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D.B. Cooper Notes: March 2017

Slow month in the Cooper world. Nothing earth-shattering.

  • For those interested, TJC (Co-author of The Last Master Outlaw) has been releasing hundreds of pages of FBI documents received through FOIA requests. According to rumors, there may be many hundreds of pages more coming soon.
  • It looks like there is a small chance some of the CRT-related particles found by the McCrone group analysis could be linked to specific CRT tubes.
  • The DB Cooper Forum has been pretty quiet, a lot of focus lately has been on the Dan Cooper comic books. The comic was translated into several other languages from the original French. The problem still remains: finding a group of people who are bilingual and have no accent. French-Canadian is still the big favorite. What’s being ignored is the fact the Dan Cooper connection is tenuous. Dan Cooper is such a common name, it’s very possible it was just an alias picked at random for being remarkably unmemorable.
  • I’ll be going through the FBI files for some time, and I’ll be sending in my own FOIA request for FBI files relating to Max Gunther’s role in the Cooper case. I’ll keep everyone posted.
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21 Responses

  1. Mr Andrade, Might I ask why you got so “into” my cousin’s story? I love reading what you write and your findings. I didn’t know ALOT about Richard but my daddy did. So I love reading what you find out as well. I was just curious why you took to the story and kept up with it for so long? Just curious.

    Sincerely,

    Tracy

    T.J. Faw

    • Thanks for the kind words. I had a passing interest in the case since reading a book on it in middle school. I went deep into the rabbit hole when I found myself laid off from a job about two and half years ago.

  2. I think I’m going to put an add in the Seattle Times and a Portland Newspaper, and ask people to look through old pictures especially from 1971 at PDX. Ask people to look through pictures in storage and their grandmothers old pictures. I will explain that one picture at the airport with Cooper in the background holding the briefcase could solve one of the crimes of the century, make themselves famous, and be worth a lot of money. Finding the money, parachute, or a body may now be impossible, but I about promise you their is a picture of him that day at the airport in somebody’s photo album or maybe in an online archive like flicker.

    • I have to disagree, there is almost certainly not a picture of him at the airport. If there is, it is likely from behind as he is described as staring out the window while waiting to board. The FBI would have found pictures if they existed.

      • Same FBI that gave up? Lots of sources now that a kid can use and find stuff. Heck I’m a nobody from nowhere and I’ve found dozens of pictures that a cold case team couldn’t find.

  3. i believe the alias was a random pick. The Dan Cooper comic did not come out until the mid-1950’s, by which time the hijacker already was in his mid-20’s at least. As best I’ve been able to determine it was aimed at pre-teen boys. Unless he had a young son (and maybe not even then – how many adults pay attention to their kids’ comic books?) he probably wouldn’t even have known of the character.

    Peter

    • I can’t say how prominent adult comic book readers were in the 1960s. I would guess there were a few, probably far fewer than we see today… But yes, I tend to agree. From a probabilistic standpoint, you’d expect the name to be a random alias.

  4. I just read your post “DB Cooper: What I think happened” and I think you have the best explanation as to what really happened. I like your theory that Cooper lost the money during the jump and a second party found the money. Do you think this money was found shortly after the jump or much later? I ask this because of the condition of the tena bar money. Can we assume that the $5,800 was exposed to the elements for a very long time? This could indicate that the money was found much later after the jump. What do the experts say about this condition? Was it due to to exposure to running water, burial in the ground or a combination of both? Incidentally, the rubber bands prove that there was human intervention. The money that was delivered to the 727 would have been buddled in paper wrappers (called bill straps or currency bands). At some point later on, the money was rubber banded. Most financial institutions (if not all) bundled large stacks of bills this way.
    Lastly, I would like to say something about the McCrone group analysis of the clip on tie. This has to be the most exciting news on the Cooper case in decades. I hope it leads to something positive. This tie, however, would not, by itself, prove who Cooper really was. Cooper could have acquired this tie after the really metallurgist/engineer/manager who owed it discarded it (donated it to Goodwill, dropped it somewhere, etc.). Thank you for letting me vent my thoughts and I look forward to your comments!

    • The TBar money find has baffled some really intelligent people. My personal feeling is Cooper lost all or part of the money during the jump. Then. all or part of the money got deposited into the Columbia river, where it was eventually dredged to TBar in 1974. I go into more detail in my book on Cooper.

      I feel it necessary to correct you on one detail, the money was originally packed with the rubber bands. There were no paper bands… we know this from FBI documents and eyewitnesses.

      The tie likely belonged to Cooper. The tie owner was a heavy smoker who used matchbook matches, and Cooper had the same habit. The tie was only available from 1964 to 1970, so there’s a narrow window for it to have two owners. And, I personally believe the exotic metallic particles on the tie could not have come from any manufacturers in the pacific northwest.

