Author Topic: Suspects And Confessions  (Read 563666 times)

georger

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #915 on: October 08, 2015, 03:06:50 PM »
Maybe none of the suspects proposed by forum goers - is even in the ballpark! ???  Maybe the wrong criteria are being used ??? Maybe the whole focus is wrong! ??? This opens up a host of possibilities. (a) Cooper escaped because he was serving time in another place and LE just never connected the dots? (b) Maybe Cooper was in a foreign country ? (c) Maybe Cooper had already hijacked before, or hijacked again after 11-24-71, and was not recognized by LE as DB Cooper? (d) There are a host of possibilities.

None of the guys shown below were skydivers. All had military connections. All were political. All were hijackers!
« Last Edit: October 08, 2015, 03:46:40 PM by georger »
 

Offline 377

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #916 on: October 08, 2015, 03:50:36 PM »
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Maybe none of the suspects proposed by forum goers - is even in the ballpark! ???  Maybe the wrong criteria are being used ??? Maybe the whole focus is wrong! ??? This opens up a host of possibilities. (a) Cooper escaped because he was serving time in another place and LE just never connected the dots? (b) Maybe Cooper was in a foreign country ? (c) Maybe Cooper had already hijacked before, or hijacked again after 11-24-71, and was not recognized by LE as DB Cooper? (d) There are a host of possibilities.

None of the guys shown below were skydivers. All had military connections. All were political.

You certainly could be right Georger. NORJACK is a canvas. We paint the picture. Our biases, wishes, hopes, etc. all play into the design.

I want Cooper to have pulled off the stairs facing forward, used a radio to communicate with a ground man and have been an experienced wilderness jumper. No evidence supports any of these wishes.

There are some clues that help narrow the field though. Cooper's commands regarding flight configuration for the 727 evidence some aviation knowledge. If the pure tie-tanium, spun aluminum and bismuth samples really originated from Cooper, that could narrow the field a LOT!.

I like to think he knew a lot about parachutes but the evidence is equivocal and in some cases contradictory. If he really went right to the packing card in an NB-8 then he knew that rig well. If he donned an NB-8 and fastened the opposing Vs chest straps with ease, he knew that rig.  If he referred to a "chest" chute rather than a "front" chute he knew a lot about parachute gear and could have even been a rigger. The FAA Rigger certification for inspecting and repacking front mounted chutes is "CHEST". Jumpers who are not riggers very rarely use the word chest, they call them belly reserves. I never used the word chest to describe them in oral conversations.

377
« Last Edit: October 08, 2015, 03:53:53 PM by 377 »
 

georger

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #917 on: October 08, 2015, 04:19:14 PM »
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Maybe none of the suspects proposed by forum goers - is even in the ballpark! ???  Maybe the wrong criteria are being used ??? Maybe the whole focus is wrong! ??? This opens up a host of possibilities. (a) Cooper escaped because he was serving time in another place and LE just never connected the dots? (b) Maybe Cooper was in a foreign country ? (c) Maybe Cooper had already hijacked before, or hijacked again after 11-24-71, and was not recognized by LE as DB Cooper? (d) There are a host of possibilities.

None of the guys shown below were skydivers. All had military connections. All were political.

You certainly could be right Georger. NORJACK is a canvas. We paint the picture. Our biases, wishes, hopes, etc. all play into the design.

I want Cooper to have pulled off the stairs facing forward, used a radio to communicate with a ground man and have been an experienced wilderness jumper. No evidence supports any of these wishes.

There are some clues that help narrow the field though. Cooper's commands regarding flight configuration for the 727 evidence some aviation knowledge. If the pure tie-tanium, spun aluminum and bismuth samples really originated from Cooper, that could narrow the field a LOT!.

I like to think he knew a lot about parachutes but the evidence is equivocal and in some cases contradictory. If he really went right to the packing card in an NB-8 then he knew that rig well. If he donned an NB-8 and fastened the opposing Vs chest straps with ease, he knew that rig.  If he referred to a "chest" chute rather than a "front" chute he knew a lot about parachute gear and could have even been a rigger. The FAA Rigger certification for inspecting and repacking front mounted chutes is "CHEST". Jumpers who are not riggers very rarely use the word chest, they call them belly reserves. I never used the word chest to describe them in oral conversations.
377

Presumably, the real DB Cooper explains all of these correlations.
 

Offline 377

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #918 on: October 08, 2015, 04:22:33 PM »
A former paratrooper has informed me that Army Airborne jumpers refer to the front mounted reserve as a "chest" reserve.

