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There is a MEX theory, mine... and the FBI considered a Mexican connection.

Robert says: Okay. 

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There is no evidence for a ruse that is just conjecture.

Robert says: Sure there is. Cooper made at least two comments that indicate he was either very familiar with the south Puget Sound area, or was FROM that area. And what would motivate Cooper to tell the FBI and the crew the REAL place he was going? Or even WANTED to go? That would be foolish. He was probably trying to spread out the search area the length of the USA. Smart move. 

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Cooper was Latin/Mexican.. the elephant in the room everybody conveniently ignores..

Robert says: The description says an olive appearance. The FBI wanted poster says he's a white guy. Maybe he was a white guy with a good tan. No discernible accent, possibly from the Midwest. That's what it says. None of the witnesses have ever claimed they thought Cooper was of Spanish/Mexican/Hispanic origin or whatever you choose to call it.  And if your guy Hahneman was actually Cooper, then why would he begin his hijacking so damn far from where he actually wanted to go? Starting in Portland, going NORTH to Seattle...and then SOUTH? Doesn't make sense. Cooper was definitely from either the western provinces of Canada, (less likely) or from the Puget Sound area. (VERY likely) 

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He demanded NO US stops for a reason.., he didn't want to be on the plane when it landed. Being on the plane for a landing with the money and no passengers is a big risk. 

Robert says: Agreed. But then he never had any intention of remaining on board long anyway. He didn't bail north of Oregon because he was so much afraid of the landing in Reno. He did it because the closer to Seattle he jumps, the shorter distance it is to home. I understand you believe Hahneman was your guy for Cooper. And I sympathize with that. But Hahneman was from Honduras originally and settled on the east coast. Why in the heck would he travel clear across the USA to a place like Podunk Portland Airport...hijack a plane in the wrong direction...and then tell people he wanted to go to Mexico? As far as you know, he'd never even BEEN to the Pacific Northwest. Yet when he gets there, he knows the locations of McChord AFB in relationship to SeaTac Airport, and is able to recognize Tacoma from the air? Have you ever considered that Hahneman simply got the idea to do the hijacking he did back on the east coast after reading what Cooper did? Just like the other copycats?

You also seem to dismiss the idea easily that Hahneman...after he was caught in a high-profile hijacking...was never investigated for the unsolved Cooper case. This would be an easy matter for the FBI to either write him off because somehow they got information from Hahneman during his arrest interviews that immediately dismissed him as a suspect. It is likely they even showed his picture to the witnesses. They had him custody for years. More than a decade in fact.  If he was Cooper, they would have found out pretty damn quickly you know. They sure thought Richard McCoy was Cooper for a while, and they investigated the hell out of that one you can be sure. Even a book about it. Yet you say Hahneman was simply ignored by the FBI. This does not seem possible, unless they knew something about him that you and I don't know. And whatever they found out about him didn't link him to the Cooper case. You have to remember it was only seven months between Cooper in Portland, and Hahneman hijacking that other plane from the east coast down to Honduras. One of the first things that the FBI would have considered, once Hahneman turned himself in was..."Is he Cooper as well?" 

Here is probably what happened after Hahneman's arrest:  They checked his background, interviewed everyone he ever knew, and figured out pretty quick he wasn't Cooper. If you could FOIA the full reports on Hahneman after he was caught....then you would know why none of that got into the Cooper records. Because they wrote him off based on what the FBI discovered after he was caught. McCoy pulled his stunt off in April 1972, and Hahneman in June. Both of them probably got the idea from Cooper's crime the previous November. But it's hard to beat The Master. 

This is why after all those records that were released by the FBI are scanned, probed, mulled over, examined, and digested...there is not a single mention or memo about Hahneman. Because the FBI figured out really fast he wasn't Cooper. He wasn't even worth a single memo. 

Not that it matters, but a majority of the hijackings back then...the perps lived reasonably close to the place where they attempted their crime. Not all, but most. What you need to put this to bed once and for all is to get a look at the FBI files on Hahneman. The Feds had him locked up for 12 years. His files should be extensive if you include the actual investigation into his Honduras-over-the-jungle jump. 

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41 minutes ago, RobertMBlevins said:

Robert says: Okay. 

Robert says: Sure there is. Cooper made at least two comments that indicate he was either very familiar with the south Puget Sound area, or was FROM that area. And what would motivate Cooper to tell the FBI and the crew the REAL place he was going? Or even WANTED to go? That would be foolish. He was probably trying to spread out the search area the length of the USA. Smart move. 

Robert says: The description says an olive appearance. The FBI wanted poster says he's a white guy. Maybe he was a white guy with a good tan. No discernible accent, possibly from the Midwest. That's what it says. None of the witnesses have ever claimed they thought Cooper was of Spanish/Mexican/Hispanic origin or whatever you choose to call it.  And if your guy Hahneman was actually Cooper, then why would he begin his hijacking so damn far from where he actually wanted to go? Starting in Portland, going NORTH to Seattle...and then SOUTH? Doesn't make sense. Cooper was definitely from either the western provinces of Canada, (less likely) or from the Puget Sound area. (VERY likely) 

Robert says: Agreed. But then he never had any intention of remaining on board long anyway. He didn't bail north of Oregon because he was so much afraid of the landing in Reno. He did it because the closer to Seattle he jumps, the shorter distance it is to home. I understand you believe Hahneman was your guy for Cooper. And I sympathize with that. But Hahneman was from Honduras originally and settled on the east coast. Why in the heck would he travel clear across the USA to a place like Podunk Portland Airport...hijack a plane in the wrong direction...and then tell people he wanted to go to Mexico? As far as you know, he'd never even BEEN to the Pacific Northwest. Yet when he gets there, he knows the locations of McChord AFB in relationship to SeaTac Airport, and is able to recognize Tacoma from the air? Have you ever considered that Hahneman simply got the idea to do the hijacking he did back on the east coast after reading what Cooper did? Just like the other copycats?

