DB Cooper Conference is gearing up to celebrate the 48th Anniversary – and to continue the investigation of America’s only unsolved skyjacking

By Bruce A. Smith

Noted DB Cooper investigator and impresario, Eric Ulis, has announced that CooperCon 2019 will be held in Vancouver, Washington on November 22-24, at the Kiggins Theater. This year’s event extravaganza will be an expansion of the last year’s DB Cooper Symposium in Portland, Oregon, with more social events, a broader array of speakers, and tours of hot spots in the investigation, such Tina Bar, where the $6,000 of Cooper’s ransom money was found in 1980.

Special additions will include commentaries from folks who lived in Vancouver and Portland during the skyjacking and can offer personal insights to the events of that day. In addition, more focus will be placed on the “Cooper Phenomenon,” with a presentation from Darren Schaefer, who has spent the past two years interviewing and podcasting many of the luminaries of Cooper World – that blend of citizen researchers, chat room commentators, and Cooper authors who occupy the cyber world known as the Cooper Vortex.

Along those lines, this writer will give a presentation on the many conspiracies that inhabit the Cooper Vortex, including the notion that DB Cooper was a rogue operative from the CIA doing a private crime for money, or participating in some kind of sanctioned covert op designed to improve airline safety. To that end we will explore how safety improved in the aviation industry following Cooper and what legislation made that happen.

We will also examine the ever-persistent rumors of an “inside job,” and dispel all notions that flight attendant Tina Mucklow was a key operative, or that lanky First Officer Bill Rataczak somehow impersonated DB Cooper and walked off the plane with the money.

Lastly, we will examine the notorious mind-control program known as MKULTRA that was in action during the years before and after the Cooper skyjacking, and discern if any of the tantalizing clues that some investigators have uncovered, such as by FBI agent Russ Calame, might indicated any “Manchurian Candidate” influences exist in Norjak, as the DB Cooper case is known officially at the FBI.

Some of the Speakers at CooperCon 2019 are well-known, such as parachute expert Mark Metzler, or publisher Vern Jones, but there will also be new voices. Besides the aforementioned Darren Schaefer, first-timer Marty Andrade will be discussing his findings on the survivability of Cooper’s jump and offering supportive documentation from his research on the success rates of WW II bomber crews in Europe who had to leave stricken aircraft.

In addition, there will be an in-depth discussion of the so-called “western flight path,” which is the “Most Controversial Topic for 2019” in the Cooper Vortex. Newly-surfaced information from multiple sources, including interviews with air traffic controllers who worked the radar screen on the night of Cooper’s getaway flight, seem to indicate that Cooper’s Flight 305 was about ten miles west of where the FBI initially thought Cooper jumped. Hence, law enforcement and everyone else has been looking in the wrong place for the past four decades. Eric Ulis will lead this discussion, and will certainly expand upon his findings during his boat tour to Tina Bar.

For the intrepid, the DB Cooper Escape Room will be available on Sunday in Vancouver, WA. This site is a commercial venue featuring a DB Cooper-themed escape room experience, and operated by DB Cooper aficionado Rob Bertram.

At this date, many details are still to be confirmed, such as the presence of Tom Colbert, the highly controversial investigators who champions the recently deceased Cooper suspect, Robert Rackstraw. Also in flux, is a road tour of the “Getaway Highway,” State Route 503, which follows the Victor-23 airway, the oft-cited “official” flight path for Cooper, which will begin in Orchards, WA where the FBI announced in 1975 that it then considered Cooper to have jumped there, and culminate along the roads of Amboy, WA where the initial ground search was conducted in 1971 and 1972.

For more information: https://dbcoopercon.com.

The following flyer on CooperCon 2019 has been provided by Eric Ulis.


CooperCon 2019

Please join us at CooperCon 2019 and hear experts discuss all aspects of America’s only unsolved skyjacking. There will also be ample opportunity for audience questions and discussion. Moreover, a special emphasis is being placed upon creating social events this year for people to get-together and have fun over food and drinks.

