Author Topic: New Forum & News Updates  (Read 1152809 times)

Offline haggarknew

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Re: New Forum & News Updates
« Reply #6345 on: October 20, 2019, 07:29:21 PM »
As per last post.     Was he convinced before or after the money find?
 

Offline haggarknew

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Re: New Forum & News Updates
« Reply #6346 on: October 20, 2019, 08:28:34 PM »
I should clarify.    Was he convinced of the further east flight path before or after the money find?
 

Offline georger

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Re: New Forum & News Updates
« Reply #6347 on: October 20, 2019, 11:29:23 PM »
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I should clarify.    Was he convinced of the further east flight path before or after the money find?

Im not sure convinced is the right word but H was informed by Rzck of a possible east path before the Ingram find... the find happened, the hydrologist issued his Washougal theory ... all clustered around H's retirement in 1980. 
 
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Offline haggarknew

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Re: New Forum & News Updates
« Reply #6348 on: October 21, 2019, 12:24:34 AM »
Thanks for the response Georger.  Any idea if H did much investigating in the area of the Washougal watershed? Hag told me he was very knowledgeable of that area. He lived fairly close to it. He said if anyone spent time watching that river they would have known it was very unlikely that the money would ever have made it to the Columbian river. According to Hager he observed the same bags of trash hung up in the Washougal for years and years. He said there were many obstructions and bends in the river. He also said it was a slow moving river,at least during this time. Hag also said it was pretty slow moving even in the spring during flooding season. He was convinced that even if the money made it to the Columbian and then miraculously made it to Tena Bar,due to the current it would have been on the other side of the Columbian river.(the opposite side of Tena Bar)  Hag seemed to think H would have known this or H was smart enough to figure that out.
 

Offline Robert99

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Re: New Forum & News Updates
« Reply #6349 on: October 21, 2019, 02:21:00 AM »
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Thanks for the response Georger.  Any idea if H did much investigating in the area of the Washougal watershed? Hag told me he was very knowledgeable of that area. He lived fairly close to it. He said if anyone spent time watching that river they would have known it was very unlikely that the money would ever have made it to the Columbian river. According to Hager he observed the same bags of trash hung up in the Washougal for years and years. He said there were many obstructions and bends in the river. He also said it was a slow moving river,at least during this time. Hag also said it was pretty slow moving even in the spring during flooding season. He was convinced that even if the money made it to the Columbian and then miraculously made it to Tena Bar,due to the current it would have been on the other side of the Columbian river.(the opposite side of Tena Bar)  Hag seemed to think H would have known this or H was smart enough to figure that out.

Hag has an excellent point.  If the money came down the Columbia River from east of the Portland Airport, it would have ended up on the west side, or Oregon side, in the Tina Bar area.  It would move to the Oregon side when the Columbia turned north just west of the Portland Airport.

Tom Kaye did some tests using bundles of real dollar bills.  He found that when a bundle was submerged in water, the first thing it did was for the bill ends to flare out.  The second thing it did was to sink to the bottom of the body of water and stay there.

Once the money bundle was on the bottom, it would never make it back to the surface.  And it would stay on the bottom as it moved downstream in the Columbia and end up moving along at the bottom of the shipping channel which is on the Oregon side of the Columbia in the Tina Bar area.  This means that the money bundles which were found at Tina Bar just above the water line could not have come from the Washougal watershed or from any significant distance upstream from Tina Bar.

So the Washougal washdown theory just simply won't hold water. 
« Last Edit: October 21, 2019, 02:22:22 AM by Robert99 »
 
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Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: New Forum & News Updates
« Reply #6350 on: October 21, 2019, 04:43:25 AM »
For what it's worth, Himms told me in 2011 that Rataczak had told him that 305 was over the Washougal.

Further, Ralph indicated that he had not gone looking in the Washougal and left that all for JT. Along those lines, Himms and his crew never canvassed the Columbia after the T-Bar find, either.
 