You also seem to dismiss the idea easily that Hahneman...after he was caught in a high-profile hijacking...was never investigated for the unsolved Cooper case. This would be an easy matter for the FBI to either write him off because somehow they got information from Hahneman during his arrest interviews that immediately dismissed him as a suspect. It is likely they even showed his picture to the witnesses. They had him custody for years. More than a decade in fact.  If he was Cooper, they would have found out pretty damn quickly you know. They sure thought Richard McCoy was Cooper for a while, and they investigated the hell out of that one you can be sure. Even a book about it. Yet you say Hahneman was simply ignored by the FBI. This does not seem possible, unless they knew something about him that you and I don't know. And whatever they found out about him didn't link him to the Cooper case. You have to remember it was only seven months between Cooper in Portland, and Hahneman hijacking that other plane from the east coast down to Honduras. One of the first things that the FBI would have considered, once Hahneman turned himself in was..."Is he Cooper as well?" 

Here is probably what happened after Hahneman's arrest:  They checked his background, interviewed everyone he ever knew, and figured out pretty quick he wasn't Cooper. If you could FOIA the full reports on Hahneman after he was caught....then you would know why none of that got into the Cooper records. Because they wrote him off based on what the FBI discovered after he was caught. McCoy pulled his stunt off in April 1972, and Hahneman in June. Both of them probably got the idea from Cooper's crime the previous November. But it's hard to beat The Master. 

This is why after all those records that were released by the FBI are scanned, probed, mulled over, examined, and digested...there is not a single mention or memo about Hahneman. Because the FBI figured out really fast he wasn't Cooper. He wasn't even worth a single memo. 

Not that it matters, but a majority of the hijackings back then...the perps lived reasonably close to the place where they attempted their crime. Not all, but most. What you need to put this to bed once and for all is to get a look at the FBI files on Hahneman. The Feds had him locked up for 12 years. His files should be extensive if you include the actual investigation into his Honduras-over-the-jungle jump. 

 

Robert, you just have so many inaccurate assumptions.. stop making up stuff.

Cooper's comments don't indicate he was FROM PNW. He was familiar. Hahneman was military and flew frequently to SE Asia. I have a record of him flying NWA into Seattle. You don't need to be from Seattle to know McChord.. Most military aircrew would know McChord.. 

White guy,, I explained this before,, you ignore it. Latin people were referred to as white back then, the terms "latino/hispanic" were widely adopted later. Hahneman described himself as white, dark skin. The witnesses described Cooper as "Latin/Mexican/Native American (Blood) in appearance and features. The FBI docs are riddled with those descriptions, it is irrefutable.

Hahneman chose a plane to hijack in the NE because it was short, less likely to have Sky Marshall's and less crowded. He went to Mexico, had the plane fly a loop over Honduras, jumped and the plane landed back in Mexico. That was far too. 

According to a US official Hahneman had planned his hijacking for a year.. pre-dating Cooper. He was no "copycat". Hahneman moved to the US when he was 12.. became a naturalized US citizen and was 49 during NORJAK. 

I never claimed he wasn't investigated for NORJAK, you just made that up. I know he was but I also know the FBI claimed he returned from his job in the Far East in Jan 72,, but that is completely false. I don't know if they are lying or incompetent. I don't know that they eliminated him but if it was based on that, they were wrong.

I do have FOIA docs on Hahneman and lots of information.

Hahneman was not talking and he had people in very high places intervening.

 

The FBI has redacted Hahneman from the Cooper files even though he died long ago, they didn't redact KC, Rackstraw, McCoy and many others.. Why, if he died and was eliminated, why redact.

But the most interesting thing about Hahneman is that he fits Cooper better than any suspect yet there is nothing about him from the FBI. There is a ton on other high profile eliminated suspects but not Hahneman... nothing. 

 

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(edited)

KC isn't in any FBI files. Not unless new files were created after 2007. I wasn't making stuff up. I was making assumptions based on the known facts. 

Hahneman was arrested for air piracy, convicted, and served 12 years. Seems obvious if he was Cooper, someone in the FBI would have figured it out somewhere along the way. 

You say a 'US official' (unnamed) said Hahneman had been planning his hijacking for a year. So why would he go all the way to Podunk Portland to do that...not be discovered, get away with the money, and then try another one just eight months later back on the east coast? I've heard of guts and nerve, but that's a stretch. And if he was caught for this SECOND skyjacking, he could have gotten a big break on both crimes by offering to confess to both. Instead, he gets nothing and does 12 years in prison? Some hijackers actually got out of jail in five years or less. 

Here is a named US official for you:

According to three confirmed witnesses, one I named publicly, and the other two going into a separate report that was sent later to the Seattle FBI, the guy below (FBI agent John Jarvis) alleged to the witnesses (less than six weeks after the FBI closed the case on Cooper) that the reason the FBI closed the case was because they now knew who Cooper was, that they knew this person was dead, and that he was none other than Kenny Christiansen. 

All three of these witnesses hold security clearances with the US government and work with the US Navy in the Washington, DC area. I have their names, their email addresses, where they work...everything. The witness I named publicly is Troy Bentz, an engineer for the Navy with a wife and two kids. His wife was pissed at him for coming forward, which he did on his own after reading the Blast book. linkedin.com/in/troy-bentz-28043737  That's his Linkedin if you choose to try verifying. 

Meet Agent John Jarvis, a (now) nearly 20-year veteran of the FBI who (at the time of the Cooper case closure) worked out of Quantico in Behavioral Profiling. Prior to that, he was a field agent with several high-profile cases solved under his belt. 

You see, Flyjack...witnesses are shit unless you reveal everything about them. When I tell people about these things, the reason I give the details is in case someone wants to actually check out the evidence. I have nothing to hide, especially since I ditched those movie companies and got out from under their confidentiality agreement, which was a PITA. 

I still have Troy's emails. We later spoke on the phone at length while I scribbled notes. I would be happy to post the emails. He thought I wouldn't believe him when he contacted me. So because of that he gave me everything except the kitchen sink. AB staff checked all three of these witnesses out at length. Troy was telling the truth about everything he said. He even gave me the score of the baseball game they all attended, and the name of the restaurant where (after the game) Jarvis made his revelations. 

