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DB Cooper

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(edited)

Airlines serving Portland 1974..

 

Schedule TO Portland 1974...

http://www.departedflights.com/PDX74p1.html

to find an arrival FROM Portland..

http://www.departedflights.com/74intro.html

 

http://www.departedflights.com/PDX74intro.html

 

Airlines and Aircraft Serving Portland, Oregon Effective April 1, 1974
BRANIFF INTERNATIONAL AIRWAYS
Aircraft Operated:
Boeing 727-100, Boeing 727-200
Destinations Served:
Dallas/Fort Worth (TX), Seattle/Tacoma (WA)


CASCADE AIRWAYS
Aircraft Operated:
Beech 99
Destinations Served:
Pasco (WA)


CONTINENTAL AIRLINES
Aircraft Operated:
Boeing 727-200
Destinations Served:
Burbank (CA), Denver (CO), San Jose (CA), Seattle/Tacoma (WA)


EASTERN AIR LINES
Aircraft Operated:
Boeing 727-100, Boeing 727-200
Destinations Served:
Seattle/Tacoma (WA)


HUGHES AIRWEST
Aircraft Operated:
Fokker Friendship F-27, McDonnell Douglas DC-9-10, McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30
Destinations Served:
Boise (ID), Eugene (OR), Medford (OR), Pasco (WA), Seattle/Tacoma (WA)


NORTHWEST ORIENT AIRLINES
Aircraft Operated:
Boeing 707-320 FanJet, 
Boeing 727-100, Boeing 727-200, Boeing 747-100, McDonnell Douglas DC-10
Destinations Served:
Chicago O'Hare (IL), Honolulu (HI), Seattle/Tacoma (WA), Spokane (WA)


PAN AM
Aircraft Operated:
Boeing 707
Destinations Served:
Honolulu (HI)


UNITED AIRLINES
Aircraft Operated:
Boeing 727-100, Boeing 727-200, Boeing 737-200, Boeing 747-100, Douglas DC-8, McDonnell Douglas DC-8-60, 
McDonnell Douglas DC-10
Destinations Served:
Boise (ID), Chicago O'Hare (IL), Denver (CO), Eugene (OR), Los Angeles (CA), Oakland (CA),
Pendleton (OR), Reno (NV), San Francisco (CA), Seattle/Tacoma (WA), Spokane (WA)


WESTERN AIRLINES
Aircraft Operated:
Boeing 720, 
Boeing 727-200, Boeing 737-200
Destinations Served:
Los Angeles (CA), San Francisco (CA), Seattle/Tacoma (WA), Vancouver (BC)
 
NW7270889a.jpg.df5eeabaf6c8e26b59a5c5e2cca083fe.jpg
 
Edited by FLYJACK

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8 hours ago, DFS346 said:

I understand that in the early 1970s, United was by far the largest carrier operating through KPDX. Here's a scan of their 1969 route map. It seems that United had flights to KPDX from Seattle-Tacoma, Spokane, Pendleton, Boise, Reno, Medford, Eugene and Salem, as well as some more distant origins. It might be interesting to identify those flights that connected with NW305, i.e. arriving at KPDX no later than say 14:00 PST.

United 1969 route map 02.jpg

DFS346: Excellent book by the way.  One topic that confuses me is your selection of the actual landing zone of DB Cooper.  I'm curious about a few things that maybe you have tim to answer if you feel like it.

1. It sounds like you believe the pressure bump and the 8:13 time indicate the general time and place that Cooper jumped.  In other words, he did not jump past Portland or in the Lake Merwin area.

2.  I interpreted your writing to indicate that you thought he jumped north of Portland, around the Battleground VORTEC, but that because of the money find, and the fact that nothing has been found near Battleground, that through Occam's Razor, he had to have landed in the river or south of the river.  Am I in the right ballpark here?  Thanks.

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Cooper may have come to Portland by plane perhaps days earlier but unlikely he left by plane, (if he survived), just too risky.

He probably left by bus or one theory I have been working on is that he went to Vancouver BC, stayed at the YMCA, flew across Canada to Toronto then re-entered the US back East.

