Author Topic: Flight Path And Related Issues  (Read 837953 times)

Offline Shutter

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Re: Flight Path And Related Issues
« Reply #4500 on: June 11, 2022, 06:49:44 PM »
They were given the freedom of the sky, regardless of the airway. I believe Georger mentions bypassing PDX on the west side. they were west of a majority of population. you would have to fly over the ocean to avoid any kind of collateral damage. they were right over Vancouver, Toledo etc. not just Portland. I'm not sold they were that worried about the plane exploding or they would have diverted completely away from population.

Such simple questions to Rat could resolve this. many have spoken with him and fail to clear this up.

As mentioned above, the crew could of plotted the course out in less than a few minutes if they flew as straight as you claim.

I don't believe they mixed up the fighter jets with 305 either as Eric has mentioned. the SAGE tags every plane that is in the sky, 305 was in the air first and tracked prior to the jets.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2022, 10:28:00 AM by Shutter »
 

Offline Chaucer

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Re: Flight Path And Related Issues
« Reply #4501 on: June 12, 2022, 12:42:20 PM »
The Portland ATC told the FBI that 305 was east of PDX.

The Troutdale ATC said that 305 was west of PDX.

I'd be curious of the timing of these reports because both are correct.
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Offline Kermit

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Re: Flight Path And Related Issues
« Reply #4502 on: June 12, 2022, 01:50:52 PM »
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The Portland ATC told the FBI that 305 was east of PDX.

The Troutdale ATC said that 305 was west of PDX.

I'd be curious of the timing of these reports because both are correct.

In 1962 a United Airlines DC 8 mistakingly landed at the Small Troutdale Airport !
Troutdale Airport is about 10 miles East of PDX !
You could imagine the bewilderment of the passengers and crew to realize where this huge Jet had managed to land.
Needless to say it wasn’t a easy task to land on this short runway and then again to take off.
I have landed at Troutdale several times and it’s scary to think about landing a huge Jet with 81 passengers aboard.
 

Offline Shutter

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Re: Flight Path And Related Issues
« Reply #4503 on: June 12, 2022, 04:08:27 PM »
305 is east of PDX for less than a minute and on the west side of PDX with zero question by using the sectional map plots.
 

Offline DBfan57

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Re: Flight Path And Related Issues
« Reply #4504 on: August 26, 2022, 08:54:55 AM »
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For the record, Flyjack's red line can also be dismissed.  At several points, the airliner is about 3 nautical miles from the centerline of V-23.  Other things being equal, aircraft are expected to stay on the centerline of Victor airways and there is a regulation stating that.  If the flight crew couldn't keep the aircraft on the centerline, then their autopilot certainly could.  Even the simplest wing leveler in a Cessna 150 could do that.

That's not the case in the matter, they were given the sky in order to keep everyone safe. most regulations went out the door with this problem. I believe they are expected to stay within the boundaries, unless in controlled airspace. why have them 8 miles wide?

Unless authorized by ATC, to operate an aircraft within controlled airspace under IFR, pilots must either fly ALONG the centerline when on a Federal airway or, on routes other than Federal airways, along the direct course between NAVAIDs or fixes defining the route

Just because a simple route can be layed out certainly doesn't imply that's what occurred? none of the crew said anything about why they would be looking miles away from where they actually were, or mention how simple they could layout the path within several minutes..

It is certainly true that the airliner crew were told they could make any deviation necessary to V-23 and that ATC would keep other aircraft out of their way.  But that does not explain why they were wandering so far from the V-23 centerline, particularly in the Portland area.

South of Portland, the airliner would almost certainly want to stay on the centerline of V-23 due to concerns with the MOCA (Minimum Obstacle Clearance Altitude) and MCA (Minimum Communications Altitude) among other things.  In some segments of V-23, 10,000 is the minimum altitude that any aircraft could meet those minimums.  Even in the Portland area, the MCA for the Malay Intersection is 9500 feet.

