RobertMBlevins

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Everything posted by RobertMBlevins

  1. Hmm. A response! (Albeit a pretty negative one, as usual.) And no...it wasn't Greg who provided me the recent quote by Shutter over at the Cooper Forum. I will answer Shutter's points one at a time. SHUTTER: Robert, the begging needs to stop. you have posted constantly about wanting help that you apparently are not going to get. ROBERT: No one is begging. Festival planning is going on track just fine. I am not the one asking for help. I was merely offering an opportunity. SHUTTER: If the producers really want to speak with people they should know how to find them. you use everything as a tool. Minnow was award winning and you spoke highly of them until they bypassed you. now they are garbage? ROBERT: Minnow Films is not garbage. But director John Dower was not completely honest with us. He indicated the show was an attempt to explore, and possibly solve the Cooper case. Turned out he only wanted to present the fringe (okay, weird) elements that exist in Cooperland. As a result, his work was panned by the critics and wasted our time. At least we got paid. SHUTTER: You have been bad mouthing just about every single person for the last 5 or 6 years. now, you try something and expect everyone to open there arms for you. the thread is dead thanks to you. nobody comments there except Flyjack and even he has you on ignore. ROBERT: When I speak negatively about someone or some THING in Cooperland, there is usually a legit reason. And when I have done this, I put my name, and usually some solid evidence behind it. I don't just spout outright lies anonymously, as Bruce Smith has been known to support on his website. There is a difference. As far as this DZ thread being 'dead,' that is a fantasy. DZ has over 100,000 members and many read this thread. So do many others who aren't registered here. Flyjack putting me on his ignore list affects none of that in the slightest. I will point out that when this thread re-opened, I have seen little or nothing in the way of positive posts by both YOU, or almost anyone at your website. SHUTTER: He contacted you, so it will be you holding things up by not giving any information. stop blaming it on others. nobody sends emails that have not been included in something and asked about you. it's you that sends emails (poison pen) several times with things that had nothing to do with you. your a hypocrite and a liar. I don't want anything to do with you. take a good look at the DZ. you made it the way it is today. you go back all night long changing the posts. ROBERT: I have been known to edit posts, yes. But mostly to include more information, or make them more clear. I didn't say I wouldn't provide information. I said I wouldn't do it on a one-way basis, and I wouldn't do it publicly. You are even MORE of a hypocrite. Your biggest posters also support lying and hateful posts on their own websites, and you never say a thing to them about it. If you are going to surround yourself with a glass house, you should leave the rocks outside. SHUTTER: Get the hint...the change is in your hands and not mine. grow up and take responsibility for your actions. you haven't shown any improvement since I've known you and don't expect you to change. make sure you lie more and say Greg sent you the latest comments.. ROBERT: That's your opinion. Sorry I can't 'buckle up and comply' to your standards. Your failure to support anything Cooper-related simply on personal issues, EMOTIONAL issues, simply proves you are slanted, and ignores the needs and wants of your own forum members. You keep forgetting them. It's always about you-you-you and your emotions, and little else. A few of the more reasonable members you have on that forum contact me privately occasionally. They still support you, but they also don't like the fighting. They think it goes nowhere, and so do I. Maybe I should just tell this producer that because of the endless in-fighting, lack of mutual support, and almost no cooperation within Cooperland...that the whole thing is hopeless anyway. EDIT: It is not my fault that the planning for the June Cooper Festival has gone so well, and that people other than Cooper Forum members are very enthusiastic about it. (The public) It is not my fault that an Emmy award-winning producer contacted us. But you have to look at things from our point of view occasionally. You've been against EVERYTHING we've ever done in the Cooper case, whether it was good or indifferent. So now you want us to just throw out everything for you publicly. Why should we do that when we know you would simply use that information to continue what you've always done? Which is to use it to go negative on us. (You have a history that is well-known to us about all that. And so do some of your biggest members, although not all of them.) YOU are the ones who need to change. Yes, there have been problems within Cooperland. But it helps if you least call out both sides of the question, instead of going one-sided on everything and trying to blame everything except global warming on me. It's also pretty juvenile to post up comments directly aimed at me on a site where I can't answer you...and then just expect me to drop by, copy them over to here, and respond to you here. Grow up.
