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DB Cooper

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1 hour ago, Coopy said:

I do not know why a suicidal man would be careful.

Suicidal? The odds are greatly in favor of Cooper surviving the jump. If he's got the nerve to do the hijacking, I'm guessing he has the presence of mind to pull the ripcord, whether he's experienced or not. If he pulls, he's all but assured of getting an open canopy. There's a chance of him being injured on landing, but not fatally so, unless he's unable to hike out and succumbs to the elements.

A few days ago I saw the old Cooper TV documentary that showed Cossey making the statement that the ripcord position would make it difficult for Cooper to pull. I think Cossey was BSing the reporters. That rig was made for an emergency bailout by aircrew or aerobatic pilots, most of whom are presumably not experienced jumpers. Is he saying that most of them would likely go in for inability to pull? He packs those rigs and hands them to his clients. Does he expect them all to bounce if they bail? I think not. Even if he did change the ripcord location (as has been reported) it would still be in an easily accessible spot. Cossey was a jumper and a rigger. I don't think he was earnestly saying that and was wrong, I think he was purposefully feeding them a line.

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Shutter responded...

"It was Cooper's money? of course his prints would be found on any of it he touched prior to or after exiting the plane..plus dozens of other prints would be found on the money since it was in circulation prior to being stored at the bank..does't mean any good prints would be found or even able to link to him.."

This is why I lose patience with that forum, Shutter completely missed the point.

The point isn't whether prints could be found or not on money, the point is Cooper took the risk... and because he took that risk with the money it contradicts the argument that he was meticulous about evidence (clearly he wasn't) and could have only left the tie as a plant. It tells us that the tie plant theory based on Cooper's thoroughness with evidence is bogus. That is all.

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Here is a similar bogus argument..

 

Everyone, including myself believed Cooper wanted to jump ASAP because he demanded airstairs down on takeoff..

But, as clearly laid out in the FBI files his initial demand was airstairs lowered inflight, he changed it during negotiations with the crew..

Since his plan A was airstairs lowered inflight that indicates he did NOT want to jump ASAP or near Seattle.

The conclusion that he wanted to jump ASAP at least initially is busted. Once the plane was going to land in Reno he wanted out ASAP.. Authorities would have mobilized on Reno.

That tells us he jumped into an area he had not planned.

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'Wanted stairs lowered in-flight' covers a lot of ground. When in flight? Right after the wheels left the ground? Two minutes after takeoff, when the jet would have been just a few miles out of SeaTac Airport? 

Geoff Gray says that the pilots used the radio while on the ground in Seattle (page 76 Skyjack) to call the NWA engineers about Cooper's demand to take off with the airstairs down. This was alleged between pilots and NWA, not the FBI. According to Gray, this is how the whole thing started with the airstairs. It is also common for pilots to consult with the ground crew on anything like this, or if they have a mechanical problem in-flight, so it sounds reasonable to me. 

Allegedly, NWA engineers told the 305 crew that it was NOT possible to take off with the airstairs in the down position, but flying it that way once they were airborne was quite possible. If you are asking me what Cooper's original jump plan was...I created a map about that long ago, which is shown below:

jumpmap1.jpg.77265468a34a285e7f35acfaea9552ce.jpg

If NWA engineers told the crew they must refuse to open the airstairs prior to takeoff, then it would take more time for Cooper to prepare for the jump. He had to secure the money bag, deal with Tina Mucklow, get his own chute on and secured, and then...get the airstairs released. The whole scenario sounds like the old Murphy's Law of Planning:

Quote

"Everything takes longer than you expect..."

Cooper's original plan was probably to jump somewhere inside the area shown by the larger blue circle. But with the jet traveling along at three miles a minute, by the time Cooper was ready to go, the jet was probably far south of that point and he simply jumped when he was ready...but BEFORE they reached the Columbia River. Jumping after that point would mean coming down in a major metro area at night...or ker plonking into the Columbia River. 

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3 hours ago, RobertMBlevins said:

'Wanted stairs lowered in-flight' covers a lot of ground. When in flight? Right after the wheels left the ground? Two minutes after takeoff, when the jet would have been just a few miles out of SeaTac Airport? 

