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16 hours ago, CooperNWO305 said:

Robert, you stated "escaping by rail is unlikely"  Do you have a percentage you could put to that?  Like 10%, 20%, etc?  For instance, the Cleveland Browns have a 0% chance of winning the Super Bowl, the Kansas City Chiefs maybe a 50%, etc.  Not looking for deep math, but where would unlikely vs likely fall for you when it comes to escaping by rail, and what were the other options and those probabilities?  If not rail, then all by foot, car, plane, boat, etc.

When I said 'escaping by rail is unlikely,' I meant if the train was moving through a rural area you wouldn't be able to hop the thing. Back in Cooper's day, they went pretty fast out there. 

But if the train was pulled onto a siding, or Cooper hopped one on the way out of a rail yard, that is possible. 

It's really hard to speculate on how Cooper may have escaped the area, because we don't know exactly where he landed. "We (the crew of 305) know where he jumped...we just don't know where he landed." (Quote from Bill Rataczak)

I am leaning toward believing Cooper may have been involved in the store break-in though. One reason is because of the items that were taken. The other is because this would have happened right about Thanksgiving morning...and it seems unlikely some common criminal would do that on the morning of Thanksgiving. Sounds more like someone in need real bad...like Cooper, for example. Let's face it...early morning on Thanksgiving (around midnight) seems unlikely for a break in at a store. Not impossible...but unlikely. Also the fact that the burglar grabbed cigarettes and what sounds like 'road food' is suspicious. The FBI thought it was important enough to investigate it, anyway. Also the military boot footprints found at the crime scene are a factor. If that doesn't spell C-O-O-P-E-R, I don't know what does. 

Frickin' FBI...they should have named the store in the report, and said which brand of cigarettes were stolen. 

My personal theory on what Cooper did after he landed, and how he got out of the area is well-known. I think he either buried the chute near Amboy, or IF the chute found there ISN'T Cooper's...that he simply hid it somewhere else. Along the way I think he disconnected the container and harness, and transferred the money to the container because a backpack looks much less suspicious than a bag similar to what armored car guards carry. Plus you can backpack the money, instead of carrying it in your hands. Much easier. 

Then...I think he started walking out the area as fast as possible. When he reached the first sign of civilization, he avoided the main roads and kept walking. When he found a pay phone, he called for help and probably arranged a meetup spot, which may not have been easy, but something was agreed upon. And that this person who assisted him, finally found him, and they got the hell out of Dodge. 

I would like to make a note about something. When I provide what I know, even if it is secondhand, I try to make it accurate and provide a source. Let's take a look at Des Moines, WA (former) Ace Hardware store manager Bill Rattie. A straight up guy I met several times. When Gayla and I were dating back in 2000, Gayla worked at that store and I would stop in and visit her there. I got to know Bill pretty well. I was NOT involved at that time in the Cooper case in ANY way. 

Somehow the subject of Cooper came up, and Bill mentioned casually that yeah...he had just joined the Army Reserve and had been called up for the initial search down at Ariel. He said he found a single loafer shoe while boonie crashing with the other guys, and he turned it in because it was like new. Said he never heard anything more about it. At the time, I didn't think much of it except it was 'cool' he was in on the search. 

Later....when I got involved in Cooperland, I thought back to what he said but I couldn't find a number for him...just that he was living in Hawaii according to US Search. (And that now he is back in the Olympia area, most likely) I have a message in to him at Facebook, but he hasn't stopped by Facebook in years. I could pay for his contact info, but he probably wouldn't be able to tell me anything other than what he said back in 2000. 

But...(there's always a 'but' huh?) if he found one of Cooper's shoes but they didn't find anything else...this might be because Cooper tossed out the shoes, the non-working reserve, the probably phony bomb, and the paper bag just as the jet was passing the search area...and then he JUMPED. None of those items were found on board, so they had to go out the back. There is no other logical explanation. Rattie's story lends some credence to the idea that Cooper may indeed have jumped just SOUTH of Ariel and near Amboy. 

A boatload of stuff is beginning to point to that theory. The chute FOUND in Amboy, the shoe perhaps, the store break in. And I agree that walking the RR tracks to get out of the area would be a lot safer than just walking down Highway 503. We already know that the local cops were looking for Cooper between Pigeon Springs and a few miles south of Ariel. And that back THEN there weren't a lot of side roads in the area that actually went anywhere except to a dead end and a few remote homes. It makes sense that if Cooper found the RR tracks, he would be out of sight of the main road and could head south without much chance of detection. And on late night Wednesday and into early Thursday, (Thanksgiving) most people are going to be sleeping at home and getting ready for The Big Feed With Family.

