Author Topic: Two Back Packs & Two Front Chutes  (Read 56726 times)

Offline Shutter

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Two Back Packs & Two Front Chutes
« on: November 27, 2014, 11:35:19 AM »
We have seen a lot of controversy with how the chutes came to be. does anyone have any idea how each chute arrived at the airport?

It appears that the two "front packs" came from Seattle sky sports Inc. and packed by Cossey. one was torn apart by Cooper, and the other was a training chute with the panels sewn shut. that chute is believed to have been used by Cooper.


the two "back packs" seem to have arrived from Norman Hayden. one was used by Cooper for the jump, and the other was left on the plane and returned to Hayden decades later. these chutes were also packed by Cossey.

What gets confusing is the type of parachute used. different models seem to have been born since the story began.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2014, 11:53:38 AM by shutter »
 

Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: Two Back Packs & Two Front Chutes
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2014, 04:15:16 PM »
Here's what I know about the parachute issue:

In general, for back chutes you can take your pick from the kinds listed by the FBI documents, Cossey and Norman:

Coss: 1. NB-6
          2. NB-8
          3. "Paradise"
          4. Pioneer, 26', civilian

FBI:    1. Military types (docs)
          2. Steinthal, 26' (Carr)

Norman: 1. 26' Pioneer

Regardless, here is my view of the whole shebang:

The main, “back” chutes:

Norman Hayden says he provided two identical Pioneer parachutes, both civilian types, 26-foot conicals.

Earl Cossey said that he owned and sent a military NB-8 and a Pioneer 26’foot conical, civilian, sports-type parachute.

Earl also told me that the NB-8 was an NB-6, which he told the FBI at some point because that is what the Bureau has posted in their records, as revealed by Larry Carr on the DZ. However, Larry caught the inconsistency, but it has not been resolved as far as I know.

Further, Coss cited the tight fit of a 28-foot canopy, possibly a C-9, into an NB-6 bag as one reason Cooper was a “no-pull who cratered into the wilderness.”

Coss also described the Pioneer as a “Paradise” parachute to me, which I doubled-checked with him because I initially thought the “Not-Used Chute” (NUC) was a “Paracommander,” since that’s what folks on the DZ were saying throughout the 2008-2011 period.

In a follow-up phone call with Coss, he assured me that the NUC was a Pioneer, apparently forgetting that he first told me “Paradise.”

However, Coss had confused plenty of researchers by characterizing the NUC as a “sport” chute, and superior to the NB-6/8. Coss called the NUC a “Cadillac” on multiple occasions. Because of his insistence on these points most people thought Cossey’s Pioneer/Paradise/sport rig was a “Paracommander,” which had plenty of steering capacity and was well-regarded by the skydiving community. Sluggo thought Cooper’s NUC was a Paracommander, and had posted that information on his web site for years.

The truth of the NUC is uncertain but I don’t trust Cossey, and I understand how Sluggo could have been mis-informed by both Cossey and the feds.

Further, Coss had great difficulty telling the truth and keeping his stories straight, such as telling the Oregonian that the Amboy chute was definitely Cooper’s. Coss later recanted, but why the FBI used him as their technical expert is unknown to me, and his lack of trustworthiness may have gotten himself murdered.

Additionally, Cossey told Geoffrey Gray that he never got his NUC back from the FBI. However, Norman got his NUC around 1980 after a protracted legal battle. However, Norman reportedly told Robert Blevins that the return was accomplished easily.

Nevertheless, the FBI parachute documents say that the two back chutes were two military types, one a sage green NB-8 and the other a military canopy stuffed into a civilian, luxury type container. Hence, the official federal documents on the parachutes are at variance to both Hayden and Cossey’s descriptions.

However, these documents proclaim Hayden as the owner of the two back chutes delivered to Cooper aboard Flight 305. Norman is also cited as the source of the information on the back parachutes as detailed in these documents, but Norman says that he never spoke to an FBI agent about the chutes. In fact, Norman was dismayed when I read him the FBI’s report.

Transport:
The FBI documents cite Cossey’s version of how the chutes arrived at Sea-Tac, i.e.: cab ride to Boeing Flight Services and then unknown transport to Sea-Tac, presumably by a private vehicle, but whose, why and how are unknown. Also, the documents do not reveal why the back chutes made such a circuitous trip to Sea-Tac. Further, no one I know has ever heard of Boeing Flight Services, including Boeing, so presumably the FBI documents have screwed up this tidbit.