But we really have nothing solid before and after the hijacking..

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(edited)

Well, I finally got my hands on a copy of the elusive Gunther book (many thanks to who hooked me up with a copy - you know who you are). I've been fascinated by the connections between the Gunther book and the crime since I probably first started getting into this case. I know that it's been a fairly popular topic of choice in the case for a pretty long time now, so I'll try to keep this short...

As others have mentioned before, it is a pretty brief read, and it wraps itself up fast (I was actually somewhat caught off guard by the abruptness of the ending). But sure enough, the connections to the case I was curious about were there. Despite finally reading the text for myself, I actually felt more conflicted about the book's contents and its overall accuracy than before. Some of the connections that others (and admittedly myself) have made seemed more strenuous or coincidental in context. But my overall feeling is still that there's something more to this book.

I didn't get the impression once that Gunther was lying, not on purpose at least. What he writes come across as a story that has been passed on to him instead of something he made up on his own. But it's riddled with little details and mistakes that can be explained equally well by fabrications, fading memories, and changes to protect identities, which is I'd guess why it's such a hard book to analyze in the first place. Some things do, though, fall eerily well into place. The description of "Dan Leclair/Paul Cotton" ticks a lot of popular suspect boxes (working for multiple chemical companies being probably the hardest detail to ignore, and there's also a passage about him "loving" a potential job where he can work with his hands and wear a tie at the same time - a nearly perfect description of the type of career the wearer of Cooper's tie probably had?).

There's also the short bit that seems to reference the infamous Elsinore Paracenter visits, which I actually missed at first, because the name Elsinore is not actually used - in fact, the skydiving center is not named in the text, but I would bet safely that someone else has already figured this bit out better than me - there can't have been too many other skydiving centers fitting the criteria of being "not too far from Los Angeles" at the time, anyways (if any).

Without going into too much more detail, though, I thought it was a good read, if not a bit surreal. The possibility that I was reading the true story of what really happened to D. B. Cooper nagged at me the whole time. Was this part true? Was that part? Impossible to know now, probably, with Gunther (and most likely Cooper too) long gone. I've heard there's been some effort to get access to Gunther's notes through his heirs without success, which is a shame. It's their right to refuse to do so, of course, but I doubt we will ever learn more about the truthfulness of the book without those notes. That book is, in my eyes, just as big of a mystery as the Cooper caper itself.

Edited by Coopericane
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1 hour ago, Coopericane said:

Well, I finally got my hands on a copy of the elusive Gunther book (many thanks to who hooked me up with a copy - you know who you are). I've been fascinated by the connections between the Gunther book and the crime since I probably first started getting into this case. I know that it's been a fairly popular topic of choice in the case for a pretty long time now, so I'll try to keep this short...

As others have mentioned before, it is a pretty brief read, and it wraps itself up fast (I was actually somewhat caught off guard by the abruptness of the ending). But sure enough, the connections to the case I was curious about were there. Despite finally reading the text for myself, I actually felt more conflicted about the book's contents and its overall accuracy than before. Some of the connections that others (and admittedly myself) have made seemed more strenuous or coincidental in context. But my overall feeling is still that there's something more to this book.

I didn't get the impression once that Gunther was lying, not on purpose at least. What he writes come across as a story that has been passed on to him instead of something he made up on his own. But it's riddled with little details and mistakes that can be explained equally well by fabrications, fading memories, and changes to protect identities, which is I'd guess why it's such a hard book to analyze in the first place. Some things do, though, fall eerily well into place. The description of "Dan Leclair/Paul Cotton" ticks a lot of popular suspect boxes (working for multiple chemical companies being probably the hardest detail to ignore, and there's also a passage about him "loving" a potential job where he can work with his hands and wear a tie at the same time - a nearly perfect description of the type of career the wearer of Cooper's tie probably had?).

There's also the short bit that seems to reference the infamous Elsinore Paracenter visits, which I actually missed at first, because the name Elsinore is not actually used - in fact, the skydiving center is not named in the text, but I would bet safely that someone else has already figured this bit out better than me - there can't have been too many other skydiving centers fitting the criteria of being "not too far from Los Angeles" at the time, anyways (if any).