Agent Jarvis shown below. 

jarvisgood.jpg.fc3c093ef0f81345f8ad8d20617bbd1a.jpg

Anyone who chooses to do so could try contacting Jarvis and/or Bentz for verification on this story. If either of them goes into denial, I can show the exact times and dates this revelation happened, where all four men WERE on that specific day, what they were doing, (attending a ball game together, Jarvis being one of the witnesses' friends) and produce all the emails with all those details inside them. Doesn't leave a lot of room for weaseling, I assure you. 

On a side note, I have always thought it might be more than coincidence that the FBI suddenly decided to drop the case less than a year after they received our 54-page report on Kenny Christiansen and Bernie Geestman. They never told me if they investigated that report, but I know they received it, and the Seattle FBI did tell me it was forwarded to the case agent. So I know someone there at least examined it. 

Look...none of these things proves beyond any doubt that KC was Cooper. But in the realm of evidence, it isn't bad. What I'm trying to tell you is that if you want to prove Hahneman was Cooper, you have to start somewhere with something more solid. 

Edited by RobertMBlevins

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(edited)

(Final version of the WordPress tribute article on Bryan Woodruff and the famous Ariel Store. I thought I would post it for Dropzone, since I already did so at Quora Cooper and a few other places on the internet. You've heard slanted versions of this story elsewhere. Now view the truth from the source.)

D.B. Cooper – A Tribute to the Passing of Bryan Woodruff, Owner of the Ariel Store and Tavern

GroupArielWcaption.jpg.1a16135b9b2d0f9544837c5ace657b34.jpg

(ABOVE: Promotional photo done by the author, prior to sponsoring the final ‘D.B. Cooper Days’ party at the Ariel Tavern. Bryan Woodruff is center in blue shirt. After his mother died and left him the store, we worked together to hold a fundraiser to save the store.)

The last time I ever saw Bryan Woodruff was at the final Ariel Party, the one we organized together after his mother died, and in which Adventure Books of Seattle had a large role. Unfortunately, it DID turn out to be the swan song for the annual (and world famous) party called Cooper Days. After original owner Dona Elliott died the year previously, the store was turned over to her son Bryan. But at the same time, the State of Washington and Clark County (in a move that eventually doomed the store) pulled the licenses for the business, and demanded expensive renovations and upgrades…none of which Bryan could afford. When Bryan passed away from cancer in August 2020, the store was still unlicensed and not open to the public, although until his final days in hospice, Bryan used it as his full-time residence. After his death, the family began selling off the thousands of items inside the store, and put the property up for sale. (The actual sale of the property is unconfirmed, though.)

The end of an era. A bummer for D.B. Cooper fans.

This article is a tribute to Bryan Woodruff, and to an extent, his mother Dona Elliot as well. 
To enjoy the article more fully, you may want to click on the song below, which this writer dedicated to him.

The amount of money we raised during that final party in August 2016 (in attempts to bring the store up to state and county codes) wasn’t much more than what we spent on the party itself, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. (In other words, some folks said later that AB of Seattle could have saved themselves the trouble simply by writing Bryan a check.) Travel Channel showed up via their TV show Expedition Unknown with Josh Gates after my request to them, and we cooked at least 500 hot dogs and hamburgers. There were several local volunteers who brought food as well, and everyone moved a few cords of wood off the main stage for the auction and the music. I snapped hundreds of pictures, shot a couple of videos, and I still have them all on a memory card. The day before the party, I helped Bryan raise the store building with screw jacks while we toured the crawlspace. I thought we should do an inch to a half inch. Bryan did four inches and scared the crap out of me.  The store held, and the building didn’t fall on our heads. 

allbooks.jpg?w=1024Bryan’s personal collection of D.B. Cooper-themed books

Current value on the property is about $100,000 according to tax records, so if it goes up for sale, it should sell fast. One thing I can tell you about Bryan is that he was worried about the DB Cooper paraphernalia, probably the largest collection in the world. HIS wish was that the store be turned into a DB Cooper museum. This was a project I encouraged, and yes, I did try to help him with that but it never got past the discussion stage. Maybe he put something in his will designating these Cooper items to the WA State History Museum or something. I hope so. They once did a D.B. Cooper exhibit there, and still have one of the parachutes from the hijacking on display.

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I have said occasionally that Cooperland (my nickname for some of the amateur sleuths and fans of the case) shoot themselves in the foot so much, I’m surprised they aren’t shopping for wheelchairs.

Bryan forwarded me several emails right after that last party saying SOME people weren’t in favor of me trying to help him ‘restore the store,’ and turned him against ideas I had regarding all that. There is no use in them denying this, because I still have the emails. I am no longer angry about it, but I find it regrettable that people would hate ME so much…that they would take it out on Bryan. As some of you know, my mother in Arizona was willing to put up the money to have the store restoration done, after I told her it was a good cause. My parents lived in Washington for many years and were familiar with both the store and the Cooper case. And let’s face it. They also knew I wrote a book on the case as well, and had been on television a couple of times about Cooper. If I could speak to these so-called ‘D.B. Cooper Experts’ in person who turned their backs on Bryan, I can only say this:

Karma is a bitch, and what goes around eventually COMES around. You will have to live with what you did regarding Bryan and the store, and no amount of spin will ever change that.

I wonder if any of them regret interfering now. This list of jerks includes people like Bruce Smith of the Mountain News blog, who considers himself the King of D.B. Cooperland, and Dave Brown (aka ‘Shutter 45’), the founder of the D.B. Cooper discussion forum. After Bryan died, both had the absolute gall to post their ‘condolences’ on Bryan Woodruff’s obituary. Smith even listed the title of his Cooper book in an effort to generate sales. These two are the biggest phonies I have ever had the displeasure of knowing. My thought is that it is better to support people while they are still alive, and not come out of the weeds with mealy-mouthed justifications and expressions of admiration about someone once they are gone.

Just to make yourself look good.