Just staying on the centerline of V-23 does not require a superhuman effort.  If the airliner wanted to bypass Portland with what they thought was a bomb onboard, the west side would be the logical choice.  Even now Georger has admitted that his sources, apparently including FBI agents, were saying 10 years ago that the airliner bypassed Portland on the west side.   

It was reported that the plane remained on autopilot and that kept them on V-23?  Is that incorrect?   That is what they state on some of the shows on the case, done by for instance, National Geographic who are pretty respected.
 

Offline Chaucer

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Re: Flight Path And Related Issues
« Reply #4505 on: August 26, 2022, 12:21:52 PM »
The autopilot has been a point of contention.

The 302s show that Paul Soderlind believed the plane was on autopilot. Statements by Bill Rataczak decades later indicate that he was hand flying the aircraft until they reached Reno.

The FBI believed Soderlind.

My personal feelings on the autopilot are two-fold. One, it could be a combination of manual flying and autopilot. They may have flown a portion of the route on autopilot and other portions manually. Another possibility is that it was a different mode of autopilot. There is a great explanation of that here:

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Secondly, whether the autopilot was engaged or not is really a moot point. We know the plane flew down Victor 23. Whether they hand flew it or whether it was on autopilot, we know the flight path. Usually, the only people who care about the autopilot are those looking to poke holes in the USAF flight path or some other related agenda.
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Offline JAG

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Re: Flight Path And Related Issues
« Reply #4506 on: August 26, 2022, 01:43:19 PM »
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The autopilot has been a point of contention.

The 302s show that Paul Soderlind believed the plane was on autopilot. Statements by Bill Rataczak decades later indicate that he was hand flying the aircraft until they reached Reno.

The FBI believed Soderlind.

My personal feelings on the autopilot are two-fold. One, it could be a combination of manual flying and autopilot. They may have flown a portion of the route on autopilot and other portions manually. Another possibility is that it was a different mode of autopilot. There is a great explanation of that here:

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Secondly, whether the autopilot was engaged or not is really a moot point. We know the plane flew down Victor 23. Whether they hand flew it or whether it was on autopilot, we know the flight path. Usually, the only people who care about the autopilot are those looking to poke holes in the USAF flight path or some other related agenda.

I would add that there were some statements made that if the plane was on auto pilot, that the pilots would not be able to feel hijacker on the air stairs or notice a change in elevation/trim.  So I think that adds a little more to this issue, we all know about the reported oscillations and pressure bump, but I also recall that it was reported by one of the pilots that they noticed a dip or raising of the nose ?  So if that is the case, how could they have felt it if they were on auto pilot would be the question. Not sure if I am mixing some things up that are mutually exclusive, but that is how I am digesting it for the moment.
 

Offline Chaucer

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Re: Flight Path And Related Issues
« Reply #4507 on: August 26, 2022, 02:07:56 PM »
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The autopilot has been a point of contention.

The 302s show that Paul Soderlind believed the plane was on autopilot. Statements by Bill Rataczak decades later indicate that he was hand flying the aircraft until they reached Reno.

The FBI believed Soderlind.

My personal feelings on the autopilot are two-fold. One, it could be a combination of manual flying and autopilot. They may have flown a portion of the route on autopilot and other portions manually. Another possibility is that it was a different mode of autopilot. There is a great explanation of that here:

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

Secondly, whether the autopilot was engaged or not is really a moot point. We know the plane flew down Victor 23. Whether they hand flew it or whether it was on autopilot, we know the flight path. Usually, the only people who care about the autopilot are those looking to poke holes in the USAF flight path or some other related agenda.

I would add that there were some statements made that if the plane was on auto pilot, that the pilots would not be able to feel hijacker on the air stairs or notice a change in elevation/trim.  So I think that adds a little more to this issue, we all know about the reported oscillations and pressure bump, but I also recall that it was reported by one of the pilots that they noticed a dip or raising of the nose ?  So if that is the case, how could they have felt it if they were on auto pilot would be the question. Not sure if I am mixing some things up that are mutually exclusive, but that is how I am digesting it for the moment.
It also states in the 302s that should the plane be on autopilot, then Soderlind should be able to identify "bobs" on the flight data recorder indicating when the autopilot activated corrections. Later, Soderlind did find a "little bob" at 8:09. Would this "little bob" have occured if the plane was being hand flown? I can't say.

