Author Topic: Suspects And Confessions  (Read 398101 times)

Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #45 on: March 24, 2014, 10:32:32 PM »
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Interesting topic here....possible suspect

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The post is dated 2011. Came out in response to the uproar with Marla's brush with fame no doubt.
I wonder if he ever followed up?
Looks like the blog hasn't been updated for a couple of years but the links are active and the CA PI license for his company is current.


I'm following up now.
 

Offline Shutter

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #46 on: March 24, 2014, 10:55:02 PM »
Personally, I don't have a favorite, or even a suspect in mind. special ops type I'm not sold on either. I hope Matt joins in this conversation. let me ask this. why did Cooper dress the way he did. lets say he had thermals on, but the shoes? I kind of wonder similar to what Carr thinks. is it possible he was to familiar with McChord AFB? did he have it planed to jump near there and walk back on base? things point to him wanting out of the plane soon. this is nothing I'm looking into of sort, but something tells me they are connected.

McCoy ended up in the search for himself for crying out loud. McCoy was obviously connected to military, and very experienced to say the least. Cooper I'm not so sure he was fully aware of what he was getting into. Cooper himself is like a lot of the suspects. they look good on the outside, but once you start looking inside. things don't add up. are we to believe he noticed the difference in the two reserves and destroyed the good chute knowing the other was bad, and did he this to make it look like he was inexperienced? I think a criminal today would be capable of this move, but not Cooper. this makes it hard to come up with why Cooper did what he did. I would guess that since the  panels on the dummy chute were sewn shut for easy repacking you would think he would of caught this mistake. I really have trouble tying these suspects to the event.

Confused  8)
 

Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #47 on: March 27, 2014, 02:51:03 AM »
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Interesting topic here....possible suspect

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The post is dated 2011. Came out in response to the uproar with Marla's brush with fame no doubt.
I wonder if he ever followed up?
Looks like the blog hasn't been updated for a couple of years but the links are active and the CA PI license for his company is current.


I'm following up now.


New Suspect Enters Cooper World: WES NELSON
3.26.14

We have a new suspect and his name is Wes Nelson.  He's the uncle of the guy who has a blog that Shutter linked us to a page or so back.  The blogger is named Earl Door and he is a retired cop and criminal investigator for the State of California in bank frauds and white collar crime.

In some ways this feels like Marla and Uncle LD, but this time it is Earl and Uncle Wes.

Uncle Wes died a few years ago in Seattle, alone. His body was not discovered for three days. The last time Earl saw his uncle was in October 1971, as he was boarding a military transport at Travis AFB, saying he had a job up north. Afterwards, Earl's mother, Wes' sister, distanced herself from Wes and never discussed him or the astonishing resemblance to the sketch of Cooper in the papers to Uncle Wes..

Wes was a Green Beret and had three tours in Vietnam.  He also served in Korea, and was in the Merchant Marine during WWII, as he enlisted somehow when he was 14 years old.  Earl says that he was in jungle combat in Vietnam but was also a cargo kicker.

Earl estimates that Wes was about 40 years old in 1971.  He says he uncle was rather short 5'8"-5'10", but he feels his uncle is a dead ringer for the sketches.

Earl is 56 years old and is currently traveling on the road in an RV.  When he gets back home in California - Bay Area- he will provide us with more details, such as Wes' height, weight, distinguishing marks, and such.  He will also file for a DD-214 on Wes.

Earl sounds very grounded and not a whack-a-doodle.  He contacted Larry Carr, sent him Wes' pix, but he never heard back. Earl definitely sounds like someone we can work with to run this lead to ground. Earl may have Wes' DNA profile already and wants to compare it to whatever the FBI has.

Earl is seeking to be very cooperative with Seattle FO.

Shut - how can I post Wes' pix here? In the meantime, I'll send it to you in an email and you can post it.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2014, 03:05:28 AM by Bruce A. Smith »
 

Offline Shutter

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #48 on: March 27, 2014, 07:21:41 AM »
Bruce, here is the pic you requested. if I understand you correctly you are having trouble posting attachments? if so I can walk you through the process with no problem.