      • Thank you for your response. For various reasons, I have never read any of the Cooper books out there but I will read yours. I like your ideas better than some of the other sites that I have seen. I have always been inquesative and like to ask questions. Thanks for your patience.

  5. You might find the ongoing Ghost Plane of Michigan incident rather interesting. Last Wednesday, a University of Michigan student rented a Cessna at the Ann Arbor airport and filed a fight plan for a trip to another airport in the state. So far the police haven’t released his name.

    He never arrived at that destination, and the airplane crashed in Ontario near the northern shore of Lake Superior after running out of fuel. When rescuers arrived, there was no one in the airplane and no tracks in the extensive snowfield surrounding the site. The autopilot was still engaged.

    One way or another, the pilot must have exited the aircraft in flight, presumably after setting the autopilot so that it would run out of fuel and crash in a remote area or into the lake. Whether it was a suicide leap or a Cooper-esque parachute jump remains a mystery.

    Peter

    • Really interesting stuff, thanks for letting me know about this.

      Interestingly, it’s similar to a scene I wrote to a now abandoned novel. In the scene, our protagonist, who is a thief, bales out of an aircraft near Duluth, MN. The plane crashes into the middle of Lake Superior, and a happy ending is enjoyed by all as law enforcement declares him dead and he lives off his money for the rest of his life.

  6. I’ve been wrong about Cooper about a million times, but so was Edison about the lightbulb until he got it right. Lol. I believe Cooper was James E. Klansnic, a WW2 Vet and POW. He worked for Boeing for 37 years as a hydraulic engineer and manager. He is identical in looks to Cooper even down to the Olive Complexion. When yal Google him you will see him under a Boeing 727 and see an article he wrote in 1964 that he even talks about the aft stairs. The sketch matches him, and so does the particles on the tie. Parachuting experience is also included when his B-17 was shot down in Austria and he was captured in a deserted cabin. His mom spoke some German, so it was a great possibility that’s where he may have got acquainted with the Dan Cooper comics since Cooper was shot down too. He was around 50 at the time which goes along with some of the witness accounts according to the FBI files. I have sent emails to the FBI and his son and maybe I will hear something back tomorrow. I know it’s a long shot but maybe they could get a DNA match and solve or his son knows something. He was a very generous guy who did a lot for charity and looked as though he had the perfect life. His obituary is very entertaining and informative, check it out. Goodnight

    • Not sure a the man had a motive for such a daring heist, but regardless, his was a life well-lived:

      http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/seattletimes/obituary.aspx?pid=171919810

      • He was working on the brake system for the SST program. He put countless hours and work in something that the government yanked from them. He likely lost several co-workers to layoffs and also the chance at being apart of history with the Super Sonic transport plane. No suspect knew more about the 727 as Klansnic did. It wasn’t about money, as Mr Klansnic had plenty. After everything I have read about him he was a caring, loving, and generous man. The more I find on him, the more I grow to like him. James Bond didn’t have jack on James Klansnic I can promise you. In World war 2 with his B-17 shot to crap and about to go down, Klansnic jumped through the bomb bay of the plane at 26,000 ft and safely landed but was then captured by the Nazis and put in a labor camp for 13 months. His book will make for one heck of a story and I’m glad to be apart of history with him. I’m not half the man that he was.

    • It would have been pretty tough for a married man with six children to explain his absence over a Thanksgiving weekend.

      Peter

  7. For those interested in going down the rabbit hole (again) for a few days, jere’s a flickr collection of employee photos from Tektronix, spanning a few decades.

    Also, note in particular, video from a 1968 Tektronix picnic, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxjjhHsZPHo

    In the picnic video, “Gene Cowan” appears to have similar features to our suspect. Clarence Eugene “Gene” Cowan” still lives in the Portland area.

  8. Thank God the Cooper files vindicated me – NOT loafer but they ankle boot or the lower boot that zips up the side – inside or outside zip.

    • Thank God the Cooper files vindicated me – NOT loafers but they ankle boots or the lower boot that zips up the side – inside or outside zip.

      Not only the Shoes – but Duane worked for the Modulus Corp in 1969 and 1970…I have W-2’s to prove this….Modulus made parts for Boeing and the Racing industry. Duane had connections to the racing industry in Ga.

  9. In Ga the ATC was in an uproar…Duane had close friends who were ATF & went to the Airport to pick up cylinders from a man there. When he came back to the car – I asked what they were….I gave them to a man who collected them – after Duane died – I didn’t know what they were…an antique dealer in the area told me he knew someone who collected them…the man met me on a specific day & on the side walk – near where I worked – he had drove down from Alabama to collect them. That man I recently found his OBIT – the same man who Duane sent a package to! That man was ATF in GA in 1971….an individual Duane mentioned in the past and another who was involved in Race Cars.

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