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DB Cooper

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(edited)
1 hour ago, Chaucer said:

At this point, I would only be interested in moving forward with a DNA test if we had the hair samples. That looks more and more unlikely at this point. 

Well, they certainly aren't going to give you the hairs, even if they could find them. Any more than they would have let Citizen Sleuths keep the physical evidence THEY were allowed to examine. Your best bet is the partial profile results. That can only eliminate a suspect, though...not absolutely confirm him. 

Flyjack says in part:

Quote

"McCoy might have blue eyes.."

True enough. It was on his FBI wanted poster after he broke out of Federal prison. Picture of the actual wanted poster is below. You may have to blow it up to full size to see the eye color entry. Five ten, blue eyes, etc. 

McCoyWantedPoster.jpg

Damn if McCoy (with the mustache) doesn't look somewhat like another famous bank robber. B)There are a few differences, though. Dillinger dressed much better, and had more style than McCoy. Dillinger was also quoted in media saying that if he ever ran into Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, he would kill them on the spot for two reasons. They were a couple of mad dogs, he said. And they were bad for business. 

 

DillingerAndMcCoy.jpg

No big deal, but I finally agreed to another interview, which will be in the form of a podcast. Doing this on Saturday afternoon. I will release the link when the interview is published. He wants to discuss Cooper, as well as some of my more high-profile outdoor adventures over the years. Especially the Ozette Island thing. Yes...despite what Shutter may try to tell you, that actually happened. I keep telling Shutter he could just phone up the rangers at the Ozette Ranger Station, but he listens about as well as my old Pet Rock. ¬¬ 

EDIT: I should have said something here about these hairs the FBI may still have. If they had them...no...they won't turn them over to you. Not likely. However...if you could convince the FBI do that nuclear DNA test you mentioned...and then the FBI releases the full profile from them to you...THEN maybe you could do something. In that case, if you had a suspect's full DNA profile, it would be an easy matter to run that against the nuclear DNA sample results. But as the Wicked Witch of the West once said, "These things must be handled delicately...." because once the hairs are put through the test...they are also destroyed. One obvious problem is that the hairs could have come from a previous passenger. So there is that as well. However, if you got a DNA match between your suspect and the nuke DNA results...that would be a slam dunk guilty. No question about it. 

Edited by RobertMBlevins

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8 hours ago, Chaucer said:

At this point, I would only be interested in moving forward with a DNA test if we had the hair samples. That looks more and more unlikely at this point. 

There is very little chance that the FBI will give any personal data, especially DNA.

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9 minutes ago, Chaucer said:

Didn't Ulis' recent History Channel show indicate that the DNA from Kaye's strips were uselessly contaminated? 

 

That was a vacuum filter that was tested,,,

Kaye has many sticky stubs used to collect particles,,  he doesn't want to destroy those.

But IMO, that is our best source of DNA..

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(edited)
18 hours ago, FLYJACK said:

That was a vacuum filter that was tested,,,

Kaye has many sticky stubs used to collect particles,,  he doesn't want to destroy those.

But IMO, that is our best source of DNA..

It's all useless. You are wasting your time. There are a literal ton of variables in play here. You cannot be sure that anything Kaye may have now is actually evidentiary. The only source of DNA you can even remotely trust are the original results obtained by the FBI from the tie. You need THAT analysis to go anywhere with this. And to get their results, that means an FOIA request done by an expert in DNA, a neutral third party. Or...a solid and recognized media organization. In other words, forget the National Enquirer and think of Rolling Stone, Reuters perhaps. 

This analysis the FBI has, whatever form it comes in...would have to be released to the public, not to an individual alone. Why? I will give you an example on why:

Suppose I talk the FBI into releasing to me this report and I drop the ten grand to have KC's brother's DNA run and compared against this report, and then tell you that KC could not be eliminated as a result of this test. From what I understand, although the test the FBI was using with suspects for the tests they DID run could not positively confirm a suspect, the odds were somewhere between 1-16,000 to around 1-32,000 or so (if there was a 'hit'). In other words, if a suspect's DNA could NOT be eliminated, those were the odds that this suspect's DNA was on the tie. That's *almost* beyond the realm of coincidence.

It's not one in a billion, but it isn't bad either. 

So...

How would you know I didn't make alterations to the FBI's official results here and there, or just claim to you KC could not be eliminated? Would you believe me?

Of course you wouldn't. And you shouldn't.

If you want to compare suspect DNA to the FBI's results and have people believe you...then you should petition the FBI not to release the results of their DNA extractions from the tie to you, me, or any one person for that matter. That situation is ripe for abuse. 

You should petition them to release what they have PUBLICLY. It's the only way to be sure, and to keep people honest. 

And besides...asking them to do this not for yourself, but for the public...has a much greater chance of success. If the results are made public from the start, this means that certain controls against test abuse are automatically put into place.