See a real Cooper $20 bill from the ransom money found, a parachute just like the one Cooper used, a tie clip just like the one Cooper left behind on the jet, and much more.

Authors will be on-hand to autograph copies of their books.





Marty Andrade is a Minnesota-based writer who has written four books, including “DB Cooper: Chasing the Last Lead in America’s Only Unsolved Skyjacking.” A Cooper investigator for over five years, he believes applying sound science and using an interdisciplinary approach will eventually solve the case. Formerly a radio talk show host and podcaster, Marty’s current day job is estimating materials for large building projects. An avid lover of mysteries, he will soon be opening investigations in other disappearances and unsolved crimes from his home state.
Vern is a multi-business entrepreneur with a passion for storytelling and bringing truth to light. A student of the sciences, he has since become an author, publisher, and speaker, not to mention golfer, hiker, scuba diver, water skier, and proud owner of the Portuguese Water Dog named DB Cooper. Vern lives with his wife Irene in Michigan.
TOM KAYE (Video Presentation from CooperCon 2018)
Tom is the Principal Investigator for the Cooper Research Team which was granted unprecedented access to the FBI’s NORJAK files for investigative purposes. His main scientific interest is spectroscopy which branches out into the fields of paleontology and astrophysics. In paleontology, he leads yearly expeditions for the Burke Museum to recover dinosaur bones. He is directly involved in the controversy over the detection of preserved blood cells and blood vessels in T. rex bones where his work points to a bacterial source. In astrophysics he leads a team of astronomers that are trying to discover an extrasolar planet using spectroscopy to detect the stars wobble. Recently he has been working on analysis of grave goods from the 8,000-year-old Gobero site in Africa as well as the Chinese Feathered Dinosaurs. Tom resides in Sierra Vista, Arizona.
Mark Metzler is an active skydiver with over 50 years of parachuting experience. He holds a USPA class D (Expert) parachutist license which required both night and water jumps. Mark also has extensive experience jumping military surplus parachute gear similar to the type DB Cooper used. In 2006 Mark jumped from the rear airstair door of a DC 9 passenger jet flying unpressurized at 14,500 feet. Mark’s diverse career path includes skippering commercial fishing vessels and practicing as a criminal defense attorney. He earned a BSEE degree from UC Berkeley and has designed patented electronic circuits for implantable medical devices. Mark is an aviation history buff who finds air mysteries such as Amelia Earhart’s disappearance and DB Cooper’s case absolutely fascinating.
Bio coming soon!
Bruce A. Smith is an investigative journalist and the author of DB Cooper and the FBI – A Case Study of America’s Only Unsolved Skyjacking. He writes extensively about Norjak at his online news magazine, The Mountain News-WA, and has consulted or appeared on numerous podcasts and documentaries on DB Cooper, most notably the History Channel’s “Case Closed?” in 2016, and the Travel Channel’s “Expedition Unknown” episode in 2017 on the money find at Tina Bar.
Eric is the author of GHOST: Unraveling The Enigma of DB Cooper. In 2019 his research enabled him to re-identify the 1980 money find spot on Tena Bar. Eric was a commentator and producer on the TV show High Stakes Hold’em which aired nationally on Comcast SportsNet. In addition to the Cooper mystery, Eric is a fan of politics, sports, a good drink and a good cigar. After putting college on hold for “far too long,” Eric matriculated at the Extension School at Harvard University. Eric resides in Phoenix, Arizona.
NOTE: THOMAS COLBERT has also stated he has the date marked on his calendar to attend, however, cannot fully commit to attending at this time.