Geoff Gray says that the pilots used the radio while on the ground in Seattle (page 76 Skyjack) to call the NWA engineers about Cooper's demand to take off with the airstairs down. This was alleged between pilots and NWA, not the FBI. According to Gray, this is how the whole thing started with the airstairs. It is also common for pilots to consult with the ground crew on anything like this, or if they have a mechanical problem in-flight, so it sounds reasonable to me. 

Allegedly, NWA engineers told the 305 crew that it was NOT possible to take off with the airstairs in the down position, but flying it that way once they were airborne was quite possible. If you are asking me what Cooper's original jump plan was...I created a map about that long ago, which is shown below:

jumpmap1.jpg.77265468a34a285e7f35acfaea9552ce.jpg

If NWA engineers told the crew they must refuse to open the airstairs prior to takeoff, then it would take more time for Cooper to prepare for the jump. He had to secure the money bag, deal with Tina Mucklow, get his own chute on and secured, and then...get the airstairs released. The whole scenario sounds like the old Murphy's Law of Planning:

Cooper's original plan was probably to jump somewhere inside the area shown by the larger blue circle. But with the jet traveling along at three miles a minute, by the time Cooper was ready to go, the jet was probably far south of that point and he simply jumped when he was ready...but BEFORE they reached the Columbia River. Jumping after that point would mean coming down in a major metro area at night...or ker plonking into the Columbia River. 

FBI files state his initial demand was changed and the radio transcript confirms it..

Cooper's initial demand was airstairs to be lowered in flight.. it was changed when they were negotiating to land in Reno.

The argument that Cooper wanted to jump ASAP is based on his demanding the airstairs down on take off.. << this premise is often repeated and it is false with respect to his initial plan.

There is no evidence to indicate his initial plan was to jump ASAP..

When Reno was in play he wanted out ASAP..

If Cooper's initial plan was to jump ASAP he could have initially demanded airstairs down on take off.

Edited by FLYJACK

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6 hours ago, FLYJACK said:

Shutter responded...

"It was Cooper's money? of course his prints would be found on any of it he touched prior to or after exiting the plane..plus dozens of other prints would be found on the money since it was in circulation prior to being stored at the bank..does't mean any good prints would be found or even able to link to him.."

This is why I lose patience with that forum, Shutter completely missed the point.

The point isn't whether prints could be found or not on money, the point is Cooper took the risk... and because he took that risk with the money it contradicts the argument that he was meticulous about evidence (clearly he wasn't) and could have only left the tie as a plant. It tells us that the tie plant theory based on Cooper's thoroughness with evidence is bogus. That is all.

No, Shutter you still don't get the point..

It only addresses the "tie was a plant" argument. 

The standard argument claims Cooper was so careful about all the evidence he must have planted the tie. He wouldn't have been so sloppy to leave it.. Well, handing cash to the stews which could have his fingerprints isn't careful and meticulous. If he was sloppy with the money he could have been sloppy with the tie.

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We only know (according to Geoff Gray anyway) that Cooper OFFERED money to at least one of the stews. We do NOT know whether any of them accepted it. 

Since accepting any of that money would not only be hard to conceal from FBI agents waiting in Reno, but could possibly land them in Federal prison for a long time...it is extremely doubtful ANY of the stews were foolish enough to accept freshly stolen money obtained by hijacking the airline they worked for. Mucklow especially fits this bill. She was known to her co-workers as a deeply religious, Bible-thumping proselytizer who tried converting damn near everyone except the passengers. 

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7 hours ago, RobertMBlevins said:

We only know (according to Geoff Gray anyway) that Cooper OFFERED money to at least one of the stews. We do NOT know whether any of them accepted it. 

Since accepting any of that money would not only be hard to conceal from FBI agents waiting in Reno, but could possibly land them in Federal prison for a long time...it is extremely doubtful ANY of the stews were foolish enough to accept freshly stolen money obtained by hijacking the airline they worked for. Mucklow especially fits this bill. She was known to her co-workers as a deeply religious, Bible-thumping proselytizer who tried converting damn near everyone except the passengers. 

Tina admitted she was handed ransom money.. The stews said all were offered tip money from the drink change. There are a few reports that Flo and Alice were also offered ransom money as they left.  They all claimed the money was refused or returned in Tina's case.

It would not have been a crime to take the money if they turned it in, they should have taken it for potential prints. It is actually something that happens often, hijackers give money to crew and sometimes passengers. It compromised them as witnesses.