Nevertheless, Cossey had long-claimed that he sent his back chutes to Boeing Field, which may have been misunderstood by the G-man talking notes. Regardless, it was the wrong airport.

I asked Cossey to clarify why he sent the back chutes to Boeing Field instead of Sea-Tac and he replied, “Fuck you,” and hung up. He also said something about me being the worst journalist he had ever dealt with. However, I think I was simply the first reporter to ask him this question.

Norman’s version of the chutes and their transport is corroborated by Barry Halstead, formerly of Pacific Aviation, which is the outfit George Harrison of NWO first contacted seeking the back chutes. Halstead told me he helped Hayden get the chutes to Sea-Tac, and Halstead’s role in the procurement is confirmed by the FBI documents.

Nevertheless, the Cossey/Sluggo version cites that Al Lee, the NWO flight guy who actually handed the back chutes to Tina on the runway, was the guy who got the ball rolling by calling Coss at his home in Woodinville. Lee presumably got Cossey’s phone number from Sea-Tac officials.

However, the DZ’s Georger, who has substantial personal contacts within the FBI, told me that the Bureau first attempted to get the parachutes from McChord Air Base, which Cooper nixed. A “mad scramble” resulted as the FBI struggled to find appropriate chutes from private sources, and many agents and multiple NWO officials were involved.

The front, “reserve” chutes

Everyone seems comfortable accepting the notion that the two front chutes came from the Issaquah Sky Sports stock, and arrived at Sea-Tac via a WSP cruiser. The “Common Understanding,” which seems to be widely accepted regarding the front chutes goes like this:

One was a “dummy” and marked with an “X.” Its panels were sewn shut and it was completely inoperable. It was not found on Flight 305 at Reno. Its fate and present location is unknown.

The second, a “good” reserve was cut-up and was found in Reno strung across the seats of Flight 305. It was missing at least two of its shroud lines in Reno, for a total of about 30 feet of paracord. However, Carol Abraczinskas of the Citizen Sleuths says that five lines are now missing from the chute when she inspected it in the Seattle FO evidence room in 2010. That means about 80 feel of paracord is missing. Did Cooper cut that much? If not, who did and why? And when?

Again, FBI documents fail to resolve this issue. According to Carol, one federal document states that two lines were cut, and in another document it claims three without explaining the discrepancy.



« Last Edit: November 27, 2014, 04:27:24 PM by Bruce A. Smith »
 

Offline Shutter

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Re: Two Back Packs & Two Front Chutes
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2014, 05:49:46 PM »
I have two newspaper articles about a Linn Emrick claiming he got the front chutes for the FBI? one article December 1, 1971 claims he gave them both chutes. the next article he claims he gave out the dummy chute.


Here is the article I found it online for Dec. 1st

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« Last Edit: November 27, 2014, 08:05:02 PM by shutter »
 

Offline Shutter

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Re: Two Back Packs & Two Front Chutes
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2014, 08:09:59 AM »
Did the training chute really have an X on it? it appears that even Emrick failed to notice the chute was for training purposes. here we have an experienced skydiver missing the dummy chute as well. If he missed it, why should Cooper figure it out, both might have been in a scramble and not really paying attention to important details! the paper claims it was unknown to him. this means someone pointed this out after the fact. Emrick has been a notable skydiver for 11 years.

At what point does Cossey come into play here? could Cossey be the one who said, "you didn't give the training chute out, did you" If he packed all the chute for Sky Sports he would be the one who knew what was what.

Emrick's stated November 26, 1971..." I didn't know it when I went over and picked it out" he didn't seemed bothered since most experienced skydiver's use the back pack first. In my opinion the dummy chute should have been in a separate area all together.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2014, 08:25:29 AM by shutter »
 

Offline Shutter

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Re: Two Back Packs & Two Front Chutes
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2014, 10:17:05 AM »
Quote
The second, a “good” reserve was cut-up and was found in Reno strung across the seats of Flight 305. It was missing at least two of its shroud lines in Reno, for a total of about 30 feet of paracord.