Without going into too much more detail, though, I thought it was a good read, if not a bit surreal. The possibility that I was reading the true story of what really happened to D. B. Cooper nagged at me the whole time. Was this part true? Was that part? Impossible to know now, probably, with Gunther (and most likely Cooper too) long gone. I've heard there's been some effort to get access to Gunther's notes through his heirs without success, which is a shame. It's their right to refuse to do so, of course, but I doubt we will ever learn more about the truthfulness of the book without those notes. That book is, in my eyes, just as big of a mystery as the Cooper caper itself.

I agree that Gunther was mostly telling the truth.  He had way too much at stake to lie about this.  Now, whether or not the man who called was DB Cooper is still up for debate.  I believe he was or at least was close to him.  The Elsinore visit outlined in the book is quite  a coincidence.  I do believe it is possible that Gunther went to Los Angeles and got that info himself, but wow, that was some good journalism.

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13 hours ago, CooperNWO305 said:

I agree that Gunther was mostly telling the truth.  He had way too much at stake to lie about this.  Now, whether or not the man who called was DB Cooper is still up for debate.  I believe he was or at least was close to him.  The Elsinore visit outlined in the book is quite  a coincidence.  I do believe it is possible that Gunther went to Los Angeles and got that info himself, but wow, that was some good journalism.

He would have had to talk to Lyle Cameron Sr. This wasn’t common knowledge amongst anybody that jumped or worked there m. 

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(edited)
17 hours ago, CooperNWO305 said:

I agree that Gunther was mostly telling the truth.  He had way too much at stake to lie about this.  Now, whether or not the man who called was DB Cooper is still up for debate.  I believe he was or at least was close to him.  The Elsinore visit outlined in the book is quite  a coincidence.  I do believe it is possible that Gunther went to Los Angeles and got that info himself, but wow, that was some good journalism.

The only reason a hijacker would nourish his accomplishment is (a) he survived, (b) he still has money gained, and (c) he feels he is safe from arrest/prosecution. Any other sane person would stay under cover and not be making overt gestures to communicate, make calls to reporters and book writers, or reveal in any way his identity or his whereabouts. McCoy was mentally disturbed and telegraphed-bragged. Moreover Ckret says he is sure Cooper had ADD. Nobody knows if Cooper was even alive to be making telephone calls! Until the basic facts are known everything else is just Halloween decoration/celebration. Was Gunther an opportunist exploiting an unknown?

Ckret brought to the table some professional experience in robbery investigation - looking for bank robbers and everything in his training that goes along with that profession. When Ckret says he wonders if Cooper wasnt ADD, I have to sit here and wonder about that based on Ckret's professional experience. Why was Gunther investigating the case? To what end compared with an FBI Agent like Ckret. I have to ask that basic question. What would Gunther and Ckret talk about? Do they have anything in common!? Would Gunther be interested in Na vs Ca levels in Cooper money diatoms? I doubt it! But, he would spend his time talking shop with Jo Weber...

 

Edited by georger

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38 minutes ago, georger said:

The only reason a hijacker would nourish his accomplishment is (a) he survived, (b) he still has money gained, and (c) he feels he is safe from arrest/prosecution. Any other sane person would stay under cover and not be making overt gestures to communicate, make calls to reporters and book writers, or reveal in any way his identity or his whereabouts. McCoy was mentally disturbed and telegraphed-bragged. Moreover Ckret says he is sure Cooper had ADD. Nobody knows if Cooper was even alive to be making telephone calls! Until the basic facts are known everything else is just Halloween decoration/celebration. Was Gunther an opportunist exploiting an unknown?

Ckret brought to the table some professional experience in robbery investigation - looking for bank robbers and everything in his training that goes along with that profession. When Ckret says he wonders if Cooper wasnt ADD, I have to sit here and wonder about that based on Ckret's professional experience. Why was Gunther investigating the case? To what end compared with an FBI Agent like Ckret. I have to ask that basic question. What would Gunther and Ckret talk about? Do they have anything in common!? Would Gunther be interested in Na vs Ca levels in Cooper money diatoms? I doubt it!