Your best bet to get an agreement from the FBI to release these results are to ask them to make them public, not give them to any one person. 

Edited by RobertMBlevins

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4 hours ago, RobertMBlevins said:

You cannot be sure that anything Kaye may have now is actually evidentiary. The only source of DNA you can even remotely trust are the original results obtained by the FBI from the tie.

NOT TRUE...

The method for extracting DNA from fabric is using sticky tape.. Tom Kaye used sticky stubs all over the tie,,,,  but the big factor here is modern DNA tech vs old.... 

 

The DNA the FBI has can only eliminate,, modern advancements in DNA tech would provide a better sample to compare against suspects.

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6 hours ago, Para-DZ said:

There are some posts over at the DBCooperForum on DNA.

As a website for information and discussion, they are useful to a degree. But some of their most prolific members are a bit phony. They present one face at the Cooper Forum, and use anonymous identities elsewhere to attack others. Here's one good example. When you get there, just read downward and keep a barf bag handy. B) 

I've already predicted that allowing such things on your own website, especially if you are one of the main speakers, will come back to bite them before their convention in November. When you are trying to sell tickets to a Cooper event at more than twenty dollars a seat...it is bad policy to engage in hatred, lies, and rhetoric beforehand. 

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32 minutes ago, RobertMBlevins said:

As a website for information and discussion, they are useful to a degree. But some of their most prolific members are a bit phony. They present one face at the Cooper Forum, and use anonymous identities elsewhere to attack others. Here's one good example. When you get there, just read downward and keep a barf bag handy. B) 

I've already predicted that allowing such things on your own website, especially if you are one of the main speakers, will come back to bite them before their convention in November. When you are trying to sell tickets to a Cooper event at more than twenty dollars a seat...it is bad policy to engage in hatred, lies, and rhetoric beforehand. 

I've read a lot of the forum but not as much of the site you linked to.  The DB Cooper Forum has good information but there are a couple of arrogant members who argue and don't really stick to the facts.

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(edited)
2 hours ago, Para-DZ said:

I've read a lot of the forum but not as much of the site you linked to.  The DB Cooper Forum has good information but there are a couple of arrogant members who argue and don't really stick to the facts.

Well, the Cooper Forum itself does serve a decent purpose. But then Cooperland itself is sort of wacky in the first place. There is much jockeying for position, backbiting, lying, especially done under phony identities. Their latest thing is to believe that our July Cooper Party either isn't happening, or that it cannot help them sell tickets. Trying to fill seats at $21.50 a pop the week prior to Thanksgiving...and without what I call a 'headliner,' is tough enough as it is. 

I've been tempted to go after them a bit publicly concerning their behavior, but sometimes I think it's better just to let people measure out their own rope, tie it for themselves, and then see what happens from there. We're (staff at Adventure Books of Seattle) not going to stoop to going after them publicly with articles, screenshots, or even non-recommendations. That way, if they do a crash and burn, they can't blame it on us. We still actually hope they succeed because our book sales took a big jump and stayed there after the last convention. But they aren't helping their case at all. 

It's not THAT big a deal. We will *probably* finalize the July Cooper Party, people will show up, we will do the video and the stills, and members of the Cooper Forum may wish later that they had agreed to work with us on promotion for the convention. Sure, there's a chance they could fill those 300-500 seats that Eric Ulis wants to do without our assistance. On the other hand, they barely cracked a hundred attendees the last time, and that was BEFORE the pandemic. Just saying. 

I guess the bottom line is we do what we do, and they do their thing. And we see where all this goes later. (*shrugs*)  Hopefully, both events will be a success. 

EDIT: I have created a podcast based on some of the articles that appear on Cooper WordPress. I did a test podcast episode the other day. There are three options. You can have them converted to voice automatically, either female or male voice. Or you can record the podcast by reading it yourself. I did the automatic version and I was okay with it, but I think I will re-record it myself. That way I can do intro music and some patter. Until then, there is no use in putting up links to the main podcast. But it's listed at Anchor, Pocket Casts, Google Podcasts, Radio Public, Spotify, and soon, Apple Podcasts. Not ALL the articles will lend themselves to a podcast. Maybe half of them. Some of them are image-heavy, and mostly about those images. I will release the links next week. 

Edited by RobertMBlevins

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Long time lurker, I think I posted once maybe ten years ago.  

Today I received an email from a former colleague relating the story of a retired Delta pilot named Hoover who claims Cooper was a former Delta pilot who changed his name from Carter to Sandness. Lots of backstory to go with the claim, including Carter/Sandness allegedly having a brother named Dan who was a RCAF test pilot.

I did a search here and nothing came up on either Carter or Sandness, so I'm curious if this guy Hoover's claim is known in the Cooper community?  If so, has it been debunked?  If the story is not known, is there any interest in me posting it here?