The photo is of Wes Nelson from 1954

Bruce, Earl would be a nice addition to this forum given his background skills. perhaps you could ask him to join in the fun with us.  8)
« Last Edit: March 27, 2014, 07:48:52 AM by shutter »
 

Offline Shutter

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #49 on: March 27, 2014, 09:35:46 AM »
I don't know if the is the same Wes Nelson.....


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Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #50 on: March 28, 2014, 03:48:52 PM »
I have sent a link to these pages to Earl Door, Uncle Wes' nephew, and I've encouraged him to join this conversation.

I have a fair amount of skepticism about Uncle Wes as DB Cooper, but he seems to have some of the basic elements to be the skyjacker -  clearly a loner, lots of military time and apparent prowess, ie: Green Beret. Add it all up and it's worth a hard look.

Yes, Wes Nelson seems to be too short at 5'8", but I feel that one or two deviations from the physical profiles should not rule any suspect out. I think it is healthy to look at all of the suspects presented to us, even is we have to carry a bag of salt with us as well. At the very least we get a clearer view of the Vortex in action.

Along those lines, Sail has just emailed me on his way to Cabo (again!) saying he just met a former Boeing test pilot who worked on the 727 development program.  When Sail gets back we're all meeting for another one of Sail's famed luncheons at the Seattle Yacht Club.  Yum!  Sometimes being a reporter can be easy and fun!!!
« Last Edit: March 28, 2014, 03:52:10 PM by Bruce A. Smith »
 

Offline Shutter

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #51 on: March 28, 2014, 07:15:15 PM »
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I have sent a link to these pages to Earl Door, Uncle Wes' nephew, and I've encouraged him to join this conversation.

I have a fair amount of skepticism about Uncle Wes as DB Cooper, but he seems to have some of the basic elements to be the skyjacker -  clearly a loner, lots of military time and apparent prowess, ie: Green Beret. Add it all up and it's worth a hard look.

Yes, Wes Nelson seems to be too short at 5'8", but I feel that one or two deviations from the physical profiles should not rule any suspect out. I think it is healthy to look at all of the suspects presented to us, even is we have to carry a bag of salt with us as well. At the very least we get a clearer view of the Vortex in action.

Along those lines, Sail has just emailed me on his way to Cabo (again!) saying he just met a former Boeing test pilot who worked on the 727 development program.  When Sail gets back we're all meeting for another one of Sail's famed luncheons at the Seattle Yacht Club.  Yum!  Sometimes being a reporter can be easy and fun!!!


the problem with the height is Tina. she said she had to look up at him. this is pretty hard to get around while giving a description. I think that's the toughest one to beat if you ask me.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2014, 08:05:43 PM by shutter »
 

Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #52 on: March 28, 2014, 11:53:55 PM »
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I have sent a link to these pages to Earl Door, Uncle Wes' nephew, and I've encouraged him to join this conversation.

I have a fair amount of skepticism about Uncle Wes as DB Cooper, but he seems to have some of the basic elements to be the skyjacker -  clearly a loner, lots of military time and apparent prowess, ie: Green Beret. Add it all up and it's worth a hard look.

Yes, Wes Nelson seems to be too short at 5'8", but I feel that one or two deviations from the physical profiles should not rule any suspect out. I think it is healthy to look at all of the suspects presented to us, even is we have to carry a bag of salt with us as well. At the very least we get a clearer view of the Vortex in action.

Along those lines, Sail has just emailed me on his way to Cabo (again!) saying he just met a former Boeing test pilot who worked on the 727 development program.  When Sail gets back we're all meeting for another one of Sail's famed luncheons at the Seattle Yacht Club.  Yum!  Sometimes being a reporter can be easy and fun!!!


the problem with the height is Tina. she said she had to look up at him. this is pretty hard to get around while giving a description. I think that's the toughest one to beat if you ask me.


Yup, the height issue is serious.  However, even if Wes Nelson is not DB Cooper, knowing more about Uncle Wes might tell us more about the use of 727s in Vietnam, how widespread was the knowledge of its jump-ability, and other tidbits that might get us closer to the skyjacker.

I think special ops and Vietnam is the best environment yet for finding DB Cooper.
 