I’ll admit I was bitter about that for a long time, but I got over it. I attended three of the Ariel Store Cooper Days parties over the years and had fun at all of them. Especially the final party, where we did something good for Bryan and his dreams for the famous store. I am PROUD of my efforts on that, no matter what people have said about it. A few things about the party itself:

Everyone worked their asses off for two days prior, but everyone had fun and it went off smooth as silk. I remember cooking food and hustling people up to the store building to drop a few bucks donation on a special PayPal site we created where they could use their credit or debit cards to do so. (Many just brought cash, but we knew cards could work as well, so we brought a couple of computers and hooked them up for just that purpose.) Then the Travel Channel film crew showed up and told me later they had the most fun at Ariel that day than they had during all the other episodes of the show that season.

The craziest thing I did was to haul a triple stainless-steel sink (with legs) all the way there from our office in Auburn (about 130 miles each way), so we could meet Health Department hand washing requirements. The sink was a gift from the Auburn Days Festival. It was so dangerous to haul in my little truck that I ended up giving it to Bryan, rather than trying to haul it home. The trip down was tough enough. I made a total of five trips before it was over. The final tally was about $2,500 raised for Bryan at a general auction of donated items, and by direct cash donations. The PayPal site raised an additional $500. I wish we could have done better, but we did the best we could and Bryan was happy.

bookcollection.jpg?w=688

Bryan Woodruff’s extensive collection of D.B. Cooper themed books.

After everyone finally headed home, Bryan, me, and a couple of other people hung out in the bar most of the night and talked about the future for the store. Bryan had a lot of plans going, and many detailed drawings showing what he wanted to do and how he was going to do it. The only problem was he didn’t have the money, and he couldn’t get a loan to do it on his own. Still, over the next couple of years I know he did as much as he could, and cleaned a lot of things up as well as doing some repairs to the building. 

Below: One of the things Bryan and I did prior to the last party was to finish cleaning THIS up. 

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It’s an amazing collection for sure. RIP Bryan.  You and your mother will be missed.

As far as the phonies go…the picture below says it all.

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Submitted by Robert M. Blevins, Adventure Books of Seattle

 
Edited by RobertMBlevins

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(edited)
9 hours ago, RobertMBlevins said:

KC isn't in any FBI files. Not unless new files were created after 2007. I wasn't making stuff up. I was making assumptions based on the known facts. 

Hahneman was arrested for air piracy, convicted, and served 12 years. Seems obvious if he was Cooper, someone in the FBI would have figured it out somewhere along the way. 

You say a 'US official' (unnamed) said Hahneman had been planning his hijacking for a year. So why would he go all the way to Podunk Portland to do that...not be discovered, get away with the money, and then try another one just eight months later back on the east coast? I've heard of guts and nerve, but that's a stretch. And if he was caught for this SECOND skyjacking, he could have gotten a big break on both crimes by offering to confess to both. Instead, he gets nothing and does 12 years in prison? Some hijackers actually got out of jail in five years or less. 

 

Robert, you made claims that are false.. you made claims that have no evidence, you made claims contrary to what I have already posted. These are beyond opinion.

 

KC is named in the FBI files, the most recent one. #51.. I already mentioned that here you missed it I guess. In the mid 90's.

I have the name of the US official... I don't give all the details because I have far too much information to post on a forum. I was making a broad point. Hahneman was not a copycat, he was labelled one and that false label enabled people to dismiss him as a Cooper suspect for almost 50 years. 

You have promoted a fallacy, an assumption, that if the FBI looked at Hahneman or any suspect and since he wasn't charged then he wasn't Cooper... there can be many reasons a person isn't ultimately charged.

That is where I started,,, asking the question, was Hahneman ever eliminated and if so why. I can't find any reason for Hahneman to be eliminated, from the FBI or my own research.

 

KC named in the FBI files 1996.. there are more pages in there. Hahneman is in the Cooper docs but redacted... 

So, by your (false) logic KC was known to the FBI but not charged so he wasn't Cooper.. right. 

Somebody in 1996 pushed the KC was Cooper narrative.. was that one of your sources, recognize the hand writing, from Morris MN (1996), did they disclose this to you.

kcfile.jpeg.0784903dc0e72713ef872379824ee82d.jpegkcFBI2.jpeg.254f3776438f9cb041f9df53abc10b0e.jpeg

Edited by FLYJACK

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Cooper was universally described as Latin/Mexican/Native Indian (blood)...

Both in appearance and features,, 

 

If your suspect doesn't appear "Latin" and "swarthy", he isn't Cooper.

That alone eliminates nearly all of the higher profile suspects.

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(edited)

Well...what do you know? That letter and the FBI file resulting from it obviously came from Lyle Christiansen. I'd recognize that print writing anywhere. That's Lyle all right.

You mean the FBI was told about KC within a year of his death and didn't bother doing an investigation on him? LOL I would call that really stupid on the FBI's part. A former paratrooper? An actual employee of the airline? A guy who if they had bothered to look at Kenny's letters home to Minnesota would have discovered he was broke and really unhappy with his employer at the time of the hijacking? A guy who went missing for a week at the time of the crime with the alleged accomplice, whom witnesses placed first heading in the direction of Portland, via Oakville, WA? An accomplice who was WITH Kenny that entire week, and said on national television that Kenny could be the hijacker? 

Geez. Maybe the FBI wasn't as dedicated to solving the Cooper case as I thought. Either that, or they were just plain stupid. Took a guy like Skipp Porteous, with me backing him up, to figure things out. 

Until you posted that, I was under the impression that Lyle didn't come forward until he approached Geoff Gray in 2007. I guess Lyle got tired of the FBI ignoring him. The only thing Lyle didn't have going for him was he didn't know any of the people who were close to Kenny, except for the three people who were living with him at the time of his death. (Robin Powell, his then-wife Carolyn Tyner, and Kenneth MacWilliams, who helped care for Kenny in his last days.) It took Skipp Porteous and I quite a bit of time to find out who these other people were, aka Bernie and Margie Geestman, Bernie's niece Denise, Bernie's sister, and a few other folks who gave testimony for us. 