  2. Just got off the phone with the NYC producer. I had to take him seriously. He's won an Emmy or two for his work. We spoke for about an hour. I won't discuss any of this at Dropzone, but I *may* be willing to talk about the whole thing if anyone wishes to contact me by email. If not, I'm okay with that as well. This producer may be contacting others involved in the Cooper case anyway. I didn't ask him about that, but that's the usual way these things work. UPDATE: This producer keeps emailing me with questions, some of which I can answer, some I cannot. It might be a good thing if a couple of you out there in Cooperland decided to stop being stubborn and contact me if you want to be involved in all this. Unless you want me to be the sole input, which I'm sure you do NOT want. I'm not even sure I want this. I'm not against directing some of you to him, but there is an issue of trust here. I am not going to discuss details on all this publicly. That's all there is to it. (Not at this point, anyway. Perhaps later.) Right now my main concern is pulling off the Cooper Festival in June, not so much working on another Cooper TV show, although I will do so if there is no other way. On the other hand, certain behaviors by *some* people in Cooperland, including a failure to support that Festival, makes me think all you would do with certain information is to start sending out the crappy emails to this producer. Or posting nasty junk about us at either DZ or the Cooper Forum, or even Mountain News for that matter. I can safely say that you should avoid this, because that possibility has been discussed...and this producer will NOT be impressed. Neither will he believe you if you start posting up lies about us in public. You will simply put him off. Media support, as well as general support for positive things that forward the Cooper case, or help sell books for the many Cooper book authors out there, as well as the sharing of information...well, that is a two-way street. After my previous experiences trusting some of the main characters exploring this case, you can see I have become pretty cynical about the whole thing. My main concern, as I said, is the Festival. There are also other difficulties (I was told) in even doing another multi-part Cooper show. The biggest one is the Covid situation. It makes shooting, casting, even TRAVELING by air very difficult. Remember...the last time anyone actually did a Cooper program was John Dower, and that was actually shot PRIOR to Covid. If I don't start seeing some coop on this project soon, what I might suggest to this producer is that they cover the Festival, since that's where there won't BE any Covid, and everyone in Cooperland has been invited. As it is, we already have three Cooper folks scheduled for presentations and I'm sure we will get more prior to June. That's a full five months down the road. If and when trust IS established between AB of Seattle and 'everyone else' in Cooperland...then we can work together for mutual benefit. But it seems like you guys just hack on everything we do whether it be good, bad, or indifferent. We're right where we want to be with the Festival at this point, so why should we trust you without a good reason? So far, you guys have been nothing for us but a pain in the neck. That can change, but you have to WANT that change. In the last few months, I have discovered that putting people on a need-to-know basis on certain things sometimes makes our life a lot easier. I don't particularly like doing that, you know. But it became necessary to do so. [email protected]
  3. Correction: In one of my previous posts on this page, I said we had 'just over 200 names on the public email list' for the Cooper Festival. That is wrong. My bad all the way. It's just over 100 (about 126), with an additional 22 or so people on a more private update list. The private list is mostly people known in Cooperland, along with some friends. The public list are the group who messaged us with questions and expressed interest in attending, mostly using the Contact Form. EDIT: I saw some posts over at the Cooper Forum, mostly by Bruce Smith, mentioning how Gayla, Greg, and yours truly got appointments Feb 3 for first doses of the Moderna vaccine, while he cannot find anything reasonably soon. Not sure what to say about all that except that we're pretty good hustlers when necessary. Not in the negative context of hustling, but in the positive context when it counts. Message to Bruce: No one hates you over here. We would be more than willing to help you. But you don't even answer our emails. And you continue to allow nasty comments about us, many of them containing outright lies about our relationship with Skipp Porteous. We even offered you a paid job hosting the Cooper Festival. All of which you ignored. How exactly do you expect people to react to such behavior?
  4. With the problems and divisions we have going today, I keep looking back at things Abe Lincoln said. And as everyone knows, Honest Abe was a Republican. One of my favorites, although he was talking more about keeping the USA half slave states, and half free, just wouldn't work. Picking on Biden only a couple of days after he takes office is unfair. I thought Obama was the one who took office with a boatload of problems to face right away. Until I saw how Trump outdid that mess and left things even worse than when he arrived. A LOT worse. But it isn't just the domestic problems that Trump left in his wake, but the establishment of additional hatred, and even more division than there was before he arrived. It's tough to think about, or to discuss, because there is nothing in American history to compare Trump's leadership to. He's far and above any of the typical candidates for 'Who Was the Worst US President?' As bad as some of them have been, Trump easily moved into the Numero Uno spot. People have compared Trump to Hitler. That is inaccurate. Hitler was a meglomaniac, but on most levels he was smarter than Trump. I see Trump more like Benito Mussolini. Vain, arrogant, and a bit stupid. If he had gotten a second term, he could easily have caused the country to divide into several different countries. Maybe that's what his supporters actually want. I don't know. It's not what most Americans want, I am sure of that. Neither do our allies, the ones we have left. For the first year or two at least, Joe Biden has become the trash man. He's the one who has to clean up the garbage and fix the damage caused by the last administration. And that damage is extensive. He takes office under the most difficult circumstances ever faced by an incoming US President. The reasons are obvious and too numerous to mention. Books will be coming out on Trump, as well as his dishonest cronies and allies. The best we can do is move on and not make the same mistake of putting someone like Trump at the helm of this country again. Trump's the kind of guy who can make left-wing Democrats send thank-you-for-your-service notes to George Bush and Ronald Reagan, and take back every bad thing you ever said about them. Anything positive you can take away from the Trump presidency? Maybe ONE. You discovered your one little vote really DOES count. Until Trump came along, people were starting to forget that. He was a harsh reminder that your vote IS important. One last thing. I don't care that much if he gets convicted in the Senate and the impeachment is made official. I just want Trump to GO AWAY and STAY AWAY. Or...like Sir Cedric Hardwicke said in the movie The Ten Commandments: So let it be written. So let it be done.
