by Bruce A. Smith
In earth-shaking developments, Marla Cooper, the young woman from Oklahoma who has claimed her uncle, Lynn Doyle Cooper was the infamous skyjacker DB Cooper, announced Thursday evening that the FBI’s Cooper case agent, Curtis Eng, had told her that he will be shutting down the case.
In an exclusive interview with the Mountain News on December 1, Marla further declared that Mr. Eng had also told her he is “convinced” her uncle is DB Cooper.
Presumably, Eng’s purported conviction is at the root of his alledged decision to close the case, as FBI case agents generally have a wide latitude in handling their responsibilities.
Ms. Cooper said that she met with Mr. Eng at the FBI’s field office in Seattle on Wednesday, November 30, and the case agent supposedly made these remarkable admissions at that time.
The FBI has not confirmed these announcements, however.
Ms. Cooper has been in the Pacific Northwest recently to continue her investigation into her uncle’s past, and most notably to speak at the DB Cooper Symposium in Portland last Saturday on the 40th Anniversary of the DB Cooper skyjacking.
DB Cooper jumped out of an airliner on the night before Thanksgiving in 1971 with $200,000 and has never been since, nor has his identity been publicly revealed by the FBI – although that happenstance may be changing with Ms. Cooper’s statements.
In addition, Ms. Cooper revealed that Mr. Eng had obtained new fingerprints of LD Cooper and had sent them to the FBI crime lab at least four months ago.
“He (Eng) told me that he will be closing down the case after the findings are reported regardless of whether they find a match or not,” she said.
Marla said that on two other occasions since her uncle became a suspect the FBI’s crime lab has taken close to six months to process evidence. She stated, “The FBI does not consider this case a ‘priority,’ but I am hopeful the findings will be released late this winter.”
Earlier, in August, 2011, the FBI had announced that they not found a match in fingerprints or DNA between DB Cooper and samples obtained prior from Ms. Cooper’s uncle, with an old guitar strap being the source of LD’s fingerprints and DNA coming from a family member. At that time, the FBI had seemingly dismissed LD as a suspect despite having once characterized Marla’s uncle as a “most promising” suspect.
Nevertheless, it now seems that the FBI still considered Lynn Doyle Cooper a viable suspect and continued their investigation of him.
Also during this period, the Bureau announced that LD Cooper had died of natural causes in 1999.
Ayn Sandalo Dietrich, public information officer for the Seattle office of the FBI, told the Mountain News in November 2011 that the DB Cooper case was “open” but “not active.”
Even though Ms. Cooper says Eng does not feel the need to have fingerprint confirmation, she said that Eng had told her that if the fingerprints do match, “that would be enough to convict.”
Marla added that she felt the FBI would close the case due to a preponderance of evidence, saying, “Curtis Eng told me that he sees no reason to pursue any further leads.”
When asked specifically why she thought Special Agent Eng was convinced that her uncle was the skyjacker, she said that Eng had obtained confirmation of Cooper’s identity from the flight crew when the FBI had shown them pictures recently of her uncle. However, in our interview Thursday evening, December 1, Ms. Cooper was not able to say which members of the hijacked Northwest Orient Flight 305 had made the identification.
Nevertheless, at the symposium, Ms. Cooper had said that Mr. Eng had told her previously that the FBI had shown photographs of her uncle to Tina Mucklow, the flight attendant kept hostage on board by the skyjacker. Marla further stated that Eng had reported Mucklow saying, “This is the closest picture of all the ones you’ve shown me over the years.”
However, Ms. Cooper seemed to backtrack from that comment in her follow-up interview Thursday.
Nevertheless, she also indicated that Mr. Eng held his belief due to a preponderance of her uncle’s behaviors.
“There were so many things about my uncle’s life – he had no contact with his family after 1972 – vanishing like that.”