Imagine...light rain, low 40's, pitch dark out there and overcast. Can't even get lost. It's easy out there to figure out direction. One side of you are these mountains. The other side is west and leads to the freeway. Most of the rivers and creeks either flow south or west, not east. They roll along from high to low. Everyone knows this. 

I'm also leaning to the idea that after Mucklow went forward, Cooper pulled off the loafers, took some boots from that bag he carried, put them on...and when he got the airstairs open he pitched everything out that was later found missing from the aircraft. How many 'almost new' loafers were hanging out in the woods near Ariel, ready to be found? And back then, I never knew anyone who 'knew' Cooper was wearing loafers. Not me, that's for sure. Even Bill Rattie didn't know. I knew he allegedly wore dress shoes, but not the specific type. We just thought it was cool he found a shoe. REMEMBER: This happened long before I got involved in all this...about eight years prior. 

As a character witness for Bill Rattie, I can tell you this much:  He was a straight up guy, an honest guy, and ran that store very efficiently with a well-recruited staff. He wasn't the type to just make shit up to impress people, and he wasn't trying to impress anybody that day. He just mentioned it rather casually. If Bill's story is true, that loafer is probably being held by the FBI, in case they ever got a chance to interview the owner. 

Tell you the truth, I never considered Cooper the most well-prepared hijacker, but I always suspected he had some alternate shoes in that damn bag he carried. Military boots and a suit would have looked weird, and might even have created suspicion. Maybe Cooper thought of that, too. 

Edited by RobertMBlevins
Updates done

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A thought about the idea of Cooper disconnecting the parachute canopy from the harness/container after he landed. And I'm not saying this to confirm or dispel whether he actually did it, because I don't know. I'm just putting some info here. Might also help to identify the Amboy chute.

First, to detail the components of a 'parachute', imagine an open parachute hanging in the sky. At the top, you have the parachute canopy itself, the big round nylon (silk) part (the pilot chute would be part of this).  Then, coming down, you have the suspension lines (only a whuffo calls them 'shroud' lines). The lines then gather into four risers (right/left/front/back, those straps that kind of look like seat belts).  The risers then attach to the harness/container at the shoulders.

Now, it sounds like Cooper was hoping/expecting to get 'sport' gear. The 'back' chutes would have been sport mains, the 'front' chutes would be the reserves that attach to them. (If he had gotten military paratrooper rigs, which were basically the same as sport rigs of those days, they would have most likely been set up for static line deployment, rather than freefall/ripcord, and would have been difficult to use unless he found a place in the stairwell to attach the static line.) But that's not what he got. Instead, the back chutes they gave him were pilot bailout rigs. The front reserves do not attach to them, because the bailout rigs ARE reserves. (Actually, the totality of what they gave him puzzles me, but that would have to be a different post.)

On sport mains, the risers attached to the harness/container by way of these thingamajigs called capewells. They come apart simply by pulling open covers, then pulling rings, to separate the risers from the harness. This would have been easy for Cooper to do by hand. (I'm not sure exactly when capewells were developed. Perhaps Mark 377 can tell us. Later on they were used to make emergency procedures safer, as a jumper would 'cutaway' a malfunctioned main in-air before deploying the reserve. This wasn't the practice at the time, but capewells were originally developed so that paratroopers could easily detach from their mains after landing to avoid being drug by winds or being entangled in trees or what-not. I'm all but certain that they did exist in '71.)

But, on the pilot bailout rig that Cooper had, the canopy does not separate from the harness so easily. The risers are an integrated part of the harness. The lines attached to the risers by a metal link. In those days I believe that would have been an 'L-bar' type of link. Those are held together by screws, and when undone separate into two parts. I'm sure a rigger would make those screws pretty tight.

So for Cooper to detach the canopy from the harness/container, he would have to have either a screwdriver, the right sized coin and a strong wrist, or most likely a knife.

So a question would be, how were the bottom of the lines on the Amboy chute? If they were attached to full risers with the top half of the capewell set-up, then not Cooper's. If the lines were on a complete set of L-bars, probably not Cooper's, because I can't imagine him taking the time to reassemble them. If they were on a half set of L-bars, or on a set of cut risers, or the lines themselves were cut, then maybe Cooper's.

