377

Members
  • Content

    6,414
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    1
  • Feedback

    0%

Everything posted by 377

  1. No video recording for 2019 but the 2018 talk is here:
  2. I think some of you may have missed the part where I said I do NOT believe LD was DBC and I give credit to Robert Blevins for leading me to this conclusion. I just don't ascribe evil cunning motives to Marla. It's easy for time and subsequent events to morph memories, especially distant ones from childhood. 377
  3. Thanks Flyjack. I recall reading something about a jettisonable tailcone on some DC 9s. 377
  4. I jumped from a DC 9-21 in 2006. The ventral airstair door wasn't small. Are you saying that there was another door that LaPoint used? 377
  5. I thought Marla's written answers were, as usual, quite articulate. Sure there was some sarcasm, but that is certainly understandable given the disrespect and hostility thats been directed towards her. I don't think her uncle was Cooper, but I think her story reflected childhood memories not made-up facts. I talked with her at some length at Grays Portland symposium and didn't detect any indicia of lying. I asked her a lot about the CB walkie talkies used by LD and her answers told me without any doubt that she really saw these in use. We really should try to get her to speak at Coopercon 2019. She lights up a room. Very attractive, intelligent, articulate and willing to answer tough questions. It has occurred to me that LD wasn't Cooper but was trying to find Cooper's loot right after the news broke and before the authorities found it. One could get pretty banged up searching through thick brush at night. 377
  6. ParrotheadVol wrote: "To me, the biggest evidence against Reca being Cooper is the recorded confession. He was led on many of the answers. Some of the other answers he gave were very questionable as well, such as when he said that he had no idea what kind of plane he was hijacking, and had planned to jump out the side door and had no knowledge of the aft stairs. That to me is a bigger red flag than the Cle Elum thing." Good points. The interviewer's question were sooooo leading, which would be impermissible on direct exam in a courtoom. Opposing counsel: "objection, leading question." Judge: "OBJECTION SUSTAINED! Counsel, I suggest you ask your witness questions not suggest his answers" Also, no experienced skydiver and PJ would take such a lackadaisical attitude about the aircraft type and exit locations, especially in a jet, simply not credible. In any high-speed exit, aircraft structure strikes are a huge risk. Lots of folks who haven't made much out of their lives sling bullshit about being CIA, Navy SEAL, Special Forces, etc. Undercover work can explain away years of apparent non-productive time. I don't know much about military special ops activities but I do know the parachuting aspects of that work. When I hear a barroom claim about being a SEAL, I ask parachute questions. It almost always filters out the liars. I had one alleged SEAL go on and on about the "parasails" they used for deep black HALO insertions into Sakhalin Island at night where they planted acoustic tracking devices on Soviet subs. Real Mission Impossible stuff. I should have got his autograph. 377
  7. Recca (a USAF trained PJ and accomplished skydiver) had ALL the skills but the Cle Elum landing story is just not credible. Why on earth would he tell such a story? A liar would, of course, pick a credible V 23 proximal landing area. Recca didn't. It does make me wonder... His extensive collection of foreign passports also makes me wonder. Most of the passports were not genuine (thanks Snow for showing me evidence of counterfeiting) but why did he have them? Was he a Walter Mitty 007 pretender or was he up to something serious? I do admire the candor of his Cooper proponents. Putting forth the whole story including Cle Elum has my respect. They didn't spin or cherry-pick facts. It's so tempting to ignore facts that cast doubt on favorite suspects. 377
  8. OK. What should we look for? Be explicit, not mystic cryptic. 377
  9. Executing a successful cutaway on jump 19 is great. Congratulations. I have been jumping for 50 years and have had 2 cutaways, one in 1972 using 100% military surplus gear and one in 2005 using modern gear. I am thankful I wasn't tested at jump 19. Not sure I would have done as well as you did. 377