Offline Shutter

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #53 on: March 29, 2014, 12:01:59 AM »
I agree. I don't mind looking over the suspect. it would also be nice to talk with someone who also new a suspect. that's the kind of information we need from someone on the link to the 727, and nam.
 

Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #54 on: March 29, 2014, 05:39:50 PM »
Another side note:

Sail has met a 727 pilot who worked for Boeing in their testing/developmental stage of production.  We'll be having lunch together soon, and I'll file a report afterwards.

Oops, I see that I already posted this information.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2014, 05:43:08 PM by Bruce A. Smith »
 

Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #55 on: March 30, 2014, 06:57:49 PM »
Earl sent me an email which outlines the major aspects of why he thinks his uncle may be DB Cooper.  Here it is:

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


Wes was a Sergeant First Class.  He was  born in September of 1928.  I have a plaque that shows enlistment in 10/47 and it has 8th Army Division, 8085 O.M. CO.  Cpl on his plaque.  He died in Seattle in July of 1984.  I am not see any information on his height.  I am 5'11 and he may have been around my height, I really do not recall.  I am sure there is some documentation somewhere. 
 
He was raised in Montebello CA and was in a Masonic Home.  Family were Masons.  Some of the info I have is from documents, some from discussions with him, and some from discussions with my mom, (his big sister).  They were close as he was a little guy in an orphanage  basically.  He would sneak to visit my mom when he could.  He had two older brothers.   
 
When he as on leave he would visit us in CA.  My mom said he left and lied about his age to get into the Merchant Marines when he was 14.  He was in WW2, Korea, and three tours in Vietnam.  He is in the San Francisco National Cemetery, (C-26).  It has his special forces and three wars on his bronze plaque. He is right up front and has a great view! 
 
When he retired, he was disappointed that the war was winding down and he was leaving the military according my mom.  He visited us at that time.  He, like may other Veterans of that era, was not treated with the honor or respect that should have been afforded him.  He was thin and lean.  He did have a beady eyed stare.  He was quit and looked like he meant business when he looked at you. 
 
When he left that last time, we dropped him at the Travis Air Force Base.  It was dark and raining. He could fly on the military transports free apparently.  I asked where he was going.  He said he was headed North to do a job.  Thinking there may be opportunity for me, I asked if I could go along.  He told me he could not take me along on this one.  That was the last time I saw him. 
 
Shorty after his leaving, I saw the composite in the Chronicle Newspaper.  Now, I drew faces and things in the past.  Always pencil sketches.  I showed my mom the composite and she complimented me on the sketch of Wes.  When I told her it was a composite, and what it was for, she was visibly upset and left.  She never would tell me where Wes was and I asked many times over the years.   Until, he died.  She was heading up to Seattle to pick up his possessions and make arrangements.
 
I have watched and read over the years to see what matched and what did not.  My little brother and I worked in a Liquor Store in Fremont, (San Francisco Bay Area).  Wes would always ask what are you Door boys up to today.  We would bug him to get his coupons from his Raleigh Cigarettes.  We would bundle them with others we collected to redeem them. 
 
I know this is not a concise timeline and I know I need to chase down a DD214 to verify his training.  If the FBI has DNA, then it should be an easy match.  Wes has a son my age and his son was an infant in the photos I have.  So, 1954 or 1955 would be the year.  He married a Korean woman, Lela, a war bride.  I have never met any of his kids or his wife. 
 
From my mom and some of the stuff I have, he was Green Beret.  My mom mentioned he was angry about  being accused of dropping some supplies in the wrong place in Vietnam.  He said he was spot on with the coordinates and timing given to him.  I think this happened just before he retired out. 
 
I did have a discussion with him about the forward scouts he chose.  He said he liked young black kids from and urban environment as it was a dangerous job.  I told him I thought it was a little racist.  He fired back, with emphasis, "No, it is the best man for the job."  He explained that he would lose kids quickly in that position, but the kids from urban areas grew up looking, watching, and paying attention in their neighborhoods as part of their survival and it translated to what they were doing in the bush.  He said one of these was his scout for a full 11 months.  I did not know a tour was 11 months back then.
 
I will dust off what I have and post a pic or two.
 