The point is that there is evidence existing both ways, and really why does it matter? The plane went from Seattle to Reno via Victor 23. Does it matter if it was on autopilot or not?
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Offline JAG

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Re: Flight Path And Related Issues
« Reply #4508 on: August 26, 2022, 03:02:36 PM »
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The autopilot has been a point of contention.

The 302s show that Paul Soderlind believed the plane was on autopilot. Statements by Bill Rataczak decades later indicate that he was hand flying the aircraft until they reached Reno.

The FBI believed Soderlind.

My personal feelings on the autopilot are two-fold. One, it could be a combination of manual flying and autopilot. They may have flown a portion of the route on autopilot and other portions manually. Another possibility is that it was a different mode of autopilot. There is a great explanation of that here:

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

Secondly, whether the autopilot was engaged or not is really a moot point. We know the plane flew down Victor 23. Whether they hand flew it or whether it was on autopilot, we know the flight path. Usually, the only people who care about the autopilot are those looking to poke holes in the USAF flight path or some other related agenda.

I would add that there were some statements made that if the plane was on auto pilot, that the pilots would not be able to feel hijacker on the air stairs or notice a change in elevation/trim.  So I think that adds a little more to this issue, we all know about the reported oscillations and pressure bump, but I also recall that it was reported by one of the pilots that they noticed a dip or raising of the nose ?  So if that is the case, how could they have felt it if they were on auto pilot would be the question. Not sure if I am mixing some things up that are mutually exclusive, but that is how I am digesting it for the moment.
It also states in the 302s that should the plane be on autopilot, then Soderlind should be able to identify "bobs" on the flight data recorder indicating when the autopilot activated corrections. Later, Soderlind did find a "little bob" at 8:09. Would this "little bob" have occured if the plane was being hand flown? I can't say.

The point is that there is evidence existing both ways, and really why does it matter? The plane went from Seattle to Reno via Victor 23. Does it matter if it was on autopilot or not?

I think it would matter to the extent that it could impact how any investigator would interpret observations from the pilot(s).  If it is believed that when on auto pilot, that the pilots wouldn't be able to feel the hijacker on the stairs (pushing down, jumping or going down and coming back up), then they may not give credence to the pilot saying that they felt the plane move up or down etc. and they may dismiss that observation. Conversely, if not on auto pilot, then observations by the pilot(s) would carry more weight in trying to determine if those observations provide clues to when and where he exited the plane.   At least, that's how I am viewing it....good thought "vector" to explore :-)
 

Offline Robert99

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Re: Flight Path And Related Issues
« Reply #4509 on: November 13, 2022, 04:05:53 PM »

SOME COMMENTS ON DR. EDWARDS BLOG POST OF NOVEMBER 13, 2022:

1.  Airliners have a "minimum equipment list" that must be operational before they depart on a commercial flight.  In the 1971 time frame, it appears that NWA had to have at least two operational radio transceivers for voice communications.  These transceivers would be wired to be completely independent of each other so that if one failed for some reason the other would still be operational.  They would have different power sources and different antenna systems.  Consequently, the two transceivers could both transmit and receive at the same time.  In the case of NWA 305, it appears that one transceiver was used for communicating with air traffic control, and the other transceiver was used for communicating with the ARINC ground stations.

Several years ago, Fred Poynter of the WSHM and I were informed by ARINC personnel that a typical large airliner today has as many as five transceivers.

2.  Poynter's group at the WSHM did a detailed analysis of the ARINC teletype transcripts that the George Harrison family loaned to them and they concluded that there were missing teletype transcripts.   And if I remember correctly, the existing transcripts indicated that the phone patch with NWA was established through the ARINC system before the airliner even landed in Seattle at about 5:30 PM PST.  Several weeks ago, I suggested that Chaucer get a copy of the WSHM analysis from them but he has apparently not done so.