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Offline haggarknew

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Re: New Forum & News Updates
« Reply #6351 on: October 21, 2019, 06:44:53 AM »
Was Himms searches mostly done via his airplane or was he actually doing searches on land?    Was Himms retirement pre-planned or was it somewhat an abrupt decision on his part?  Was this case a big influence on his decision to retire?
 

Offline georger

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Re: New Forum & News Updates
« Reply #6352 on: October 21, 2019, 02:09:43 PM »
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Was Himms searches mostly done via his airplane or was he actually doing searches on land?    Was Himms retirement pre-planned or was it somewhat an abrupt decision on his part?  Was this case a big influence on his decision to retire?

His retirement was unprompted and scheduled. He had a large family with personal plans for retirement. His searches were all in aircraft so far as I know, starting the evening of the hijacking in a helo, then a few personal flights over the search area in his own plane, in the days following 11/24. Maybe Bruce knows more. 

Ralph was a member of a flying club, so both Ralph and several of his friends continued their sorties looking for any sign of Cooper in the search area, after 11/24. Other private pilots kept an eye out for any sign of Cooper in the search area in the days after the hijacking ... there was a lot of conversation about that with tips phoned in to Portland or Seattle. Both the FBI and county law enforcement investigated many of the tips ...  the scope of the tips being invested is documented in 302s we are reading today ...
« Last Edit: October 21, 2019, 03:35:57 PM by georger »
 
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Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: New Forum & News Updates
« Reply #6353 on: October 21, 2019, 05:07:24 PM »
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Was Himms searches mostly done via his airplane or was he actually doing searches on land?    Was Himms retirement pre-planned or was it somewhat an abrupt decision on his part?  Was this case a big influence on his decision to retire?

His retirement was unprompted and scheduled. He had a large family with personal plans for retirement. His searches were all in aircraft so far as I know, starting the evening of the hijacking in a helo, then a few personal flights over the search area in his own plane, in the days following 11/24. Maybe Bruce knows more. 

Ralph was a member of a flying club, so both Ralph and several of his friends continued their sorties looking for any sign of Cooper in the search area, after 11/24. Other private pilots kept an eye out for any sign of Cooper in the search area in the days after the hijacking ... there was a lot of conversation about that with tips phoned in to Portland or Seattle. Both the FBI and county law enforcement investigated many of the tips ...  the scope of the tips being invested is documented in 302s we are reading today ...

I'd like to add one more thing. Ralph was part of the Huge Fly-over on Monday, November 29, 1971. The FBI organized a fly-over of the entire flight path, from Sea-Tac to Reno, with fixed wing and helos each taking a third of V-23 in their sector. One sector was Sea-Tac to Portland. The next was Portland southwards.  So, Ralph flew the eastern third, I believe, from Portland to the Siskiyou's in southern Oregon - just south of Roseburg, OR is my understanding. Then there was a Oregon-California border area to Reno leg.

I think I got this from Ralph's book. This is when he found the blue tarp flapping in the breeze and ground-based LE check it out.

This fly-over also required the cessation of the ground search in Amboy so that FBI agents could be reassigned to the planes. The ground search was never resumed, as far as I know until March 1972. I believe at that point, very late November and early December 1971, the FBI detailed its agents to make their comprehensive house-to-house search for DBC in the Amboy area. Folks like Bernice Rhodes are still talking about that. We'll be talking to her on the CooperCon Road Trip next month. Dona Elliott, who lived in Amboy at that time, also would talk about that search.

Other than that, I concur with G's commentary. Ralph was aged-out of the Bureau in 1980. 55, I believe. When I saw him in 2011 he looked like he could still kick ass, though. I sure was glad I waved the Jerry Thomas Flag of Surrender when Ralph challenged me in his driveway...