Tina had a huge bag and coat if she did keep the money it could have easily been concealed.

Being religious is irrelevant. 

Maybe she kept the money handed to her then was scared to turn it in naively thinking she would be in trouble, she wouldn't have been. If she didn't turn it in right away she had to keep it eventually discarding it..

If Tina did keep the money she would be compromised as a witness.

 

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14 hours ago, FLYJACK said:

No, Shutter you still don't get the point..

It only addresses the "tie was a plant" argument. 

The standard argument claims Cooper was so careful about all the evidence he must have planted the tie. He wouldn't have been so sloppy to leave it.. Well, handing cash to the stews which could have his fingerprints isn't careful and meticulous. If he was sloppy with the money he could have been sloppy with the tie.

Shutter, you keep stating the obvious..

The point is ONLY to asses the argument that the "tie was planted" because Cooper was meticulous with evidence.. He was not. The premise for that argument is false.

Edited by FLYJACK

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Tom and I got the same slope for TBAR...  about 10%. 5.5-5.7 degrees

That puts the money spot about 4 ft above the river in Feb 1980. Less if buried.

The money spot is reached by seasonal water level fluctuations. You don't need the 72/74 flood event to reach the money spot. The seasonal high flow for the Columbia is Spring.

Money found along high water line.. said right at beginning

 

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Eric and Robert99 are still pushing these falsehoods... based on compounded assumptions represented as FACTS..

 

I have addressed these many times and they just get ignored...

It is not a fact that the placard came from inside 305... unlikely but possible

There is no evidence the other part found was from 305...

The wind at the Placard find around 8 PM was S recorded at Toledo..

The winds aloft at the placard find from SW is NOT A FACT. There is no record.

Even the winds the FBI used for the LZ was an estimate, even that was not a fact.

The flightpath was not the F-106, they turned E too late and did loops.

 

The western flightpath theory is conjecture, assumptions and rejection of known facts.

There is really ZERO to support it. ZERO, it is just made up.

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3 hours ago, FLYJACK said:

Shutter, you keep stating the obvious..

The point is ONLY to asses the argument that the "tie was planted" because Cooper was meticulous with evidence.. He was not. The premise for that argument is false.

Yes, Shutter you have missed the point, completely

It only negates a premise used for an argument.. it doesn't make a positive argument for anything which you are assuming. 

You have always had trouble with logic.

I am not making any argument other than the premise for Cooper "planting the tie" is busted. That is all... you have added the inverse and assumed an argument that isn't there.

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23 hours ago, FLYJACK said:

...and could have only left the tie as a plant...

At least for my statement, I was not stating that I believe the tie was a plant. I was merely speculating the possibility. It seems that a lot of people on this case try to come to absolute conclusions about things that cannot be definitively known. Only Cooper knows for sure whether the tie was a plant or an oversight, or whether it was even his.

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1 minute ago, dudeman17 said:

At least for my statement, I was not stating that I believe the tie was a plant. I was merely speculating the possibility. It seems that a lot of people on this case try to come to absolute conclusions about things that cannot be definitively known. Only Cooper knows for sure whether the tie was a plant or an oversight, or whether it was even his.

The tie plant theory is a common one that goes way back..

WE don't know if he discarded it intentionally, or accidentally..

 

I believe he used it to wipe prints in the plane but that is speculation.

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Since I recently declined on the movie option, I decided to close up the private forum AB hosts to the general public. I only started it in the event I was willing to continue to cooperate with the movie producers on the Cooper picture. That has ended, so a private site is no longer needed.  

This is not a big deal, since there are only a few members and activity there is very little. What the heck...it was a freebie host anyway. Most of my Cooper stuff ends up at WordPress, not this forum or that one. 

There are enough forums out there on Cooper anyway. One is as good as another. The truth is, I am slowly but surely extricating myself from the Cooper Vortex. I don't mind discussing the case here and there, but I have to move on to other things. I really do. :handpeace:

Frankly, it's become kind of boring to me.  I had to admit that to myself today. 

Edited by RobertMBlevins

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(edited)

I did take a minute to stop by another Cooper website today and saw this posted by Dudeman:

Quote

'The short answer is that the reserve container packed with money, there would be some buoyancy, but it wouldn't last long at all...'