Further, it appears that teletype transcripts were also routinely made of the voice transmissions over the ARINC system.  And according to Chaucer, Carr apparently told him about some of these transcripts that have not been released.

3.  With several decades of experience in the military and as an Aeronautical Engineer in the DOD, I can categorically state that the dashed lines in the Seattle ATC transcripts mean that sections of those transcripts have been redacted.  This is irrefutable despite any hopes to the contrary.

 

Offline Chaucer

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Re: Flight Path And Related Issues
« Reply #4510 on: November 14, 2022, 01:14:23 AM »
Robert,
Please do not put words in my mouth that I did not say. Let me be clear:

In my conversation with Larry Carr, he told me that there exists a full transcription of radio communications between Flight 305 and NWA Flight Operations in Minneapolis. These radio comms were made over the ARINC system, but are NOT teletype transcriptions. Further, he made NO reference to any redactions or missing parts of any comms. Rather, he simply said that this full transcription had not yet been released through the FBI Vault. There’s nothing spooky or nefarious going on, I assure you.

I have attached the one and only example of this full transcription that Carr is talking about that exists in the 302s. I have also attached the accompanying ARINC teletype of this same communication. You can see how a full transcription would be much more valuable in terms of information than the very abbreviated teletype facsimile.


« Last Edit: November 14, 2022, 01:15:02 AM by Chaucer »
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Offline Robert99

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Re: Flight Path And Related Issues
« Reply #4511 on: November 14, 2022, 12:51:07 PM »
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Robert,
Please do not put words in my mouth that I did not say. Let me be clear:

In my conversation with Larry Carr, he told me that there exists a full transcription of radio communications between Flight 305 and NWA Flight Operations in Minneapolis. These radio comms were made over the ARINC system, but are NOT teletype transcriptions. Further, he made NO reference to any redactions or missing parts of any comms. Rather, he simply said that this full transcription had not yet been released through the FBI Vault. There’s nothing spooky or nefarious going on, I assure you.

I have attached the one and only example of this full transcription that Carr is talking about that exists in the 302s. I have also attached the accompanying ARINC teletype of this same communication. You can see how a full transcription would be much more valuable in terms of information than the very abbreviated teletype facsimile.




Chaucer, we apparently agree that complete copies of the ARINC and Seattle ATC transcripts would be most helpful.
 

Offline Chaucer

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Re: Flight Path And Related Issues
« Reply #4512 on: November 14, 2022, 02:18:27 PM »
I agree 100%.

In my opinion, they are the Rosetta Stone of the entire case.
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Offline Chaucer

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Re: Flight Path And Related Issues
« Reply #4513 on: September 15, 2023, 02:49:49 AM »
My Discussions With A Senior Director At NORAD Regarding The NORJACK Case

I had the extraordinary opportunity to speak to a gentleman with unique insights into the SAGE radar system. His name is Len Camp. He was a lieutenant in the Canadian Forces, assigned to SAGE in Syracuse, NY as a flight controller in 1973. Two years later, he was promoted to the rank of Captain and was rated as a NORAD expert controller. He served with NORAD for 28 years and ended his career as a senior director for NORAD with a rank of Lt. Col.. He graduated from Syracuse with a degree in mathematical physics. He then graduated from the University of North Dakota with a degree in Space-based Radar and Small Satellites.  He was trained in Aerospace Project Management with the Canadian Forces. He is currently the founder, CEO, and owner of HyperAero Consulting which consults the government and private companies on hypersonic aircraft.

NORAD was a joint US-Canada military organization intended to provide early warning in the event of a Soviet attack on the North American continent. There were a few dozen Canadians and Americans “co-manning” at each other’s control centers and headquarters. This ensured that bi-national cooperation was a critical part of the mission.

Lt. Col. Camp's expertise was in fighter control, so he had a ton of insight into how SAGE worked with interceptor jets. He said that there is a great deal of verbal communication between military and civilian air traffic control. When asked about Ammerman “taking over” the F-106s, Mr. Camp said that while it is feasible that one or both of the F-106 pilots was monitoring FAA frequencies and perhaps passing on first-hand information to Ammerman, the military would have absolutely retained control of the fighters during the intercept in accordance with FAA regulations (Order JO 7610.4W Special Operations).