Actually it's more in the line of almost 80 feet of cord...

The information below was taken from Tom Kaye's website.  You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

Five cords on the pink parachute had cut lines:
Line #7 had 186 ¾ inches of cord removed
Line #11 had 169 ¾ inches of cord removed
Line #12 had 169 inches of cord removed
Line #15 had 213 inches of cord removed
Line #22 had 217 ¼ inches of cord removed

The length of an uncut cord (including the double-sewn cord used to tie into the cross-connector, the bundle of cords located between the butterfly snap-hook rings in the reserve container) is 218 inches (or 18.2 feet).
Exactly how much suspension line is currently missing from the pink parachute?
955 ¾ inches (or 79.6 feet).


If he only took 30 feet, where is the remaining 50 feet?

« Last Edit: November 30, 2014, 10:43:28 AM by shutter »
 

Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: Two Back Packs & Two Front Chutes
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2014, 07:42:00 PM »
That's the kicker.

Did DB Cooper use 80 feet of cord and the FBI just botched the documentation?  Or did he use less and somebody else cut off a few feet as a souvenir?

Lastly, how come the FBI docs do not reconcile the discrepancies? Did anyone even realize there was a discrepancy in the documents - two lengths versus three - and then there was no reconciliation with the actual physical evidence, to wit: five lengths cut and missing.

That's a significant piece of the puzzle. WTF was going on in Seattle???
 

Offline Shutter

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Re: Two Back Packs & Two Front Chutes
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2014, 08:03:00 PM »
Guessing at this I would say it's possible they assumed how much cord was missing. perhaps they didn't really look into it that hard? I'm going to email Tom about this. you would think they would correct it and not leave it with Cooper using 30 feet when 80 is missing? it doesn't make sense.

what did you think about the story above about the front chutes, and how they missed it themselves being a dummy chute?
« Last Edit: November 30, 2014, 09:38:07 PM by shutter »
 

Offline andrade1812

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Re: Two Back Packs & Two Front Chutes
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2014, 10:13:46 PM »
Quote

If he only took 30 feet, where is the remaining 50 feet?

The FBI aren't scientists, and the amount of rope Cooper used wasn't going to help them identify a suspect (unless they found a bag wrapped in rope), so there was no need to be accurate in their description. Don't attribute to malice what can best be attributed to apathy. While knowing the amount of rope used might help us figure out an important detail to the jump, it was not the FBI's concern. In all probability, Cooper used that 80 feet of missing rope.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2014, 10:14:57 PM by andrade1812 »
 

Offline Shutter

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Re: Two Back Packs & Two Front Chutes
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2014, 10:29:17 PM »
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Quote

If he only took 30 feet, where is the remaining 50 feet?

The FBI aren't scientists, and the amount of rope Cooper used wasn't going to help them identify a suspect (unless they found a bag wrapped in rope), so there was no need to be accurate in their description. Don't attribute to malice what can best be attributed to apathy. While knowing the amount of rope used might help us figure out an important detail to the jump, it was not the FBI's concern. In all probability, Cooper used that 80 feet of missing rope.

Agreed, today the FBI would analyze everything. that's why I mentioned they didn't look to hard at the rope. it's a lot of rope even if he used it for a lanyard below him. he could only tie so much line to his waste without getting in the way of the main chute. It's night and day on what the FBI does now vs 1971.
 

Offline andrade1812

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Re: Two Back Packs & Two Front Chutes
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2014, 01:51:17 AM »
It would be very interesting to see what the modern FBI would do with this case...

Switching directions...

I spent about three months trying to skim through the DZ forum (TOF: The Other Forum?) and didn't see more than 20% of the posts, did anyone ever try to recreate Cooper's money bag jerry rig? I'd like to see different interpretations of how you would attach the money bag to the parachute harness.
 

Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: Two Back Packs & Two Front Chutes
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2014, 03:48:52 AM »
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Quote

If he only took 30 feet, where is the remaining 50 feet?

The FBI aren't scientists, and the amount of rope Cooper used wasn't going to help them identify a suspect (unless they found a bag wrapped in rope), so there was no need to be accurate in their description. Don't attribute to malice what can best be attributed to apathy. While knowing the amount of rope used might help us figure out an important detail to the jump, it was not the FBI's concern. In all probability, Cooper used that 80 feet of missing rope.

