tribuarities to the Columbia that will work with the location of the money because the rest of the tributaries all adjoin the Columbia further downstream from the find. Your choices are Washougal & LaCamas lake. The later may not even be viable. Neither one fits the facts as they have been presented (the jump occured in NW Clark County, 9 miles from the nearest LaCamas tributary).

We are left with the paradox: the money did arrive to its location via the Columbia, but the money could not have traveled either tributary on its own.

The money washed up at some point in 1979.

Yes, the paradox does leave us with questions, and for some of us, it leaves us with a desire to throw out facts. I've previously shown, however, that even when throwing out facts arbitarily, the odds that the money traveled via a tributary are extremely slight (and it may even be impossible).

If you look at almost every single "theory" that each of us has, pretty much all of them will violate one of the facts (or rules).

For example, if you think McCoy did it, you have the age problem, the alibi problem, and you fall victim to the paradox.

If you think Christiansen did it, you have the description problem and you also fall victim to the paradox (but to a much lesser degree than McCoy).

If you think Mayfield did it, you have alibi issues and the paradox really bites (worse than Christiansen).

If you think Cooper had a getaway car stashed in a remote location that he used to get away, you violate the paradox.

If you think Cooper had an accomplice, you violate reasonable deductions of facts and the paradox.

If you think Cooper lost the money, you violate the paradox.

If you think Cooper died on impact, you violate the paradox.

In eliminating all these possibilities, what are some solutions?

Well, saying that someone found the money and/or body will still leave significant questions (why does the money then wind up in the Columbia?)... again, a paradox problem.

There has been only one theory put forth on these boards that does not violate any of the rules. My theory isn't really based on "who" did it, but rather how it happened.

The story that makes the most sense is that Cooper was not from the area. He landed, maybe hurt, and needed to avoid people (he's carrying a large bag of money and wearing a suit and he's a wanted man). Therefore, he evades people as he attempts his escape by foot. If he wanted to leave the area, ultimately, he will have to enter civilization (to drive, bus, or train out of town)... but in traveling by foot, he would have to consider being made literally because of being caught holding the "bag". This is the only reason I can think of (other than death) as to why Cooper would purposely leave behind the ransom.

I highly doubt if Cooper wanted to leave ransom behind that he'd leave it all. He would most certainly grab what he could fit and stash the rest of it.

If he's from the area, he can return quickly, but if he's from outside the area, he would not return right away.

For whatever reason (jail, lack of need, injury, etc) he did not return (or could not locate the stash). My personal opinion is that he did take about 3x the average household salary (30k) and was doing okay; after this, he was waiting for the statute of limitations to pass before risking retrieval.

At some point in 1979, something happens that causes the money to enter the Columbia. I can tell you through simple float times that it most certainly was placed in the river itself. We don't have enough information (yet) to know where or how.

I cannot think of a logical reason as to why Cooper (or anyone else) would purposely throw money into the river in 1979. The only reason would be that the money was damaged. After 7+ years, regardless of the "bag" or container the money was in, it would have been moldy. The only way it would not be moldy is if it were kept indoors or in an airtight container. Neither of these are likely. The rubberbands suggest a container that shielded the money from sunlight and constant wet/dry cycles (that would cause the bills to become brittle and break).

"hot" money is an inadequate explanation; the money was not hot because 8 years had passed and no one was still sifting through 20 dollar bills trying to find a needle in a haystack.

I do think this is the *most likely* scenario. It's certainly not the only scenario that will not violate any rules, but unquestionably, a similar story would have to hold true if the facts are truly facts.

As of now, I'm guessing that the money was held in some type of plastic container, if not multiple containers, perhaps a 5 gallon sized one (that's the volume of the money). If the money was damaged, and he retrieved it in 1979 after he thought the statute of limitations was long gone, he would have had to throw the whole container into the water (or else he'd have to throw it within 10 minute's river distance of the sand bar).

Yes, it's a paradox. But it doesn't mean there aren't answers to it.

I'd love to hear everyone's else's theories; if you break a "rule" just acknowledge which ones you think are inaccurate as you submit your theory. Maybe we'll get Ckret to chime in eventually to tell us we're all full of it (or we hit it on the head).

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We are left with the paradox: the money did arrive to its location via the Columbia, but the money could not have traveled either tributary on its own.

I have not come across any evidence in this or the locked thread that points to the money having arrived there via the Columbia River.

There is also no evidence whatsoever to suggest that 'Cooper' was the only person to have handled the money from the time he exited until it was found by the boy.

I see no paradox, only lots of gaps and missing facts.

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If you think Cooper died on impact, you violate the paradox.

How's that? All in all its the most solid "theory" out there. Its supported by many years of skydiver's experience with the gear that he used, the conditions he jumped in and the aircraft he jumped from.

Just because someone doesn't believe it doesn't make it untrue. Sort of like conspiracy theorist. Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean you're not being followed.
--"When I die, may I be surrounded by scattered chrome and burning gasoline."

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I have not come across any evidence in this or the locked thread that points to the money having arrived there via the Columbia River.