 

Georger. Have you read the book? It is available on PDF for free. At least until the family decides to release it again. 

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(edited)

The Max Gunther book, an enigma.. a blend of truth and fiction.

I analyzed it through the lens of Hahneman a while ago and found many similarities but no smoking gun,

 

but the book needs to be broken into three parts.

First is Gunther's experience and interaction with "Cooper", "Clara" and others..  these should be factual being from his experience.

The timeline fits Hahneman, he was in NY, in fact he was staying half a mile from the phone drop at the Pan Am building NY Gunther described. That is a hell of a coincidence.

Cooper's last contact with Gunther was in April 72,, Hahneman did his hijacking early May and went to prison until 1984 just after Carla contacted Gunther. 

The two letters in Gunthers book appear to be typed by different people based on formatting.

Hahneman had a younger sister, may have been the "Carla" not her real name.

Second is the description of the hijacking. This would have been obtained through research like newspapers, contacts and FOIA FBI files. Somewhat accurate but there were some glaring errors.

The Elsinore stuff could have been obtained from the FBI files through Himmelsbach or FOIA.

Last is Carla's story, the least reliable. No corroboration, a blend of half truths and fabrications to tell a story.

This is the crazy stuff,, it is impossible to separate fact from fiction..

Example,, LeClair was born in Canada went to the US young had college and joined the US military.

Hahneman was born in Honduras went to the US young had college and joined the US military. Was Honduras changed to Canada to hide his identity?

LeClair was interested in electrical but went into chemical sales.

Hahneman was an electrical engineer and some electronics sales. 

LeClair resembled Ben Gazzara..

Hahneman resembles Ben Gazzara..

LeClair wanted to disappear from his wife/family and read True mag articles about it. The 1960's article mentioned quoted a "Fred W" as its subject. 

Hahneman wanted to disappear was estranged from his wife/family, his name is Fred W Hahneman. He also fled to Honduras using an altered ID.

LeClair wears glasses

Hahneman wears glasses

I have a bunch more things in my notes but in the end I have no idea if these are just coincidences or if Hahneman and his sister could have been involved with Gunther and there seems to be no way to resolve it..

 

There is just no way to separate fact from fiction in Carla's story.

Initially Cooper asked for money but last contact was April 72,, Carla contacted in 82 but her motive was to make Cooper look good and claim he died. Carla didn't ask for money. Was she trying to bury Cooper prematurely?

 

I sense Gunther was sincere but was he hoaxed or not?

 

 

 

 

Edited by FLYJACK
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10 hours ago, georger said:

got a url ?

I don't think it is available on the web.  Can it be posted here at DZ?  If you have an email address, we can get it to you. If you don't want to share your email with someone, let us know who in the Vortex does have your email and someone can forward it to them and they can forward it to you.

I realized that you had discussed Gunther way back on the DZ and mentioned the picture of the actual letter that had an x'd out letter at the end. You mentioned that it looked like the letter D had been x'd out.

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Timeline and Details of Max Gunther's Characters

November 24, 1971: Hijacking of Northwest Orient Flight 305.

November 30, 1971: Elsinore Skydive Center near Los Angeles calls the FBI to say that a man closely resembling the sketch of the hijacker skydived there in the summer of 1971.  This same man wore military style paratrooper boots and asked questions about jumping from a passenger airliner.

December 1971: FBI reviews jump records from Elsinore Skydive Center.

February 10, 1972: D.B. Cooper sends first letter to Max Gunther (postmarked New York, NY).  He asks Max to place an ad in the Village Voice (a New York City paper) if he would like to communicate.

March 2, 1972: Max places ad in the Village Voice.

March 10, 1972: D.B. Cooper sends second letter to Max. Phones Max a few weeks later.

Spring-Summer 1972: Max Gunther informs FBI about the letters and calls.

April 1982: Clara tells Max that D.B. Cooper has died.  Clara and Max speak about a half dozen times.

1985: Max Gunther publishes his book entitled “D.B. Cooper: What Really Happened." In the book the man claiming to be D.B. Cooper describes a visit to a skydive center near Los Angeles in 1971.