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(edited)

On his website, Eric Ulis has some pics of a 727-22 airstair area.

A few things..

That plane is not equipped with the optional emergency airstair release which the "Placard" refers to. The optional emergency release system has a "pull handle" behind a second interior panel and another behind the exterior access door.

This plane's airstair release, like all North American commercial passenger 727's was modified after NORJAK..

The main handle was not just a simple push... it had a release button on the top which must be pressed. Looks to be missing in this plane. If it was dark Cooper could easily miss the top button and struggle with the handle.

 

We don't know if Northwest 305 had the optional emergency or the same handle..

This is a schematic for Northwest Airlines 727-51 airstairs and the handle looks different. All 727 handles were replaced and updated at some point. It may be impossible to find an example of the same system today..

 

northwest727-51.jpg.73489386e7e5999dab0aa15d14e1211e.jpg

Edited by FLYJACK
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5 hours ago, dudeman17 said:

But, on the pilot bailout rig that Cooper had, the canopy does not separate from the harness so easily. The risers are an integrated part of the harness. The lines attached to the risers by a metal link. In those days I believe that would have been an 'L-bar' type of link. Those are held together by screws, and when undone separate into two parts. I'm sure a rigger would make those screws pretty tight.

So for Cooper to detach the canopy from the harness/container, he would have to have either a screwdriver, the right sized coin and a strong wrist, or most likely a knife.

So a question would be, how were the bottom of the lines on the Amboy chute? If they were attached to full risers with the top half of the capewell set-up, then not Cooper's. If the lines were on a complete set of L-bars, probably not Cooper's, because I can't imagine him taking the time to reassemble them. If they were on a half set of L-bars, or on a set of cut risers, or the lines themselves were cut, then maybe Cooper's.

This is a very good presentation on the possibility of the Amboy chute. I have to say that from my communications with the (Seattle) FBI over the years, and especially regarding the Amboy chute...I sometimes wondered if even THEY knew what the hell they were doing sometimes. 

Why they refused to tell anyone, including the media, WHY exactly they decided the chute wasn't Cooper's is a mystery even today. First thing they say about it after looking at it in Seattle is this:

"It's the right size, the right color, and it was found in the right place..."

A week later they say it isn't Cooper's with this:  "By a preponderance of the evidence..." And yes, some media asked what criteria they used to determine this conclusion. They got no answer, and neither did I. 

FIVE years later they say they can't discuss the chute because: "It's evidence in an ongoing case." Really? You said it wasn't. Tell me how this makes a bit of sense. If they dismissed the chute as just another piece of junk that was foisted upon them, why would they not just toss it out? Why is it evidence in an ongoing case today? Make any sense to you? It doesn't to me either. 

DUDEMAN:  Your comments, maybe edited down for FBI folks who don't know much about parachutes...and possibly some pictures to go along with your assessment....should be sent to the Seattle FBI. It's a stretch, but I wondered that if the FBI simply wasn't SURE about the chute or not...that they might avoid saying it could be Cooper's for one good reason. If they admit the chute COULD be Cooper's, they would also have to admit he probably got away with the crime, since only a live human being can bury a canopy. And in addition, they spent years after the Tina Bar money find....saying that they now thought Cooper died in the jump. They would have to admit just the opposite. 

Frankly, I thought the whole investigation into the Amboy chute was done poorly, a little secretively, and smelled like BS to high heaven. I have a collection of research and articles that were published the week the chute was discovered.

FINAL NOTE:  Cooper did have a knife. He used it on the pink parachute to cut cords. 

ABOUT THE AIRSTAIRS release system: I can only add this, which is an excerpt from the NTSB report on a 727 92-C that made a bad landing on Yap Island in November 1980. No one was killed, but the plane burned after it made a bad landing and went off the runway into the jungle. The section below describes one of the stews trying to get passengers out through the airstairs. (Everyone made it out safely before the aircraft went completely ablaze and was destroyed) The underline section was highlighted by me: 

'After the aircraft came to rest, she attempted to open the aft pressure bulkhead door leading to the aft airstair exit. She said two passengers interfered with the opening of the door because it opens inward. When she got the door open, she attempted to open the airstair with the normal handle, but it did not operate. She did not attempt to use the emergency extension handle for the pneumatic system because she was not aware of the system. 