Now I'm beginning to understand why...when I contacted the FBI and asked them if it was okay for me to submit that 54 page report on Kenny, they told me no problem. Bet they were surprised when they read it. I'm starting to think maybe I was right when I found it coincidental the FBI closed the case less than a year after they received the report. And that Troy Bentz came forward after Agent Jarvis let the cat out of the bag six weeks after they closed it. 

All of this brings back a memory regarding Margaret Geestman. In one of my early interviews with her in Twisp, she let something slip about a female FBI agent coming all the way up there to see her some years prior. She wouldn't tell me what it was all about, but she had a definite fear of the FBI, that's for SURE. She did say she thought she would lose the ranch over whatever the issue WAS. But she wouldn't tell me why the agent visited her. Seven interviews with her, with me driving 250 miles each way over two mountain passes each way to talk to her...it was an experience. Talk about the middle of nowhere, that's where she lived. 

But it wasn't until the LAST interview, after I caught her in a couple of lies, that she became the first person to directly admit she knew Kenny was the hijacker, and that yes...her ex was involved. In the previous interview she had directed me to contact a lady, a mutual friend of both she and Kenny named Helen Jones. And Jones, after some initial anger at me when she realized I was investigating her friend Kenny for the Cooper hijacking, finally told me that Bernie Geestman, Kenny, and Margie Geestman were scheduled to attend Thanksgiving dinner 1971 with her family, but that only Mrs. Geestman showed up. Jones said that Mrs. Geestman was highly pissed off at her husband for leaving town to go 'camping' over the holiday when they were supposed to be eating at the Jones house. (It was traditional for the Geestmans' and Kenny to celebrate Thanksgiving with the Helen Jones family. They did so in 1970, and again in 1972.) Kenny had told Jones a few weeks prior to Thanksgiving that he wasn't going to be there either because he was flying back to Minnesota to be with family. That was a lie, since he never went back to Minnesota that year.

But a few weeks later when Jones ran into Kenny at the Sumner Laundromat, he admitted he had been with Geestman that week, although he wouldn't say what they were doing. This series of events eventually led me to believe that Margie Geestman was not told what Kenny and Bernie planned to do, and only found out after they returned. This placed her into a position of having to keep the secrets regarding the hijacking. She may not have liked her husband much, (they later divorced) but she loved Kenny like a brother. But it wasn't long before the Geestmans' ended up leaving Bonney Lake for good and moving to Oakville. Later, they moved out to the sticks in Twisp and ended up separating. 

Margie did a damn good job in all those other interviews I did with her trying to protect Kenny, the person she called her best friend. Just a few weeks later, her ex went on TV and told the cast of Decoded that HE thought Kenny was the hijacker. Unfortunately for him, Bernie didn't know that several people had already confirmed he was WITH Kenny during the time the hijacking occurred. And that they started out by driving down to Oakville to where Bernie owned shop property and a travel trailer. Bernie picked up Kenny on the way. And Kenny had prepared for all this by lying to people and saying (falsely) that he was planning to take a free NWA flight back to Minnesota to visit family for Thanksgiving. My theory is that on the morning of the hijacking, Bernie used his station wagon to deliver Kenny to the airport, and then drove back up to Oakville to wait, possibly for a phone call. Margie had said she 'thought' there was a phone installed in the shop building.

Yeah. Kenny took an NWA flight all right. Only it wasn't TO Minnesota. It came FROM Minnesota. (*laughs*) B)

This situation was explained fully in the report to the Seattle FBI. Maybe the report got their attention, after all. It also proves that Skipp and I did a better job of finding the truth on Kenny and his friends than THEY did. No wonder Margie sold the ranch and bailed town after the Decoded show aired, although she waited some time before doing that. She even told her lawyer, S. Renee Ewalt and the bank officer who handled the sale, Dave Thomsen of Winthrop, WA, not to reveal where she was going.

What a joke. Truth was there for everyone all along. When Margie died, she left everything to her only living relative, a woman (also) from Minnesota who had just finished doing ten years for armed robbery. Everyone, it seems, held a piece of the puzzle, but only Bernie and Margie Geestman knew the whole truth. When Bernie was cornered, he says he thinks Kenny's the guy because..well, he's cornered and since Kenny is dead, why not try laying the blame on HIM alone? Margie, unknown to him, has already admitted Kenny was the hijacker and Bernie was the one who assisted him. These things were included in the report to the Seattle FBI. 

Some pictures from the actual investigation. Just for old times' sake. I placed a short comment below each picture. 

methowcafe.png.161915a8f895089fb407820d5d734644.png
Collage I made for Margie Geestman, to hint to her we had evidence linking Kenny and her ex husband to the hijacking. Sort of a 'greasing the wheels' thing for the next day's interview.

andruskointerviewpic.png.249442532f01d463f5474df45ee944c3.png

Androsko (Bernie's sister) also confirmed Kenny owned a toupee but never wore it after the date of the hijacking. In addition, she was shown an untitled picture of the tie with tie tack left behind by Cooper. She had no comment about the tie, but immediately identified the tie tack as identical to one she had seen Christiansen wear occasionally. She also said she and her friends thought it was strange Kenny never discussed the Cooper hijacking, avoiding any talk about it, (EVERYONE was talking about the hijacking and Kenny worked for NWA) and later they wondered if Kenny was Cooper but dismissed it because he was a 'nice guy'. After her interview she said, "So THAT'S where he got all that money. Figures..."

KCJ3.jpg.36b0eacd1986136c738150e34af756ef.jpg

Rent was $125 a month. It's still there, although the rent is much higher now. 