Thanks 

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(edited)

Response to our Event Ad has been good lately. I had to change a couple of things on it, but it seems to be working. Like Connie, the former director of the Auburn Days Festival once said:

Quote

"Free food, free attendance, and a headliner will bring in the people every time..."

Ha. She should have told me that stuff when we were running the theater event at the Auburn Ave Theater all those years ago. I didn't learn this from her until the year when she finally retired from running Auburn Days. She held that job for 27 seasons, longer than anyone else did. I worked with her on the last five. 

Still six weeks to go until Decision Day, which is the day we either cancel or authorize the budget, but so far 'confidence is high,' as they say at NORAD. B) I don't want to get my hopes up too high yet, though. Applicants keep drifting in through the email link, a few every week. I keep telling them to bring their friends. I think if we were holding this in town, instead of near Mt. Rainier, we would have reached our attendance limit by now. But I don't WANT to do this in town. I want to make it just a little bit hard to be a part of all this. People appreciate much more what is harder to obtain, rather than what is simply handed to them for free. And although it is technically a free party, it does cost gas and supplies to attend. Our plan is to shoot a 90-minute video for YouTube on the whole thing, starting from the time we arrive a few days in advance to do setup for it, and ending when we start to take everything down. 

Saw the posts about the upcoming Zoom virtual tour on Cooper at the Washington State History Museum. For $15 it doesn't sound all that interesting, and chances are they are just recycling what they presented a few years ago. But...for folks who haven't heard of Cooper, it could be okay. Believe it or not, there are more of them out there than you realize, especially almost anyone under the age of 35. 

EDIT: As Butch Cassidy said to Sundance near the end of the famous film, "Secretly, I figured you wanted to know..." (Paraphrased) This is the ad we're running until at least June 5th. Come on, it's not that bad. I'm a writer, and I have done ad copy in a previous life. ^_^

Quote

'Fifty years ago, one of the most famous icons (besides Bigfoot) in the Pacific Northwest bailed out over SW Washington with $200,000 of ransom money from Northwest Airlines and was never seen again. 'D.B. Cooper,' the subject of songs, books, TV shows, and endless debate about his identity and fate, nevertheless remains a mystery.

We are hosting a three-day campout in a large open area in the Snoqualmie National Forest to celebrate both the mystery itself and the 50th anniversary year of the only unsolved skyjacking in US history. Admission is open to anyone and we do have a non-commercial group camping permit from the US Forest Service.

The 50th Anniversary D.B. Cooper Festival is being held nine miles south of Greenwater, WA - a small village on Washington Highway 410. Greenwater is about halfway between Enumclaw and Crystal Mountain. The actual location of the festival is along Forest Service Road 7300, about two miles west of the Sun Top Lookout station. There will be signs.

Activities and Details:

You can reach the festival site in any ordinary vehicle. The road to the site is suitable.
Power for the event is provided through a sound-suppressed generator set off about 150 feet from the main site.
There will be a small stage with a PA system and stereo.
Two shower tents with flush toilets and other amenities are provided, for both men and women.
A ten-foot screen with media projector is available. Bring your favorite movies on DVD if you wish.
Spaghetti Feed on Saturday afternoon, July 10.
'D.B. Cooper' Character Lookalike Contest for prizes on Saturday evening. (Dress up like Cooper, one of the stewardesses, or one of the Flight Crew.)
There will be a power station set up to charge your phones or other devices.
For people who want to bring their game systems, we have a tent with a 32" smart TV inside.
Much more...

It is not required that you sign up in advance, but anyone who does will receive a PDF with maps to the location, suggested supplies you may want to bring, and other details. Or you can just follow the signs out of Greenwater. Maps to the event will be available over the weekend at the Greenwater General Store as well.

Anyone wanting to talk about the Cooper case, or play live music, etc may use the stage and PA system to do so. If you need electricity for your instrument(s), we provide that as well. If you want to present media, you can do that on our media projector and big screen if you wish. Cooper fans and researchers with anything to say are more than welcome to take the stage. A few are already scheduled to appear.

This celebration/party/festival begins on Friday morning, July 9th 2021 and ends on Sunday morning, July 11th 2021. If interested, just reply to this ad and we will be happy to provide you with full details.

Campsites are on a first-come, first served basis until we run out of space or reach our maximum attendance allowed by the Forest Service permit.

All inquiries are answered. This is simply a party celebrating the 'Guy Who Got Away With It'.

Contact us if interested. All messages are answered promptly. It's going to be a lot of fun.'

Come on, you gotta love it. (I deleted some minor things because this is a public site.)

I've agreed to a podcast interview this Saturday. He has some questions about the party which I will be happy to answer. 

Edited by RobertMBlevins

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17 hours ago, MartinBaker said:

Long time lurker, I think I posted once maybe ten years ago.  