When asked about the retention of the SAGE radar data, Mr. Camp was emphatic that the data would have been saved. His words were “absolutely and undoubtedly” all of the relevant data from the NORJACK hijacking would have been recorded and saved. In the event of an unusual incident, the weapons team, control center supervisor, or senior director could order the computer room to initiate a record for later analysis and/or evidence. For an event such as a commercial hijacking, the SAGE control center supervisor would likely  have requested the computer personnel to put the data of the event “on record”. Recording SAGE radar data was a common occurrence and something the techs would have been extremely familiar with. In fact, he said that any aircraft - civilian or military squawking an emergency IFF (Identity Friend Or Foe). Mode 3 :hijack”, “lost comms”, or “emergency” would have automatically been recorded. The computer could then print this data out on computer card decks  or long-form paper. This data would have been preserved as a stack of IBM cards for an indefinite period of time.

Further, a “data reduction” could be done to eliminate extraneous data in the airspace to only focus on the relevant aircraft. This would provide a summary of the recorded radar data and IFF tracks.

When asked about the possible construction of the yellow flight path map, Camp said that SAGE did not have the ability to print out a map. However, SAGE would print out the data, and it would then be translated by hand into GEOREF or the World Geographic Reference System. That could then be translated by hand into latitude and longitude. SAGE also had a special team of people who would do this in real time. There was a large glass display where data could be inputted using manual inputs: setting up special control zones, inputting flight plans, airbase weapons status, weather reports, etc.

So, they might receive a verbal report like: “from the Hawkeye beacon, 255 at 27,000” and could then manually plot that on the glass display. It would then be input into the AN/FSQ-7 Combat Direction Central or simply Q-7 which was the overall command and control system used by NORAD as a whole.

Each SAGE blockhouse kept a qualified air crew on staff to provide expertise in any aviation matters that the radar techs and computer personnel might not be familiar with. It’s possible that this was Capt. Spangler’s duty on the night of the hijacking. Capt. Spangler was a C-141 pilot attached to the 62nd Airlift Wing.

Mr. Camp suspects that Capt. Spangler received the printouts of the IFF codes and the corresponding SAGE radar symbology. This symbology would have then been translated into GEOREF and then into longitude and latitude along with the corresponding timestamps. .These timestamps would be down to the tenth of a second.  The time frame of the computer is roughly 15 seconds with three sub-frames of about 5 seconds each. He considers it very likely Spangler chose the exact times  spaced about a  minute or apart to keep the clutter down on the map. Thus, it is highly likely that the radar plot points expressed in red Xs are exact down to within plus/minus 5 seconds. This means that if between 8:00:05 and 7:59:57, Spanger would have chosen 7:59:57 because it is closest to the round 8:00. This is significant regarding the timing of the map plot points.

Mr. Camp then believes that Capt. Spangler would have sat down at a drafting table and manually translated the GEOREF data into standard longitude and latitude onto the yellow sectional map.Later, an FBI agent would have added the blue ink “connect-the-dots and times. Camp considers it likely that the FBI would only have received the first plot of 7:54 and then been allowed to transfigure the rest of the information on its own.

When asked about any confusion in the aircraft with the data, Mr. Camp said there was  absolutely no chance that SAGE would not be able to differentiate between the hijacked airliner, the Delta Darts or the T-33. The computer places track symbology on the fighter's data based on its call sign (ex. MP06) and a unique MODE 2 IFF assigned to each airframe as primary. The chase aircraft would be given a generic track number, usually UP21, but could also have a unique mode 2 code to help with track. Again, redundancy. It was literally used to “separate radar traffic”

Mode 2 was military only. It provides a 4-digit octal (12 bit) unit code or tail number. Mode 3 micivilian and provides a 4-digit octal (12 bit) identification code for the aircraft, assigned by the air traffic controller. Commonly referred to as a squawk code. Thus, the IFF codes for the chase planes and the hijacked plane would have been completely different and recognizable both to the radar operator to on the printed radar data provided to Capt. Spangler.\

Meanwhile, the airliner with a Mode 3 “hijack” gives the computer  enhanced IFF to use in tracking logic. In other words, the hijacked airliner would have been the “star of the show” and would definitely be identifiable relative to the other aircraft.