  10. Jumper 34 wrote: "Also had a Herc break apart there from the 304th where I was stationed. One survivor out of PDX." I'm familiar with that tragic accident. https://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19961122-1 I always thought Lockheed should have been held liable. Amazingly that model Herc could not be restarted in the air if all four engines flamed out (e.g. from fuel starvation). What a monumentally stupid design error. The crew accidentally ran the interior Fulton Tank dry leading to loss of all four engines. There was plenty of fuel in other tanks but there was not enough electrical power from the battery buss to do an engine relight, so down they went. The only possible way to have saved the day was if the FE had cut safety wire on the terminal box that had squat switch terminals that inhibited starting the GPU after wheels up and disconnected (or jumpered?) the wires that prevented a GPU inflight start. That's asking way too much in a critical or chaotic emergency situation. It's truly amazing that a survivor was found at night offshore. I find conspiracy theories and inside job allegations fascinating but I normally discount them because I do not believe that they could stay secret for so long. Many people would be involved and when lots of people are involved leaks are inevitable. I have a Cooper 20. I wonder if it might have any traces or residue that would link it to the unique chemistry and ecology of La Camas Lake? I do not believe Norjack was an inside job, but your landing zone theories are worth exploring. Wouldnt dragging the lake for the canopy using a grapnel hook be more effective and far less dangerous than diving for it? As far as I have been able to discover in my research, the SAT 727 test airdrops over Korat Thailand were the only 727 airdrops made during the war. No 727 airdrops were made in Vietnam. Dr. Joe Leeker, the premier historian of covert air ops in SE Asia, agrees. The MAC SOG guys I've talked to said they never jumped from or heard about any jumps from 727s in Vietnam. Far more suitable aircraft were available such as Hercs, C 123s, C 119s and Caribous. There was no need to masquerade as a civil airliner. If you have info to the contrary post it here. I'll keep an open mind. Cossey's murder was very odd. If it was connected with his gambling it seems that leads would have developed. Grudges and player to player animosity at casinos gets noticed. What relevant evidence has been found by the authorities? Zero. Nada. Nothing of value appears to have been taken. A junkie burglar would definitely have taken stuff. The murder weapon was a club, not a gun. No loud noise to attract police. A thief could have taken his time to look for and steal valuables. BTW, what does the 34 in your screen name mean? 377
  11. I and most other old school skydivers would be flattered if we were considered DBC suspects. Many jumpers claimed to have been investigated by the FBI. I think most of them were lying. That’s how much of a status symbol it was. I’ll wave all defamation claims in advance. I had a 727 flight manual in 1971 and lots of jumps with military surplus gear I had flown to Seattle in 71 a few months prior to the skyjack on a 727. Sigh, still no takers. What’s a guy gotta do? 377
  12. I've been trying to imagine how Cooper came up with the idea for this bold venture. I sometimes mused about how skydiving could be used to facilitate a crime. I always imagined parachuting as a way to get into a guarded site. My thinking was way too narrow. It literally never occurred to me that you could force authorities to deliver cash to a hijacked plane which would then fly to a remote location where one could jump with the loot and avoid discovery and capture. 377
  13. Thanks Marty, much appreciated.
  14. Andrade wrote: "Forty-eight of these jumps are inexplicable: Good weather, experienced and healthy skydivers with no history of depression, working equipment, etc." I am familiar with a number of these inexplicable no pulls Marty and they scare me a bit. What the hell happened? Could it possibly happen to me? In addition to at least one visual altimeter, I wear an audible altimeter and jump with an AAD. Theoretically, that gear should dramatically reduce the chance of me replicating those mystery no pull deaths.