Today I received an email from a former colleague relating the story of a retired Delta pilot named Hoover who claims Cooper was a former Delta pilot who changed his name from Carter to Sandness. Lots of backstory to go with the claim, including Carter/Sandness allegedly having a brother named Dan who was a RCAF test pilot.

I did a search here and nothing came up on either Carter or Sandness, so I'm curious if this guy Hoover's claim is known in the Cooper community?  If so, has it been debunked?  If the story is not known, is there any interest in me posting it here?

Thanks 

I don't recall ever hearing anything about this. By all means, post it. Most stories like this are just that...stories. But you never know, the next one you hear may the real one. I'd certainly be interested in it.

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Here it is exactly as I received it.  There are factual errors in his telling of the story, but I don't think they impact his analysis and/or conclusions. No date on when he wrote this, nor was there any contact information for "Bill Hoover."

**************************************

 

The FBI should be embarrassed…I undertook this little project some twenty years ago.  I remembered it while digging through my files the other day.  The investigation still has some interesting loose ends that should be pursued, but I am too old for that now.  I would just like that if I pass on that somebody knows at least what I found.  If you just stick through the initial part, you will see the eventual tie-in with Delta. I hope you find this an interesting read.

Bill Hoover

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Best to sit down with a nice drink while reading this.  I welcome comments.

 

Well, here it is. I will state my case.  As I said, I started this over fifteen years ago, and while I have a nice stack of files on this case, I have not gone into them in ages.  That being said, I will be telling you some things as best that I remember them without digging up the files. 

 

I fell from a ladder while trimming a tree a few years before my official age sixty retirement from Delta.  That put me out on disability with a fractured spine and spinal fusion.  When my age sixty rolled around in 2002, I officially retired.  In retirement, I was on a website called PCN Death notices.  This site sends out the passing of fellow Delta pilots.  The site was run by a lady named, Carol Faulkner.  She and her husband were living in Arizona and both were retired from Delta.  I think that Carol was from Human Resources.  She still runs the notification site.

Well, one day, Carol sent out a death notice of a Delta pilot, a Donald B. Carter.  She said that she had little background information of his passing, and further, she said that she could find no records of a Donald B. Carter being a pilot for Delta.  Records did not show up at ALPA either.  I found that fascinating and could not imagine how a multi-billion dollar airline corporation could not have one of its pilots within its records.    Carol did say that there was another Delta pilot, a Roy P. Sandness, who had the same birth date as this Donald B. Carter.  She closed by asking if any of the pilots could supply any further information about either of these two individuals.

As I sat at my computer reading this, I noticed that Donald B. Carter had the same initials as DB Cooper.  I was making no connection between the two people whatsoever, it was just something that came into my mind.  I was trying to remember what entailed the DB Cooper event, and with nothing to do at that moment, I Googled DB Cooper hijacking and started to read.  My reading included the police and FBI reports.  As I went through those reports, I was shocked to see how many items of evidence, which a pilot would certainly have questioned, were totally overlooked by the FBI.  I found it astounding.

 

I am going to mention here just a few of the items of evidence in the reports, and then you can make your own conclusions as we go further into this.

1. The hijacker checked into Portland Airport for a Northwest Airlines Boeing 727 flight to Seattle.  He checked in under the name of Dan Cooper.  Later at a press conference the FBI said that they were looking into a low life minor criminal in the Portland area with the name DB Cooper.  The press ran with that and the name stuck until now.  We will come back to the alias Dan Cooper later.

2. The man was middle age, had a tan, wore sunglasses, and wore a black tie with a white shirt.  Several things stand out here.  This hijacking took place in November in Portland.  People in Portland do not have tans.  People in Portland probably do not own sunglasses.  This is not a Portland resident.  This is somebody from the south.  Who wears a coal black tie?  An undertaker, a bus driver, an airline crew member.  So, what does the FBI report say?  Possibly he was a Mormon missionary.

3.  Enroute to Seattle, he demanded $200,000 in cash and two parachutes.  He had the plane circle until the parachutes and the cash had been gathered.  He carried some kind of a wired device that he said was a bomb.  As they circled, he pointed out McChord AFB and Takoma airports to the flight attendant.  This guy was familiar with the area as viewed from the air.  FBI report says possibly military.

4.  The flight landed, all the passengers and all the flight attendants but one were allowed off the plane.  The money was gathered along with the two parachutes.  The hijacker asked that enough fuel be loaded to go to Mexico.  He also wanted the pilots to take off with the aft stairs extended.  Obviously, he had no intention to go to Mexico.  When Northwest said that they would not allow the aft stairs to be down for takeoff, the hijacker responded that that was Ok, he would lower the stairs inflight.  This guy knew his airplane.  FBI report:  maybe he was familiar with the 727 from Vietnam; maybe he was a disgruntled flight attendant.  When the refueling was taking longer than usual, he commented on it.  He knew his airplane and he knew how long a refueling should take.