OnTheHuntBG.jpg.baa62c7dc1b63bdfb7b16c8c204f6faf.jpg

Geestman was tough to find. Eventually I did find him. When I did, he went on and on about his good friend Kenny and working together on Shemya Island in the Aleutians. But he turned white as a sheet when I admitted that I was investigating Kenny for the DB Cooper case. He ended the interview right there. When History Channel contacted him, he told THEM he hardly knew Kenny and thought he was a dishwasher. They sent him twenty pictures of he and Kenny together and then he agreed to appear on Decoded. Before he did, he called his sister Dawn, who had already spoken to me and provided evidence, and told her to take everything back she said. She refused, but told History Channel researchers she would stand by her testimony, but wouldn't go on TV against her own brother. Later, Bernie Geestman told the Decoded cast that Kenny could be Cooper. Too bad he didn't know his friends and family had already placed him with Kenny the week of the crime.

BergandHimmelsbach2.jpg.b986209aea51a78b8e59815dbb4cb3c0.jpg

Himmelsbach never believed KC was Cooper, but he didn't have all the facts either. 

GeestmanWedding2.jpg.bea6542fea6cf6372c4dc3a04775aad1.jpg

Kenny looks on as the Geestmans' celebrate. Bernie said he hardly knew Kenny. But they worked together on Shemya for NWA for years, and later they both worked for NWA out of Seattle. Bernie was a mechanic for the airline, Kenny a purser. Bernie also worked for Boeing for a couple of years when they were developing the 727. 

NewCounterandStaining.jpg.71c8f9a6dde06e3752579f08e8597900.jpg

Robin Powell lives in Tacoma today. Lyle and Oliver Christiansen caught him searching Kenny's things right after Kenny died. Lyle later discovered a pistol among Kenny's belongings in a storage unit. 

kennyletter25yrNV.jpg.117a7f03180e522ccc0f29cfb97508bb.jpg

Kenny didn't even tell his family he had been invited to the banquet. Of course, being recognized at the last minute before the Statute of Limitations was to expire would have been awkward. If he attends, there is a chance someone at the banquet might put it all together. So he stayed home. 

GeestmanQuestionedDecoded.jpg.9deb6f9cb1bda5a7afd5aae15b73d023.jpg

This guy lied so much to everybody they should have nicknamed him Pinocchio. 

kennymargie94color.jpg.c2d0ec21d67b880e7bbfcd49c4606bfd.jpg

Kenny and the woman who was definitely his best friend. 

GeestmanRanchInterview2.jpg.3ac6aa339146c0b8ae85b968efc218e3.jpg

I like to call Margie "The lady who kept the secrets." 

 

Edited by RobertMBlevins
Some clarifications

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(edited)

This sums it up,,, even if the FBI had Cooper they couldn't make a case without his cooperation. Limited physical evidence and weak eyewitness identification...

 

From the FBI files..

"During a conference in San Francisco in April, 1976, several West Coast pivision case agents and the Bureau supervisor at that time reviewed captioned investigation. A memorandum from that conference reported that there were no quality suspects at the time and only limited physical evidence. Eyewitness identification was considered weak at that time. Nearly 10 years have passed since that conference. The conference came to the conclusion that "if COOPER was to surrender to authorities now or in the near future, it would be extremely difficult to make the case if he was uncooperative.”"

Edited by FLYJACK

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2 hours ago, FLYJACK said:

This sums it up,,, even if the FBI had Cooper they couldn't make a case without his cooperation. Limited physical evidence and weak eyewitness identification...

 

From the FBI files..

"During a conference in San Francisco in April, 1976, several West Coast pivision case agents and the Bureau supervisor at that time reviewed captioned investigation. A memorandum from that conference reported that there were no quality suspects at the time and only limited physical evidence. Eyewitness identification was considered weak at that time. Nearly 10 years have passed since that conference. The conference came to the conclusion that "if COOPER was to surrender to authorities now or in the near future, it would be extremely difficult to make the case if he was uncooperative.”"

It's hard to keep secrets forever. I'm not going to elaborate on that. 

I should do another bit for Quora dot com on Cooper. I published what I thought was a nothing bit on a few things that happened more than thirty years back when I was doing apartment maintenance and twelve hours later it's been viewed more than 60,000 times already. ^_^

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(edited)

FBI says case is closed, or at least the latent fingerprint part of things. If you want to match fingerprints, and saying just for argument they were decent latents...then your suspect must have a criminal record to match them to. 

If they wanted to go the military records route, you'll have better luck matching from THEM as long as you don't have a devastating fire 18 months after the hijacking that destroys 80% of those military records. About the only thing they were able to come up with on Kenny Christiansen was his DD214 discharge record, (has a single thumbprint on it) and his enlistment record. Nothing else was available. 

Now it IS true that they've been doing restorations on those records for decades now. But the fingerprint cards were unique to your main file. If they got burned, they are gone. How they do the restorations is whatever they can save from fire damage, they do that. But a lot of stuff was completely destroyed. The OTHER way is to start accessing more local company records from units in which you served. It's a piecemeal process, but they can't get the fingerprint cards back if they're destroyed. Those are not available anywhere else except in the main record. (*pretty sure on this*)

That 1973 fire in St. Louis was probably the single largest destruction of historical records in American history. 

 

Edited by RobertMBlevins

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Off-topic, but this guy just made it look too easy sometimes. If you've ever watched him play, you'd swear he never missed a note. I play guitar, but even I wasn't foolish enough to try playing any of HIS songs. I would have just looked like an idiot even trying. I only saw them live once, in a show with Rick Derringer as the opening act. This was shortly after the release of their first album, titled simply Van Halen. My favorite track from that debut album is below. Figures...I always liked the Kinks as well. B)

Gone a bit too early for me. 

Eddie Van Halen died today.

 

Edited by RobertMBlevins

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If this hasn't been covered before ... does anyone know the names of the F-106 pilots? Over at the F-106 facebook page, there's a post by Doug Barbier that one of the F-106 pilots was Roy Keyt of the 318th FIS out of McChord AFB (now deceased). At the F-106 forum, a post by Mike Trefethen (ex 456th FIS) mentions Russ Weber (or Webber) of the 84th FIS out of Hamilton AFB. As far as I know, the official narrative has never mentioned a chase plane from Hamilton.