One thing I don't understand, or accept, is the mental passivity of Ralph and the entirety of the FBI. Dorwin was quite clear about this dynamic to me - he didn't do anything to investigate DB Cooper. Rather, he waited until leads came in from the public, and then he investigated that. Larry Carr said the same thing on the History Channel. It astounds me that Ralph and Dorwin, who took over the Norjak case when Ralph retired, NEVER walked the Columbia River looking for more money or talked to fishermen and boaters, etc.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2019, 05:15:39 PM by Bruce A. Smith »
 
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Offline haggarknew

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Re: New Forum & News Updates
« Reply #6354 on: October 21, 2019, 05:08:52 PM »
Sounds like he had a very full life.  I wish I could have met him. He obviously was a very intelligent and interesting gentleman.   I have always found his description of db being a dirty rotten criminal as a very interesting statement. So many people want to glamorize the story of D.B. Cooper that they forget what really was going on. (it was a real hijacking with real life and death implications)  I believe his description was very accurate.I have to admit that it also fits nicely with the story Hag shared with me.
Was he ever a participant in any of the db forums?  I am getting ready to purchase my first db book. I was leaning toward Himms'. What is the name of his book? (I promise yours is next Bruce lol ) Of course I might be persuaded differently with some added incentive Bruce.
 

Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: New Forum & News Updates
« Reply #6355 on: October 21, 2019, 05:27:20 PM »
Exactly what incentives are you hoping for, Haggar? ... Smile.

Ralph's book is titled: NORJAK: The Investigation of DB Cooper, co-written with Thomas Worcester.

As far as I know, Ralph never participated in any public forums, online or otherwise.

Ralph was a very interesting man. Complex. On one hand, a true southern gentleman. On the other, tough-assed. He constantly challenged me for money when I would ask for an interview, or just called and asked a question. At the time, I was angry at him. I figured he had already been paid by the US taxpayers for obtaining his information and now I was simply asking him to repay us by telling us what he knew of DB Cooper. Besides, he was pulling in 60K in his FBI pension a year, so wasn't that enough? But over time I began to appreciate his point of view. Guys like me ask a lot of him - his time and energies. Nowadays, when films crews keep calling me for information and I don't get paid, I too, began to get resentful of the intrusions. The idea of getting paid to share what I've invested ten years in learning becomes compelling.

You would have loved his home in Woodburn. 40 acres. Large, custom-built stone mansion and out-buildings, a 1,000-foot causeway as his driveway. Chrome and turquoise interiors to offset the gray granite walls. A home fit for a Moorish Lord.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2019, 05:32:39 PM by Bruce A. Smith »
 
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Offline haggarknew

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Re: New Forum & News Updates
« Reply #6356 on: October 21, 2019, 05:54:00 PM »
 A chance to discuss the case, some advice maybe. Of course you would have to sign my copy of your book also.  How many chats with Himms did you have? I wasnt aware to the extent of the passivity of LE. That is interesting. Of course there were tips coming in constantly , at least at first. Maybe there wasnt much time or resources left after investigating these?
 

Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: New Forum & News Updates
« Reply #6357 on: October 21, 2019, 06:52:13 PM »
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A chance to discuss the case, some advice maybe. Of course you would have to sign my copy of your book also.  How many chats with Himms did you have? I wasnt aware to the extent of the passivity of LE. That is interesting. Of course there were tips coming in constantly , at least at first. Maybe there wasnt much time or resources left after investigating these?

Always happy to discuss the case. Giving others advice is my specialty!!!

A signed copy is of course, possible. Where do I mail it? It'll come with an invoice for 30 bucks - 25 for the book and 5 for S/H.

I met with Himms once in his home. I spoke with him a couple of times, briefly, over the phone. Doug Perry of the Oregonian was in contact with him recently, and is still in contact with his family. Doug was at CooperCon 2018, and I trust he will be there again in 2019.

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« Last Edit: October 21, 2019, 06:53:17 PM by Bruce A. Smith »
 

Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: New Forum & News Updates
« Reply #6358 on: October 21, 2019, 07:03:50 PM »
CooperCon 2019 Road Trip

            Following the Flight Path


On Sunday, November 24, 2019, we will have a road trip following the official Flight Path of 305 through the Victor-23 air corridor. The exact itinerary will be along State Route 503 from Vancouver to Amboy, Washington, which will take us through the FBI’s official NORJAK Landing Zones.