She stated that the cabin began to fill with smoke so she shouted at the passengers attempting to use the aft airstair exit telling them to go forward. She used empty pillowcase covers to cover her mouth and nose, as the smoke was "thick, acrid and suffocating." She noticed light coming from the forward part of the cabin and screamed for the passengers to turn and go forward. She went forward in a crouched position and exited via the aft left overwing exit. Once outside, she had difficulty in keeping the passengers moving away from the aircraft...'

NOTES: The evacuation, even though one side of the emergency doors were jammed, the stew not knowing about the emergency system on the airstairs, and everyone having to get out through the left side exits, was done in about 55 seconds, according to the NTSB report. Within seconds of the last person getting out, the entire jet went up in flames, although there was no explosion. A fire crew arrived soon afterward. Some injuries, but none life-threatening, and everyone survived. 

You can view the NTSB report HERE.  

Edited by RobertMBlevins

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(edited)

Happy New Year, you Cooper bums. 

Just kidding on the bum thing. AB of Seattle has decided to do one last big-ass Cooper Campout the first weekend of April up in the Olympic mountains of WA state. After that, all bets are off, but I'm tossing more than a thousand bucks to this one. No worries. You can drive to it, even with a VW Beetle. 

Oh, yeah. 

I can tell you this much. We will have a lot more fun that the people who paid fifteen bucks to attend Eric Ulis' bullshit-founded Cooper gathering at the Kiggins theater in Vancouver. That is a promise. Big campfire, Cooper discussions galore, full bar, (no charge) and big-screen entertainment in the middle of nowhere is guaranteed. Free BBQ is a given. 

Be there, or be square. This could be our last Cooper related event ever. So I plan to pull out all the stops for it. And unlike another recent Cooper event, we can actually DO video. B| Press release a few days prior. 

Serious people will figure out how to attend on their own. We already have more than a dozen people who have signed to go, and were provided the proper information. Anyone not interested, or smart enough to seek out details on their own...we don't want them anyway. 
 

IN2nocaption.jpg

shower tent.jpg

CampfireDark.jpg

Edited by RobertMBlevins

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Dec 26, 1966.. p 39

"Use of pure titanium and titanium alloys in commercial aircraft has been growing steadily over the years at Boeing although application has generally been limited to areas such as firewalls where temperature is a problem. High strength-to-weight ratio of titanium alloys and improved efficiency in fabrication as a result of supersonic transport research undoubtedly will lead to even greater utilization of this material in the future. For example, a typical riveted aluminum spoiler panel weighing 37.25 lb. made up of 50 parts held together with Aviation Week & Space Technology, December 1.219 fasteners costs $1,000 to make. An equivalent bonded titanium spoiler panel made up of 38 parts and 48 fasteners weighs only 26.71 lb. and costs $940.

In each Boeing 727 now rolling off the line there are about 650 lb. of titanium firewalls, bulkheads, tanks, ducts and fittings."

 

https://ia800809.us.archive.org/8/items/Aviation_Week_1966-12-26/Aviation_Week_1966-12-26.pdf

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I have some emails coming in from a guy named Don. He asked for the KATU video, the enhanced version I made a couple of years ago. Okay...provided. Now he is asking if anyone has the original copy of the Palmer Report. 

I tried to get it years ago, but failed. Anyway...he may show up here asking for it. So if you have this, well...I guess if anyone does they should make it available. My understanding was that no one actually has a copy, but I can't swear to that. 

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10 hours ago, FLYJACK said:

Cooper initially asked for 2 chutes, then 4.. two back and two chest

changes2to4chutes.jpg.016b9f60fda8c98e2acf833fff6f0e12.jpg

Any thoughts as to why he changed his mind? Or was it as simple as him asking for two because he assumed each set would have a main and a reserve?

Certain air crews only jumped with a reserve. It was smaller and took up less space on the plane and could be put on faster. He may have been more comfortable with a reserve. 

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1 hour ago, CooperNWO305 said:

Any thoughts as to why he changed his mind? Or was it as simple as him asking for two because he assumed each set would have a main and a reserve?

Certain air crews only jumped with a reserve. It was smaller and took up less space on the plane and could be put on faster. He may have been more comfortable with a reserve. 

Couple of thoughts on it, I guess. 