Edited by DFS346
additional information

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33 minutes ago, DFS346 said:

If this hasn't been covered before ... does anyone know the names of the F-106 pilots? Over at the F-106 facebook page, there's a post that one of them was Roy Keyt of the 318th FIS (now deceased). Another post at the F-106 forum mentions Russ Weber (or Webber) of the 84th FIS out of Hamilton AFB.

Since you got their names already, you could be right. Nothing like sending out radar signals while YOU are being tracked by OTHER radar signals. 

Pilots reported having to take wide 'S' turns to stay behind the Cooper jet because it was going so slow. 

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6 hours ago, DFS346 said:

If this hasn't been covered before ... does anyone know the names of the F-106 pilots? Over at the F-106 facebook page, there's a post by Doug Barbier that one of the F-106 pilots was Roy Keyt of the 318th FIS out of McChord AFB (now deceased). At the F-106 forum, a post by Mike Trefethen (ex 456th FIS) mentions Russ Weber (or Webber) of the 84th FIS out of Hamilton AFB. As far as I know, the official narrative has never mentioned a chase plane from Hamilton.

I found...  but was never able to confirm.

Randall L. "Randy" Plumb 

Harve Wallace 

 

https://www.key.aero/forum/modern-military-aviation/25530-the-m-ay-0-4-quiz

"#10 -- On Thanksgiving eve of 1971 two F-106A of the 318th FIS scrambled from McChord AFB. Why?
Yes, "D.B.Cooper". Was he the only one ever jumping out of a commercial flight? Really have to ask the folks at the commercial forum about that. Btw it was Northwest Flight 305 from Portland to Seattle and the two F-106 pilots were Randy Plumb and Harve Wallace."

 

Seems a bit fuzzy..

https://forum.f-106deltadart.com/thread/2508/106-video

"On the D B Cooper (actual D Cooper, D B Cooper was found and it warn't him- the ticket was listed as D Cooper) F-106 chase, I don't know that the 318th chased them but the 84th did. During my time at Hamilton on the Block S protoproof (Apr-May 1972), I met and talked to one of the pilots, Russ Web(b?)er. He said they couldn't see much and didn't see the air stair come down. It was a dark and stormy nite. History channel (or whoever) made a documentry at some point but used F-102 vice sixes as the chase."

 

Here... Maj Russell Weber was in the 84th in Oct 1971.. (doesn't look like he was one of the F106 318th chase pilots, or any chase pilot.. fractured leg and shoulder in Oct 71)

"Hamilton Air Force Base officials said today. Maj. Russell Weber along with two other pilots from the 84th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Hamilton were over the Mendocino County coast when he ejected from his plane at 12,000 feet. Weber was rescued from the water two hours later. He was reported in good condition today at Letterman General Hospital in San Francisco with a fractured right leg and shoulder, and facial cuts."

https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/74399221/

 

Edited by FLYJACK

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4 hours ago, FLYJACK said:

was never able to confirm./ Randall L. "Randy" Plumb / Harve Wallace 

Randall L Plumb was with the 354th TFS, flying F-105s, at Takhli in 1967. I have not found any reference to him in conjunction with the 318th or F-106s.

Edited by DFS346
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1 hour ago, DFS346 said:

Randall L Plumb was with the 354th TFS, flying F-105s, at Takhli in 1967. I have not found any reference to him in conjunction with the 318th or F-106s.

May 1968 Randall L Plumb  was signed up for the F 106 training program...

Signed up for the F-106 Ground School only are Colonel Henry P. Rettinger, 322nd FIS, Kingsley Field, Ore.; and Majors Wilton R Chavis, 437th FIS, Oxnard AFB, Calif.; Richard G. Painter, 325th Fighter Wing, McChord AFB, Wash.; and Randall L. Plumb, 437th FIS, Oxnard AFB, Calif, also Captains Eugene W. Bricker, Carl J. Henderson, Russell M. Lanning, Charles A. Martindale md George A- Speck, all of the 437th FIS, Oxnard AFB, Calif. Maintenance Squadron, was presented a certificate of recognition designating the squadron's duty performance during the past calendar quarter. 

 

https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/39145450/

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Quote

'On Thanksgiving eve 1971 a man calling himself "D.B Cooper" boarded a Northwest Orient flight in Portland, OR and once aloft  threatened to destroy the plane if did not receive $200,000 and four parachutes. The plane landed at Seattle-Tacoma Airport were his demands were met, Cooper ordered the Boeing 727 to take off and head for Mexico. A short time later Two F-106's from the 318th FIS were called in to action to chase the airliner. Their task that night was to the shadow hijacked airliner and track its escape to Mexico.  Cooper would later jump from the rear of the plane somewhere over Washington state, taking the money with him. His whereabouts is still one of the great mysteries of the 20th Century. Squadron members of the 318th would commemorate this incident with an annual dinner which was held until the units deactivation in 1989...'

Sorry, can't help much beyond that.   

Edited by RobertMBlevins

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I was sent this in an email and asked to quantify...whatever...more uninformed disinformation I will try to correct for you. Yes, I know who said it originally, because the person who sent the email referenced the source. (Mentioned who said these things.) 

Quote

'Robert claims Kenny lived at the Rainier View Apartments, Number J-3, Sumner, WA. Lyle states in the letter to the FBI he lived at 805 parker road apt 53, Sumner wa. 98390.'

Robert says: WRONG address. There IS no '805 Parker Road' anywhere in the Puyallup/Sumner/Bonney Lake area. It may be an old reference. The addresses have changed a lot in that area over the years. Back in the day, many addresses started with 'Route 1, Box xxx' etc and went to street addresses as the community grew. You could have figured that out on your own with a simple Google Map search. However, the Rainier View Apartments in Sumner, WA where Kenny lived at the time of the hijacking is still there, although it has been renamed Mountain Vista. They are located at 6205 Parker Rd E, Sumner, WA 98390. (Apt J-3) Sounds like Lyle got the address wrong, since they are somewhat similar. Maybe that's why the FBI never interviewed Kenny. Perhaps they couldn't find him. No, wait. Kenny was already dead by the time Lyle contacted the FBI, whenever the first time was that he did. Right? Confusing, ain't it?  B)  

Lyle obviously tried to give them Kenny's old apartment address, instead of his actual address in Bonney Lake. Why he mixed that up I haven't a clue. But it is well established that at different times, Kenny lived at the address I just gave, as well as the home in Bonney Lake, which is (was) located at 18414 Sumner-Buckley Hwy E Bonney Lake, WA 98391. Haven't been by there in a while. Someone said they tore the place down, but Google Maps still shows the house with a For Sale sign on the property. But Google doesn't update their satellite photos that often, either. So I wouldn't know without taking a trip up there to look. Kenny also lived in Renton for a while, which is directly east of the SeaTac Airport, but that was back in the 60's.