I looked up the agent in charge of the matter a few years  back and sent him a email.  They may bounce gmail, who knows?  But, Larry never contacted me.  Since he was using social media to ask for info, I thought he may search social media too, so I posted to my old blog.  Bruce was the first contact from that post.  I have worked with law enforcement,(local, state, and federal), over the years and this has popped up as a topic, nobody really seemed interested.  I was a Supervising Criminal Investigator when I retired. 
 
I know how popular hijackers are now, and I don't relish the though of him  being one. But, as you know, he did not hurt anyone, and allowed the passengers off of the plane.  Not a rationalization, just an observation. 
 
There were other factors in play, when he retired, family matters.  So, I am under the impression, he was splitting whatever pension he had with his estranged wife.  She was in North Carolina. They were all being treated poorly upon their return.  Wes had a major brawl at the local bar with a group of guys who started in on him.  My mom wasn't happy about Wes using pool balls and ques on them.  But she did say they started it.
 
I will let you know when I get a DD214.  And, I will see if they are interested again.  Who knows?
 
 
 
 
 


 

Offline Shutter

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #56 on: March 30, 2014, 09:16:19 PM »
Nice post Bruce! I also noticed Mr. Door has joined our forum. I would like to thank him for coming here, and welcome him to join in at anytime. I hope he will give us more information in the future about Wes. it's always a challenge to search out a story.

NARA has a Wesley E Nelson
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I believe this is his grave. see photo

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« Last Edit: March 30, 2014, 09:31:48 PM by shutter »
 

Offline Shutter

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #57 on: March 30, 2014, 09:36:36 PM »

Calling Smokin99....smoke signal sent for assistance in research..... 8)



« Last Edit: March 30, 2014, 09:38:08 PM by shutter »
 

Offline Shutter

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #58 on: March 30, 2014, 11:03:31 PM »
Interesting topic here.....

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Offline smokin99

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #59 on: April 05, 2014, 02:44:10 PM »
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Interesting topic here.....

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And this is the kind of stuff that makes me roll my eyes...

What Gray doesn't do is write that "The pilots on Cooper's plane had the October and November 1971 issues of Playboy stashed in the cockpit, and Gray obliges with descriptions of the centerfolds".

What he does write ...and I quote...."Other than talking about sports, the custom of most airline pilots is to stash a Playboy magazine in the cockpit." Then he goes on to describe the covers of Miss October and Miss November of 1971. (Descriptions, I might add, that he got from the internet - not the flippin FBI files.) Geoffrey Gray is setting the stage for the reader - this is the crew in a cockpit making a milk run. Still, he's only making a guess here (perhaps correctly so) that MOST pilots like to look at naked women in centerfolds while they are flying. From his notes, I assume this is based on interviews with an aviation historian.

 Then again....The author of the NPR article writes..... "The live radio chatter between Cooper's hijacked flight crew and the FBI was, Gray reports, so amusing that it was piped into the cabin of another flight for the entertainment of its passengers."

Now this is what Gray actually wrote..........
"On the tarmac, on a domestic flight to Denver, pilots listen to the hijack unfold on the radio frequency. The conversation between the Northwest pilots and the FBI is so entertaining they play the radio over the cabin's intercom speakers so their passengers can follow what is happening in real time."

Personally, I think there is a lot of difference between "amusing" and "entertaining".
As for the Gray's assertion that the domestic flight to Denver listened in on the hijack - the passage is not noted and I can't find any corroboration or sources for this in Gray's notes - though he relied a lot on articles and stuff that others have written so I might have missed it.

When people wonder why some of us get anal about the minutiae of this case and separating fact from speculation, it's because every article like this that perpetuates myths just makes it that much harder to actually get at the truth. And yes, I personally think that Gray played it kind of loose in his book with some facts - I think he elaborated and made up conversations and situations to make the story read better. Literary license has it's place - though my personal preference is that true crime novels be straight up without speculation in the mix. Though....to be fair to Gray......other books written that include specifics about the actual hijacking - (Himmelsbach, Tosaw, and Rhodes/Callame come to mind) share this problem.

But in this case, the article basically completely misrepresents what Gray wrote. Oh well - it was from 2011 - I guess I can move on.  ;) ;D