  • He might have been wondering if he should jump with BOTH a main and a reserve. 
  • He may have wondered if the FBI would sabotage the chutes, so by asking for more, this could make the FBI believe he was planning to force one of the stews to jump with him. I think this possibility was actually voiced by the FBI during the hijacking. Asking for four would (more or less) prevent the FBI from trying any sabotage, since they wouldn't know which chute he might force one of the stews to wear. 
  • Maybe he wanted a better selection to pick from, in case he didn't like, or didn't trust, or wasn't familiar with some of them. To me, this points to someone who knew how to use a chute, but maybe hadn't jumped himself in quite a while. 
  • Maybe four chutes to select from just sounded like a good, round number. 9_9

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On 12/31/2019 at 9:41 PM, RobertMBlevins said:

DUDEMAN:  Your comments, maybe edited down for FBI folks who don't know much about parachutes...and possibly some pictures to go along with your assessment....should be sent to the Seattle FBI.

I'm not inclined to pester the FBI. I wouldn't know who to send it to or where. I think you do, though, it seems you've asked them questions and gotten various responses. If you want to use any of what I wrote to inquire about it, by all means be my guest, and I would be as curious as anyone to hear if you get a response.

Cossey would have known all this, though, and I can't imagine he wouldn't check that part out. Maybe that's how he assessed so quickly that it wasn't Cooper's, maybe he saw a riser set-up that was all wrong for a bailout rig. Is there any record of him mentioning that part of it? Also, I think there's a few pictures of the Amboy chute, do any of them show the bottom of the lines?

As for the FBI's treatment of evidence, that does make sense to me. If they get that chute as evidence in the case, whether they prove or disprove it's actual relevance doesn't change that. And you may be right, they may not be 100% sure about it. Law enforcement agencies are often arrogant and elitist. While they like to publicly tout their victories, I think that a lot of the time they don't feel like they owe the public any explanations about anything. When they ask the public for help, they're looking for new information/evidence. They're not asking for the public's opinion on the evidence they have.

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I may study your assessment and try to make a presentation to the Seattle FBI about it. 

Look...as far as how the Seattle FBI has reacted to me when I have contacted them, it has always been professional and polite on both sides. Agent Fred Gutt was especially helpful, and was willing to tell me certain things. It wasn't until I inquired about the Amboy chute where I was stonewalled. Gutt would not only return my emails, he would sometimes call me on the phone. He was the guy who told me the following things, at different times:

  • "You are wrong in saying that Mr Christiansen was eliminated as a suspect in the Cooper case. Some in this office believe he's a good suspect. Others believe there are better suspects..." (His response when I challenged the FBI that outside reports had said KC was eliminated as a suspect.)
  • "The type of DNA testing that must be done to compare someone's full DNA profile to the partial profile gathered from the tie is very expensive, and the Bureau is no longer willing to fund such testing..." (His response when I offered up Lyle Christiansen's (KC's brother) DNA sample for testing against the tie sample. I found out later that those <$100 DNA kits just won't do the job, either.)
  • "Certain people were contacted regarding the parachute down in Amboy. They were contacted by phone." (My next question was: Were any of them allowed to examine the chute in person?) Answer: NO. 

As far as Cossey's supposed examination of the chute, this is what happened to the best of my knowledge. First, the FBI announces that the next day the chute will be sent somewhere upstairs in the FBI HQ building in Seattle for examination by their people. But...instead of that...the next day....they load the chute into the truck of a government car and show up in Woodinville at Cossey's house. The took the chute out and dumped it on the ground. Cossey tells media the same day:  "I knew it wasn't Cooper's in less than ten seconds. The ones I gave to Cooper were made of ripstop nylon, and the chute they found was made of silk."

I have two problems with this statement by Cossey. First, the chute's manufacturing date makes it EXTREMELY unlikely that the Amboy chute was made of silk. There was little to no silk in the USA at this time, because virtually ALL silk came from Japan and shipments had not come to the USA for several years because of the war. In fact, no silk parachutes were really being produced that late in the war. Second, experts who have seen the FBI's pictures of the Amboy chute agree on one thing. The chute is NOT silk. So...if Cossey based his opinion on a false assumption, how can you trust that? The same day, he even plays a joke on a Seattle Times reporter, telling him the chute IS Cooper's, and the reporter almost gets fired. It's too bad Cossey isn't around any longer to answer questions, because I would have a few for him. 

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41 minutes ago, 1969912 said:

I've been in that store. 1979 or so. Lived in Vancouver at the time.