Blevins will like that.

377
 

Offline smokin99

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #919 on: October 08, 2015, 10:20:05 PM »
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A former paratrooper has informed me that Army Airborne jumpers refer to the front mounted reserve as a "chest" reserve.

Blevins will like that.

377

Sailshaw will say the line forms at the rear....If memory serves I think I recall smokejumpers used that term in the transcripts of oral histories I've read.....
 

georger

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #920 on: October 08, 2015, 11:32:31 PM »
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A former paratrooper has informed me that Army Airborne jumpers refer to the front mounted reserve as a "chest" reserve.

Blevins will like that.

377

And, just maybe he had heard others to refer to them that way, without little (or no) personal experience himself? That would be a strange reflexive way of doing things, but maybe Cooper was being reflexive in this whole matter?
« Last Edit: October 09, 2015, 12:07:24 AM by georger »
 

Offline 377

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #921 on: October 13, 2015, 01:10:44 PM »
From Sheridan's Google plus site: Occupation
re-writing a documentary of the Vietnam war


Wonder what the rewrite will change or add?

377
 

Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #922 on: October 26, 2015, 07:50:42 PM »
Ted Braden

Lt. Col. Hank Berstsch has written his recollections of Ted Braden. Hank has asked me to send them along to some of the DZ folks he knew, such as Snowmman, 377 and others, so I thought I'd post them here.  I've encouraged Hank to come and join  this forum, as well.
*****************************************

Hank's recollections:

"I recall first meeting Ted Braden when he was brought, under guard, to the Special Processing Detachment (SPD), part of the 1387 Replacement Company, at Fort Dix, NJ. Since most of those soldiers brought to the SPD were young, 18-22 years old, first term enlistees and draftees, I was surprised to see this obviously much older soldier. He was introduced as SFC Ted Braden, US Army Special Forces, Absent Without Leave (AWOL) from Vietnam and captured working as a mercenary in the Congo. As I recall his guards were US Air Force Police and that he had been returned to the USA at McGuire AFB which is next to Fort Dix. Since I was then 5 foot 9 inches tall I also recall looking into his eyes and that we were at eye level or that he was slightly shorter. Because he was apprehended he was placed in pre trial confinement in the stockade at Fort Dix.

Shortly thereafter Braden’s Military Personnel Records Jacket AKA 201 File arrived at the SPD. In it were, among other records, his DA Form 20 Enlisted Personnel Record and the DA Form 188 Extract Copy of the Morning Report which documented his absence without leave from his unit it Vietnam. I believe there may also have been open ended court martial charge sheets. Open ended simply means the absence without leave had started on a specific date from a specific unit at a specific location but does not include the end date or date of return to military control which was unknown at the time the AWOL began. I recall reviewing his DA Form 20 and being amazed to his GT (General Technical) score was above 150. The GT score is a good indicator of IQ. I then knew Braden was highly intelligent. His DA Form 20 also showed he had 3 years of college at the University of Toledo.

Braden was held in solitary confinement while in the Fort Dix stockade. As a standard policy all prisoners in solitary confinement in the Fort Dix stockade were deemed to be suicide risks. At a minimum this meant no belts and no shoelaces. Also a standard policy was that prisoners who smoked could only smoke non filter cigarettes. This was done to prevent prisoners from using the filters to jam urinals and flood bathrooms.

Fort Dix policy was that each stockade prisoner must be visited by an officer from his assigned unit at least once each month. While other stockade prisoners assigned to the SPD were visited by either my Executive Officer (XO) or one of my other officers only my XO 1LT Raymond J. Hayes or I personally visited Braden. On my first , and perhaps my only, visit with him I observed Braden in his cell wearing a fatigue uniform with bloused pants and highly polished boots complete with shoelaces and that he also had a highly polished buckle on his belt. Both of these were exceptions to stockade policy. He was also smoking what appeared to be a Hav-A-Tampa a wood tip cigar. This was also an exception to stockade policy. Unlike any other prisoner in the stockade Braden had a television in his cell.

What really struck me what Braden’s very calm demeanor in his cell. I remember him saying to me “Don’t worry sir. This will all work out.” Clearly there was some external force taking care of Braden.

Given the severity of the circumstances and Braden’s extensive military service and Article 32 investigation was conducted. For those unfamiliar with this term it refers to Article 32 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and is the military equivalent of a grand jury investigation in the civilian sector. My recollection is the Article 32 investigating officer recommended that Braden be charged under Article 85 of the UCMJ which was Desertion rather than Article 86 which was AWOL and that he be tried by a General Court Martial (GCM). The findings of the Article 32 investigation were approved by the convening authority who I recall was Major General John M. Hightower the Commanding Officer at Fort Dix.