There is also no evidence whatsoever to suggest that 'Cooper' was the only person to have handled the money from the time he exited until it was found by the boy.

Awesome stuff. I think it's a bit dishonest to say there's no "evidence" that points to the money washing up via the Columbia. It was found on the shore of the Columbia River. That definitely would "point" towards how it got there.

I never said that Cooper was the only person to handle the money. What I did say is this idea can answer some of the question, but not all of it. If Cooper has an accomplice OR if someone found the money, why did the money wind up in the river? It's a stretch to say that they thought the money was "hot". If you suscribe to my proposed solution, at least you can say is that the money was in bad shape when they found it, and that the person(s) decided to chuck it instead of report it or try to use it.

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Just because someone doesn't believe it doesn't make it untrue. Sort of like conspiracy theorist. Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean you're not being followed.

Thank you much for the discussion. I was hoping my comments would prompt such a debate.

I can't speak to the difficulity of the jump or surivival. I only know that some skydivers have felt that it could have been achieved. The skydiving community has not been unanimous on this.

I can tell you that the "he lost the money" theory violates the following "rules"
Timeline of the jump. (it has to be later)
Location of the plane. (has to be east of v23)
Float time of money (has to float in a lake)

There may be a fourth rule (viability of the lake), but I won't be able to answer that until August when I can put some boots on the ground and examine how water leaves the lake.

The more rules a theory breaks, the less likely it is of being accurate. That's just managing probabilities.

I therefore cannot see how a person can "honestly" say it's the "most solid theory".

I do agree with you though. If he lost the money mid-air, it's sort of like believing in a conspiracy. Sure, no one is really conspiring, but all the moving parts that would have to hold true would be akin to the moving parts in a conspiracy theory.

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It was found on the shore of the Columbia River. That definitely would "point" towards how it got there.

How so? The money could have been dropped from a hot air baloon for all we know.

PS. Labelling everyone who disagrees with you as being intellectually dishonest is becoming a tad tedious.

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You're twisting my words Erroll.

Intellectually dishonest means someone does not account for facts when they theorize.

Your point of view is perfectly valid.

However, to tell us that money found on a waterway does not at least suggest that the waterway contributed to the find is a little disingenuous.

We now have three possibilities as to how the money wound up on the sand of the Columbia:
Via the Columbia itself
Being placed there by someone.
Being dropped from the air by someone or something.

All three of these would have had to take place at some point in 1979.

The airborne transport would likely require some type of container; it seems inconceivable to me that three packs of bills would stay together through the fall and land basically one on top of the other. Using this same argument, the bills being placed would hold the most merit. However, if the bills were contained in some way, then all three would have equal viability.

My point on the previous thread was that no matter which way you think, human intervention is required.

Who the person(s) was is up for debate.

To suggest there was no intervention is intellectually dishonest unless the person making the assumption at least admits the significant leaps of faith that they must hold onto, including the direct refutation of facts.

PS. Please don't project your own thought process onto me. Please read the words before making a snap judgement. That's all we can ask of each other.

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I'm not really dealing with theory, I'm dealing with physics.

..sigh...
you can use all the physics you want, but you are still ending up with theories at the end of it.

If a bag of cash came separated from Cooper at or soon after exit, it could have travelled much further than a skydiver would, either in freefall or under canopy. Fact.

If a bag of cash came separated from Cooper at or soon after exit, just because it was found in water at some stage does not mean it landed in water immediately, so 'float theory' means nothing. It could well have landed somewhere else and then being dislodged & transported by human, animal, weather or water to where it was finally found. Fact, or at least you are not able to disprove it as not being a fact.

By the way, dictionary definition: "Intellectual dishonesty is the advocacy of a position known to be false." This is not what you claim to have meant by it. Fact.
Skydiving: wasting fossil fuels just for fun.

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Intellectual dishonesty means you argue a position that you don't agree with; it can also mean taking a position contrary to known facts and arguing against them without disclosing the known facts that you're disputing.

It's neither here nor there. I will quit using the term.

You can't sincerely say that a float time would have no relevance. It does have relevance in eliminating possibilities. At this point, neither myself, nor anyone else is ruling out everything. I can't rule out anything based on float time of the money bag, because I don't know its float time.

What I will concede to is that money can travel on the airborne descent. How far? I don't know! I stated that on my "myths" post in the other thread... taking out the timeline arbitarily to 8:15, the bag had to travel 2 miles just to land near a tributary that would feed LaCamas. Taking the known winds and the terminal velocity of the bag, you could figure the max amount of distance. However, thinking the bag is under canopy without Cooper is a stretch, no??

This point is only relevant in dealing with the "it floated its way to where it was found" idea. In other words, no living intervention.

If you introduce living intervention, then a whole host of theories can emerge and still fit the facts. That's why I'm much more receptive to these ideas than I am to the old FBI theory that money made it's way naturally. That theory is 99% dead, and I have the other 1% waiting to be dropped.

The exit from LaCamas lake goes through a Dam. I need to find out more about this Dam to drop the hammer on the remaining 1%.

All theories involving living intervention are viable, IMO.

