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

Deezine

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For what it is worth, and for anyone wanting to delve deeper into the Cooper vortex, I have built a website listing all the books written about DB Cooper (and there are a lot!)

The site lists and has a short precis of each book

If you do a Google search for 'DB Cooper Books' or 'books about DB Cooper' it will be near the top the rankings on Google and it gets plenty of traffic

I don't sell anything and make nothing from the site - I just thought that for new people wanting to find out about the case, there were so many books out there, it would help to classify and rate them

I can gladly recommend which are the best books to get if you do want to go ahead and buy one

 

trentbob

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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 7date) 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
Those are valid points, the pilots were concerned that they had to leave the rear stairs open but were okayed to land with them open as they didn't know the situation in the rear of the plane, if he was still a board they didn't want to blow up.

The FBI mentioned that he was familiar with the plane, they were pursuing a link with Cooper having possibly been a former employee of Boeing.

Two nagging questions, the money being one of them, it can't be confirmed that the bulk of the money was recovered by the FBI, if it was they never made that announcement but there were off the record innuendo and insinuations that it was recovered but we don't know that, the 8-year-old boy did recover a small part of the $200,000 in decayed bills, all denominations including $1 bills per the FBI that matched the serial numbers of the marked money.

Could he have accidentally dropped the money that was wrapped in the parachute where the money was found and just took the loss and bailed out in the location that you're pointing out just so he didn't get caught but knew he lost the money? Could he have just accidentally dropped a small fraction of it that the boy found?

The FBI documented that they did not feel he was experienced with a parachute but did make a point of saying that it was not a parachute that could be steered, why wouldn't he demand that kind of a shoot knowing that he had a target to meet his accomplice?

Getting back to your original question about electronics, I was 18 years old in late 1971 in my first year of college and was a Stringer with a City newspaper since I began to drive at 16 years old, had my own dark room Etc.

My dad was a ham radio operator and I had been using and enjoying different types of communication equipment and monitoring equipment since 11 or 12 years old in the mid 60s and in high school was very experienced with communication equipment of the day. How would he communicate with his accomplice? I truly don't believe there was anything other than presented here in this thread in terms of small communication devices, just big ones.

I'm curious as no one really knows what happened with this guy, do you have any other information that can be confirmed two ways that lead you to your theory?

I have always been enthralled with this case, again I had other professional careers but did end up as a long time newspaper man and retired as a department editor from a large seven day a week daily newspaper so I'm open to and all ears as to your theories!

Just saw the post with the website. I will take a look at that in a while.

It is interesting that the FBI mentioned in 2016 that this case no longer was being pursued as their resources were needed elsewhere so anybody investigating this now, you're the only ones.
 

KD9KSO

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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

There is no evidence to indicate he was qualified with a type rating or knew how to fly the B-727-100 aircraft. Knowledge of flight control, capabilities, performance, and characteristics can be found in the POH.

6Y0J9ua.jpg
 

trentbob

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There is no evidence to indicate he was qualified with a type rating or knew how to fly the B-727-100 aircraft. Knowledge of flight control, capabilities, performance, and characteristics can be found in the POH.

6Y0J9ua.jpg
Absolutely agree with this but the FBI felt there was enough knowledge to extensively investigate Boeing and X employees and contractors, feeling he might be involved with them in some way. In recent years all kinds of names have come up with relation to Boeing as to the identity of Cooper. Bogus, one was ruled out as, multiple sources saying, he never smoked LOL.

He did know enough to make sure the pilots kept the altitude below 10,000, he knew enough that the plane could land with the rear stairs down. Welcome to the discussion, there was a time that I was passionate about this case as the original poster.
 

KD9KSO

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It is possible. Boeing manuals and flight performance information was not as widely disseminated back then as it is today with the advent of the internet and the wide open market that it has become.

This man got his information about the 727 from somewhere. The Navy, at the time, was the only service that used the Boeing 727 and IIRC, they only had two for VIP transport. The Air Force never used this aircraft, and Army and Marine Corps did not either.

He either knew pilots qualified in this aircraft, or got ahold of a POH to know the various speeds required and at what flap settings to use. IIRC 190KIAS was max Vs for 15° and you could fly as slow at 155 KIAS with this setting before going to 25° flaps. Those speeds depended upon weight.

There is also the remote possibility that this guy was a current or former airline pilot for another airline.

I would have to open the book and look at the tables to be certain about the speeds and weight. Density altitude and temperature also figure into those speeds and flap settings.
 

trentbob

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Interesting contributions, be sure to go back and look at the entire thread from post #1. So much detailed information by all. This is actually a very productive exchange.
 