On the day the GCM of Braden was to begin Post Headquarters received a phone call from General Harold K. Johnson, US Army Chief of Staff, directing the GCM not be convened. The alleged reason was an inability to secure the court room. With a sizeable military police presence on Fort Dix this reason appeared to be contrived.
Since we were barred from trying Braden but had prima fascia evidence to document his absence without leave we needed to somehow dispose of him. Then Major Kenneth Alan Raby in the Staff Judge Advocate Office at Fort Dix found a provision in an Army Regulation that would allow Braden to “resign for the good of the service”. Under this provision Braden would receive a General Discharge under Honorable Conditions which is a step below an Honorable Discharge. This provision did include a bar to reenlistment so Braden could not reenter the military. At first Braden balked because of the bar to reenlistment but eventually agreed to resign.

While Major Raby, who was a Judge Advocate General (JAG) officer, was “negotiating” with Braden the issue of Braden’s special wrist watch came up. Braden asserted he was wearing the watch when he was apprehended in the Congo but somehow it turned up missing and Braden insisted it be returned before he would resign. Somehow Major Raby got Braden to resign even though the watch was apparently not found.
 
On July 3, 1967 my XO 1LT Hayes picked up Braden at the stockade and, armed with a 45 caliber pistol, escorted him to the Transfer Station by way of the SPD. There was SFC Ted B. Braden in his Class A Uniform with green beret, bloused boots, numerous ribbons, master jump wings, etc. being escorted under guard. The Fort Dix Chief of Staff Colonel David A. Gile called the Transfer Station and ordered that Braden be moved ahead of all other out processing personnel regardless of their grade. When ILT Hayes returned to the SPD he and I talked about the Braden case and agreed we would probably never know the complete details of what had transpired. 

I left active duty in late August, 1967 and joined the US Army Reserves. In late June or early July, 1974, while performing my Annual Training at Fort Jackson, SC as a Major, I met another Major who was wearing Inspector General (IG) branch insignia on his uniform. We met in the Officers Club Annex, a WWII building, where officers could get a beer after coming in from the field and before returning to their quarters to clean up. From my SPD days I knew that prisoners in stockades would often contact their local IG office to complain about something or other. Knowing that Fort Jackson also had an SPD I struck up a conversation with the Major. He asked how I knew about SPDs and I told him about commanding the one at Fort Dix. I then went on to tell him about my most unusual case without mentioning Braden by name.  When I finished he looked me right in the eyes and said “You are talking about Ted Braden aren’t you?”. I was stunned but said “Yes”. He then said “You were had. Braden was operating as a CIA plant in the Congo when he was recognized. To save face he was grabbed and charged with being AWOL. The whole thing was staged. I saw Braden in Vietnam last year and he is now a Sergeant Major (SGM).” At that point everything seemed to make sense and I had closure on Ted B. Braden.

In mid-2011, I started to wonder once again what ever happened to Braden and began doing some researching. I picked up some basic biographical data on Ancestry including the fact that Braden had died. A Google search took me to a website called DropZone through which I was able to connect with many who knew Braden personally. In time I came across Allen Tyre who served with Braden in the early 1960s in Germany and went on to become a US Army Major before retiring. Al told me he had met and talked with Braden in a truck stop in Bowling Green, KY in Fall, 1973. Al was on his way to Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis, IN when he spotted Braden at the coffee counter in the truck stop. They talked for a while before Ted took Al out to show him the 18 wheeler he was driving. They said their goodbyes never to talk again.  What makes this encounter so noteworthy is that if Braden was driving a truck in KY in Fall, 1973 he could not have been in Vietnam at that time as the IG Major had told me. Why the Major misspoke I do not know, but he clearly knew about the Braden case.

The DropZone website connected me to several people who either thought Braden was or could be D.B. Cooper who hijacked the Boeing 727 in the Pacific Northwest on November 21, 1971 and then parachuted out the rear of the plane with the $200,000 ransom. Braden certainly had the skills to make the jump but does not match the physical description, mainly height and color of eyes, of D.B. Cooper.

On April 6, 2013, I requested copies of several items from Braden’s Military Personnel Records Jacket AKA MPRJ or 201 file at the National Personnel Records Center in St Louis, MO. On December 30, 2013 I received a call from a civilian who was a retired Lieutenant Colonel at the NPRC who told me I could not have the information I had requested.
 