  5. An Emmy award-winning TV producer from New York is calling us at the main AB office tomorrow. All I know is that it concerns the Cooper case, and that it would be wise if I answered the call. We will see. After our experience with director John Dower for his ridiculous 'The Mystery of D.B. Cooper' fiasco, I am not that hot to stick my neck out there into another DB Cooper production. However, I will listen to what this producer from New York has to say.
  6. What is Trump? A 15-year-old girl named Sydney Dennis hit it right on the head with a 5 lb. sledge. I've written several books, and edited about 60 more, and I could not have said it better. https://www.sun-sentinel.com/opinion/commentary/fl-op-com-trump-insurrection-what-i-learned-20210122-q6ro35ldz5f25mn6ku4svz6lbq-story.html
  7. Good news, not particularly Cooper-worthy, but since the Cooper Festival requires attendees to be vaccinated against Covid-19, I thought I would mention it. Gayla, Greg the Techie Guy, and yours truly managed to obtain appointments for the first dose of the vaccine come February 3rd. We were lucky. Remaining slots filled up in minutes. We're all on the same day, same place, although a total of about six hours apart between the three of us. I have no problem with this. The waiting around between our three appointments. Frankly, Gayla and I have been risking our lives for the last ten months already. I say that because we go into different folks' homes and continue to keep the cleaning business going, and although we do have strict protocols, we cannot be sure where these customers and their families have been, or if they have been exposed and are/were not yet showing symptoms, or are asymptomatic. People talk their smack about us, and although we are not on the same level as first responders, we took to sterilizing (a new thing with us that started last March) as well as CLEANING these families homes...and YES...some of their family members were exposed to the virus. Still, we kept going. And it wasn't always for the money. There is a certain loyalty here to families that have been with us for over a DOZEN years or more. In those cases, we would put them on hold for a while until their situation was stabilized one way or another. But we never dropped anybody from service. We also know a couple of people who have actually died from this horrid virus. Every time we leave our home and go out there to do the job we've been doing for nearly twenty years, we are well aware of the risks. But we continue to take those risks as well as take the precautions we can. It's been stressful, it's been tough. Gayla is the most courageous person I know. Screw any of you who posted up shit about her at Bruce Smith's Mountain News. You are not worthy to lick the toilets she cleans, the kitchens she sterilizes for wonderful families. And this my friends...is why we made a requirement that anyone attending the Cooper Festival in June MUST be vaccinated against the virus. We're not on the front line like the hospitals, but we're not far behind them. We've done more for nice people in the last year than the idiots you see below, who helped bring misery and death and discord to this fine country. You've seen the people above. Now see someone below who actually CARES about others. From her trip to San Francisco with her mom, a few months prior to the virus:
  8. It's unfair to judge people like Amy and Dean just because they voted for Trump in 2016. They didn't do it a second time. No one in their wildest dreams could have predicted that Trump was going to do all of the things he did over the next four years. Not EVERYONE who voted for Trump wears camo, carries assault weapons like badges of honor, or trashes the US Capitol. They were just as appalled about that as anyone else. They are what you call 'moderate Republicans,' and even THEY weren't buying all the crap coming out of Faux News. You know what they used to say prior to the breakup of the Soviet Union. If we only had one political party in America, they would call us Russia.
