Author Topic: CooperCon 2021  (Read 29245 times)

Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: CooperCon 2021
« Reply #240 on: November 22, 2021, 09:38:33 PM »
Review of CooperCon 2021

Hundreds Gather in Cooper Country to Commemorate the 50th Anniversary


This conference was the best one, yet.

CooperCon 2021 was held this past weekend in Vancouver, Washington, and over 200 people attended the festivities. This year’s Thanksgiving Eve, November 24, is the 50th Anniversary date of DB Cooper’s iconic skyjacking – the only unsolved hijacking in the history of the United States.

During the conference, the vibe in the audience was electric, as panel members gave superb expert testimony on the many mysteries that surround the case, especially the money find at Tina Bar in 1980. How the ransom bills got there and when has baffled investigators for decades. However, Tom Kaye gave a riveting presentation on his recent find of springtime diatoms on the interior of several bills. More impressively, Kaye said he did not find any wintertime diatoms at all, as they differ significantly than from the springtime species in both shape and chemical composition.

Principals in the Norjak investigation, as the DB Cooper case is known in the FBI, also gave powerful descriptions of their actions, such as Mary Jean Fryar, who investigated Sheridan Peterson twice. Air Traffic Controller Cliff Ammerman also presented, and reiterated that the F-106 chase planes were miles away from Cooper, and flying above his 10,000-foot altitude. “FAA regulations state that chase planes must be miles behind the hijacked airliner,” he told the audience. Ammerman also gave original information, saying that two A7 jets were dispatched out of Oakland to closely shadow Flight 305 into Reno and fly near enough to the cabin area to ascertain if the hijacker was still on board. They reported that he was not.

These claims were supported by further statements from presenter Dan Gryder, who also said that one of the A7 pilots is still alive. Gryder, an accomplished skydiver and commercial pilot who has flown 727s, said that Flight 305 most certainly adhered to the center line of Victor-23. “They didn’t have GPS or any modern-day navigational equipment. All they had was HSI and DME, so they wouldn’t have strayed from the centerline - it would have been too dangerous.” Gryder also claimed that Cooper must have dumped his briefcase and bomb as it would have been too difficult to skydive with excess gear flapping about his body. Lastly, Gryder announced that he has solved Norjak and will reveal Cooper’s identity by Thanksgiving Day, producing rounds of scoffing and rolled eyeballs. Host Darren Schaefer said succinctly, “C’mon Dan, stop promoting and just tell us.”

As for Darren, he did an excellent job narrating the panel discussions. This was a new dimension this year, and Darren kept the discussions moving and his questions were substantive and timely.

The “Suspects” panel was particularly fascinating as it featured two nieces of DB Cooper – Marla Wynn Cooper touting her Uncle LD Cooper, while Lisa Story sat next to Marla and told the audience about her uncle, Walter Reca.

Marla delivered enormous amounts of anecdotal information on LD, such as covert government involvement in Norjak as part of larger mis-information campaigns engineered by Operation Northwoods, and Gladio I and II. Marla claimed that previous skyjackings and Norjak were black ops designed to distract the American public from the terrors of the Vietnam War, or to strengthen public sentiment against the communist regime in Cuba. However, no subsequent investigation of these programs shows any connection to DB Cooper’s hijacking.

Lisa Story, who was instrumental in developing her Uncle Walt’s written confession and was a kind of family record keeper, was charming and forthright. Asked by Darren how she would feel if DB Cooper was identified and found not to be Walter Reca, Lisa proclaimed, “I’d be pissed!” She added that she had worked diligently on organizing her uncle’s papers while listening to his many stories. We also learned that the family pronounces Peca as “Pea-Ka.” In addition, Uncle Walt had a sizeable business as an illegal arms dealer, and narrowly escaped an ATF sting operation and a follow-up investigation by the Michigan State Police because he was warned by his deceased mother in a dream.

Mark Meltzer continued to dig into the parachute conundrum and said a few things that appeared to be an evolution from past conferences. First, Mark seems to accept that both back chutes came from Norman Hayden and were both Pioneers. However, he felt that both chutes would be military canopies, and would be either C-9s or 26’ Navy conicals. “They were almost certainly C-9s because in 1971 they were plentiful on the used surplus market, whereas Navy conicals were much rarer and thus much more expensive.”

Two of those attendees, however, told the audience that DB Cooper is not all “fun and games” for them because their families were directly threatened. Passenger Bill Mitchell spoke eloquently about his experience and said he could not sleep for several days following the hijacking. “After awhile, though, life kind of got back to normal,” Bill said. “The big problem was that for the next year and a half, at least once or twice a week, FBI agents would come to my dorm room or home and show me pictures. I must have seen thousands of pictures of military guys, paratroopers, and such.”