But here is where his knowledge really stands out, he specified the route of flight, told the pilots what speed and what flap setting to use when enroute.  He specified the altitude.  This guy knows this particular plane well.

5. While on the ground in Seattle, the hijacker asked the cockpit to order "crew meals" to be brought to the aircraft.  Notice, it is not a generic "food" or "sandwiches," but "crew meals"  This is someone intimately familiar with airline jargon and "crew meals" availability. 

6. After takeoff, the hijacker went to the back of the airplane, read the instructions for lowering the aft stairs, and lowered the stairs.  I have more than a few thousand hours on the 727, and while I know where the handle is to lower the stairs, as a cockpit crewmember, I would have to read the instructions on the placard.  A flight attendant most likely would not have to do that.  While lowering the stairs, it became evident that the air stream was preventing the stairs from totally extending.  He then called the cockpit on the cabin intercom, and told them to lower more flaps so he could lower the stairs.  This guy knows his airplane.  How easy would it be for someone not on the 727 to feel comfortable in making the required selections on the cabin intercom to connect to the cockpit?

 

In summary, I believe the evidence clearly indicates that this was not some ex-military guy who knew the 727 in Vietnam; this was not some random airline employee or some flight attendant.  This was a fully qualified Boeing 727 pilot.  And certainly, this was not a Mormon missionary.

Now, let's go back to that alias that he used to check in: Dan Cooper.  The FBI did check that name out and they did come across the fact that a Dan Cooper was indeed a character in a European comic book.  They should have followed that clue further.  The character in the comic book, Dan Cooper, is a Canadian Air Force test pilot- remember that.  This comic book was never published or sold in the United States.  It was only sold in Europe and Canada.  And, furthermore, this comic book was published in French.  The FBI summary is that perhaps the hijacker was ex-US military and was familiar with the comic book while serving in Europe.  This comic book was published by a well-known Belgian illustrator.  Now, just for a moment, ask yourself, without help, how does a Belgian comic book illustrator come up with story-lines month after month about a Canadian Air Force Test Pilot?  It stretches credibility that he did it on his own.  Interestingly, the last issue before the hijacking involved Dan Cooper, Canadian Air Force Test Pilot, jumping out of a civilian airliner. Stick with me; this is all going to lead back to our Delta pilot.

Only one flight attendant remained on the plane the whole time.  She was the last person to see the hijacker, and to see him when he jumped.  Shortly after the hijacking, she entered a convent, and has never granted an interview or talked about this.

 

7. The hijacker jumped on a segment of the air route just north of Portland and near the Columbia River.  The weather was IFR, but it would have been easy for him to define this point as the airway takes a very sharp bend at that point.  If indeed he were a pilot, an old rusty Boy Scout compass would have indicated the point.  He jumped at a point near the river called Tina Bar.  The FBI summary said that this was a guy who had to have been totally comfortable in the wilderness.  That is true.  They also indicated that he was probably a "loner" as nobody reported a husband, son, friend, etc. missing after the hijacking.  He had been gone for several days, and there seemed to be no family asking where he had been.

 

So much for the evidentiary material, let's get back to our Delta pilot.

I took the information that Carol Faulkner put out and did a search of Donald B. Carter, who did not appear on any Delta records, and this Roy P. Sandness, the guy with the same birthday.  What I found was that indeed a Donald B. Carter had gone to court and affected a legal name change.  Now, some people who are baptized Brunhilda or Torkel, may go to court to change a first name that they do not like, and after a divorce, an ex-wife may go back to her maiden name, but what motivates someone to go all the way from Donald B. Carter to Roy P. Sandness? 

I tracked this Roy P. Sandness back to his place of death, it was either North or South Dakota, I can't remember.  I read his obituary, and it said that he was being buried in Canada.  I was actually able to go to the church website and see the tombstone.  It reads:  "Donald B. Carter/ Roy P. Sandness."  They are one in the same.  They are one and the same Delta pilot.

I then tried to trace this Donald B. Carter.  He was raised north of Winnipeg on the edge of a huge National Forest.  He had no father.  He had a brother: Dan Carter.  This Dan Carter was a test pilot for the Canadian Air Force and died in an airplane accident.  Our Donald B. Carter was also a Canadian Air Force pilot.  He hunted and fished, loved the outdoors, flew as a bush pilot.  He would also have been familiar with the French comic book. He also would have been familiar with parachutes.   He was a loner.  He never married until after he retired from Delta.

This Donald B. Carter made his way across the U.S. border and went to work flying for Northeast Airlines in Boston.  I have talked to a Northeast pilot who remembered him.  He also had a girlfriend in Boston.  She worked for Northeast.  When we tried to interview her, she said that if it had anything to do with Donald B. Carter, she would not discuss it.  Can you imagine that after all these years? Donald B. Carter eventually qualified as a captain on the Boeing 727 with Northeast.  He subsequently went to Delta when Delta bought Northeast. 