  15. I don't know those exact numbers 812Shadow, but if Cooper pulled right away after exiting they wouldn't matter. The whole idea of the skyjack was so innovative. Cooper had to be a really creative guy, an out-of-the-box thinker. Those who went before him just used the planes to go to Cuba or some other venue that wouldn't extradite. What makes you so sure he was military? I think he was too but I can't articulate exactly why. Peterson said on the History Channel interview that he could have done the Cooper jump successfully. I agree. He had all the skills needed and the guts as well. His ability, however, didn't come from military training. He was a Marine and did not take jump training in the service. I bet against Peterson once. We bet $20 on the outcome of the last presidential election. I felt bad, like I was taking $20 from an old man who didn't see the big picture. I sure don't think that anymore. I paid him with ten two dollar bills. 377
  16. Gloves are a mixed bag Marty. When it's so cold you can't feel your bare hands (as it was on my two 24,000 ft jumps), they are almost essential. They do, however, significantly reduce your ability to identify and correctly grasp objects using tackle feedback. On modern gear, it is impossible to see the object that is used to initiate the opening sequence on your main. It is located behind you. Only by feeling around can you locate, grasp and extract it from its elasticized pocket. I've been experimenting with gloves the fingertips cut off and so far so good. You get most of your hand protected from the cold but maintain uncovered fingertips for max sensitivity.
  17. Actually, I have never made a real wilderness jump so I'd be the wrong person to ask. My last "wilderness jump" (defined as way off DZ) was at the World Free Fall Convention about 15 years ago. A DC 3 pilot who didn't know how to use his new GPS put us out miles away from the DZ over a thick haze layer. I ended up landing in a K Mart parking lot. A nice looking woman whose car I landed next to invited me over for dinner. I had to decline as my GF was waiting back at the DZ. The only useful advice I could give to a jet skyjacker is pull right away to avoid going into a tumbling spin. A military C 9 canopy will easily survive a 200 mph opening that could shred a sport canopy. An immediate opening would make the altimeter and goggles unnecessary. Boots? Good idea but you might get lucky and land OK in street shoes. Same thing with gloves and a helmet. I question the utility of a 1971 vintage incandescent flashlight to illuminate your landing area. Cooper's methods didn't rule out a skydiver. In fact, the FBI started looking for Peterson days after the skyjack likely but not certainly based on a tip from DZO Linn Emrick. Next the FBI went to the USPA HQ then in Monterey CA and asked to inspect membership records. Many skydivers I knew reported being contacted by the FBI. They may have just been boasting. I haven't seen any of them referred to in FBI 302s. Your statements make it obvious that you are a jumper 812. Tell us who you think Cooper was or if you have no opinion, then tell us what you think his experience was. Jumper? Aircrew? Military? Civilian? One thing few dispute, Cooper was an innovative thinker who had extraordinary courage. You'd have to pay me a whole lot more than $200,000 to attempt to do what he did, but I am a wimp. My friend Snowmman offered to do it for a few thousand as I recall. He never makes BS offers. If anyone had put up the bucks and the plane and gear, he'd have done it. 377
  18. Sheridan Peterson, considered by some to be a viable DB Cooper candidate, also jumped with the SPC. His book, The Idiot's Frightful Laughter, is available on Amazon and is worth buying just for the SPC content alone. It's straight out of Apocalypse Now. Coppola should have included it in his movie. Even more bizarre than the war zone surfing he did include.
  19. My Vietnamese barber jumped with this club. He was a paratrooper in the RVN Army (ARVN). Their training included freefall as well as S/L. He never made any combat zone jumps but says that there were a few ops where they parachuted into safe-ish LZs. All his SPC jumps were made from H 34 helos, no fixed wing jumps.