Catherine Scott, daughter of the captain of DB Cooper’s flight – Northwest Orient 305 – told the assembled that her father was a solid and unflappable guy, steeled by his experiences in WWII flying “over the hump” of the Himalayas into China. “Because of that, he might have been the best man for the job that night,” Ms. Scott said. She also told the audience how difficult it was to be a 16-year old girl and see her mother live in abject fear for the hours of the skyjacking. Scotty’s wife would not learn of her husband’s safety until 1 a.m. that evening.

CooperCon 21 had a few surprise guests, and one, Dave Fuderman, flew in from Washington, D.C. to announce that he was “coming out” and would no longer disguise himself as “Anonymous.” Dave sat on several panels and distinguished him as knowledgeable of the case even though most folks discount his suspect, William J. Smith. Marty Andrade also attended, flying in from Minnesota, and ably contributed to flightpath discussions and the survivability of the jump. Initially, Brett Eichenberger was a stranger to Cooper World, but his presentation on Bigfoot, accompanied by his movie trailer, was a solid contribution to the strangeness of the Pacific Northwest.

As the organizer of CC21, Eric Ulis was constant presence, and rightly received many kudos from the audience and presenters for a superbly run conference. In his closing remarks, Eric assured the assembled that there will be a CooperCon in 2022.

As for video-tapping CC21, that is unclear. Numerous organizations and podcasters recorded sections of the conference, but no broad, definitive documentation was evident.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2021, 09:43:08 PM by Bruce A. Smith »
 
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Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: CooperCon 2021
« Reply #241 on: November 22, 2021, 10:18:58 PM »
To see pix from CC21, go to the Mountain News:

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Offline georger

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Re: CooperCon 2021
« Reply #242 on: November 22, 2021, 11:39:10 PM »
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To see pix from CC21, go to the Mountain News:

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Thanks for the article.
 

Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: CooperCon 2021
« Reply #243 on: November 23, 2021, 01:06:26 AM »
Some heartfelt thoughts on CC21:

I thought y'all would enjoy reading a post that just got made at the Mountain News by a fellow named Gerry:

 

Bruce (all),

Thank you for the information. Wish I could have attended. Thanks to all of you for providing a pleasant distraction in countless meetings and conference calls for the past several years and especially Darren for the podcasts that lullaby me to sleep almost every night. What all of you have done is more appreciated than you could ever know.

 

Offline snowmman

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Re: CooperCon 2021
« Reply #244 on: November 23, 2021, 01:58:36 AM »
Did Bruce talk about fingerprints? I know he says he expanded his fingerprint stuff in the 3rd edition.

I'm wondering how there's no mention of fingerprints lifted from the rigging card(s) on the rigs left on the plane.
was there 2? (one from the reserve that was opened)

seems crazy they would fingerprint other stuff, but not the cards? No mention in the fbi files? or ??
 

Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: CooperCon 2021
« Reply #245 on: November 23, 2021, 04:05:47 AM »
Nope. I didn't speak on the fingerprints. I don't know if the packing cards got dusted - I haven't seen anything that says they were processed.
 

Offline DBfan57

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Re: CooperCon 2021
« Reply #246 on: November 23, 2021, 12:18:56 PM »
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Nope. I didn't speak on the fingerprints. I don't know if the packing cards got dusted - I haven't seen anything that says they were processed.

Bruce, do you know roughly how far the plate off the rear of the plane that was found by a Hunter was from Tena Bar?  That plate might be a bigger clue than many think.  Would it not have been due to Cooper having the stairs slam during the jump and if so it may give a better idea of where he actually jumped?  How far would it possibly drop from where it broke from the plane?  Another test they should try.  Drop it above where the found it, obviously something exactly the same and see where it winds up? 
 

Offline Parrotheadvol

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Re: CooperCon 2021
« Reply #247 on: November 23, 2021, 02:24:23 PM »
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Nope. I didn't speak on the fingerprints. I don't know if the packing cards got dusted - I haven't seen anything that says they were processed.

Bruce, do you know roughly how far the plate off the rear of the plane that was found by a Hunter was from Tena Bar?  That plate might be a bigger clue than many think.  Would it not have been due to Cooper having the stairs slam during the jump and if so it may give a better idea of where he actually jumped?  How far would it possibly drop from where it broke from the plane?  Another test they should try.  Drop it above where the found it, obviously something exactly the same and see where it winds up?

Not Bruce, but the consensus among most people these days is that the placard was not from the Cooper hijacking. 
 

Offline georger

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Re: CooperCon 2021
« Reply #248 on: November 23, 2021, 02:33:15 PM »
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Nope. I didn't speak on the fingerprints. I don't know if the packing cards got dusted - I haven't seen anything that says they were processed.