Quote

 

I did find the Heisson General Store, it existed in 1971. It's about 3 miles East.

https://goo.gl/maps/7ELQSfsGcP3hqYg38

 

It's right off the RR tracks. How convenient for someone heading south on those tracks. Picture looks like there is a residence upstairs. If you were quiet enough, you might be able to get in and out in short order...then right back over the tracks. Interesting. It's even possible that because of the Thanksgiving holiday, the owners of the store were somewhere else with family. Or maybe they didn't use the residence area and had their own home nearby. I also had a thought that if Cooper had already walked several miles, and was already wanted for what amounted to a capital crime...breaking into some country store for cigarettes and some food would be no big deal. 

Edited by RobertMBlevins

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26 minutes ago, RobertMBlevins said:

It's right off the RR tracks. How convenient for someone heading south on those tracks. Picture looks like there is a residence upstairs. If you were quiet enough, you might be able to get in and out in short order...then right back over the tracks. Interesting. It's even possible that because of the Thanksgiving holiday, the owners of the store were somewhere else with family. Or maybe they didn't use the residence area and had their own home nearby. I also had a thought that if Cooper had already walked several miles, and was already wanted for what amounted to a capital crime...breaking into some country store for cigarettes and some food would be no big deal. 

If that break in was indeed done by DB Cooper, then it makes me wonder about a few things.  The first would be why did he have to break into a store?  What comes to mind is he either lost his survival gear/food in the jump, figured he didn't need any and maybe landed somewhere he thought he wouldn't, or didn't really plan it all out in advance.  You would think he would have at least jumped with some food in his pockets.  

Would old police reports have an actual list of what was stolen?

The other part that comes to mind is the use of railroad tracks to move through the area.  It is certainly a good method, especially on Thanksgiving eve/morning.  What is the final destination, is it a railyard, an actual passenger station, is he meeting someone somewhere, or even getting on a train?  Lots of things to speculate about.  His goal could have been to get to tracks, and it could have taken him hours to do so.

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Hmm. Have you ever heard the Murphy's Law that says, "Everything takes longer than you expect'. (?) 

I still think Cooper wanted to jump a little further north than he actually did, but with that jet moving along at three miles a minute, a barely half hour flight until you reach Portland, it's hard to say. Just a few minutes' delay could mean the difference between jumping near Olympia or something, and somewhere past the Merwin Dam. We know he had some minor troubles with the airstairs, but got past that. 

If you think about it though...what ARE the chances that under such stress...the door, the chute, an unexpected bank bag that should have been a backpack of money, etc...that Cooper would actually jump exactly wherever he had planned. I think the chances are remote he would have hit whatever spot he originally planned, and do it right on the money. Sounds more like he just got out as quick as he could, and had to wing his escape when he reached the ground. 

Still, it's amazing he took that little bit of extra time to toss out the briefcase, the bag, the non-working reserve. Logic says he had to do this just BEFORE he jumped. When the flight crew said they were feeling oscillations, and that this went on for more than just a couple of seconds...sounds like Cooper may have made two trips down the stairs, with the first one only part way. First trip...toss out the evidence. Second trip...make the jump. Stairs bounce back up high enough on the second trip to shut off the Airstairs Open indicator light for a second. 

PICTURE BELOW: A map with graphics showing the general area the Amboy chute was discovered in 2008. FBI agent Larry Carr said that the chute was found 'between Green and Bald Mountains near Amboy...''

AmboyChuteLocation.jpg.d9243f248f515e37ca75cedef7021409.jpg

Click on picture for full size viewing. 
BELOW: Merwin Lake Dam. Lights on both sides, and they reflect quite a bit across the water. 

merwinlights2.jpg.04eb29713e5e601dbc4e1c8df61742ea.jpg

 

Edited by RobertMBlevins

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(edited)

From Weather Underground's historical record:

Another weather station doing permanent records on the night of the Cooper hijacking was the one in the state capitol of Olympia. Their records are only for every three hours on the evening of the hijacking. (The comments in parenthesis are mine.) Here's what they recorded:

7:00 PM  November 24, 1971    
High: 42 F   
Low: 37 F   
Humidity:  82%   
Max Wind: South @12 mph  (FROM the south)
Min Wind: 0 MPH
Barometric pressure: 29.49 in  
Rain: 0.0 in   
Cloudy