  9. UPDATE: Sounds like another Cooper show is in the works. If you have no info about this, contact me privately by email and I will fill in the details. However...I expect many of you will be contacted anyway. But due to my famous lack of trust in Cooperland, I'm not posting any information about who is involved in this particular production. Not publicly. Anyone else who has heard about this, feel free to fill in the details for others I guess. Not like I control what others say, you know. On the other hand, I don't think it serves any purpose to post information that comes my way about these things, and just see it all go down a one-way hole where no one responds to it. Or even a 'thank you for letting us know.' Seen recently: Jesus H. Christ. Don't you guys at the Cooper Forum EVER go directly to the source? Excerpts from the book are allowed under Fair Use rules. I have no problem with this. People at the Cooper Forum quote me all the time...without bothering to source the material with the guy who helped write it...or even bothering to ask about this detail or that post, or that mention. First rule of investigation and quoting, boys: Go to the source first. Excuse me, but duh. Otherwise you just get one-sided shit dumped on you. I'm going to post (again) about the upcoming Cooper Festival in June, in case some of you missed it. We're just a hair past 200 names on the public email list and when it reaches 400, we're dumping the webpages at AB and elsewhere about it, and just trusting that 150-200 on that list will actually show up. If I allow it to go any further, we might not have room for everybody, and it could get to a size a bit unmanageable for us. I'm shooting for a quality crowd on this one, an event where not only can people feel reasonably safe, but know they are part of something really special. It's a give-back and a thank-you to Cooper fans from all over the Northwest. Or anywhere for that matter. Right now, submissions via the contact form have slowed to maybe 2-3 a week. But as spring approaches, slots will fill up fast. I am absolutely sure on this, judging from what people out there (99% of them I don't know) are telling me right now. In other words, the folks who have signed up so far are spreading the word with their friends.
  10. IMHO, Almstad's version, to put it politely, is inaccurate. In the San Francisco interview, Almstad's wife even makes a joke that he spent the short flight reading a book, 'probably a spy novel,' she says. (This tells me she's letting him run off at the mouth a bit with the reporter, but knows better. Somehow.) The idea that the WA State Patrol, in cooperation with SeaFirst Bank and NW Airlines, would simply stuff the money into a pillowcase for delivery to the airport...well, it sounds ridiculous on its face. Banks have plenty of containers around for carrying money when necessary. Why would someone run home to grab a pillowcase from their bed? Rataczak got a look at the bag as it was coming on board. He says this: Sounds more like the picture below, except with a shoulder strap to go along with the handle on it:
  11. 'Systemic racism by leftists?' That's almost funny, if it weren't so sad. I think the person here who said that needs to check in at the Reality Hotel. Top floor, penthouse suite. Rampant racism, voter suppression, hatred, and even the assault on the Capitol building are all things associated (currently) with members who affiliate themselves with the Republican party. I would say that Honest Abe is aghast, and turning over in his grave.
  12. Posted elsewhere by me, but I think it applies: Most of our current problems can be traced to bad, and dishonest leadership the past four years. Fortunately, that ends in a matter of hours now. When the US version of this pandemic reaches 405,000 deaths, that will equal the number of our citizens killed by combat and 'other causes' in all of World War 2. Overall, we will reach this point soon, and it took not FOUR years, but less than a single year. This will get peoples' attention every time. This is why we made the Cooper Festival Covid-free, my friends. This is a response to a few folks who thought it was foolish. Approval for this idea is overwhelmingly positive, without a doubt. And so is the response for the event itself. We are now approaching 200 submissions on the public email list. And we're not even past Trump yet, or into February. I guess the lesson is you shouldn't believe everything you read on the internet. You never know. Even I could be lying about tossing the Festival at all. Maybe it's a big scam.
  13. Most of our current problems can be traced to bad, and dishonest leadership the past four years. Fortunately, that ends in a matter of hours now. When the US version of this pandemic reaches 405,000 deaths, that will equal the number of our citizens killed by combat and 'other causes' in all of World War 2. Overall, we will reach this point soon, and it took not FOUR years, but less than a single year. This will get peoples' attention every time.
  14. Well, I guess I will buy that. Rataczak doesn't say it was a light. He says 'an indicator on the Flight Engineer's panel'. That could be the cabin pressure gauge. I would say that when that gauge did a big fluctuation, this was the moment that Cooper actually jumped. You can almost envision what happened. Cooper finally gets the stairs to release. He sees they only drop a couple of feet and he's packing the chute and the money. What now? He gets a call from the cockpit while he's trying to figure out his next move. Then he turns around and starts backing down the stairs. Engines are screaming. What fun, right? No one found the paper bag and briefcase, and the dummy chute was missing as well after the jet lands in Reno, so maybe he grabs those and tosses them over the side of the railing. Then he starts back down again. Cooper had balls, you have to give him that. At some point, he finally reaches the bottom of the stairs and either jumps outright, or pulls the ripcord and tosses out the pilot chute, it squids out the rest of the canopy and off he goes. Being a whuffo, that's my best guess. I don't think we will ever truly know the exact scenario of the jump, but I wonder (since he had no working reserve) if he just squidded off the end of the stairs. DZ member '377' has speculated that this may be exactly what happened. Or it's possible Cooper just said the hell with it and leaped right off the stairs. But trusting a chute provided by the FBI...well, that would take more nerve than I've got. And I've faced down a pissed-off charging bear with nothing more than a Belgian Browning 22 pistol. Yet even I wouldn't try the freefall route.