It appears that he was based in Atlanta, but there is also some information that he was also in Miami.  Remember the guy with the tan and the sunglasses? Subsequent to the hijacking, he went to court and changed his name.  He then went out on medical with Delta and later retired.  FAA records show that, though he had no medical after leaving Delta, he bought a seaplane.  Records also indicate that he had owned a seaplane in Canada years earlier, and at the time of the hijacking.

 

So, why and how did he do it.  Except for the one package of money that has been found at Tina's Bar on the Columbia River, none of the money has ever turned up.  The FBI had the serial numbers for each and every bill and all the banks were on alert.  This was not done for the money.  He was a wealthy airline pilot, no kids, no family; he did not need the money.  He did this to prove to himself that it could be done.  One of the loose ends in all this is the comic book illustrator in Belgium.  I just wonder if Donald B. Carter was not feeding him story lines.  After all, his dead brother had been a Canadian Air Force Test pilot, and the comic book character's name was used to check in for the hijacked flight.  I believe that Donald B. Carter never got over the death of his brother, and I believe he was the source of the comic book lines for the Belgian illustrator. 

Regardless of how much we are at attention for our cockpit duties in flight, we all daydream somewhat.  I think that Donald B. Carter did a lot of this.  I think he daydreamed of how someone could hijack a civilian airliner and jump out of it.  He knew exactly how the stairs operated.  He knew exactly the flap settings and speeds.  He knew the route that he wanted and the jump point.

I found some relatives of Donald B. Carter/Roy P. Sandness and interviewed them over the phone.  They were very cooperative.  I was upfront with them and said that I was wondering if their now Roy P. Sandness could be DB Cooper.  They said they would not doubt it.  They also told me that Donald B. Carter had a cabin on a lake in Canada  just over the U.S. border near Seattle.  They said that the cabin was only accessible via seaplane.  They said that nobody had been back to the cabin since Carter had died.  And, there is the second loose end.  A trip to that cabin may be in order.  You just may find the parachute or even some money.

 

 

So, in summary, what do I think?  I think that Donald B. Carter never got over the death of his brother. I think he was the source for the comic book story lines for the Belgian illustrator.  I think he had spent a lot of time planning this hijacking.  I think he was totally familiar with the Boeing 727.  I think he probably flew from his cabin in Canada down to the Portland area and landed and tied up the airplane somewhere on the Columbia River. He then got on the hijacked flight and carried out exactly what he had imagined would be necessary to accomplish the feat.  He did not do this for the money.  This was something mental.  He exceeded the boundary of what he had only been imagining and tried to put it into reality.  He was totally comfortable in the wilderness.  He was familiar with parachutes.  He would have owned a black tie.  He was based in Miami at the time and would have had a tan and owned sunglasses.  He was a loner and nobody would have reported him missing or asked where he had been.  I believe that after the jump, he made his way back to the seaplane on the Columbia River and flew back to his cabin on the Canadian Lake.  I believe the single pack of money found near Tina Bar years later was something that he accidentally dropped.

When he first went to Delta, Delta was not flying to Portland, so he did not have to show up in that airport where someone might recognize him.  However, later on, Delta did start service to Portland, and I think at this point it became a risk if he were to return to that airport and be recognized.  It is at this point that he goes out on medical, changes his name, and disappears from Delta records. 

 

That's it.  I hope you enjoyed the read.

 

Bill Hoover

 

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Well, it's an interesting story. I think before you go any further you will need a picture of this guy to compare to the FBI sketches. Now those sketches are not photographs, but if your suspect turns out to be six-four and 210 pounds with blond hair...well, you get the idea. You need to see if he at least falls into the realm of possibility. And that is one way to do it. 

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He's not my suspect, I was only curious if this Hoover character's story was known within the community.  It would be interesting to back track on his "research," and yes a photo and/or physical description of Carter/Sandness would be a key part of such an effort. 

I will say I quickly found the DAL site he mentioned, and sure enough Carter/Sandness is listed in the spreadsheet of deceased Delta employees.  (Why it would exist is a bit of a head scratcher, however. I didn't find a similar site for other airlines.)  Interestingly, "Bill Hoover" is not in that spreadsheet, meaning (if he's real) he's either still alive or the spreadsheet (if it's real) hasn't been updated to include him among the deceased.  If he's still alive, it appears he'd be in his mid 80s.  Assuming he's alive and still has all his marbles, he'd make a good guest for Darren on the pocast if he could find him.  I'd recommend starting with the 727 Association and the Delta Retirees Connection.

There are aspects of the story I like, and others I think are at best highly speculative. If Carter/Sandness (and his brother) were alleged former USAF aircrew, it would easy to request their military records from the NMPRC.  Don't know if the Canadian MoD responds to such requests.  I also like the bit about the "seaplane," although I'd like to know if there are places on the river where he could land and tie-up/conceal a seaplane (more likely a floatplane) without drawing attention to himself. 