  20. I've been jumping for just over half a century, still active. Have jumped from a jet, DC 9-21 in 2006. Also made a wildly unstable high speed test jump from a firewalled C 130. Only in hindsight would I have any good ideas on how to make a successful night wilderness jump carrying a payload from a 727 flying well above stall speed. Cooper was innovative and gutsy as hell. Balls of steel, truly. I wish 812 Shadow would post how he would have executed the skyjack jump. I assume from his comments that he too is a seasoned jumper. Peterson is superbly qualified to have successfully executed the skyjack: expert skydiver, USPA instructor, USFS smoke jumper, ex Boeing tech document editor, innovative jumper (early wing suiter with homemade gear), USMC WW2 veteran, etc. He has made night jumps, water jumps and wilderness jumps. Ability and guilt are not the same things however. In math terms they are nearly orthogonal. Ted Braden (deceased MAC SOG jumper) was also well-qualified, as were many others. There is no evidence that unequivocally puts Peterson on the skyjacked aircraft. ZERO. Sheridan Peterson is presumed innocent until proven otherwise. He has no obligation to respond to or refute anything. FBI SA (rtd) MJ Fryar who took Peterson's DNA sample and still considers him a viable DBC candidate, recently opined that absent a confession, the case will never be solved. I volunteered to represent Sheridan Peterson pro bono in federal court if he is ever charged with the crime. I am very confident that given the current state of evidence, no conviction would result. 377
  21. Good find on that WW2 24 ft B8 rig. Bet it was twill, not ripstop. 377
  22. "2. MAKE: Pioneer TYPE: 24 ft white ripstop conical, SERIAL NO: 60-9707, DATE OF MFR: 7/60 (1960) --- packed by Cossey 5/21/71 (This back chute was left on the plane, ID'd by National Guard in Reno)" I've never seen a 24 ft white ripstop conical. Dudeman? All the white ripstop conicals I saw pre 1971 were Navy 26 ft ones. 377
  23. I am 69 years old and in my 51st year of skydiving. I had two cutaways, one over Pope Valley CA in 1972 using military surplus gear and one over Rantoul Illinois using modern gear in 2005. I see skydiving as a very risky sport and see myself as a lucky cautious participant. Perry Stevens D-51 taught me how to jump in 1968. One bit of advice he gave me was: "when something looks marginal to you, take a pass on it, ALWAYS." Marginal planes, marginal gear, marginal jump plans, marginal weather etc. I've done nearly everything I can to mitigate risk. I jump with an RSL and a Cypres AAD. I don't swoop, wingsuit or BASE jump. I practice emergency procedures. I get gear checks before I board. I was a very early AAD user, buying an SSE Sentinal 2000 as soon as they hit the market. Back then experienced jumpers who wore AADs were ridiculed, but I didn't care. When I could finally afford a square canopy, I bought a conservative one (Triathlon) that would put me at 1.2 to 1 wing loading and never downsized even on subsequent buys. My reserve is almost as big as my main. If steady winds exceed 18 mph I wait for better conditions. I passed on manifesting for Twin Beech jumps on really hot days with loads that clearly exceeded max gross limits. I passed on really green Cessna piston jumpship pilots. I passed on having beer with lunch at a DZ where it was SOP. I could go on but you get the picture. I am not gloating or saying I am better than people who take more risk than I do. My point is that there are many things you can do (or more accurately NOT do) that will substantially reduce risk and still allow you to participate in the best sport on the planet. You won't be sharing granite skimming wingsuit videos with your friends but you can still have a great time.
  24. "The best altimeter on the planet is... the planet." LOVE IT!!! I made my first 38 post training solo jumps with no altimeter. I was a struggling college student who would rather spend the money on jumps. I got good at spotting and good and visually estimating altitude over well-known terrain. I was once riding as a passenger on a corporate King Air in Brazil. The pilot came back into the cabin and asked how the passengers were enjoying the flight. He asked if we would care to guess how high the plane was flying. I told him I'd bet him I could nail it within 500 feet. He took the bet. I had a really great steak dinner on him in Sao Paolo. It got even better because he invited a friend who had flown A4 Skyhawks for Argentina in the Falklands War. The stories he told of attacking British ships at mast top height were riveting, enhanced by serial Caipirinhas. Still jump an old SSE Altimaster 2. I have all the fancy L&B stuff too, but I am an engineer and I'll take simple aneroid mech baro as my primary reference any day. No batteries needed. No electronic components to age or fail. Do you think Cooper had prior parachuting experience? Just wondering. 377