When asked about SAGE “losing an aircraft”, Mr. Camp said the only way SAGE could “lose” an aircraft is if the aircraft fell below 10,000 feet. Gaps in coverage might occur due to terrain masking. Typically, TRACON  or low altitude “gap filler” radar could provide that lost coverage if needed. Moreover, when asked about radar coverage, up to 20 radars could be tied to a single SAGE control center. He believes McChord had a dozen in 1971, perhaps more. Interesting, the first plot on the USAF map is 7:54 which corresponds to when Flight 305 reached an altitude of 10,000 feet AMSL.

Importantly, there were military radars all over the country, not just along the coasts and borders. The entire 360 degree sweep of the airspace would be fed to SAGE. Thus, SAGE was not just outward looking but its radar provided coverage to the entire North American continent.

Regarding the reliability of the SAGE system, by the 1970s, SAGE had a 99.5% reliability rate, according to Lt. Col. Camp. It also had BUIC or Back Up Interceptor Control sites that would act as redundancy should SAGE ever be knocked out by an attack. This is part of the military’s active redundancy concept. There was always a back-up to a back-up to a back-up.

Interestingly, Len put me in contact with the gentleman who was working the T-33’s training mission that night. We’ll call him John because he doesn’t want to be talked about publicly.  It was a 3 on 1 mission with the Air National Guard. John handed off the T-33 to another operator who was working the F-106 chase planes.. He said that the 3 F-101 pilots were shocked that their target was diverted to a higher priority mission. This man was sitting next to the gentleman who was working the F-106 chase jets, but doesn’t remember much else because he was focused on his F-101s who no longer had a target.

So, what are the implications of Mr. Camp’s information?

First, we know what data was provided from SAGE. Second, we know how that data was used to create the flight path map.

We also know the margin of error of the map - one nautical miles north-east-west-south and 5 seconds one way or the other. This means the yellow USAF map is far more precise than previously believed. It gives a tighter north-south error than we have suspected.

We know that it eliminates any possibility that the map was constructed using faulty data.

We know that it eliminates the possibility that the chase jets were confused with 305. The SAGE radar data would have provided the Mode 2 and Mode 3 IFF codes that would have allowed Capt. Spanger to quickly identify which was the jetliner and which were the trailing aircraft.

We know it eliminates any possibility that SAGE would have “lost” Flight 305. Even if the radar operator was incompetent, the system still would have recorded the data. Also, SAGE recorded everything within a 360 circle of its airspace.

We know  it eliminates any possibility that SAGE was “down” that night. It had a 99.5% reliability rate, and had multiple redundant systems in the event of a catastrophic failure.

Clearly, Mr. Camp’s testimony puts to rest any notion of a “westerly flight path”. The radar data is sound. The construction of the flight path map would have been based on sound and unimpeachable data.

If any question of a flight path outside the confines of Victor 23 ever existed, they should be squashed now. A flight path outside of Victor 23 was always fanciful and existed outside the boundaries of actual evidence. Mr. Camp’s testimony only underscores that. Moreover, Mr. Camp’s testimony is completely congruent with the FBI files we have seen.

There are two anchor points in this case. The first one is the flight path. The second is the money find at Tena Bar. There are two mysteries in this case. The first one is the identity of DB Cooper. The second is how did the money arrive at Tena Bar. The answer to both of those is unknown, but we can be as certain as possible that moving the flight path to account for the money find is untenable and not in accordance with any factual evidence.

The only question we should be asking ourselves - outside of the the identity of DB Cooper - is how did the money arrive here of the plane was over here.
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Offline haggarknew

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Re: Flight Path And Related Issues
« Reply #4514 on: September 17, 2023, 11:30:25 AM »
            Thanks for posting!  Very interesting, especially the part about "John". 
 
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