Dudeman:  Cooper was seen by Tina Mucklow securing the money bag with lines cut from the working reserve parachute. She also said he attached at least one 'main' (longer) line around the bag and was tying it around his waist. It is doubtful he ditched that whole assembly after she went forward beyond the First Class curtain. He would have to cut all the lines loose, and re-pack everything into the non-working (trainer) reserve container. This does not seem feasible to me, since he jumped fairly quickly after the airstairs showed 'open' on the Flight Engineer's control panel. 

The reason he probably did it that way is illustrated by the picture below. The most likely scenario on what happened to the non-working reserve is that, like the briefcase, it probably went right out the back and into the night as soon as Cooper dropped the stairs. A possible reason why no one has found either of those things is because they were probably ditched over an area that is privately owned by Weyerhauser Logging. That is the vast area of working forests just north of Ariel. All the access roads are gated and locked, although hunters can apply to enter during hunting season. But in the long run, it is FAR less visited than your typical National Forests, which are wide open to everyone. 

jumppic.jpg.a3898ddc5e1580f78aff5694606feced.jpg

PlacardMap2.jpg.61a2bd31e0bf7398de003a075d4da244.jpg

ABOVE: A general map. 'Headquarters' near the placard indicator is the main entry for Weyerhauser. As of 2020 however, there is some doubt whether that placard found by Carroll Hicks actually belongs to Flight 305. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. 

But if it IS...then this could be the approximate point where Cooper finally got the airstairs down, and the briefcase and phony reserve could be in the forest just south of where the placard was found. I once proposed a search in that general area and got Weyerhauser's permission to do a multi-day camp there. I decided to ditch the idea later, but we had prepared pretty well for it, even including some folks with metal detectors, including the two I own. Found out there was *some* doubt on the placard identification, so I canceled. Here is what it looks like there (placard find) as of 2020:

CardGeneral2.jpg.2426255880632c29d1164889df4ab095.jpg

Our basic theory on why a search in the same area should be done was THIS:

1) Cooper drops the airstairs. 
2) Either the placard comes off the plane due to the sudden turbulence that resulted, or maybe he tore it off and threw it out...along with tossing out the non working reserve and the briefcase. MOTIVE: To place items on the ground indicating that he may have jumped farther north than he actually did. 
3) Also, it is strange that nothing else was found after all these years. Not Cooper so much, or even the money...but the reserve and the briefcase. It was my contention that maybe this is so simply because the missing items landed in an area not heavily visited or used by the public. Or even ACCESSIBLE by the general public. Seemed like a pretty good theory to me. 
4) Later, though...Flyjack placed some doubt on whether the found placard actually CAME from 305, so I decided to cancel the search. But the truth is that no one really knows for sure, and if the placard really DID come from 305, then yes...a search should be conducted in the area shown by the pictures. 

CardGeneral3D.jpg.456e625b3b182a4e7b5bad880b355635.jpg

NOTE ABOUT THE ABOVE PICTURE:  This area was much more forested, and much LESS developed back in 1971. 

CardGeneral4.jpg.7329a7f61ce77a2ddbcca631416cf9e7.jpg

ABOVE: The road you see in the Google Map blowup is a private road on property owned by Weyerhauser Logging. You need specific permission to enter this area from the company representative, and must meet them in person to obtain a key to the gates. Even today, the only people who go into this area (it's many, many square miles) are the occasional hunter and logging people working for Weyerhauser. Sometimes, eco-type scientists are allowed in as well. But compared to a typical Forest Service area, it is much less visited. In addition, hunters/hikers who HAVE obtained permission to enter these lands are NOT given a key. They park at the gate(s) and must walk in, although there are exceptions if you manage to obtain a key. Most walk in. The nearest gate is over ten miles away from where this placard was discovered. Over the years, restrictions on entry have increased even MORE, due to nasty folks trying to bypass the gates, dump garbage or stolen cars, trash the logging equipment...even trying sneak in there to make methamphetamine. So it is visited even less than it was back in the 70's. The logging company uses their own private forest patrols these days. Yes...evidence could still be lying out there, and without any other evidentiary reference to go on, it seemed sensible to just start where the placard was discovered. 

CardGeneralWest.jpg.70cf50d8ad822ae931a177f070926145.jpg

ABOVE: When we were considering a second search of the area where the placard was found, I was planning on searching south of the placard location. It was a long shot, and I didn't figure even a team of eight people (that's how many signed up to participate) using metal detectors could cover more than a single square mile at most. But at the time, it seemed like the best approach. The campsite markers are where we considered setting up shop. It's doubtful we would have found anything, but I thought (at the time) it was worth a try. 