If anyone is interested in trying to corroborate Hoover's story, let me know.  Maybe we could work together.

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(edited)
1 hour ago, MartinBaker said:

He's not my suspect, I was only curious if this Hoover character's story was known within the community.  It would be interesting to back track on his "research," and yes a photo and/or physical description of Carter/Sandness would be a key part of such an effort. 

I will say I quickly found the DAL site he mentioned, and sure enough Carter/Sandness is listed in the spreadsheet of deceased Delta employees.  (Why it would exist is a bit of a head scratcher, however. I didn't find a similar site for other airlines.)  Interestingly, "Bill Hoover" is not in that spreadsheet, meaning (if he's real) he's either still alive or the spreadsheet (if it's real) hasn't been updated to include him among the deceased.  If he's still alive, it appears he'd be in his mid 80s.  Assuming he's alive and still has all his marbles, he'd make a good guest for Darren on the pocast if he could find him.  I'd recommend starting with the 727 Association and the Delta Retirees Connection.

There are aspects of the story I like, and others I think are at best highly speculative. If Carter/Sandness (and his brother) were alleged former USAF aircrew, it would easy to request their military records from the NMPRC.  Don't know if the Canadian MoD responds to such requests.  I also like the bit about the "seaplane," although I'd like to know if there are places on the river where he could land and tie-up/conceal a seaplane (more likely a floatplane) without drawing attention to himself. 

If anyone is interested in trying to corroborate Hoover's story, let me know.  Maybe we could work together.

I don't think I have heard of this guy previously. I agree he would make a good guest on Darren's podcast. Getting someone's military records is difficult unless you are that person, or a family member. Unless the records are really old, then sometimes you can view the basics. Might want to try Delta-related groups at Facebook maybe. 

I know that Delta acquired Northeast Airlines around 1970, and in 2008, NorthWEST Airlines. Just an interesting tidbit. As far as how airlines deal with employee records, it varies a lot. For example, unless you actually retired from Northwest Airlines, they would purge most of their records on former employees every five years. I got this from Bruce Kitt at the Northwest Airlines History Center in Minneapolis. Back then, almost everything was in paper records and that's probably why they did it. 

EDIT: I have one caveat on all this. Despite what some folks have tried to theorize, the evidence shows almost overwhelmingly that the official flight path created by Paul Soderlind, (Flight Ops Director, NW Airlines) his team, the FBI, ATC, SAGE radar data, chase plane data, etc...is correct. 

And that Flight 305 did not pass over Tina Bar on the evening of the hijacking. 

Edited by RobertMBlevins

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(edited)

Our monthly group email update on the Cooper Party was sent out today. I was slightly critical of Bruce Smith, a scheduled speaker at the upcoming (November) DB Cooper Con for allowing the filthy comments he does...on the same article where he PROMOTES the convention. In our opinion, that's really dumb. I won't link to it again here publicly, but that link was included in the group email. 

There are only two main DB Cooper events this year. Our party in July, and the convention in November. We have a solid 60 people now signed to attend the party, with about six weeks to go until we decide whether to finalize the party and release the budget. If we get at least 100 people we figure will actually show up (by June 5th or so), then we finalize for July 9-11 and do it no matter how many people show up. Greg the Techie Guy has pointed out that we will get a lot of drop-ins from the maps and info sheets we're leaving at the Greenwater General Store (last stop for anything) when we go out there to do setup. Our Craigslist ad is being renewed every two days until at least June 5 and we're getting good response on it. 

If these Cooper Convention folks had some common sense, and we hope they do...they would want our support for the event they plan in November. We have suggested a dedicated page about the convention at the main AB of Seattle website, an article with links at Quora Space Cooper (2,000 followers by email), WordPress Cooper (heavy traffic) and with our media contacts. Our position is that what is good for the convention is also good for Adventure Books of Seattle. If they do well, so do we. But certain folks are not making it easy for us to do this for them. 

They have nothing to lose by accepting our help. We have to go first. They cannot really help us, but we think we can help them a lot. At $21.50 a seat during a time when people are reluctant to gather in groups anyway, the convention needs all the help it can get. In 2019, according to reports, they got barely a hundred people at the convention. Now Eric Ulis says he wants to sell 300-500 tickets. It's not going to be easy, and made worse by negativity among the convention's supporters and participants. Another thing to consider is that we've been promoting the Cooper Party since November, (a FREE event with FREE food and prizes, no less) and it took us until now to get sixty people convinced to go, even after reaching people on Quora, Craigslist, our main website, WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, even the media. It has not been easy to organize group events since the pandemic hit. Cooperation and setting aside differences for the common good is the best way to success. 