  15. No one reported going to the aft after Cooper jumped until the plane landed in Reno. And I doubt the stairs were locked down in any case. Had they been locked down, that jet stood a good chance of cartwheeling all over the runway in Reno. Maybe the on and off stuff was simply due to the stairs rebounding. Rataczak has explained this in detail. From the interview by Skipp Porteous for Into The Blast, a reprise: (Key points underlined by me, and I added the information regarding Paul Soderlind.
  16. So what does this all mean to you in relation to a time-of-jump? Video released, by the way:
  17. I would guess the main reason the GDP is down so much is due to a lack of spending by consumers, (reports indicate consumer spending was actually LOWER in December than the previous month of November, which is WEIRD because Christmas spending usually drives spending UP) and the mass layoffs that occurred after March 2020. People can't contribute to the 'domestic product' if they are sitting at home and not working. It's hard to predict what will happen in 2021. Government spending will reach record levels, that's for sure. If the economy goes into a strong recovery, then maybe this spending won't be such a drag on the economy. But...if Covid...or its new variations keep giving us all fits (and deaths) then there are no guarantees. Perhaps the new vaccines will provide 'some' protection against the variations. I just don't know on that, and don't pretend to know. But first things must come first. We must get the current vaccines into peoples' arms, and as quickly as possible. If you are reading this now and have some weird idea that the push for getting the vaccine is some kind of government plot...forget that crap and stick your arm out there the first chance you get. It's the first step to the recovery of damn near every shit thing that's happened over the last year. I think that one of the reasons for the sudden increase in rhetoric and violence isn't just political. We've had protests and political crap going in this country since the start. I think part of the reason is the almost unendurable STRESS caused by being asked to stay home, wear masks, go almost nowhere, ignore family gatherings, skip your favorite sports, watch people on TV all using laptops instead of a TV stage...the list is damn near endless. It's a new reality that no one likes, and has brought this country to the brink of civil war. Toss in the fact that by the time we get to March 2021 we will have exceeded (due to Covid) the number of citizens we lost in all of the four years of World War 2...well, that's a recipe for disaster. (For reference, due to combat and 'other causes' we lost 405,000 people in WW2, if you're wondering.) People are exhausted. Others are in rebellion. The rhetoric grows right along with the hatred. It must stop. How? I haven't a clue but I wish I did.
  18. I think co-pilot Bill Rataczak said the stairs would drop something like 18-24 inches if released in flight, and that the airflow would hold them up. I am not sure on the exact wiring for the indicator lights. If you are trying to establish an exact jump time here, that almost certainly would be the time of the reported pressure bump seen in the cockpit. Crew only reported feeling one 'bounce' up in the cockpit. In other words, if Cooper's actions somehow forced the bump, and he had actually gone back up (for some reason) back into the main body of the jet, there would have been a second bump somewhere along the line when he actually jumped. So the time of the jump has to be in correlation with the only bump reported by the crew. My favorite part of all the testimony that Rataczak has done over the years was when he told the San Francisco newspaper (Examiner, I think) that he wanted to fly out over the ocean and let Cooper jump THERE. This idea was rejected, of course. (EDIT: I see the weather is okay for today up near Mount Rainier, but not tomorrow, and next weekend is looking even worse for rain, according to Weather Underground's ten-day forecast. Today is calling for little to no rain, with some overcast, but not bad. Since this is a narrow window, I have decided to shoot the promotional video for the Festival TODAY, and release it soon after I return and do some minor editing. When it's ready, I will post the link to the video (YouTube) here, and then at Cooper Quora (in the form of an article), Facebook, WordPress Cooper, a couple of other places, and embed it into the appropriate page at AB of Seattle. Preparing and charging gear now, will be leaving soon.) I know some of you hope I fall off a cliff doing the video today, but my thanks to the folks who don't.