The FBI’s primary landing zone (LZ-A), is a 24 square miles area from Battleground Lake State Park northwards to Amboy and Ariel, WA. LZ-A was revised in 1975 according to recently released FBI documents, and repositioned about ten miles south, in the Hochinson, WA area. This modification was caused by a re-configuration of the time of DB Cooper’s jump and where Flight 305 was thought to be when Cooper jumped. Initially, the FBI thought Cooper jumped at 8:09 pm when 305 was above Battleground, WA, thus putting him on the ground after a 10-minute drift northeast near Amboy. By 1975, the time had been revised to 8:12 pm, which put DB Cooper’s exit over Orchards, WA, and a new LZ near Hochinson. Remember 305 was flying at 200 mph, so three minutes of air time equates as nine miles of ground covered.

Ironically, Washington SR 503 recapitulates this geographic scenario with near-perfection.

Details and a Sign-Up will be provided at CooperCon on Saturday. The Tour is free, but we may have to limit the number of cars convoying with us. Also, “touristas” will be free to leave the convoy at any time. However, in general the Road Tour will commence at noon at the motel where many attendees are staying in Vancouver. We will travel down SR 500 in Vancouver to SR 503 in Orchards, then head northwards to Hochinson for our first stop at a local coffee shop (and restrooms.) There we will discuss the details of this LZ – who searched here, when, what did they find, etc. Then we head north to Amboy.

The primary ground search for DB Cooper was conducted in the Amboy-Ariel, WA area. Initially, deputies from the Clark County Sheriff’s Department entered the woods off of Cedar Creek Road and Pup Creek Roads in Amboy. About twenty deputies and volunteers searched in rain and fog from Friday, November 26, 1971 until Sunday, November 28, 1971. The ground search was suspended on Monday, November 29, 1971 so that accompanying FBI agents could participate in the huge V-23 fly-over from Sea-Tac to Reno. Afterwards, those FBI agents were reassigned to begin a house-to-house search in Amboy.

We will stop along Cedar Creek road to examine this critical area, and then head to the property of Bernice Rhodes on Pup Creek Rd. Bernice has lived on her ranch since the time of the skyjacking and has vivid memories of the ground search and the subsequent house searches by the FBI. She and her lands have appeared in several DB Cooper documentaries, including the recent Mission Declassified episode on DB Cooper for the Travel Channel.

Depending on the time and the desires of the group, we may proceed around Lake Merwin – which takes about 30 minutes of drive time - to see the Ariel Tavern and the Lake Merwin Dam and surrounding campgrounds. These lands were the HQ for the four-week joint military and FBI ground search for DB Cooper in March and April 1972. Two-hundred soldiers from Fort Lewis and approximately two-dozen FBI agents canvassed the lands around Ariel – which is north of the Lewis River – and again in the Amboy area, south of the Lewis River. They found two corpses of women who had been sexually molested and later identified as being residents of Vancouver, but nothing of DB Cooper and his getaway gear was found.

Of course, the Ariel Tavern was the center of rest and relaxation for these troopers, and it became the gathering spot for Cooperites ever since. The famous Cooper Daze celebration was held here for over forty years on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and many considered it to be the high point of their social calendar. Sadly, the death of owner Dona Elliott in 2016 forced the cancellation of this event, from which CooperCon was born in 2018.

After Ariel, we will conclude our trip at La Casa Tapatia in Woodland. This town was the HQ for the initial FBI search, and was also the childhood home of Darren Schaefer, who will be riding with us. Hopefully, he can regale us with tales of local Cooper lore. Regardless, LCT has the best Mexican food in the area and we will end this portion of CooperCon 2019 on a high note!
 