Ms. Cooper also stated that her own demeanor had added to the confidence of Mr. Eng and other law enforcement officials, such as Arden Dorney, a retired Oklahoma Highway patrolman who had helped build her case and presented it to the FBI two years ago, which ultimately triggered the federal investigation.
Specifically, Ms. Cooper touted the fact that she has never changed her story, had passed an FBI polygraph test in early 2011, and had a first-person account of her uncle LD being a bloody mess at Thanksgiving in 1971 – unable to walk and being attended by another uncle, Dewey Cooper.
When asked to confirm or clarify Marla Cooper’s remarks, the FBI was noticeably taciturn. Corresponding in a flurry of phone messages and emails that ran well past usual business hours, Ayn Dietrich addressed the aforementioned topics, specifically: did DB Cooper case agent Curtis Eng meet with Marla Cooper, Wednesday, November 30; is Agent Eng certain that Lynn Doyle Cooper is the famous skyjacker; and is the FBI shutting down the case. Ms. Dietrich replied via email:
“I can confirm that the case agent meets with various people, as necessary to fully pursue investigative leads. We do not divulge the particulars of those meetings, though. I know it must be disappointing that I cannot answer questions you ask me, but I appreciate you understanding that we are not discussing the details of this pending investigation.”
Earlier Thursday, the Mountain News had asked Ms. Dietrich about the positive ID from Tina, and she responded as follows:
“I appreciate your continued interest in gaining an accurate understanding of information you hear. I can only assure you that we continue to pursue credible leads accordingly. This does include testing any additional personal items of Lynn Doyle Cooper that we may be able to secure.”
Reactions to these developments by independent investigators in the case have been of predictable outrage.
Jerry Thomas, a long-time Cooper sleuth and a presenter at the DB Cooper symposium in Portland last week, emphatically stated that Curtis Eng did not have the authority to shut down the DB Cooper case.
“That can not be done at the field office level – the decision to shut down a case must be made at a higher level, such as DC.”
Mr. Thomas has extensive knowledge of FBI procedures due to his twenty-five years’ association with retired FBI agent Ralph Himmelsbach, the former DB Cooper case agent at the Portland, Oregon field office from 1971-1980.
Mr. Thomas also said that he had called Curtis Eng on Thursday to confirm the statements being attributed to him by Ms. Cooper, and Thomas reported a less than crystal-clear answer from Eng.
Thomas said that when he specifically asked Eng if he thought Lynn Doyle Cooper was the skyjacker, Mr. Eng replied, “Maybe.”
Further, Mr. Thomas reported that Mr. Eng also told him that he (Eng) had decided to stop any further investigation of DB Cooper suspect and long-time federal fugitive, Mel Wilson, in the skyjacking case.
Thomas said that Eng had dismissed Wilson on the grounds that the fugitive’s photographs did not match the FBI composite sketches of DB Cooper. Thomas said that Eng told him, “We’re not going to take it (Wilson) any further.”
Long-time DB Cooper investigator and attorney, Galen Cook, was perplexed by Marla’s statements.
“How can Curtis Eng shut down the case before the fingerprint analysis comes in? How can the case be shut down when an open indictment still exists for DB Cooper!”
Mr. Cook also questioned how extensive the FBI’s survey was of LD Cooper’s picture with the flight crew, stating that Mr. Eng had needed to ask him for the phone number of Florence Schaffner, the other flight attendant who dealt with the skyjacker.
Cook declared: “Why hasn’t Curtis Eng made a public announcement to the press that he has identified the skyjacker and is shutting down the case? Larry Carr (the previous FBI case agent) would have. He spoke to the media all the time!”
To put all of this in a clearer context, here is what Marla Cooper told the audience at the DB Cooper Symposium last week.
By all accounts, Marla’s life – and by extension the Cooper clan – was chaotic and dysfunctional, rift with alcoholism, domestic violence and abuse. In his introduction of Marla, symposium host Geoffrey Gray told the assembly that she had attended twenty-two different schools while growing up. Further, in later remarks with the Mountain News Marla rattled off a number of towns in western Washington where she once lived, such as Centralia and Mount Lake Terrace, finally moving to Oklahoma when she was ten years-old.
What Marla remembers of the fateful night is brief, but specific. When she was eight, her family traveled to Sisters, Oregon to spend Thanksgiving at her grandmother’s house. Her two uncles, Lynn Doyle and Dewey arrived at the grandmother’s in the early morning of Thanksgiving Day.
Marla says that she only saw LD sitting in the car when her uncles arrived at the grandmother’s, and he didn’t get out. She says they then left quickly.
At the symposium, Marla said that LD was bloodied and bruised, and was apparently unable to walk. In later comments, Marla said that a cousin told her that Dewey had to carry LD into the home of his girlfriend, a woman nick-named “Wink” whom Dewey reportedly married soon afterwards.
In the course of these events, Marla says she was told that LD had hijacked an airplane. She also learned that Dewey had been his accomplice on the ground, picking him up in Washington and returning together to the family homestead in Oregon. Later, the two brothers left the house.
The last time Marla saw Lynn Doyle Cooper was at Christmas the following year, when she was nine. Her family left the Pacific Northwest during the next year, relocating first to New Mexico and then settling in Oklahoma when she was ten.
As for LD, he disappeared from his family in 1972. Marla has sought information about these missing years and has learned much from cousins and family members, whose memories have been re-awakened by her public announcements last summer that placed her on the front page of newspapers around the world.
Marla learned that LD remarried and had a daughter, whom the FBI discovered and retrieved a DNA sample to compare to their DB Cooper stock. Subsequent analysis did not reveal a match.
Marla also learned that Uncle Dewey had worked at Boeing on the assembly of the 727, and from that experience she believes that he learned of the aircraft’s capacity to be a jump platform.
However, there is no corresponding evidence showing that LD Cooper had any skydiving experience. Further, Marla told the symposium that she believes LD was able to triangulate the summits of Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helens so that he could jump in the Ariel area and be picked-up by Dewey.
Also, family members told her that Dewey had been questioned by the FBI in the DB Cooper skyjacking case early in their investigation, and that immediately upon release from the FBI Dewey grabbed his family and relocated to British Columbia, not even pausing at home to gather clothes.
Marla also began to remember long-buried memories, and she recalls a pair of powerful walkie-talkies that her two uncles possessed in 1971, and also that she had later broken the antennae of one of them.
However, it seems that Marla had largely forgotten the 1971 Thanksgiving Day episode until her father, Donald Cooper, reminded her in 1995 that her two uncles had hijacked an airplane long before.
“But my life was chaotic then, too – I was going through a divorce and raising three boys – so I didn’t pay much attention to what my father was saying,” Marla said.
Adding to the emotional load, her father passed away a month later, again driving her memories into the shadows.
They surfaced again in September 2009, when her mother, Grace Hailey, began talking about Uncle LD being DB Cooper. This time the memories stuck, but then her mother “clammed up.”
However, Marla’s interest was now fully engaged, and she sought answers from her family – and from within herself. A chance conversation with a business associate about “vanishing uncles” led her to an association with Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Arden Dorney. Fascinated by her account, Dorney then turned to another retired OHP officer, an undercover cop who is so secretive that Marla still does not know his name.
These two officers expanded Marla’s investigation and compiled a dossier so compelling they sent it to the Seattle FBI, which then sat on it for months, according to Marla.
Frustrated, Dorney and his partner threatened the FBI with exposure on Fox TV, and the Bureau commenced an investigation. They soon located LD’s hidden family, obtained the DNA sample from his child, and determined that Lynn Doyle had died of pulmonary disease in Eugene, Oregon in 1999.
Marla says that the FBI has been investigating her uncle for nearly two years, and their efforts culminated in June 2011 when PIO Ayn Dietrich told British journalist Alex Hannaford that the Bureau had its “most promising lead” in nearly forty years. Hannaford published that tidbit in the London Sunday Telegraph on Saturday, July 30, and the news exploded on the wire services. ABC TV obtained an exclusive interview with Marla shortly thereafter, and the “LD Cooper-is-DB Cooper” story was common knowledge within a few days.
The flap over LD-as-DB seemingly faded once the FBI announced that LD’s fingerprints and DNA samples didn’t match their evidentiary collection for the skyjacker, but Marla’s comments of the past few days have completely reversed that situation, and once again the world wonders if the DB Cooper case is coming to a close.
© 2011 Mountain News – WA
Sorry, but I need an awful lot more information before I’m convinced that this story has any genuine mileage. There is too much unconfirmed information here. If all of this is true then surely even the FBI would be pleased to confirm that “DB” Cooper had been identified and the case was being closed?
I have followed this case since 1971 and no-one would be more delighted than myself to see this long running saga come to a conclusion. I still believe that the case will eventually been solved – but I don’t think this is the time.
Very best regards, Bruce – and thanks for some great writing.
I still believe my Father (Donald Cooper) did it, it’s pretty difficult to piece together a realistic alternative explanation for everything or even half of what I witnessed over the course of my life. it would require elaborate planning, clairvoyance, and a shared vested interest, despite having been adversaries thru the majority of it, on my parents part for no rational purpose other than to convince their child that his father was DB Cooper, and as a I result I wasn’t to use my birth name. I guess I’m ok with Marla’s Uncle LD getting the credit for it though. in a way it makes me sort of admire My father in a way I hadn’t thought I would. lol, in the end, He really did beat the shitstem, even after I snitched on him. LOL!
Good job Bruce, Just saw Marla on NBC News. Looks like you scooped everyone. I still feel that L D Cooper is the most unlikely of all the previous Cooper suspects. It’s hard to believe the FBI would give this any credence with such a lack of verifiable evidence and such an unbelievable story.
Pat Forman is the co-author of “Legend of DB Cooper – Death by Natural Causes.” In this account of the skyjacking, Pat and her husband, Ron Forman, discuss the earth-shattering confessions they received from their firend and fellow-pilot, Barb Dayton.
Duane did it!! But if not Duane, then Kenny. And if not Kenny…………..then McCoy. Anybody, anybody…………..other that someone with the last name of “Cooper.” This is the best joke of 20th and 21st century crime………………………………….!!! Way to go FBI. Must be a great ballgame going on in the coffee lounge.
Hi Bruce, I’ve read pages and pages of your writings on the case, good work. I just read your piece on the breaking news surrounding Marla Cooper. All I’ve heard from Marla Cooper (I attended the DB Cooper symposium in Portland last week and heard her talk) is childhood anecdotes and reminescing — it sounded like this, if felt like that, I thought I saw this and that. We’re getting reflections and memories of the real world through the eyes of an 8-year old child. It’s nice anecdotal information, but she was just a child back then! We need more, and I think we’ve gotten more — much more — in the past from previous suspects. At this point in time, what is sorely needed is solid, verifiable evidence. LD’s fingerprints didn’t even match (and other evidence is currently being analyzed, no results yet), so how’s this lead so promising if there’s no real evidence. Am I missing something? Right off the bat — why would Cooper use his real name, then have someone come forward 40 years later, named Cooper, and make all of these incredible claims. For me, it was fishy from the git-go.
An Asian guy with the hots for Marla. Simple as that!
As always, I think you’ve done a great job writing the symposium review. I also enjoyed Marla’s review of her Uncles memories and hope she can gather more and more information for her book.
Still believe in my heart of hearts that Bob/Barb Dayton was D.B. Cooper but so enjoy hearing the other D.B. Cooper theories.
Ms. Ruddell is the daughter of Barb Dayton, and addressed the DB Cooper symposium last Saturday in Portland. The story of Barb, and Rena’s view on her father, can be read in the “Overview” of the case posted elsewhere in the Mountain News.
Good story, Bruce. It still doesn’t make sense that Curtis Eng would tell Marla the things she claims. If he did he’ll be looking for a new job Monday morning.
I guess the FBI is testing a tooth brush for finger prints. Where did this tooth brush come from? I can see testing it for DNA, but for finger prints? Isn’t it common practice to wash your tooth brush before and after use – did he still have teeth? He was an alcholic. The man has been dead since 1999. Marla couldn’t even find her uncle. The FBI did it for her; now all of a sudden she comes up with a tooth brush.
What amazes me is that the FBI has even given this story any merit at all. It’s full of holes; according to Marla, her uncle couldn’t even walk and was bloody and hurt pretty bad on that Thanksgiving Day. The injuries she described don’t even match those that would have been sustained during a jump. How did he get back to civilization? He had no communications with him. He had no place to conceal a walkie-talkie on him when he boarded the aircraft and none was observed. They wouldn’t have worked any way. Plus the hijacker had a 21 lb money bag tied on to his side. It would have caused him to go into a spin in less than half a second. Only an extremely experienced skydiver would have been able to recover from this, then only in rare cases. Skydivers die all the time because they use unfamiliar equiopment. Of course, there is plenty of reasons left that prove’s LD Cooper wasn’t the hyjacker. That is why I’m so surprised that Agent Curtis Eng has even investgated this story. He must not have consulted any experts in the different fields that it would have taken to judge this story properly. If he had, he wouldn’t be wasting the Tax Payers money on LD Cooper.
– Jerry Thomas
I think you guys are conveniently forgetting that Marla didn’t go to the press with this break in the case. The FBI did. They questioned her and worked with her for 2 years before anyone said a word. Forgive me if your doubts carry less weight with me than the belief of he FBI.
It’s also kind of funny you’re taking the ambiguity of the FBI in its confirmation of Marla’s statements as a strike against her. Why does the FBI owe any of you a straight answer until they are ready to tell everyone else?
A couple of things, Sharideth:
I strongly believe that I deserve – and the FBI owes me – a straight answer everytime, all the time, and I believe there is a way to deal substantively with the media that does not compormise an on-going investigation. I consider evasive answers and mis-directions from law enforcement to be both unprofessional conduct and bad police work.
Secondly, Ms. Cooper is much more connected with media than you suggest, and the manner of the release of her information to the public, together with the FBI’s prionouncemnt of “most promising,” is both suspect and a subject of investigation.
Marla’s story makes sense,
Her uncle LD Cooper lived in Vancouver, Washington from 1969 to 1970
along highway 5.
He lived about 10 miles north of Portland where the plane was hijacked
and within 30 miles of the Cooper Dropzone.
He was familiar with the area. He would know what ground markers to look
for from the plane and when to jump.
In addition, he would be familiar with Tina’s Bar, where the money was found in 1980.
However, your last comment is misleading and partially incorrect. Weather reports state that a band of clouds existed at 5,000 that covered at least 85% of the sky, and a second band at 3,500 feet covered about 40%. Being able to get a fix on position by looking out the window when he was flying at 10,000 would be improbable.
Along those lines, Marla said at the symposium in Portland that she thinks her uncle triangulated his position by taking a fix on the summits of Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens. That too seems difficult to acheive, and seemingly improbable if not downright impossible.
The bigger issue, how did he know things about his 727 that even the pilots didn’t know? Working on a Boeing assembly line? Heck, I know Boeing engineers that designed the planes – including the stairways – and even they didn’t know you could fly a 727 with the aft stairs down until DB Cooper showed the world how to do it.
DB Cooper was one smart cookie, and tough. He never broke a sweat leading up to his jump. Was LD, too?
DB Cooper was one smart cookie, and tough. He never broke a sweat leading up to his jump. Was LD, too? That’s the key for me! I will never buy LD and his brother were sophisticated or organized enough to pull this off. Along with Bruce there seem to be many others who know the case better than the FBI. The FBI does things that look like stonewalling when it comes to getting fingerprint and DNA matching. Very frustrating and makes me wonder.
Tena Bar, not Tina’s Bar. Tena is a native american term for small. There are several towns with that name. It is a small island, a sand bar, hence the name Tena Bar. There is no liquor-serving bar there, never has been.
I prefer Tina over Tena. Tina was the name posted on the sign at the beach when I was there in 2010 and thereafter. Until recently when the Fazio’s apparently put up a new sign, proclaiming “Tena Bar.” Most of the principals in the case that I’ve spoken with have pronounced the place “Tina,” so I’m sticking with that version. Besides, I’m not a big fan of revisionist history.
Some of the inherent, structural weaknesses of the FBI investigation have jeopardized their ability to solve the DB Cooper skyjacking. One is the frequent rotation of case agents. The DB Cooper case is a subtle and complex one, and it does take a bit of time to learn the facts and the nuances.
Case in point: It has just come into public knowledge that when Curtis Eng took over the case he did not have the phone number – any of them, home, cell or work – for one of his top witnesses, Florence Schaffner. That is beyond sad and borders on tragedy.
Another problem is the compartmentalization of data-gathering. The agent who interviewed Dewey Cooper may not have known anything else about the case, nor would he be especially able to “connect the dots” on subtle but important pieces of information.
Ralph Himmelsbach talks about this in his book, and complains about the lack of aviation knowledge held by the agents who debriefed the pilots.
Then, add in territorial jurisdictions. It is widely reported that the cigarette butts were kept in Reno. Why? And then they were lost in the process of re-testing when Larry Carr took over the case in Seattle in 2007.
Perhaps the most telling faux pas of adminsitration is the account in Ralph’s book where he describes that a regional pow-wow to pull all of these disparate segments together was held – not in Seattle – but in California. What were they thinking? Cheap motel rooms? Good golfing? Nice view?
And we haven’t even entered politics, glory-seeking or subterfuge.
You wonder why it’s taken 40 years?
Hi Bruce, I have a question. I keep reading that the cigarette butts were lost in the process of retesting in 2007. We saw on the news in 2000 that the FBI had obtained DNA from the Raleigh cigarettes. In the next couple of years there were other articles that talked about the DNA from the cigarettes. I believe I still have a hard copy or two that states the FBI had DNA from the cigarettes. This original DNA should be in the National database. When we were ready to go to the FBI in 2006 about our friend Barb we had a DNA profile done from an envelope that she had licked. At the time we thought it would be a simple matter to compare Barb’s profile with the DNA profile the FBI had. We would then supply them with other items to do a more complete test. I can understand the cigarettes being lost, but why isn’t the original test still in the data base? Have you ever heard an explaination of how that could have disappeared? Also, the lab that does the testing should also have a copy. The original announcement said the test was done at Quantico Bay.
Good question, Kemosabe. I took the lost-in-transition position because Geoffrey said that and I guess I momentarily considered him to be the de facto spokesperson of the FBI, currently sharing those duties with the lovely Miss Marla.
But I do seem to recall from the DZ that Larry Carr also said the same thing.
From my point of view, losing the cigarette butts is as big a clue as what might be on the cigarette butts. Remember, no one talks about the hair strands, although Geoffrey told me in Portland that pieces of hair do not make good DNA samples. I never heard of that before. You?
I believe it’s the root of the hair follicle that provides the best DNA. I’ve heard that the other parts of the hair strand are not good sources of DNA. And the cigarette butts getting lost …. they were the absolute best definitive piece of evidence that could have helped identify our man — and they just disappear, along with the lab and database reports. Does someone(s) have something to hide?
