Newbie - asking for historical help/knowledge - Criminal cold case investigation

Blackswan73

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Actually, only $5,800 was found along the bank of the Columbia river. The rest of the money and Cooper, vanished without a trace

B.S.
 

trentbob

W3BUX- Bucks County, PA
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Actually, only $5,800 was found along the bank of the Columbia river. The rest of the money and Cooper, vanished without a trace

B.S.
And that brings us to the biggest problem of ever solving this crime mystery.. after initial conclusions were done within a few years of the crime on solid evidence, before cell phones, social media and the internet.. no different than artificial intelligence.. after then, logic and reality stepped aside.

Original poster, stay on your investigation, be aware of false information on the internet. You have to back up everything at least 2 ways.

Interesting direction your thread has taken.

If ever I opened a cold case like this, I would avoid the internet as I was responsible, probably, for writing some of it.

The first thing I would do is interview pertinent people who knew him and probably knew what he was doing, problem with that is, it's expensive as they are in the '70s, or well into their 80s and even maybe'90s. Time is running out.

If actually somebody interviewed them they would sing like a bird, especially for the notoriety..

Original poster, again, stay at it, good luck.
 

Deezine

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If 2 way radio was too bulky was there any other type of signalling/location device Cooper could have used to be found by his accomplice?
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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Assuming DB Cooper was ex military, there were some small emergency locating radios in the 243 and 282 MHz band which provided two way voice as well as a tone beacon. So there were a lot of possibilities, even in 1971.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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I think the stewardess on the flight had a good look at whatever DB Cooper had in his briefcase.
 

trentbob

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I think the stewardess on the flight had a good look at whatever DB Cooper had in his briefcase.
Yep, she sat with him through the entire flight except to get up and pass notes back and forth between the pilots, the briefcase was described as small.

A slew of articles written by such reputable news sources as "THE SUN" and "The Daily Mail" and other supermarket tabloids in 2024 has renewed interest in this crime.

A number of people have been suggested as having been Dan Cooper. That was his name on his plane ticket. The DB came from a wire service reporter who made a typo when he learned that the name was Dan Cooper, that was in the initial reporting of the incident and stuck.

None of these names or wild theories have been reported on the official FBI website on the case. I think the FBI had quite a bit of evidence that they didn't reveal, especially with finding the money which looks like it got separated from Cooper and scattered as it was wrapped in one of the parachutes supplied to Cooper by the FBI.

Unfortunately, as time goes on, those who have the answers and hold the key to solving this crime are slowly dying off.
 

Deezine

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Assuming DB Cooper was ex military, there were some small emergency locating radios in the 243 and 282 MHz band which provided two way voice as well as a tone beacon. So there were a lot of possibilities, even in 1971.
Thanks for this info
What sort of range would these have had?
 

W9OHM

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Thinking back, most available signalling devices likely would have been worthless as the flight path for this hijacked plane was not standard, iirc. Coop and any "accomplise" would have no idea where to be to connect.
 

trentbob

W3BUX- Bucks County, PA
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@Deezine.. something interesting regarding your theory, then 22-year-old Tina Mackinaw, not sure of the spelling there, the stewardess, was told by Cooper too join the flight crew at one point, instructions to the pilots were.. the rear door would be opened and left open. The three stewardesses and the pilots were the main witnesses for the FBI. This information has been confirmed by the FBI.

The Pilots had an indicator light go off when the rear door was opened and the plane was jostled with the nose pitching up but that doesn't necessarily mean that was the point that he jumped, the rear door remained open. Theoretically he could have jumped anywhere but the finding of the money, unconfirmed, that the bulk was found two years after the incident using dredging along the river and what the 8-year-old boy found years later was a fraction of the money and it was totally decayed. I would think to determine where he jumped you would "follow the money"

FBI reports indicated that the suspect did not appear to be familiar with skydiving and it was very dangerous to jump at night in what they assumed was a wooded area with a parachute that could not be steered. Again this is straight from FBI written accounts.

Two things he left behind, a pile of cigarette butts as he was a heavy smoker and a clip-on tie that is still being held by the FBI and a photo of can be found on their official website lol.

I remember in 1981 Tina Mackinaw left the airline. Unconfirmed sources say that she became a nun. You can't make this stuff up but I guess a lot of people do.🙂
 

trentbob

W3BUX- Bucks County, PA
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Thinking back, most available signalling devices likely would have been worthless as the flight path for this hijacked plane was not standard, iirc. Coop and any "accomplise" would have no idea where to be to connect.
👍
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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Thanks for this info
What sort of range would these have had?
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There were a slew of "survival radios" designed in the era prior to 1971. Some had miniature tubes and required a separate battery pack . Others used transistors. All are very low power and are intended for use upon bail out. They are very low power. Almost certainly DB Cooper would have required his accomplice to have another aircraft, a chopper perhaps to be able to receive any signals from the ground. Complicating the accomplice theory is as mentioned above, his flight/bail out plan appeared very arbitrary, sort of not well planned.
 

trentbob

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Signalling mirrors come to mind!
Agreed, bailout plan was very arbitrary and not exact as it would need to be to rendezvous with an accomplice with the preciseness needed. With the small briefcase and Tina Mackinaw with him the entire flight sitting next to him he would have needed a communication device that she would have noticed. She was an excellent witness regarding preciseness per the FBI.

Mirror signaling or smoke signals could have worked if the accomplice's chopper knew exactly where to look for the mirror reflection or smoke signals but the jump wasn't that precise. Probably not that survivable either.
 

Deezine

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Thinking back, most available signalling devices likely would have been worthless as the flight path for this hijacked plane was not standard, iirc. Coop and any "accomplise" would have no idea where to be to connect.
Thats not the case

Cooper was familiar with the Boeing 727, also how to fly it, its capabilities and handling tendencies. For instance he knew the plane could land and take off safely with the Aft stairs in the 'down' position (not even the pilots or the traffic controllers at NWO knew this)

So, its safe to assume he knew about Victor23 (the air path from Sea-Tac down to California where the plane would have to route to meet his demand that plane didn't go above 10,000ft) and also the flight path for the approach to Reno, which brings the plane over wide expanses of perfect landing zone area, on to relatively soft sand and desert.

He would be able to ascertain where he was visually (it was a calm night in Nevada on that date) and by the plane turning as it made its descent into the approach to Reno

It would be fairly easy for him to land somewhere within a 10 mile radius.

His pick up would be in car waiting somewhere towards the centre of the planned LZ
 

Deezine

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Agreed, bailout plan was very arbitrary and not exact as it would need to be to rendezvous with an accomplice with the preciseness needed. With the small briefcase and Tina Mackinaw with him the entire flight sitting next to him he would have needed a communication device that she would have noticed. She was an excellent witness regarding preciseness per the FBI.

Mirror signaling or smoke signals could have worked if the accomplice's chopper knew exactly where to look for the mirror reflection or smoke signals but the jump wasn't that precise. Probably not that survivable either.
Easily survivable

Experienced sky jumpers and smoke jumpers at the time all were of the opinion the jump was fairly easy

After Cooper hijacked Flight 305 there were 5 'copycat' hijacks. and at least one was made by a guy who had NEVER done a jump before! They all got down safely

It is widely accepted Cooper had significant parachuting experience - The widely held belief he jumped in WA/Oregon near to Portland would make it a much riskier jump, due to the darkness, the vast forests of trees and all the water in that region.

In the approach to Reno? A cinch, he could have done it with his eyes shut.
 
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