2017:  FBI documents regarding the hijacker’s visit to Elsinore Skydive Center are released.  Somehow Max Gunther wrote about this event 12 years before the FBI files were released.  Either Max had an inside source, or he was in fact talking to the same man who visited Elsinore in 1971.

Max Gunther's Dan LeClair (aka Paul Cotton aka Dan Cooper aka DB Cooper)

  • Born around 1924-25 in London, Ontario, Canada.
  • Only child.
  • Lived in Newark, NJ as a child, along with his mother’s widowed sister.
  • He was shy, organized class dances, and was into photography.
  • Voted most likely to succeed in high school, graduated in 1942-43.
  • Served in Europe during World War II, in Belgium, Army paratrooper.
  • His father died around 1949.
  • He went to Rutgers, probably graduating in 1949.
  • Went to college on GI Bill, was on the track team, liked to hike. Did oil painting.
  • Scar on left hand running from thumb to pinky finger.
  • Visited parachute center near Los Angeles in summer of 1971.
  • Wore a jumpsuit under his suit, that’s why he was sweating.
  • Clara described him as 6 feet tall and 180-190 pounds.
  • Dark complexion, like an American Indian. Dark brown eyes.
  • Looked like actor Ben Gazarra.
  • Wore glasses.
  • Had big feet.
  • Sent letters to Ed Kuhn of Playboy and Mark Penzer of True Magazine.
  • Had a son and a daughter born in the 1950s.
  • Daughter went to college in Boston.  Was in a car accident around 1972.
  • Tried to disappear once by faking a drowning, but was unsuccessful
  • Successfully disappeared by leaving the office one day. First went to Washington, DC by train, and then to California to work in a hotel
  • Very attractive first wife
  • Took his new ID from a drunk who lost his wallet in Hartford, CT
  • Dated a woman whose brother was a skydiving enthusiast
  • Learned about planes and jumping at Elsinore Skydive Center near Los Angeles in in the summer of 1971
  • Said the bomb was fake. He made it.
  • Bought the suit and tie at a pawn shop
  • Didn’t leave fingerprints.
  • Buried the money. Some of the money was dragged away by an animal because he left food in the bag.
  • Landed in a rocky area by a creek. Nursed back to health by Clara.
  • After the jump, visited a doctor in Cowlitz or Clark County for a broken ankle.
  • Worked for a company that manufactured small electronic components in New Jersey. Also worked for a company selling industrial chemicals as well as a company that did cellar waterproofing.
  • Bought stock in Miller-Wohl and made a decent profit.
  • Paid taxes in California and New York under new name.
  • Had a driver’s license in California, lived in New York.
  • Audited by the IRS in the mid 1970’s.
  • First tax return filed under false name in 1971.
  • Belonged to a country club.
  • Had a heart attack.
  • Died of natural causes in 1982 at a New York hospital.

Clara  (his rescuer and future wife)

  • Birthday is March 2.
  • Born in Longview, Washington on the banks of the Columbia River.
  • Youngest of 3 children, her father was a hunter, he died in 1950.
  • Was in her middle 30’s in 1971.
  • Wore glasses.
  • Went to college, worked in Seattle, got married in her 20’s and then divorced, no children.
  • Lived in a lake house in Clark County. This is where she met Paul Cotton/DB Cooper after the hijacking.
  • The lake house was her uncle's.  He went on a long overseas trip and she watched the house and his German shepherd.
  • Called Max Gunther a half dozen times in 1982, just after DB Cooper's death.
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Gunther could have obtained the FBI files via FOIA.. Reading his book he must have had some of the files.

This is from 1980 before Gunther's book, don't know if this was Gunther or not, but people did access FBI files via FOIA way back. 

book.png.baa4ab6ce24b506b1b53cd39511a6cd1.png

 

 

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(edited)

Gunther could not travel into the future and find a career that was a good fit for Tom Kaye's findings vis-a-vis tie particles. I have two books by Gunther where he describes his research process and he never mentions FOIA, I don't think he would have patience or interest in wading through a bureaucracy like that.