Bruce, do you know roughly how far the plate off the rear of the plane that was found by a Hunter was from Tena Bar?  That plate might be a bigger clue than many think.  Would it not have been due to Cooper having the stairs slam during the jump and if so it may give a better idea of where he actually jumped?  How far would it possibly drop from where it broke from the plane?  Another test they should try.  Drop it above where the found it, obviously something exactly the same and see where it winds up?

Not Bruce, but the consensus among most people these days is that the placard was not from the Cooper hijacking.

Thank you for the Directive from your headquarters . . .
 

Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: CooperCon 2021
« Reply #249 on: November 23, 2021, 02:52:14 PM »
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Nope. I didn't speak on the fingerprints. I don't know if the packing cards got dusted - I haven't seen anything that says they were processed.

Bruce, do you know roughly how far the plate off the rear of the plane that was found by a Hunter was from Tena Bar?  That plate might be a bigger clue than many think.  Would it not have been due to Cooper having the stairs slam during the jump and if so it may give a better idea of where he actually jumped?  How far would it possibly drop from where it broke from the plane?  Another test they should try.  Drop it above where the found it, obviously something exactly the same and see where it winds up?

You mean the placard, DB Fan? It was found near Castle Rock, WA, which is approximately 40 miles from T-Bar as the crow flies, or in this case, "as a piece of laminated plastic flies...." smile.

Shutter knows a lot more about the placard and its attendant windy influences than I. I trust that he will jump in here on this discussion.
 

Offline Robert99

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Re: CooperCon 2021
« Reply #250 on: November 23, 2021, 04:02:11 PM »
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Nope. I didn't speak on the fingerprints. I don't know if the packing cards got dusted - I haven't seen anything that says they were processed.

Bruce, do you know roughly how far the plate off the rear of the plane that was found by a Hunter was from Tena Bar?  That plate might be a bigger clue than many think.  Would it not have been due to Cooper having the stairs slam during the jump and if so it may give a better idea of where he actually jumped?  How far would it possibly drop from where it broke from the plane?  Another test they should try.  Drop it above where the found it, obviously something exactly the same and see where it winds up?

Not Bruce, but the consensus among most people these days is that the placard was not from the Cooper hijacking.

I hope to have a "history" of the Western Flight Path (as it is now called) and the placard posted within the next few days.  I am having trouble finding the original posts from 2010 on DZ and what was originally posted on Sluggo's now locked website.  In the meantime, don't jump to any conclusions about anything.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2021, 08:18:00 PM by Robert99 »
 

Offline Parrotheadvol

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Re: CooperCon 2021
« Reply #251 on: November 23, 2021, 07:46:28 PM »
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Nope. I didn't speak on the fingerprints. I don't know if the packing cards got dusted - I haven't seen anything that says they were processed.

Bruce, do you know roughly how far the plate off the rear of the plane that was found by a Hunter was from Tena Bar?  That plate might be a bigger clue than many think.  Would it not have been due to Cooper having the stairs slam during the jump and if so it may give a better idea of where he actually jumped?  How far would it possibly drop from where it broke from the plane?  Another test they should try.  Drop it above where the found it, obviously something exactly the same and see where it winds up?

Not Bruce, but the consensus among most people these days is that the placard was not from the Cooper hijacking.

Thank you for the Directive from your headquarters . . .
Not sure what you're getting at here, but you're welcome.
 

Offline georger

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Re: CooperCon 2021
« Reply #252 on: November 24, 2021, 12:42:32 AM »
Tom Kaye Diatom Presentation CooperCon 2021 part 1 -


« Last Edit: November 24, 2021, 12:43:46 AM by georger »
 
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Offline Parrotheadvol

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Re: CooperCon 2021
« Reply #253 on: November 24, 2021, 09:47:35 AM »
I haven't seen a part 2 yet. Hopefully there is one because this one just ends while he's talking. Looks like Nicky is the one who posted it so hopefully he has a second part.
 

Offline DBfan57

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Re: CooperCon 2021
« Reply #254 on: November 24, 2021, 03:42:28 PM »
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Nope. I didn't speak on the fingerprints. I don't know if the packing cards got dusted - I haven't seen anything that says they were processed.

Bruce, do you know roughly how far the plate off the rear of the plane that was found by a Hunter was from Tena Bar?  That plate might be a bigger clue than many think.  Would it not have been due to Cooper having the stairs slam during the jump and if so it may give a better idea of where he actually jumped?  How far would it possibly drop from where it broke from the plane?  Another test they should try.  Drop it above where the found it, obviously something exactly the same and see where it winds up?

You mean the placard, DB Fan? It was found near Castle Rock, WA, which is approximately 40 miles from T-Bar as the crow flies, or in this case, "as a piece of laminated plastic flies...." smile.

Shutter knows a lot more about the placard and its attendant windy influences than I. I trust that he will jump in here on this discussion.

Perhaps he will.  The other poster says its not from the Cooper flight yet in many shows they say it is.  Here we go again.