BinaryMode

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If this guy knew about aviation (as seems to be the case) then it's likely he'll want to gravitate towards a radio he's familiar with if he used one at all. i.e a radio used in the aviation community back in that time. Like the alluded to beacon. But what does it take to home in on said beacon?

If it were me, perhaps some kind of patent search on a criteria of certain radios could be done of that time period. Maybe AI could help?
 

BinaryMode

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AN/PRC-90-2?

Was perhaps used by USAF Lieutenant colonel Iceal E. "Gene" Hambleton in the last days of the Vietnam War circa 1975 and portrayed in the movie BAT*21.






 
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KB2GOM

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Interesting contributions, be sure to go back and look at the entire thread from post #1. So much detailed information by all. This is actually a very productive exchange.
The breadth and depth of knowledge here (as well as the generosity of spirit) often puts a smile on my face.
 

trentbob

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I think it has a lot to do with our age Jock, wisdom comes from experience and by this point, we all have that. I'm amazed at what I can remember from this case from late 1971.
 

Deezine

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If this guy knew about aviation (as seems to be the case) then it's likely he'll want to gravitate towards a radio he's familiar with if he used one at all. i.e a radio used in the aviation community back in that time. Like the alluded to beacon. But what does it take to home in on said beacon?

If it were me, perhaps some kind of patent search on a criteria of certain radios could be done of that time period. Maybe AI could help?
Thanks for this

I am not hanging my hat on a 2-way radio - but perhaps a device which could signal to an accomplice my position?
 

trentbob

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I just looked at that long laundry list of books, I had no idea there were that many books written about this case. Funny... one of the covers shows a drawing of him parachuting and it was a steerable parachute which of course he did not have. Makes you wonder what other inaccuracies are in some of those books. Certainly did sell a lot of Supermarket tabloid newspapers.

I always thought the case after about 2 years was kind of cut and dry but a mystery nonetheless . The kid finding a fraction of decayed money years later that matched the serial numbers near the same area that investigators, dredged the river searching for the money and the body, sparked and renewed interest.

Fascinating case for a college student starting a long journalism career back in 1971.
 

BinaryMode

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Thanks for this

I am not hanging my hat on a 2-way radio - but perhaps a device which could signal to an accomplice my position?

Sure.

Keep in mind however that the primary frequency used with that AN/PRC is 243 MHz and is the military air guard frequency that EVERYONE will be listening to. So if he did use a radio like that it be on the other frequency listed on the radio. At least that's what I'd do.

Handheld Crystal controlled CBs existed back then and I do own a few. I'd have to either measure their output wattage or hopefully still be able to look up an FCC ID, but I imagine they outputted around 3 watts.

This MacDonald Instruments 2 channel CB that uses 8 AA batteries was manufactured in 1976 according to the manufacture date on the back of the radio. It was made in Japan, too!

You might be interested in this thread and the Pinterest link.
 

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BinaryMode

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I don't know much about the DB Cooper case, but I gotta ask this for those that may know.

So hear me out. I personally think this guy died either on impact or while in the bush. And here's why. If DB Cooper is still alive I imagine he'd be close to natural death by now. As such, and as we carbon-based bipedal chimps are, we can't seem to hold onto a secret, and being such a high profile case I would think eventually DB Cooper would come out of the wood work and say, "yes, I'm DB Cooper, I did that and here's where I spent all the money."

Also, if, IF the guy had accomplices that makes the probability of one opening their mouth that much greater. This is very true for criminal organizations like the mafia. i.e. one will rat out the other some time or in some way. Especially if it's some kind of plea bargain for a lighter prison sentence.

So with that, what do you think? Is that a possibility? Should perhaps investigators look for a skeleton in the bush instead?

And off on a possible massive tangent, what's the possibility of CIA involvement if DB Cooper did have accomplices?
 

Deezine

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I don't know much about the DB Cooper case, but I gotta ask this for those that may know.

So hear me out. I personally think this guy died either on impact or while in the bush. And here's why. If DB Cooper is still alive I imagine he'd be close to natural death by now. As such, and as we carbon-based bipedal chimps are, we can't seem to hold onto a secret, and being such a high profile case I would think eventually DB Cooper would come out of the wood work and say, "yes, I'm DB Cooper, I did that and here's where I spent all the money."

Also, if, IF the guy had accomplices that makes the probability of one opening their mouth that much greater. This is very true for criminal organizations like the mafia. i.e. one will rat out the other some time or in some way. Especially if it's some kind of plea bargain for a lighter prison sentence.

So with that, what do you think? Is that a possibility? Should perhaps investigators look for a skeleton in the bush instead?

And off on a possible massive tangent, what's the possibility of CIA involvement if DB Cooper did have accomplices?
I hear you...