Edited by RobertMBlevins

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40 minutes ago, RobertMBlevins said:

Dudeman:  Cooper was seen by Tina Mucklow securing the money bag with lines cut from the working reserve parachute. She also said he attached at least one 'main' (longer) line around the bag and was tying it around his waist. It is doubtful he ditched that whole assembly after she went forward beyond the First Class curtain. He would have to cut all the lines loose, and re-pack everything into the non-working (trainer) reserve container. This does not seem feasible to me, since he jumped fairly quickly after the airstairs showed 'open' on the Flight Engineer's control panel. 

The reason he probably did it that way is illustrated by the picture below. The most likely scenario on what happened to the non-working reserve is that, like the briefcase, it probably went right out the back and into the night as soon as Cooper dropped the stairs. A possible reason why no one has found either of those things is because they were probably ditched over an area that is privately owned by Weyerhauser Logging. That is the vast area of working forests just north of Ariel. All the access roads are gated and locked, although hunters can apply to enter during hunting season. But in the long run, it is FAR less visited than your typical National Forests, which are wide open to everyone. 

jumppic.jpg.a3898ddc5e1580f78aff5694606feced.jpg

 

That's all fine, and I've read that before, it's just that the poster 'Chaucer' had asked specifically whether a parachute container packed with money would float, so I was just commenting generally on that.

Who knows what Cooper actually did, what his experience was and how he thought about such things, but...

I don't like that idea about the money bag hanging below him, and here's why: If he jumps with the bag separated from his body tied to a line like that, it's going to trail behind him in freefall as soon as he exits. Such things have a nasty habit of snagging deploying parachutes and causing deadly malfunctions. If he tumbles on exit and it wraps around him before he pulls, all the worse. When the military does stuff like depicted in the picture, even on a static-line jump, that pack is attached to the body on exit and through deployment. After opening is when it's dropped below. That is done so that the heavy pack lands first, and unweights from the parachute before the jumper lands. A 20 lb. money bag wouldn't weigh enough to necessitate that.

A modern exception to THAT that I've seen is, the jumper exits a tailgate aircraft with a full 55-gallon steel drum full of whatever hanging below them. That thing is going to hang below them even in freefall and not trail behind. They use modified tandem rigs with huge square canopies and freefall drogues. In freefall it hangs a bit below them, then after opening they drop it lower to better time the landing.

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(edited)
Quote

"I don't need those..." (or 'that') 
Cooper's response when Mucklow offered him the instructions on the chutes, sent along by the FBI but probably obtained by them elsewhere. 

Those things you say are true. But because Cooper went straight to securing the money bag and then tying it around his waist for the jump, sounds like to me he had some prior experience jumping with a load. Most whoffos (like me) would have tried tying it to their body if they had no experience. 

Since Cooper jumped with just one working chute, I've wondered if he may have just pulled the ripcord right there at the bottom of the stairs and let it squib out and pull him off safely. A straight freefall jump entails TRUSTING the FBI didn't mess with the chutes, or even if the one he selected actually worked. DZ user '377' aka Mark M and I have shared the same opinion occasionally. Takes a lot of guts to just go down those airstairs in mid-flight with a big load like that and not take some precautions. Especially with those jet engines screaming bloody murder over your head. Maybe he held the money bag close to his body with one hand, and pulled the handle with the other. I think he was grasping the railing on the way down, and then switched hands at the last moment back to the bag before he pulled the handle. Once the chute inflates, he can stabilize and just drop the money bag onto the paracord that was already secured around his waist. 

When the airstairs finally dropped, they only did so 24-36 inches according to co-pilot Bill Rataczak. That means quite a stoop-over just to get them to drop further so you can get out there and jump. My theory is that Cooper actually BACKED down the stairs with one hand on the rail, letting them drop gradually with his weight, and perhaps pulled the handle when he reached the bottom of the stairs. Try to imagine what that whole scenario of the airstairs dropping after he pulled the handle might be like. You think they will go all the way down, perhaps with hydraulics. Instead...they drop a couple of feet and surprise for you. 

Now what do you do? 

Edited by RobertMBlevins

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