Thank you Orange1 for pointing it out. Now your argument is truly a solid argument.

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You can't sincerely say that a float time would have no relevance. It does have relevance in eliminating possibilities. At this point, neither myself, nor anyone else is ruling out everything. I can't rule out anything based on float time of the money bag, because I don't know its float time.

What I will concede to is that money can travel on the airborne descent. How far? I don't know! I stated that on my "myths" post in the other thread... taking out the timeline arbitarily to 8:15, the bag had to travel 2 miles just to land near a tributary that would feed LaCamas. Taking the known winds and the terminal velocity of the bag, you could figure the max amount of distance. However, thinking the bag is under canopy without Cooper is a stretch, no??

This point is only relevant in dealing with the "it floated its way to where it was found" idea. In other words, no living intervention....

Thank you Orange1 for pointing it out. Now your argument is truly a solid argument.

I may not have been clear, the "either in freefall or under canopy" refers to the skydiver, not the bag. How far the bag could have travelled would inter alia depend on how full it was (linked to how much drag). 2 miles is not a stretch at all, a skydiver in freefall drift can do a mile in high winds aloft and a lighter bag especially if not full could probably do 2 easily.

Thanks for saying you can't rule out anything based on float time - i had recalled, presumably incorrectly, that in a previous post you were using that as an argument for why the money could not have been separated from Cooper in flight, apparently assuming it immediately landed in water.

I still don't accept living intervention necessarily happened. Let's say the bag floated 3 miles in the air, then somehow got stuck in a tree or something where it was well and truly lodged until 7 years later or whatever it was when massive storm knocked the tree over and the bag fell into the river. Or the branches it was stuck in started decaying and then a wind strong enough to lift it out came along. etc. all improbable perhaps, but not impossible.

fwiw i have stated all these elements before. my argument (such as it was) was always solid

To me the real "paradox" still remains the much-discussed fact that no-one reported Cooper missing. Either he died and was such a complete loner, had given his landlord notice, resigned his job etc with the aim of this caper, that no-one missed him (possible, though not many think it likely), or he survived without the cash and went home to lick his wounds and no-one was any the wiser, or he survived with the cash had a nicer life than he had before. If we accept (and i know not everyone does but it is most likely) that to survive the descent he would have had to be either an experienced skydiver who got lucky or a paratrooper, then there are only 2 suspects that I am aware of who have been put forward who would work - Mayfield (presumably lost the cash from the financial evidence given by someone a while ago), or Christiansen (who must have had a pretty good disguise).
Skydiving: wasting fossil fuels just for fun.

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I want you to know that I appreciate this debate! This is good Orange...

When you said the bag could drift 2 miles and that a person can drift 1 mile, did you factor that the jump in question was made from 10k? I'm sure you did, but thought I'd ask just as well. There was a person on DZ mentioned as having extreme expertise in calculating this type of thing.

The winds themselves were blowing away from the Columbia river. Depending on where you place the plane at the time of the jump, you're most likely still looking at a living intervention being needed to support the theory.

Let's put it this way, the landing area as originally calculated by NWA & FBI was 9 miles from a tributary, and at least that far from where the money was subsequently found (but in the opposite direction). The wind & flight path, however, would preclude the money from drifting west towards where it was found.

If you need the money to fall into a creek or river, then you're really talking about one that feeds LaCamas lake. This is why float times matter. The lake is 2 miles long, and it's a lake (ie, fairly still water) and this lake has a dam at the south end.

These aren't trivial issues if you stick to a natural means explanation.

I can't rule anything out on float time of the bag, but I know the float time of a stack (under 11 min). The float time of the bag would need to be long enough to allow the bag to float in the lake, softly drift 2 miles, go through the dam turbine, drift down LaCamas Creek, adjoin Washougal River, adjoin the Columbia, and then float 20 miles to where it was found. Make no mistakes, the float time matters; I just don't know what it is; I also need to know more about the opening of the dam turbine(s).

As per Mayfield, yes he lost his leased land as someone who knew him posted in the previous thread. Maybe Albert18 could tell us more about why Mayfield may have been the perpetrator.

The only question regarding Christiansen would be why in the world would he take money to the river in 1979? (or at least some level of explanation there)

I hear what you're saying regarding the paradox... it's all relative to where you think the plane was when the jump occured.

I still have some research to do on LaCamas and its viability; without LaCamas Lake, any "natural" theory would require the Washougal river or *only* the Columbia, and that would eliminate a huge percentage of Clark County (and pretty much all wiggle room in the FBI file). The dams at the southern end of LaCamas were there in 1974, I'm confident they were there also in 71 but will have to research this. 1974 is almost good enough since the money arrived to its final destination in 79. This goes without saying, but for a bag to enter a turbine, generally it needs to be sinking since the turbine intakes are usually a few feet below the surface of the water (needed water pressure). I will have to call someone out there that knows a thing or two about this particular dam though.

The point is, in the end, the "he lost the money" argument might be forced into throwing out the timeline completely (to land at/on the Columbia) OR into accepting some level of intervention. It's too early to conclude those needed variants yet. I can admit that much.

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