Not that it matters, without his original notes, and without the DNA on the envelope, his story is not falsifiable (in my opinion). Maybe it will be possible in the future to wade through the census and find some best-fits to investigate.

Edited by Andrade1812

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4 minutes ago, Andrade1812 said:

Gunther could not travel into the future and find a career that was a good fit for Tom Kaye's findings vis-a-vis tie particles. I have two books by Gunther where he describes his research process and he never mentions FOIA, I don't think he would have patience or interest in wading through a bureaucracy like that.

Not that it matters, without his original notes, and without the DNA on the envelope, his story is not falsifiable (in my opinion). Maybe it will be possible in the future to wade through the census and find some best-fits to investigate.

Industrial chemical sales (clerk) isn't a very good fit for the tie particles.

He had to have the FBI files for the section that he describes the hijacking.. not the stuff from Cooper/Carla...

Either from an FBI agent or FOIA and newspapers.. it is obvious when you read it that he patched together information, got some stuff wrong and made some up..

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1 hour ago, Andrade1812 said:

Gunther could not travel into the future and find a career that was a good fit for Tom Kaye's findings vis-a-vis tie particles. I have two books by Gunther where he describes his research process and he never mentions FOIA, I don't think he would have patience or interest in wading through a bureaucracy like that.

Not that it matters, without his original notes, and without the DNA on the envelope, his story is not falsifiable (in my opinion). Maybe it will be possible in the future to wade through the census and find some best-fits to investigate.

How about somebody from the Hanford site that was laid off in 1971 ?

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9 minutes ago, georger said:

How about somebody from the Hanford site that was laid off in 1971 ?

Are you suggesting that Cooper could be radioactive?  Maybe the FBI agents working on the hijacking should have been giving Gieger counter checks on the suspects. 

Everyone working at Hanford was thoroughly vetted including background checks, fingerprints, and photographic IDs.  And all of that information was already in the FBI files in 1971.

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(edited)

Decommissioning of Hanford Reactors

Most of the reactors were shut down between 1964 and 1971, ...

         
KW ("K West") Reactor Jan 1955 to Feb 1970 1800 4400 Preliminary plans, January 30, 2018[64]
KE ("K East") Reactor Apr 1955 - Jan 1971 1800 4400 Preliminary plans, January 30, 2018[64]
         

While major releases of radioactive material ended with the reactor shutdown in the 1970s and many of the most dangerous wastes are contained, there are continued concerns about contaminated groundwater headed toward the Columbia River and about workers' health and safety.[94]

Edited by georger

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7 hours ago, CooperNWO305 said:

Max Gunther's Dan LeClair (aka Paul Cotton aka Dan Cooper aka DB Cooper)

  • Born around 1924-25 in London, Ontario, Canada.
  • Only child.
  • Lived in Newark, NJ as a child, along with his mother’s widowed sister.
  • He was shy, organized class dances, and was into photography.
  • Voted most likely to succeed in high school, graduated in 1942-43.
  • Served in Europe during World War II, in Belgium, Army paratrooper.
  • His father died around 1949.
  • He went to Rutgers, probably graduating in 1949.
  • Went to college on GI Bill, was on the track team, liked to hike. Did oil painting.
  • Scar on left hand running from thumb to pinky finger.
  • Visited parachute center near Los Angeles in summer of 1971.
  • Wore a jumpsuit under his suit, that’s why he was sweating.
  • Clara described him as 6 feet tall and 180-190 pounds.
  • Dark complexion, like an American Indian. Dark brown eyes.
  • Looked like actor Ben Gazarra.
  • Wore glasses.
  • Had big feet.
  • Sent letters to Ed Kuhn of Playboy and Mark Penzer of True Magazine.
  • Had a son and a daughter born in the 1950s.
  • Daughter went to college in Boston.  Was in a car accident around 1972.
  • Tried to disappear once by faking a drowning, but was unsuccessful
  • Successfully disappeared by leaving the office one day. First went to Washington, DC by train, and then to California to work in a hotel
  • Very attractive first wife
  • Took his new ID from a drunk who lost his wallet in Hartford, CT
  • Dated a woman whose brother was a skydiving enthusiast
  • Learned about planes and jumping at Elsinore Skydive Center near Los Angeles in in the summer of 1971
  • Said the bomb was fake. He made it.
  • Bought the suit and tie at a pawn shop
  • Didn’t leave fingerprints.
  • Buried the money. Some of the money was dragged away by an animal because he left food in the bag.
  • Landed in a rocky area by a creek. Nursed back to health by Clara.
  • After the jump, visited a doctor in Cowlitz or Clark County for a broken ankle.
  • Worked for a company that manufactured small electronic components in New Jersey. Also worked for a company selling industrial chemicals as well as a company that did cellar waterproofing.
  • Bought stock in Miller-Wohl and made a decent profit.
  • Paid taxes in California and New York under new name.
  • Had a driver’s license in California, lived in New York.
  • Audited by the IRS in the mid 1970’s.
  • First tax return filed under false name in 1971.
  • Belonged to a country club.
  • Had a heart attack.
  • Died of natural causes in 1982 at a New York hospital.