Quote

Average yearly income in 1971 was $6,497.08 
Robert claims Kenny made a measly $512 a month which comes to $6,144.00 a year.

Robert says:  Kenny's gross wages were stated as $512 BEFORE taxes.  Using a 15% tax rate against Kenny's actual gross yearly income of $6,144 as a baseline, this means his actual income after taxes was $5,223 yearly. Divided by 12 months, this is $435 a month. The Federal Poverty Guideline level for November 1971, (non farm employment) was $4,000 a year, or $333 a month. Using this as a baseline, Kenny made about $25 a week above the Federal Poverty guidelines. I made more than that at my first job (in 1972) filling orders at a warehouse that sold craft supplies. I would imagine that for Kenny to try living on what roughly amounts to $108 a week (take home) could not have been easy, but it could be done. His rent was $125 a month as previously stated. If you throw in the food budget at fifty bucks a week, or even thirty bucks, a modest power bill, commuting costs, etc...well, lets just say you aren't eating out very much or taking party trips to Vegas. 

Quote

Minimum wage was $1.60 in 1971 which is a little over $3,000 a year.

Robert says: I don't even think NWA would try hiring people at minimum wage, although knowing how CEO Donald Nyrop operated, I wouldn't be surprised. He would be the kind of guy who gladly pays the ransom...not because he's trying to save lives...but because his jets cost a lot more than $200,000. B) You are comparing apples to oranges. Teenagers flipping burgers at Mickey-D's were paid minimum. 

Quote

Robert claims Kenny spent $80 a week on food lol..that's over $4,000 a year. you could probably live the whole month on $80.

Robert says: That was a guess. (And sorry, it would be almost impossible to food shop effectively at $80 a month for one person, even in 1971, unless you were a regular visitor to the food bank or got Food Stamps.) I never got a look at any of Kenny's grocery receipts. In reality, the average family of four spent about $10,000 a year on food, (median) in 1971. A quarter of that is $2,500 a year, or about $50 dollars a week for one person. Yes, $80 a week was probably more than he actually spent. It was the only point you got reasonably correct. Maybe next time you should try going to the source, instead of making assumptions and doing poor research.

You won't come off like a fool. Not saying you ARE, but some folks might. 

As far as whatever Lyle received on the sale of the coins and stamps, those numbers came from Lyle himself. He said they went to auction and were sold for much less than they were worth in retail. (An appraisal was done, but Lyle knew that was the value if you tried to sell everything piece by piece, and at auction they would sell for much less.) This matters little, since Kenny was already dead when they were sold, and was done more than twenty years after the hijacking. If you send me an email, or ask here at Dropzone instead of doing remote party line on me all the time, I will be glad to provide you with Lyle's email message text on that. You have this REALLY bad habit of posing questions related to me, without actually having the courtesy to come to me (the source) about it...hoping I will see your uninformed junk on another site. Try asking your questions where I actually hang out. You'll get better results. 

And when we toss all these numbers around, we also have to remember that when NWA had strikes or work stoppages, no one got paid. Kenny mentioned this in his letters home occasionally when the money stopped coming in. 

"Those eight million dollar jets are just sitting on the ground..." he complained in one of the letters, as well as, "I'm down to eating the peanut butter." 

idiots.jpg.5cd406dd6151a76e52270c89fb1037ee.jpg

^_^:thumbup:

Edited by RobertMBlevins

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I hear some folks didn't like my parody up there. No worries. Probably will shift from parody to reality soon. Except maybe the part about the hospital wing. 

Nothing new to report. Had to drive to Wenatchee this morning. Same route I used to take to do the interviews of Margie Geestman, across two mountain passes and back. Weather was awful. Incessant and heavy rain both ways. 

Finished the first 30 pages of my Cooper movie script. I can guarantee it's better than the one some other folks tried to tell me was 'good'. If anyone's interested, speak up and I will upload a few pages here for you. If not, no big deal. You can still view it at Quora when I upload it there. 

Frankly, both of the main threads/sites on Cooper (this place and the place run by a guy in Florida) are becoming a big flat bore. Over at Bruce's place, every time the poor guy tries to post up another serious article on the case, the Peanut Gallery comes out and ruins it for him. 

If anything, you guys are predictable. B)

Brother, I'm sure glad I shortstop that stuff at my places on Cooper. I wouldn't allow outsiders to trash all MY hard work, I can tell you that. They can either come reasonably and politely, or they can forget it. Makes for better content all around. Sometimes that stuff comes back to haunt you, especially when trying to establish credibility. You'll figure it out. Or perhaps you won't. 

Edited by RobertMBlevins

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Noticed something odd...

There is a white cotton/canvas bag with the pink reserve parachute shown by the FBI during the History channel show.. "D B Cooper case closed"

That white bag was NOT shown during Tom Kaye's examination..

https://citizensleuths.com/pink-parachute-gallery.html

Is it part of the reserve chute? or something else? It looks attached. Didn't an FBI file state Cooper tried to wrap the money in white material..

It came out of the box with the reserve container and pink chute.. appears attached to the open reserve container??

reservechutewhitscontainer.jpeg.dc7941e2b91bddb77df1439e55c65e39.jpeg

bagchute2.jpeg.9f762b7b05189b088f81ed031dd8115c.jpeg

bagchute3.jpeg.e1ad32c19749ecc2a1a49188a9cda25f.jpeg

 

 

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