Why not attribute the FBI's bungling to malice? What's your proof there is no malice?

Just askin'.

Speaking of malice, apathy, or irresponsibility,  do you see any connection between the inaccuracies present with the 30-feet vs. 80-feet, the lost cigarette butts, the lost DNA documentation, the inability of anyone to find in the evidence locker at Seattle the "thousands of shards" the FBI allegedly dug up at Tina Bar? Or the four days Cooper's tie was missing in Reno before it was entered into the evidence locker in Seattle? Or the report by Salt Lake City FBI SAC Russ Calame that the fingerprint retrieval in Reno was botched. Or the fact that only one square-mile of the LZ was searched on the ground over the T-Day holiday weekend and the other 23 square-miles only got a fly-by in the rain and fog?

I eagerly await your answer, sir.
 

Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: Two Back Packs & Two Front Chutes
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2014, 03:50:46 AM »
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It would be very interesting to see what the modern FBI would do with this case...

Switching directions...

I spent about three months trying to skim through the DZ forum (TOF: The Other Forum?) and didn't see more than 20% of the posts, did anyone ever try to recreate Cooper's money bag jerry rig? I'd like to see different interpretations of how you would attach the money bag to the parachute harness.

You're on, Andrade- How would the modern-day FBI handle Norjak differently? You raise an interesting dynamic.
 

Offline Shutter

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Re: Two Back Packs & Two Front Chutes
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2014, 09:03:58 AM »
Quote
I spent about three months trying to skim through the DZ forum (TOF: The Other Forum?) and didn't see more than 20% of the posts, did anyone ever try to recreate Cooper's money bag jerry rig?

I'm not aware of anyone recreating the bag rigging since it would be speculation. Agent Carr posted a picture of a similar bag. I'm sure they have pictures of the money, the bag, and chutes. why he never posted them I'm not sure.

Dropzone is sometimes hard finding things. you have to weed through all the personal attacks and off topic rants on that forum. I'm trying to control things here. different topics, photo gallery, video & link vault etc. I'm always opening new avenues trying to sort things out making things a little easier to find. this forum is new, almost a year old, but has decades of combined experience.

Agent Larry Carr shows how he thinks the money was tied in this video if you haven't seen it.


« Last Edit: December 01, 2014, 09:07:24 AM by shutter »
 

Robert99

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Re: Two Back Packs & Two Front Chutes
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2014, 12:01:27 PM »
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It would be very interesting to see what the modern FBI would do with this case...

Switching directions...

I spent about three months trying to skim through the DZ forum (TOF: The Other Forum?) and didn't see more than 20% of the posts, did anyone ever try to recreate Cooper's money bag jerry rig? I'd like to see different interpretations of how you would attach the money bag to the parachute harness.

The only realistic way to handle the money bag is to tie it to the harness as tightly as possible.  Cooper's chances of surviving would probably have been greater if he had discarded the chest parachute (even if it was a good one) and tied the money bag to the harness in a belly pack type arrangement.

If Cooper had tied the money bag to the side of the harness, the aerodynamics would have caused him to do a tumbling, twisting motion during the free fall part of the jump.  If he had tied the money bag to the harness on a tether, it would have created a two-body problem with even worse dynamics during the free fall.

But the last time Tina saw Cooper, the money bag was resting on the floor of the cabin and he was tying the shroud lines, that he had cut from the other reserve chute, around his own waist (not to the parachute harness) while the other end of the shroud lines were attached to the money bag.  If he jumped with that configuration, things could only get worse and fast.

The end result of all of this is that while Cooper appears to have had experience wearing emergency parachutes, he does not appear to have had any actual jumping experience.  Under the conditions existing at the time Cooper separated from the airliner, in my humble opinion his chances of surviving the jump were somewhere between very slim and zero.

Admittedly, there are jumpers on DropZone who will probably claim that they could have survived the jump even without a parachute.  To each his own.

 

Offline Shutter

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Re: Two Back Packs & Two Front Chutes
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2014, 06:16:25 PM »
I think the focus point here is that an 11 year veteran missed the dummy chute. how could we expect Cooper to see it? it brings his experience of skydiving into question again. it's hard to say if he had any experience in my opinion  :-\