  19. I have a personal story to share regarding the can't-evict moratorium, and I just got the details yesterday. I will add that this situation is being repeated all over the damn place: My wife and I run a small press called Adventure Books of Seattle. It's small potatoes. We run it out of two spare bedrooms in our home. Brings in a modest income. But our MAIN income is an upscale cleaning business for private homeowners. One of these homeowners...his name is Dean...a nice guy with two beautiful daughters, one of the daughters he and his wife are putting through college. To make this even more interesting, Dean and Amy (his wife) are moderate Republicans. Not rich either but they do okay. He works for Boeing and she works for a toy company, both of them in the Seattle area. Until Covid came along, we cleaned their main home every two weeks for the last fourteen years. In fact, when we first met this couple, their daughters, well...one was a toddler and the other about four years old. Nice family, and they never rubbed it in our faces for being Democrats, or tried to push off GOP policies on us. Just shows people of different political affiliations can get along. When Covid hit, the wife lost her job so they suspended our cleaning service for a while. College expenses to cover for the daughter and all that. It was no problem for us. We are not cheap as they say, so we understood. Last week, Dean calls us up and says he needs a move-in clean for a second house they were renting out. The house was left to Dean when his mother died suddenly. Nice place, too. Rented for $2,600 a month. When WA state governor Jay Inslee instituted his no-eviction moratorium, the lady renting the house suddenly stopped paying the rent, although she stalled this couple by dropping a couple of hundred on them a month...a pathetic excuse for a rent payment. She finally moved out, Dean said, two weeks ago, and the place was a mess. She finally moved when the power company shut her off after leaving Dean a $1,900 power bill that she had run up and not paid. He also spent over $3,000 repainting and doing new repairs on the home. Rent went unpaid to the tune of approximately nine months of rent, which added up somewhere (a guess) of about $22,000. There was also a home equity loan of $50,000 against the home that the mother had taken out shortly before her death to help out one of her other sons. And the mortgage was *mostly* paid off, but still had a few years to go. So they did have payments to make on this house, but being left to them by Dean's mother, they did the best they could. Until Covid came along. So...suddenly the house went from being a reasonable second income to a millstone, but property values had dropped and Dean found out he was suddenly underwater from the home and couldn't sell it. His only choice was to just 'eat' the loss and keep trying to rent the house. He finally found a highly-qualified renter, a Boeing-retired couple. And that's where Gayla and I came in. We spent ten hours just yesterday doing a move-in clean on this home and while we were there Dean stopped in and told us this whole story. He tells us that he and his wife no longer support Trump and have changed their party affiliations to Independent. He said that he blamed Trump for this mess because if Trump had responded to the pandemic better, this 'mess' would not have been as severe, and probably not gone on as long as it has. (He also qualified his new renters using every private investigation service known to man, which was probably a good idea.) We actually felt sorry for him, because many people like Dean now find themselves in the same boat. And it isn't fair. How can the government say that people don't have to pay their rent, and yet not fund situations where irresponsible renters force homeowners to the brink of bankruptcy? Especially when they are bailing out business owners, state governments, etc? It is NOT fair. Well, Gayla and worked our usual miracle and when we left that house yesterday in the early evening, it was ready to rent. But it was also an eye-opener for us on WHY...if the government is going to authorize this sort of policy on renters...why we question the idea they allow people to do that without funding it. Republicans or not, Dean and Amy did not deserve this to happen to them simply based on a declaration of a moratorium on evictions, caused by the pandemic. All their life they worked hard, obeyed the law, brought up their girls properly, (lol...they tell me they're Democrats though)...and paid their taxes. When the oldest daughter just became of age to vote, she voted for Biden and her parents were okay with it. But this scenario is being repeated across America more times than you think. On a side note, both Dean and Amy told me that although they supported Trump at first, they eventually became disillusioned with him. It came to a head with the rental fiasco, they said, and culminated with the attack on Congress. It just goes to prove that not ALL Republicans are foaming-at-the-mouth, right-wing radicals packing assault rifles and wearing camo. Some of them, the ones you never hear about, are actually fine and decent American citizens.
  20. Below is a rendition of Joe Biden's more-or-less immediate spending plan to end the Coronavirus threat and do short-term assistance to Americans. I make some separate notes under each entry for context: The proposal, called the American Rescue Plan, includes several familiar stimulus measures in the hope the additional fiscal support will sustain U.S. families and firms until the Covid-19 vaccine is widely available. Here’s what Biden calls for: Direct payments of $1,400 to most Americans, bringing the total relief to $2,000, including December’s $600 payments. (*This will definitely get immediate help to millions of people right away, although it is a stop-gap measure.) Increasing the federal, per-week unemployment benefit to $400 and extending it through the end of September. (*This is probably a bit much, but if some families are in REAL trouble, it will help bail them out until things get back to normal. Let's face it. It's basically welfare for unemployed Americans. I am in favor of it, but I would prefer it be more like $200 a week additional, not $400.) Increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour. (*This is a two-edged sword, and always has been. The upside is that if you live in an area