Edited by RobertMBlevins

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7 hours ago, RobertMBlevins said:

I don't think I have heard of this guy previously. I agree he would make a good guest on Darren's podcast. Getting someone's military records is difficult unless you are that person, or a family member. Unless the records are really old, then sometimes you can view the basics. Might want to try Delta-related groups at Facebook maybe. 

I know that Delta acquired Northeast Airlines around 1970, and in 2008, NorthWEST Airlines. Just an interesting tidbit. As far as how airlines deal with employee records, it varies a lot. For example, unless you actually retired from Northwest Airlines, they would purge most of their records on former employees every five years. I got this from Bruce Kitt at the Northwest Airlines History Center in Minneapolis. Back then, almost everything was in paper records and that's probably why they did it. 

EDIT: I have one caveat on all this. Despite what some folks have tried to theorize, the evidence shows almost overwhelmingly that the official flight path created by Paul Soderlind, (Flight Ops Director, NW Airlines) his team, the FBI, ATC, SAGE radar data, chase plane data, etc...is correct. 

And that Flight 305 did not pass over Tina Bar on the evening of the hijacking. 

You wouldn't need detailed military service records for the Carter brothers to back track and vet that part of Hoover's "research."  My point was all you're looking for is confirmation they existed, served, and were pilots.  If brother Dan died in the line of duty, I would expect that to be included in even the most basic of releasable records.  

 

As I stated upfront, there are a number of factual errors in Hoover's relating of the story. Since I too believe the "official" flight path is correct, I consider Hoover's statement about Cooper jumping near Tina Bar to be one of them.  Being wrong about the flight path does not impact the possible validity of Hoover's story, however.  If he survived the jump, no matter where he landed he'd still have to make it back to the "seaplane" if he flew out.  To Hoover's story, whether or not there were places on the river he could have landed and tied-up/concealed the a/c are more important than how many miles he landed from it.

 

Is it noted in the official case records that Cooper indeed requested "crew meals" as Hoover claims?  If so, did the FBI make any assumptions or draw any conclusions from his use of that expression?

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29 minutes ago, MartinBaker said:

You wouldn't need detailed military service records for the Carter brothers to back track and vet that part of Hoover's "research."  My point was all you're looking for is confirmation they existed, served, and were pilots.  If brother Dan died in the line of duty, I would expect that to be included in even the most basic of releasable records.  

 

As I stated upfront, there are a number of factual errors in Hoover's relating of the story. Since I too believe the "official" flight path is correct, I consider Hoover's statement about Cooper jumping near Tina Bar to be one of them.  Being wrong about the flight path does not impact the possible validity of Hoover's story, however.  If he survived the jump, no matter where he landed he'd still have to make it back to the "seaplane" if he flew out.  To Hoover's story, whether or not there were places on the river he could have landed and tied-up/concealed the a/c are more important than how many miles he landed from it.

 

Is it noted in the official case records that Cooper indeed requested "crew meals" as Hoover claims?  If so, did the FBI make any assumptions or draw any conclusions from his use of that expression?

Evidence indicates Cooper had aviation knowledge but not necessarily the 727. He had to have Tina show him how to lower the rear stairs and also thought the crew had control over the rear stairs. He got the range wrong.

We don't know if Cooper actually used the term "crew meals". The FBI files state that he requested or wanted crew meals not that he used the exact term. He may have, Cooper definitely had aviation experience.

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42 minutes ago, FLYJACK said:

Evidence indicates Cooper had aviation knowledge but not necessarily the 727. He had to have Tina show him how to lower the rear stairs and also thought the crew had control over the rear stairs. He got the range wrong.

We don't know if Cooper actually used the term "crew meals". The FBI files state that he requested or wanted crew meals not that he used the exact term. He may have, Cooper definitely had aviation experience.

Ok, thanks for the insight and feedback. We'll have to agree to disagree relative to Cooper's 727 experience prior to the hijacking.  In any event, as time permits I'm going to look into some of Hoover's claims, both about Carter/Sandness and himself.  

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16 minutes ago, MartinBaker said:

Ok, thanks for the insight and feedback. We'll have to agree to disagree relative to Cooper's 727 experience prior to the hijacking.  In any event, as time permits I'm going to look into some of Hoover's claims, both about Carter/Sandness and himself.  

Disagree on what, there is no evidence of 727 experience.

What facts support 727 specific experience? 

The ones I stated indicate lack of 727 specific knowledge.

The only thing that might support it is the 15 degree flap setting but even Carr thought Cooper never actually said it but the number came from the crew interpreting flaps down.

 

 

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16 minutes ago, CooperNWO305 said:

I agree with Flyjack. Nothing indicates much 727 experience. So many fallacies have been perpetuated from the start. Citizen sleuths have debunked a lot, or at least put many original theories to the test. 

I am not adverse to colouring outside the lines as a means of exploration but you need a good reason...

There is no evidence Cooper was a 727 pilot/expert. Actually, evidence to the contrary.

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