Offline Shutter

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #923 on: October 31, 2015, 08:08:44 PM »
Quote
44+ years is a long time to try and remember where you were and what you were doing on one particular day.


It's funny when some of these "witnesses" come forward with detailed information about something decades later they seem to have all the information to fill in the gaps.
 

Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #924 on: November 01, 2015, 01:57:08 PM »
I've spoken to Hank a couple of times and corresponded with him frequently. He also seems to have a firm grasp of detail, history, and impacts. I trust his recall.
 

Offline Shutter

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #925 on: November 01, 2015, 04:13:29 PM »
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I've spoken to Hank a couple of times and corresponded with him frequently. He also seems to have a firm grasp of detail, history, and impacts. I trust his recall.


That is a little different. I'm talking about people that claim to know everything about a suspect from over 40 years ago. what the wore, jewelry, small moments in time they had no reason to recall etc. etc.
 

Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #926 on: November 01, 2015, 04:47:28 PM »
...as opposed to the group of people who have absolutely NO recall of some details from November 24, 1971, such as the clip-on tie, even though one would think it was their job to remember - like Tina Mucklow, Red Campbell, John Norris, Jack Ricks, and Alf Stousland.

If nothing else, this investigation is a study in the range of human memory.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2015, 04:48:21 PM by Bruce A. Smith »
 

georger

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #927 on: November 01, 2015, 05:10:46 PM »
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...as opposed to the group of people who have absolutely NO recall of some details from November 24, 1971, such as the clip-on tie, even though one would think it was their job to remember - like Tina Mucklow, Red Campbell, John Norris, Jack Ricks, and Alf Stousland.

If nothing else, this investigation is a study in the range of human memory.

Some of these named people won;t even talk to you! How in hell do you know what they think, know, or their state of mind? Maybe it's your state of mind that is the central issue, as a socalled reporter?
 

Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #928 on: November 02, 2015, 03:19:47 AM »
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...as opposed to the group of people who have absolutely NO recall of some details from November 24, 1971, such as the clip-on tie, even though one would think it was their job to remember - like Tina Mucklow, Red Campbell, John Norris, Jack Ricks, and Alf Stousland.

If nothing else, this investigation is a study in the range of human memory.

Some of these named people won;t even talk to you! How in hell do you know what they think, know, or their state of mind? Maybe it's your state of mind that is the central issue, as a socalled reporter?

I'm merely quoting other people on this.

Calame and Rhodes wrote that Tina had no memory whatsoever of the clip-on tie when Russ spoke to her towards the end of the convent stay.

Rhodes wrote that when he interviewed Campbell, Ricks, Norris and Stousland in the mid-1980s, and then a second time a year or so later, none of them had any memory of seeing, retrieving or hearing about the clip-on tie.

These perspectives were confirmed partially when I spoke with Bill Rataczak in 2009, and he said that he had worked closely with Richard Tosaw in the 1980s on the latter's book, and learned that Tina's memory was shot.

Maybe Georger, your hatred of me is the central issue, here. What else could blind so you so persistently on some critical facts in the case?
« Last Edit: November 02, 2015, 03:24:52 AM by Bruce A. Smith »
 

Offline 377

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Re: Suspects And Confessions
« Reply #929 on: November 02, 2015, 10:00:35 AM »
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...as opposed to the group of people who have absolutely NO recall of some details from November 24, 1971, such as the clip-on tie, even though one would think it was their job to remember - like Tina Mucklow, Red Campbell, John Norris, Jack Ricks, and Alf Stousland.

If nothing else, this investigation is a study in the range of human memory.

Some of these named people won;t even talk to you! How in hell do you know what they think, know, or their state of mind? Maybe it's your state of mind that is the central issue, as a socalled reporter?

I'm merely quoting other people on this.

Calame and Rhodes wrote that Tina had no memory whatsoever of the clip-on tie when Russ spoke to her towards the end of the convent stay.

Rhodes wrote that when he interviewed Campbell, Ricks, Norris and Stousland in the mid-1980s, and then a second time a year or so later, none of them had any memory of seeing, retrieving or hearing about the clip-on tie.

These perspectives were confirmed partially when I spoke with Bill Rataczak in 2009, and he said that he had worked closely with Richard Tosaw in the 1980s on the latter's book, and learned that Tina's memory was shot.

Maybe Georger, your hatred of me is the central issue, here. What else could blind so you so persistently on some critical facts in the case?

Without Blevins here for vitriol dilution you get a full concentrated dose Bruce. 😉😉

377