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Offline georger

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Re: New Forum & News Updates
« Reply #6359 on: October 21, 2019, 11:43:06 PM »
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CooperCon 2019 Road Trip

            Following the Flight Path


On Sunday, November 24, 2019, we will have a road trip following the official Flight Path of 305 through the Victor-23 air corridor. The exact itinerary will be along State Route 503 from Vancouver to Amboy, Washington, which will take us through the FBI’s official NORJAK Landing Zones.

The FBI’s primary landing zone (LZ-A), is a 24 square miles area from Battleground Lake State Park northwards to Amboy and Ariel, WA. LZ-A was revised in 1975 according to recently released FBI documents, and repositioned about ten miles south, in the Hochinson, WA area. This modification was caused by a re-configuration of the time of DB Cooper’s jump and where Flight 305 was thought to be when Cooper jumped. Initially, the FBI thought Cooper jumped at 8:09 pm when 305 was above Battleground, WA, thus putting him on the ground after a 10-minute drift northeast near Amboy. By 1975, the time had been revised to 8:12 pm, which put DB Cooper’s exit over Orchards, WA, and a new LZ near Hochinson. Remember 305 was flying at 200 mph, so three minutes of air time equates as nine miles of ground covered.

Ironically, Washington SR 503 recapitulates this geographic scenario with near-perfection.

Details and a Sign-Up will be provided at CooperCon on Saturday. The Tour is free, but we may have to limit the number of cars convoying with us. Also, “touristas” will be free to leave the convoy at any time. However, in general the Road Tour will commence at noon at the motel where many attendees are staying in Vancouver. We will travel down SR 500 in Vancouver to SR 503 in Orchards, then head northwards to Hochinson for our first stop at a local coffee shop (and restrooms.) There we will discuss the details of this LZ – who searched here, when, what did they find, etc. Then we head north to Amboy.

The primary ground search for DB Cooper was conducted in the Amboy-Ariel, WA area. Initially, deputies from the Clark County Sheriff’s Department entered the woods off of Cedar Creek Road and Pup Creek Roads in Amboy. About twenty deputies and volunteers searched in rain and fog from Friday, November 26, 1971 until Sunday, November 28, 1971. The ground search was suspended on Monday, November 29, 1971 so that accompanying FBI agents could participate in the huge V-23 fly-over from Sea-Tac to Reno. Afterwards, those FBI agents were reassigned to begin a house-to-house search in Amboy.

We will stop along Cedar Creek road to examine this critical area, and then head to the property of Bernice Rhodes on Pup Creek Rd. Bernice has lived on her ranch since the time of the skyjacking and has vivid memories of the ground search and the subsequent house searches by the FBI. She and her lands have appeared in several DB Cooper documentaries, including the recent Mission Declassified episode on DB Cooper for the Travel Channel.

Depending on the time and the desires of the group, we may proceed around Lake Merwin – which takes about 30 minutes of drive time - to see the Ariel Tavern and the Lake Merwin Dam and surrounding campgrounds. These lands were the HQ for the four-week joint military and FBI ground search for DB Cooper in March and April 1972. Two-hundred soldiers from Fort Lewis and approximately two-dozen FBI agents canvassed the lands around Ariel – which is north of the Lewis River – and again in the Amboy area, south of the Lewis River. They found two corpses of women who had been sexually molested and later identified as being residents of Vancouver, but nothing of DB Cooper and his getaway gear was found.

Of course, the Ariel Tavern was the center of rest and relaxation for these troopers, and it became the gathering spot for Cooperites ever since. The famous Cooper Daze celebration was held here for over forty years on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and many considered it to be the high point of their social calendar. Sadly, the death of owner Dona Elliott in 2016 forced the cancellation of this event, from which CooperCon was born in 2018.

After Ariel, we will conclude our trip at La Casa Tapatia in Woodland. This town was the HQ for the initial FBI search, and was also the childhood home of Darren Schaefer, who will be riding with us. Hopefully, he can regale us with tales of local Cooper lore. Regardless, LCT has the best Mexican food in the area and we will end this portion of CooperCon 2019 on a high note!

thumbs up - well done.  :chr2: