DB Cooper News: Flap over letters sent to FBI makes headlines nationwide

By Bruce A. Smith

Headlines this week ranging from Fox News to the Seattle Post-Intelligence have proclaimed the FBI has just released a letter from DB Cooper that they received shortly after his iconic skyjacking in 1971.

This news item was introduced to the world’s media by Los Angeles film and TV producer Thomas J. Colbert, who is best-known for appearing in the 2016 History Channel documentary on DB Cooper. In the broadcast, Colbert vigorously promoted Robert Rackstraw as the skyjacker DB Cooper, but was unable to prove it to the FBI’s satisfaction nor the public’s.

The flap over the DB Cooper letter appears to be the latest in a promotional campaign by Colbert to promote Rackstraw, apparently to build momentum for a docu-drama filmed by his colleagues in Hollywood.

Besides the lack of any definitive proof linking Rackstraw to the skyjacking, the primary eye-witness, Flight Attendant Tina Mucklow stated on-camera for the History Channel (HC) that a photo of Rackstraw from that era was not a picture of the skyjacker.

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Posted in Culture, DB Cooper, Entertainment | Leave a comment

DB Cooper news: Interview with author Martin Andrade

By Bruce A. Smith

With the 46th Anniversary of DB Cooper’s skyjacking approaching us – Cooper hijacked his Northwest Orient jetliner on the evening before Thanksgiving in 1971 – it is certainly timely to discuss this iconic crime with another DB Cooper author, Martin Andrade, Jr.

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Posted in Book reviews, DB Cooper, People Profiles | 12 Comments

DB Cooper news: New video on the money find released

By Bruce A. Smith

I am pleased to announce a new video release on YouTube where I explore the events surrounding the discovery of part of DB Cooper’s ransom money in 1980.

Over $6,000 worth of twenty-dollar bills was found in two separate places at a beach called Tina Bar, a spot along the Columbia River just downstream from Vancouver, Washington.

First, on Sunday, February 10, 1980, an 8-year old boy named Brian Ingram found three bundles of weathered twenties when he was digging in the sand. The next day the bills were discovered to be from DB Cooper’s ransom delivered during his skyjacking eight years earlier, in November 1971. Continue reading

Posted in Culture, DB Cooper, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Life Stories – For Mind and Soul

Special to the Mountain News-WA
By Lu André

From his collection: Life Stories – For Mind and Soul

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Creation

At first I was going to have the title as “There is no God” and I knew many will not read any further. I also thought that this is not entirely true—there is God. Being that all words describe something, god, as a word, describes and means something to whoever is using the word. The association that most people have with this word is what I do not like much. Our programming still holds much of the old worshiping script of a god in the sky. The primitive man saw mostly everything unexplained and life-threatening coming from up above, from the sky—thunder, ominous clouds, hail, flooding rains, scorching sun, winds etc. He also saw many good things happen “coming from the sky.” So, he made a “god” in the sky and gave it different names throughout the millennia. This is programmed deep in our brains and in our DNA. Continue reading

Posted in Folk tales and stories, Lu Andre, Moth Stories | Leave a comment

Local storyteller shares unique tales from his life in Europe

Special to the Mountain News

by Lu André
From his collection: Life Stories – For Mind and Soul

The Spy Who Never Was

It was a dark, almost medieval time for Bulgaria back in the 1950s and 1960s. For less than half a century, the communist craze managed to bring down a thriving agricultural country, which had provided top-notch produce all over Europe, to industrial disaster just to please their so-called “Big Brother”—the Soviet Union—in their military madness. In their efforts to secure the “ruling of the people,” the Communists transformed peace- loving people into humans afraid of their shadow. Many who rebelled against the oppression, and many who didn’t but were “on the wrong side of the fence,” lost their lives. The “lucky ones” ended up in concentration camps or in prison. Many others led a miserable life for years. Of course, I am not talking here about the communists themselves. They enjoyed the power they had, to do whatever they wanted and have a great life. How do I know all this? Because I lived there during those times. Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Folk tales and stories, Life Stories -For Mind and Soul, Lu Abraee, Moth Stories | 2 Comments

DB Cooper and the FBI – New video investigates the parachutes and the death of Earl Cossey, the FBI’s chute expert

By Bruce A. Smith

I am pleased to announce a new video on DB Cooper posted today on YouTube. It is part of an on-going series I am developing on the DB Cooper case – the only unsolved skyjacking in the history of the United States. This segment is on the parachutes and the death of Earl Cossey.

Earl Cossey was the FBI’s de facto technical expert on the parachutes, and helped develop the Bureau’s thinking in evaluating Cooper’s skills as a skydiver, and his likely fate. He was found murdered in his Woodinville garage in April 2013, and his death is also unsolved.

The parachutes that were given to Cooper are part of the few pieces of evidence in the case. They are highly controversial as are the capacities of the parachutes and their ownership is unresolved. Hence, these factors cast a long shadow over the homicide investigation of Cossey. Continue reading

Posted in Cops and courts, DB Cooper | Leave a comment

Disaster preparedness seminar to be hosted by Pierce County

By Bruce A. Smith, and Special to the Mountain News-WA

Pierce County, in conjunction with other regional emergency management agencies, is hosting a free workshop on earthquake preparedness. The event will be held at the Evergreen State College campus in Tacoma on Wednesday, Oct. 11, from 6:30-8 pm.

The featured speaker will be Bill Steele, a scientist and UW professor well-known for his depth and breath of knowledge on earthquakes common to the Pacific Northwest, including the epic potential of a deep seismic event along the Cascadian fault line. Such an earthquake could be 9.0+ and cause enormous destruction throughout the Puget Sound region and trigger a massive tsunami just off the coast.

I spoke with Dr. Steele in 2015 about these possibilities, and he told me such an earthquake could completely destroy “everything west of I-5,” and cripple Seattle and Tacoma for months – requiring people to survive in place for up to one month before help could arrive. Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Nature, preparedness, Self Reliance | 5 Comments