where living costs are not too excessive, you will be able to live on what you make. The downside is that it will drive up costs to consumers doing business with places that pay their employees close to minimum wage. Expect fast food prices to increase, for example. The more money you dump in everyone's bucket, the more the chance it will also drive up inflation. However, I am in favor of it and hope it will help.) Extending the eviction and foreclosure moratoriums until the end of September. (*I am NOT in favor of this, unless the government plans to make assistance payments to property owners and landlords who lose money as a result. In my opinion, it isn't fair to make property owners pay MORE money on their mortgages on rental properties, if some tenants choose to take advantage and NOT pay their rent. It's a good idea, but it needs to be funded. Property owners do not have the keys to the Treasury Department, as the Federal government does. Right now, this moratorium is hurting families who have a second or third home they are renting out, and the renters perhaps are not paying. These families could lose their entire investment on those homes, perhaps even go into foreclosure.) $350 billion in state and local government aid. (*Pretty general spending package here. It averages out at $7 billion per state, but undoubtedly will be divided so that more populous states get more money than less populous states. In other words, states like California, Texas, and New York would receive much more, and states like Alaska and Wyoming receive far less than $7 billion. If they do it strictly by population, that's probably the most fair method.) $170 billion for K-12 schools and institutions of higher education. (*This averages out to $3.4 billion dollars per state. Probably same division as the general state and local aid package. No matter how you cut the cake, this is a good idea and will certainly improve safety and the quality of education for American students nationwide.) $50 billion toward Covid-19 testing. (*Average of a billion dollars per state, but will certainly be divided by population, like the other general aid funding packages. They will know where virtually everyone is who has the Covid-19 virus, and is an extremely well-funded step to beating the virus.) $20 billion toward a national vaccine program in partnership with states, localities and tribes. (*Personally, I think they should switch the numbers and fund this at $50 billion, and the testing at $20 billion instead. We know the vaccines work. Getting the vaccine into peoples' arms is the most important thing, with testing actually a close second.) Making the Child Tax Credit fully refundable for the year and increasing the credit to $3,000 per child ($3,600 for a child under age 6) (*I'm okay with this one. Even upper middle class families can go broke during the pandemic, especially if they have a few kids to support. That high-end job only works if you HAVE the job and don't get laid off due to the pandemic or the economy in general. If they don't qualify for any other aid, this will help. For poorer families it is a real bonus.) NOTE: Biden has a second spending plan which he wants to do in February of this year. But that is another subject and has to do with clean energy, infrastructure, racial equality and the like. It's a whole other animal. Now...by doing all these things we will certainly run up the deficit, but if the economy recovers after Covid-19 is conquered, it might be worth it. One way we might have to pay for all this is to face the fact that we will have to spend less on defense, and MORE on clean energy manufacturing jobs, infrastructure projects, and educating our kids properly. We might also want to fund NASA to more than the $20-$22 billion annually they live on now. You wouldn't believe how much they accomplish with that budget, and as far as government agencies go, they are fairly tight with a buck, and spread out the spending on projects over a few years, to stay within the relatively meager budget they have now. Opinion: Back in the 1990's, Americans were sold on the idea that 'welfare is breaking the country,' and that we were spending far too much on Food Stamps and Aid to Families with Dependent Children. (Basically, welfare payments.) So they put a lifetime limit on all that. The end result 25 years later was an entire generation of poor people, with families on the streets, hunger, homelessness increasing to record levels, and MISERY. The government should go back to funding Section 8 public housing, and not put time limits on welfare payments. At least it kept people off the streets, and the amounts we were spending were a far smaller portion of the Federal budget than most people realize. In addition, the Section 8 public housing program was often implemented with a Federal loan to build the housing units. This loan was paid back over the long term by the people living in the units, paying what was called a 'carrying charge'. This carrying charge was based on income. Some people paid as little as $50-$100 to live in these units depending on their income, but eventually the loans were repaid. Here is an example of one that was done under HUD and the Feds back in 1970, and is still going today.
  21. You guys have a boring habit *sometimes* of over-explaining the trivial. Cooper managed to pop the stairs. Once he got them to drop, he found only 24-36 inches of headroom while packing an NB6 or 8 on his back, along with 22 pounds of money tied around his waist. The noise from the three jet engines above his head were certainly deafening. Still, after all of that, he managed to reach the bottom of the stairs and jump. Maybe he just jumped. Maybe he backed down while holding a handrail and pulled the ripcord when he reached the bottom stair, and let the chute squid away first and pull him off the stairs into the dark. Maybe he did a freefall trusting the main he donned without a working reserve would work. No one really knows. None of it matters a bit, or they would have found the body or something else by now. As far as Shutter, I wouldn't take his word that day is light and night is dark. While he worries about his image in Cooperland, we do stuff like THIS. I dropped this little nothing video on YouTube for Cooperland not long prior to the pandemic. It still applies today, my friend. The film was not realized (yet) but the basic message stands.