And your points are valid

1. The FBI's public belief is that Cooper died. But their conclusion is more likely one which exonerates their failure to come up with any tangible suspects or indeed evidence in 45 years of trying (they officially closed the case in 2016)
Most serious investigators (including most sky jumpers and smoke jumpers) in the case believe he landed safely, for all the reasons I have stated in the above posts.

2. If his accomplice was family, for example, a Korean or Vietnamese wife (his age and likely military experience make this a distinct possibility) then ratting becomes a far less likely scenario. Also, the FBI issued a John Doe notice to invalidate the Statute of Limitations in this case, making prosecution possible, even today

3. CIA involvement has been seriously put forward by several sleuths, especially in light of the fact the Government of the day were looking for some reason/excuse to bring in legislation to toughen up airport security, which was virtually non-existent (getting on a plane back then was like getting on a bus - no checks, nothing) and there were 116 separate hijacks in the USA in 1971 alone. A serious crime of this nature, with a bomb used as a threat, could be utilised to manipulate public opinion.
 

KevinC

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How about we get back on the wireless/radio aspect of this as opposed to conspiracy theories and whatever else.
 

trentbob

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In the beginning of the thread we looked at radio equipment from 1971. I think that was pretty well covered, as mentioned above the stewardess sat next to Dan Cooper the entire flight and said he had a small briefcase and did not report any type of electronic communication equipment which would have had to be at least the size of a walkie-talkie as pictured in the beginning of the thread.

Discussion of tiny transmitters and such, especially from the Hollywood movie from a decade later are irrelevant. This occurred in 1971.

Now that this is in off topic wireless, it's a very interesting, civil, discussion. A true mystery with very few documented facts and that's what opens it up to intelligent, expert assumptions, speculations and opinion as to what might have happened. Great discussion.

CIA, conspiracy theories, not so much, I followed this one closely as an adult from the day it happened and after about 2 years looked at it as being pretty cut and dry as to what happened. But that's just an opinion😉
 

Deezine

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How about we get back on the wireless/radio aspect of this as opposed to conspiracy theories and whatever else.
I am happy to do that, its why I came here, for your guys help.

But if someone asks me a question I'm only being civil in replying
 

trentbob

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I am happy to do that, its why I came here, for your guys help.

But if someone asks me a question I'm only being civil in replying
I agree with you, the mere fact that you were pursuing information on radio equipment from 1971 on an investigation was a pretty obvious tip-off to me you were talking about the DB Cooper case, asking about two-way communication was inferring that there was an accomplice, just a natural flow of direction for the conversation to go.

Again, very few facts in this case. It's all speculation but I've got to agree with @KevinC on this one.

Speculation that he had a military background, accomplice was a Vietnamese or Korean female, political motives by government investigative agencies to increase security at airports and change public opinion and legislation.. people are entitled to their opinions but it gets to a point where that's way out there but everyone is entitled to their opinion.

Let's not lose fact of the times in 1971, and this is not for discussion with me but we were at the height of the Vietnamese War which was extremely unpopular at that time, it was very difficult to sway public opinion about anything LOL.

I am very open to discussion of an accomplice and what method could have been planned to make contact using radio communication.
 

Deezine

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I agree with you, the mere fact that you were pursuing information on radio equipment from 1971 on an investigation was a pretty obvious tip-off to me you were talking about the DB Cooper case, asking about two-way communication was inferring that there was an accomplice, just a natural flow of direction for the conversation to go.

Again, very few facts in this case. It's all speculation but I've got to agree with @KevinC on this one.

Speculation that he had a military background, accomplice was a Vietnamese or Korean female, political motives by government investigative agencies to increase security at airports and change public opinion and legislation.. people are entitled to their opinions but it gets to a point where that's way out there but everyone is entitled to their opinion.

Let's not lose fact of the times in 1971, and this is not for discussion with me but we were at the height of the Vietnamese War which was extremely unpopular at that time, it was very difficult to sway public opinion about anything LOL.

I am very open to discussion of an accomplice and what method could have been planned to make contact using radio communication.
Hi again

I must stress, those are hypotheses In general, not specifically mine!

Re '
what method could have been planned to make contact using radio communication.
I am trying to establish if Cooper could have landed somewhere in the wide open approaches to Reno airport, probably at least 10 miles out, the terrain there is very conducive to a parachute jump.

Upon landing and gathering his chute Cooper transmits his whereabouts to his pickup

the 'transmits' bit is why I have come here seeking help - it seems a 2 way radio was possibly too large (although it could have been concealed in his briefcase or upon his body when he boarded.

If not a 2-way radio, is there any beacon-like technology he could have used to signal his position?
 
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