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DB Cooper: Tina Bar Revisited

Eric U, a Cooper researcher, has tried to locate the original position of the money as it was found by Brian Ingram in February of 1980. As I noted on the DB Cooper forum, several thousand posts have been devoted to locating the original position of the money. I’m not sure any consensus was ever made, however Eric’s estimate puts the money a significant distance away from Tom Kaye’s findings… and I can’t figure out why. Regardless, the location of the money is not as important as the nature of the “shard field” and the actual layer of sand the money was found in. All indications based on the FBI’s examination of the sand, the distribution of the money fragments and a re-interpretation of “The Palmer Report” suggest strongly the dredging operation in 1974 brought the money to the surface.


DB Cooper: Tom Kaye Talks Tie Particles

The Hunt for DB Cooper – an interview with retired FBI agent, Ralph Himmelsbach

Just looking at some older Cooper research, here is an interesting interview with Ralph Himmelsbach, one of the FBI agents most associated with the case.

The Mountain News - WA


On January 30, 2011, I interviewed Ralph Himmelsbach, the now-retired FBI agent who had been the lead agent for the Bureau’s Portland, Oregon office in the DB Cooper case.  Mr. Himmelsbach, a career FBI agent, served as Portland’s lead Cooper investigator from the time of the skyjacking on November 24, 1971 until his retirement from the Bureau in April, 1980.

Ralph is very easy to find, suggesting that he is comfortable with his public persona., and in addition he has a book for sale on the skyjacking titled, NORJAK: the Investigation of DB Cooper.

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DB Cooper – Cooperites celebrate the 47th Anniversary of the skyjacking with conference

Detailed report on the DB Cooper Forum last week in Portland:

The Mountain News - WA

By Bruce A. Smith

The 47th Anniversary of the DB Cooper skyjacking was celebrated with a gathering of experts and aficionados to discuss the details of the case, and ponder new evidence and suspects.

On November 24, 1971, DB Cooper hijacked a Northwest Orient 727 enroute to Seattle from Portland, and after he jumped from the aft stairs with $200,000 in twenties tethered to his waist, nothing has ever been discovered – neither his identity, fate, or any of his gear or booty. However, $6,200 of ransom money was found on a Columbia River beach in 1980, but that discovery also defies explanation. DB Cooper’s daring-do has been feted every since, and this anniversary was no exception. The DB Cooper heist, known to law enforcement as NORJAK, remains the only unsolved skyjacking in American history. Nevertheless, the FBI officially closed the case in 2016.

Approximately 100 people gathered Saturday…

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DB Cooper: The Restaurant


New DB Cooper Podcast

Currently at two episodes, including a long winding conversation with Bruce Smith:


2018 DB Cooper Conference

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend, but it looks interesting, details:


Personal Update

It’s been a very busy summer for me and I haven’t had much time to write. I’m helping with a house remodel, I have a lot of professional obligations right now, and what little time I have to write is being spent on a book project. I am keeping up-to-date on the DB Cooper case and hope to publish some more articles on it in the coming year. Almost every aspect the Cooper mystery is solvable, and I want to present the case as it stands today. I am also collecting more data on WWII parachuting and will likely write a paper on survivability based on one of the chapters from my book on Cooper. Then there’s my perennial promise to try out podcasting (I swear, this year is the year!)

A lot of prep work for a future series of articles on the Golden State Killer had to be trashed thanks to the fantastic work of law enforcement who tracked down and caught Joe DeAngelo. I am currently looking for new mysteries to investigate. I want to thank everyone who has read, commented, sent me messages and followed the blog since I started working on the Cooper case. It has been quite an adventure and quite a surprise for me. I’m not done, but neither am I devoting the resources to the case that I had in the past.

DB Cooper: Sheridan Peterson Revisited

Eric Ulis, a longtime DB Cooper sleuth has released a report detailing his investigation into the skyjacking, now available for purchase at: https://thecoopercase.com/ In the report he discusses the hijacking, the Tina Bar money find, the tie particles, and the flight path. He comes to the conclusion that Sheridan Peterson is the UnSub skyjacker from Norjak. Eric actually called me to ask about some of my own findings on Sheridan Peterson, and I will have some corrections to make to my book in later editions. Basically, he was able to show that there was overlap between when Sheridan Peterson was at Boeing and when the JCPenney #3 clip-on tie was available in stores, which I erroneously believed not to be true. He also let me know that the FBI has not officially ruled Peterson out as a candidate despite taking his DNA some years ago, something I said did happen. My assumption was that the DNA was not a match, but we simply don’t know. I stand corrected.

I don’t want to spoil the report by giving too many details, but I disagree with several of Ulis’ findings. Ulis believes flight 305 bypassed Portland to the west by travelling from the Malay to the Canby intersections, which is Robert “R99” Nicholson’s theory. Ulis suggests Cooper landed near Tina Bar and buried the money, losing some of it in the sand upon retrieval. I believe the evidence is now irrefutable that the money came to Tina Bar via the 1974 dredging operation, and that the published flight path is essentially correct (I believe the anomalies on the yellow FBI sectional came from the way the map was transcribed from its source). Even if Cooper had jumped directly over Tina Bar, he would have landed a good distance away had his parachute opened properly.

Regardless, I highly recommend the report. His research is extensive and his theories are interesting.

Podcast Appearance

I made a brief appearance on the Haughty by Nature podcast. We talked briefly about my two novels starting at around the 35-minute mark.