  22. The stairs were never locked down. That's obvious. Otherwise they would have gone to shreds on the ground in Reno. I have no idea why this is even being considered. If the stairs were locked, there would be no partial retraction when Cooper jumped, there would be major damage and perhaps a cartwheel all over the runway for one 727. To even consider this possibility is nothing short of ridiculous. If the stairs could be retracted successfully from the cockpit, the crew would have done that and no damage would have occurred on landing. But some damage was incurred. I don't believe they can be retracted or even lowered from the cockpit. You have to use the hydraulic system in the rear, and to my knowledge this cannot be done from the cockpit anyway. Trusting Tina Mucklow on this one is shaky. She wasn't a pilot or a flight engineer. Two lights. Amber and green. Green only comes on when stairs are locked down, although it is possible it flashed green for a moment just prior to Cooper's jump, but it would have settled back to amber right away. Previous reports have stated that only the amber light came on, and then flashed OFF for a moment when Cooper jumped. But then it came back on and stayed on all the way to Reno. If this is truly what happened, the reason the amber light went OFF for a moment would be because the stairs rebounded to a point just enough to trigger the amber light to the OFF position.
  23. Stairs were never locked down. EVER. If they HAD been, the jet stood a good chance of fishtailing upon touchdown in Reno, and the damage to the stairs would have been devastating. Not to mention the noise of the stairs being torn to shreds on the runway.
  24. Makes sense. It is also known that one of the flight crew, probably Captain Scott according to the record, called back to Cooper at around 8:05 PM, and that he answered the interphone. Which means he was still on board at that time. Pressure bump happened not long afterward. The only REALLY important part is When Did Cooper Leave the Aircraft. On a side note, Greg the Techie Guy finally completed his modifications to the AB office computers, although we already had the computers themselves mostly installed. Added: 32 GB of TeamGroup Elite RAM to each machine (expandable to 64) and mid-grade Nvidia GeForce video cards. Frankly, I am not a big fan of either Windows 10 or Dell machines, but we ended up buying a pair of Optiplex 7060's running the I-7 processors for less than $500 each, which is an absolute steal. Then Greg upgraded them. Much of one computer's HDD is dedicated to DB Cooper files and pictures, and the first thing I noticed was I was able to access the files as fast as lightning. Still have to get used to Windows 10, though. We still had two clean copies of Win 7 Ultimate, but support for Win 7 ends well...tomorrow, believe it or not. I thought about installing 7 and then running the updates quickly until they were solid and then going Win 7 for another few years (we have excellent security anyway)...but in the end I decided to go with Win 10. I will miss Win 7 for sure. All of these updates will help us access, use, and present everything Cooper we have a lot easier. And since we're (finally, after a long hiatus) going to start releasing new books again at AB this year, creating the covers, text files, and Kindle versions will be a cinch. Plus...I saw right away that when I play World of Tanks, the difference is amazing. 'Fear The KV-1!' That's a bit of a joke. But the main thing is that these upgrades to our little home office will make it easier for everything we do...including our (limited) investigation into the Cooper case. We've cut back on our active investigation quite a bit, but we do have hundreds of gigs stored on his bailout-jumping, money-stealing ass. And someday those gigs may come in useful. We started collecting and storing them back in 2008. NOTE: There will be no additional text updates, or questions answered at Dropzone regarding the June 4-6 50th Anniversary D.B. Cooper Festival. This is the best approach for everyone who posts here, and I think we can all agree it has been discussed plenty enough at Dropzone. You're probably just as tired of reading those updates as much as I am posting them. ENOUGH. All questions should be directed through the proper channel at our main website. That means the Contact Form, or through the public email address at [email protected] However, when we release the promotional video we're filming up around Mt. Rainier in the next week or two, I will post the link to the video at YouTube when it is ready. Commonly known folks surrounding the Cooper case are welcome to participate in one of three ways: (Listen up, because this is official and the only notice you will receive at DZ.) 1) They can apply to join the Planning Committee and have some input on the whole program, even if they can't attend. 2) They can attend in person WITHOUT a submission. 3) They can attend in person WITH a submission. All submissions must be arrranged in advance. 4) They can participate remotely by submitting their evidentiary video, short film on Cooper, or book promo video for the festival. If it is a video or short film you want presented at the festival, I will give you some hints on how to shoot it so that it shows properly on the big screen. PLEASE do not pitch me HERE. I will simply refer you to the Contact Form at the main website. No firm cutoff date has been set, but anything subbed after April 30 will probably be too late for inclusion. 5) You can watch our planned (approximately 90 minute) video afterward at YouTube. That one will be linked pretty much everywhere we hang out and probably released in early July after editing. Legal Notice: *By submitting your video or short film presentation, you grant Adventure Books of Seattle a one-time license to show it at the festival, and grant us the right to possibly include it in the main video for YouTube later. You retain all other rights.*
  25. I can answer some of this for you. You can copy/paste the entire file into a Word doc, save it, and do word search that way. Just start from the beginning of the document, select Search Word from the MS Word menu, and then hit NEXT. It will stop at every instance of that particular word or phrase in the document so you can examine it for relevancy. That's how I would do it, anyway...no...I haven't tried it yet. If that doesn't work maybe Adobe Acrobat might.