Yep, I think that as described in the book, Dan Leclair is a stellar match for the Cooper profile. Maybe the best so far I've heard of. The problem is determining what parts of his backstory are fabrications. It could be as little as just his name/aliases to huge parts of his life story and career (in the worst case, maybe even all of it). When I try to imagine what things he might lie about to conceal his identity, like maybe the names of companies he's worked for or places he's lived, it just ends up making it harder to identify him than before...

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10 hours ago, Coopericane said:

Yep, I think that as described in the book, Dan Leclair is a stellar match for the Cooper profile. Maybe the best so far I've heard of. The problem is determining what parts of his backstory are fabrications. It could be as little as just his name/aliases to huge parts of his life story and career (in the worst case, maybe even all of it). When I try to imagine what things he might lie about to conceal his identity, like maybe the names of companies he's worked for or places he's lived, it just ends up making it harder to identify him than before...

Right. We know for sure some of the parts are made up. But which other ones are real and which ones are not? Did he do oil paintings? Did he look like Ben Gazarra? Did he go to Rutgers. Etc. I’ve got four Rutgers yearbooks from the period and can’t see anything in them. I’m selling them on eBay now. 

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Here is an exercise someone can do if they have time.  

Look on Ancestry or Family Search and put in the name Dan LeClair. Birth year say 1915-1935.  See how many hits you get.  Then try Dan St. Clair, or Dan Clair, or Claire, etc.  Then see if any of them were born in Canada, and lived in New Jersey. or near there.

Then put in Paul Cotton and see how many hits you get using the same birth years.

I can tell you what I've found (with assistance from Marty):  There are not a lot of Dan Clairs or Dan St. Clairs.  There are not a lot of Paul Cottons.  There is one Dan Clair, born in 1919 in Ontario, Canada.  Just 50 miles or so from the Dan LeClair in Max Gunther's book. Both moved to Newark, NJ. Both joined the Army during WWII.  There is a Paul Cotton who lived in Bloomfield, NJ.  William Smith (suspect) worked with Dan Clair.  William Smith's wife grew up less than two miles from that Paul Cotton, and were around the same age.  In Gunther's book, the letter has a Happy Birthday xX Clara.  The letter x'd out is a D.  William Smiths' wife was named Dolores.  William Smith had aviation experience, and parachute training.  The Happy Birthday was for March 2nd.  Dan Clair's wife Jeanne was born on March 2nd.  

Maybe someone can find a better match than Dan Clair.  I'd like to see it.

I'd really love to see some more people get interested in Gunther's book and do some research and find Dan LeClair, whether it is Dan Clair or not.

On a side note: William Smith's family is not too happy that he is named as a suspect.  Yet there has been no public denial.  No nothing.  Just a comment from someone who married into the family well after 1971 saying he knows where Smith was in 1971.  Where that is, we don't know.

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On 2/15/2022 at 9:54 AM, CooperNWO305 said:

 

  • Bought the suit and tie at a pawn shop

So, if someone were just making this story up, is there an obvious reason why they would include this? I mean, this was before anything was known about the elements on the tie, right? So why include this if it isn't true?

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