Yes, I have also heard that it is the root of the hair follicle that provides the best DNA though I think hair without the roots can be somewhat useful in an investigation. It just cannot provide a difinitive answer like the DNA from the cigarette butts or the roots of the hair could have. The hair found on the head rest should have been examined also, but I’ve never heard that it was.
What realy matters now is that the FBI either confirm Marla’s story or deny it. All I have been able to get was a comment stating it is a on going inveatigation, and as to who Cooper was is a matter of opinion. So if Curtis Eng is saying this to those he talks to I doubt he has said what Marla claims. Jerry Thomas
You people need to back-off. Curtis is doing his very best to solve this case. JerryT., please don’t say any more, or I’ll have to pay you a little visit. You’ve got as big ass mouth, partner, and not so bigga brain.
Ckret, is that really you? The Cooper Vortex is strong, brother. Welcome back.
I don’t know who wrote this but it wasn’t CKRET. CKRET is a FBI Agent and would never make this kind of comment. Whoever did write this ” Bring It Partner” Jerry
You are wrong, Jerry. The problem with you is that you think you know everything about the FBI and the way we operate. Old school, buddy. I know who you talk to. You haven’t a clue about this case. You been in the woods too long, barking up the wrong trees. Think…….”retirement.”
My emails to you are bouncing back, CKRET. Can we talk? (360) 832-6248 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
No. Sorry, Bruce. Can’t do it. Thanks for the forum. I’m really pissed.
Once again this is not CKRET .Jerry Thomas
Can we not have a liitle more courtesy here? Bruce’s reply was perfectly reasonable and deserved a straight answer.
Forgive my ignorance on US law, but here in the UK we would have put-in a “Freedom of Information” request regarding the location or loss(?) of the cigarette butts. It seems to me that if they are really lost then there should be a Court of Inquiry into all the curcumstances surrounding the disappearance of such an important piece of evidence.
Why do I get the impression that the FBI are stonewalling?
Keep up the great work, Bruce.
Thanks David, I agree that we should all be courteous of others’ opinions. Because we have no real proof left, I will always believe that our friend Bobby/Barb was Cooper because her story was so logical, she had the abilities necessary to pull something like this off, and because we were able to obtain proof of all the other crazy stories she told us. But I would never attack anyone else because they believe something different. Bruce does a good job of being fair to all posters on this site.
I don’t think anyone is putting Curtis Eng down on this site. He just recently was added to the case, so most of the mistakes were made before he got involved. I agree with Bruce that shifting agents in charge so often and handing it off to agents who have no knowlege of aviation or skydiving is a major mistake. The majority of pilots and jumpers do not put much stock in Marla’s story for very good reasons, but I do believe she believes her story, so I would not put her down. I do know, though that closing the case without any proof that LD was Cooper will leave the case open in the minds of most people who have knowledge of aviation or sky diving or who have more logical scenarios or suspects in mind.
As editor, I think a clarification on who CKRET may be is useful at this point in the conversation.
CKRET (“secret”) was the nom de plume of DB Cooper case agent Larry Carr on the DropZone web site forum from 2007 until late 2008. During that time, CKRET shared enormous amounts of important information on the case. It is my understanding that Larry was removed from his position in the FBI’s Seattle office in early 2010 and transferred to a post in Washington, DC. As far as I know, he has not been active in the DB Cooper case – at least publicaly – since that time. However, his obvious passion for the case, as evidenced by his robust postings on the DZ and his overall conduct of his investigation, reveal him to be a hard-working and creative federal agent.
It is true that many folks involved in the DB Cooper case have had issues with Larry, including me, but his legacy is clear, substantive and worthy of respect.
Therefore, I hope no one would use his moniker without his permission, nor use it to inflame or hurt anyone in this forum.
Channel 4 News, a national network station in the UK, is running this story today; 11 December 2011.
Seems to me that some of the media are jumping the gun on this “story” ?
Surely it is time for the FBI to issue a statement.