10:00 PM  November 24, 1971
High: 40 F   
Low: 38 F   
Humidity: 93 %   
Max Wind: SE@14 mph   
Min Wind: 0 mph   
Barometric pressure: 29.51 in   
Rain: 0.0 in    
Cloudy

A couple of notes here. In these reports, they differentiate between 'cloudy' (broken cloud) and 'mostly cloudy'. When 'cloudy' is given, this means you can probably see some stars here and there with broken cloud. When 'mostly cloudy' is given, you will be lucky to pick out the moon or Venus. Also, note the lack of rain over this three hour period, and ground speed winds that never exceeded gusts past 14 MPH at any time during this period. (NOTE: Those are GROUND SPEED winds, and winds at altitude would certainly be higher.)

Conclusion:  The idea there was a 'big storm' on the night of the hijacking between Seattle, Olympia, and Portland is a MYTH. Weather information for both Seattle and Portland show about the same readings. The Columbia Gorge area over the Columbia River itself is given a  'pass,' since it is almost always windy there.  

Edited by RobertMBlevins

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11 hours ago, FLYJACK said:

 

Map.

pink line = 3 mi E of flightpath

green = railway

pink dot = Heisson store

FlightPath_lrgbb.jpg.ce0e57a227bf05c7e276416dd248d08b.jpg

 

 

Great use of graphics Flyjack.  8:12 PM pressure bump/jump would put him landing right north of Battleground.  If you're Cooper, chances are you want to walk south, so what scenario gets him to the Heisson General Store, on the railroad tracks, heading south?

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14 hours ago, FLYJACK said:

 

Map.

pink line = 3 mi E of flightpath

green = railway

pink dot = Heisson store

FlightPath_lrgbb.jpg.ce0e57a227bf05c7e276416dd248d08b.jpg

 

 

Another observation.  Cooper may or may not have known where the plane was, but I'm thinking at some point while he was descending under the parachute canopy, he would have had time to look around and possibly get his bearings.  I've done it, but it was not under the same stressful conditions he was under, something tells me he did not have much time to enjoy the ride.

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Did the report of the break in come into the fbi at 11:30 or was that the time it happened? How would anybody know unless they caught the intruder in the act or if the owner or neighbor lived on premises or near by and heard something then checked it out? I’m asking because there is another report of cooper possibly on the ground at that same time 11:30 walking on lewis river road in all black. It’s about an hour and a half walk from that store to lewis river road. If he did the break in around 10 then that lines up but if he broke on around 11:30 how do explain both of those occurrences at the same time the same night? 

 

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About the weather - Any idea what the moon was that night? That would affect his ability to see the ground. Also, and this is very general - Cooper's on the plane at 10 grand. If the weather is stormy/rainy to any degree, the clouds are probably below him. If it's not, then the clouds could be either above or below him.

6 hours ago, CooperNWO305 said:

something tells me he did not have much time to enjoy the ride.

That would depend on how high he opened the parachute, which would depend on what his jump experience was.

 

I plan to post some thoughts about the parachutes, but that'll have to wait till after the weekend.

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26 minutes ago, Nicholas Broughton said:

Did the report of the break in come into the fbi at 11:30 or was that the time it happened? How would anybody know unless they caught the intruder in the act or if the owner or neighbor lived on premises or near by and heard something then checked it out? I’m asking because there is another report of cooper possibly on the ground at that same time 11:30 walking on lewis river road in all black. It’s about an hour and a half walk from that store to lewis river road. If he did the break in around 10 then that lines up but if he broke on around 11:30 how do explain both of those occurrences at the same time the same night? 

 

I wondered this as well,,

The 11:30 time may be a guess or an assumption. No idea how accurate it is.

 

FlightPath_lrgbbww.jpg.d4e99cf09976aec6f8c1aa9b03ac2e9d.jpg

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1 hour ago, dudeman17 said:

About the weather - Any idea what the moon was that night? That would affect his ability to see the ground. Also, and this is very general - Cooper's on the plane at 10 grand. If the weather is stormy/rainy to any degree, the clouds are probably below him. If it's not, then the clouds could be either above or below him.

That would depend on how high he opened the parachute, which would depend on what his jump experience was.

 

I plan to post some thoughts about the parachutes, but that'll have to wait till after the weekend.

As I remember from looking a while back it was a little less than a half moon. I suspect he would have at least been able to see the lights from Interstate 5 to the west and Portland to the south, this would give him some sense of orientation. 

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