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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.

DB Cooper and the flap over Walter R. Reca – an interview with publisher Vern Jones

The Walter Reca story is, bluntly, pure nonsense. Bruce points out many of the problems in this write-up.

The Mountain News - WA

By Bruce A. Smith

Vern Jones and his Principia Media publishing company have just released a book that claims to identify the iconic skyjacker DB Cooper. DB Cooper and Me: A Criminal, a Spy, My Best Friend, is a memoir penned by an 84-year old Floridian named Carl “Charley” Laurin, and it traces the alleged exploits of Detroit native, Walter R. “Peca” Reca.

Laurin claims that Reca is DB Cooper.

View original post 1,729 more words

Walter Reca is not DB Cooper

I’ll try to do a full write-up later, but the big news in the Cooper world has been the release of another new suspect, Walter Reca.

The press conference was today and it took about five minutes to eliminate Reca as a suspect:

  • Reca claims he destroyed one of the back (main) parachutes for cordage. In fact, it was one of the reserves.
  • Reca used different nomenclature for the parachutes than Cooper did.
  • The description Reca gives of the money being a mix of new and used bills, is incorrect. Cooper got used bills.
  • The drop zone is wrong, Reca and Principia Media claim Reca jumped to the east of Seattle. This is very wrong for many reasons.
  • No explanation is given for the Tina Bar money find.

EARONS/Golden State Killer Caught

Joseph James DeAngelo, a seventy-two-year-old Sacremento resident, has been arrested in connection with two murders allegedly committed by the “East Area Rapist” (EAR) almost forty years ago. DNA linked the East Area Rapist to crimes committed by someone dubbed “The Original Night Stalker” (ONS) and was later labeled “The Golden State Killer” (GSK).

This is a breaking story but here’s some tidbits I’ve picked up so far:

  • DeAngelo was a police officer who was fired in 1979 for shoplifting a hammer and dog repellent.  The EAR must have encountered many dogs in his neighborhood stalks. At least once a dog was stabbed by someone believed to be the EAR.
  • Rumors are that DeAngelo admitted to being the Visalia Ransacker. DeAngelo lived about fifteen minutes from Visalia when the Ransacker was active, and he was a cop at that time. DeAngelo’s mother lived in Visalia. [DA confirms he was the Ransacker]
  • DeAngelo was a Vietnam vet, served in the Navy.
  • He had connections to Sierra Crane & Hoist, a company that a redditor linked to aviation repairs. Paul Holes, a cold case investigator, believed EARONS had a connection to aviation.
  • DeAngelo’s DNA was connected from a discarded item, police did not reveal why they had put DeAngelo under surveillance.
  • Still trying to find out what DeAngelo did after being fired from law enforcement. He married at 27 years of age and had a child in 1981.
  • The last known GSK murder happened in 1986, a few months before the birth of another of DeAngelo’s children.
  • Much of the conjecture about EARONS was true, he did have military and police experience, he did have a connection to aviation and the construction industry. Paul Holes was correct when he said he believed the suspect still lived in or near Sacramento.
  • DeAngelo was most recently working as a tuck mechanic and retired last year. He discussed the case once with an in-law. He collected guns and was a re-loader (recycled and made his own ammo). [Other Redditors say he was a motorcycle mechanic who retired only a few weeks ago, so waiting on sources]
  • It’s known tracking dogs had unusual reactions to the EAR scent (though they could normally follow the scent to its end point), now we know why: Dog repellent.
  • Anything not sourced came from Reddit
  • A supposed tip posted to Reddit says a DNA link was made from 23andMe or Ancestry.com databases. Such a link would be against the terms of service for those companies and who knows how that might play out in the legal world.
  • An interesting event to consider in light of the fact the GSK was a police officer: the 7-11 incident.
  • Reddit thread on what we know about DeAngelo so far…

DB Cooper Update

I was directed to a Facebook group of older skydivers who were talking about DB Cooper and saw these two gems:

Jon Reinschreiber:

The FBI came out to our DZ to nose around. They were fish out of water.
FBI: “You have to help us find him. We know that he’s injured and needs help”
Us: “How do you know that he’s injured?”
FBI: “He wasn’t wearing jump boots.”
Us: looking at our tennis shoes, “HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA!”


Gene Bland:

You know what you know, and what you don’t know you just don’t know.

I was brought into the investigation the day after it happened by the FBI in Carson City NV. I inspected the parachutes he left in the B-727. I talked with Causey [presumably, Earl Cossey–ed] in their office on the phone to the Bureau office in Portland about the chutes that he jumped with. We reviewed the routes.

I helped them purge the files at USPA Hq in Monterey while I worked there in the summer of ’72.

From the FBI profile and the short list compiled we went through the possible suspects.

I jumpmastered on[e] of them on his first FF and later made his first hook up. He was a USAF Survival Instructor at Stead AFB. He met the physical profile. He bought some property on an airport in KS.

Some of the jumpers that knew him there agreed.

We’ve discussed this several times before on Oldschool Skydiving.

I also participated in the investigation of two more skyjacking cases where we had convictions.

Found on November 19, 2017 on a public Facebook group

Media Alert

I will be on After Hours AM talking DB Cooper at 7:10pm PST on February 28th.


  • An archive of my posts relating to the Cooper Case can be Found Here
  • You can buy my book on DB Cooper Here.
  • Here is a list of people I’m researching to find a possible connection to the Max Gunther book. (List was downloaded from FamilySearch.org, it is all the Canadian-born US Army WWII enlistees.) Any information on any of the people on the list would be helpful.
  • My Data on no-pulls during WWII and in skydiving.

Twitter: @martyandrade

Update: Podcast is up, my interview begins in the second hour.