General Category > DB Cooper

Two Back Packs & Two Front Chutes

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Shutter:
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.

Bruce A. Smith:
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.



Shutter:
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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Shutter:
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.

Shutter:

--- 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.
--- End quote ---

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?

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