11:25 PM -12:25 PM :: LUNCH BREAK

12:30 AM – 1:10 PM :: TIE & TIE PARTICLES (2018 REPLAY) | TOM KAYE



2:30 PM – 3:00 PM :: BREAK



5:15 PM – 5:30 PM :: GIVE-AWAYS & CLOSING









LOCATION : CooperCon 2019

Kiggins Theatre

1011 Main Street
Vancouver, WA 98660

Saturday, November 23, 2019

10 AM – 5 PM


2 Final DB Cooper and the FBI cover


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44 Responses to DB Cooper Conference is gearing up to celebrate the 48th Anniversary – and to continue the investigation of America’s only unsolved skyjacking

  1. Eric Ulis says:

    Nice synopsis Bruce. Information about our hotel partner near PDX, brewpub partner near PDX in Portland, and other specifics are forthcoming. Of course, all are invited. However, unlike in the online world, civility and peace will reign.

    • FLYJACK says:

      Marty Andrade is always interesting,, spelled his name wrong.

      Vern Jones,, nice story but Reca isn’t Cooper.

      Tom Kaye,, Excellent presentation but a repeat.

      Mark Metzler,, Everybody likes Mark.

      Darren,, does well interviewing diverse opinions, it is always important to dig below the opinions/conclusions and show how people think.

      Bruce,, Don’t go too crazy, that out there stuff can be alienating.

      Eric,, You are very good at self promotion and pushing a false narrative. You should be working at CNN. Sheridan Peterson was not Cooper.

  2. brucesmith49 says:

    Thanks, Eric, but let’s not be making promises about civility that you can’t keep – smile – we know from postings here at the MN that DBC brings out the lesser behaviors in some people.

    • FLYJACK says:

      Have you considered that Cooper was a “Pathfinder” the WW2 pre-curser to the Green Beret’s… a small team jumped ahead to setup radio signalling equipment to guide the planes in to targets.

  3. Darren says:

    Great article Bruce! I’m really looking forward to this, it’s going to be so much fun.

  4. brucesmith49 says:

    Fly – don’t worry. I’m not promoting any of the conspiracy theories. I’m merely reporting on the myriad theories that others are spouting, or questioning me about. I get lots of emails on the inside-job angle. Also, too, “He didn’t jump” but left the plane in Reno after stashing himself in the baggage bay or above the lavatory.

    Pathfinders, eh? I don’t know too much about them, but that’s an angle worthy of exploration.

    As for Tom Kaye’s video presentation, I hope that he updates his remarks form last year and puts in the stuff on radioactivity. As I recall, that was where his next step was going to be on the tie particles.

    Regarding mark, I’ve asked Eric to encourage Mark to dig more into the reserve chute question. What is known and what is conjecture. Also, I’d love to see how a reserve bag is folded to contain the chute. Apparently, it’s not a bag in the usual sense, but rather a wrapper. Regardless, how did money get in there?

    Speaking of chutes, Fly, you should be at the conference to discuss the possibility that a mix and match occurred with returning mains to Cossey and Hayden. Do we really have 6 chutes on 305, with two backs from Coss and two from Hayden???

  5. goldenhandstherapies says:

    Hi B,

    Thought you’d appreciate this front page Yahoo news!! Scroll a lot as there are large spaces that I couldn’t erase in this email. ENJOY!!! LOVE,David

    D.B. Cooper: How a thief jumped out of a plane and vanished into thin air Alexander SuggSenior ProducerYahoo FinanceAugust 20, 2019Listen : Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts

    | | | | | |


    | | | | ‎The Art Of The Exit on Apple Podcasts

    ‎Business · 2019 |



    | | | | Google Podcasts




    D.B. Cooper committed one of the most famous heists in American history. This true story is packed full of unanswered questions and strange mysteries.

    Cooper hijacked a plane at 30,000 feet and forced it to land in Seattle to pick up $200,000 —which in today’s currency, would be around $2,000,000 — and four parachutes. He then jumped out of the plane with the money, never to be seen again.

    Did he survive the jump from the plane? Did he go on to live a long and full life afterward? Was he mentally ill, or a criminal genius?

    In this episode of The Art Of The Exit, we asked all of these questions — and even found some answers. We spoke to experts on the subject to learn more about what happened on that stormy night in November of 1971 and the mysteries that followed.

    The Art Of The Exit by Yahoo Finance is a true crime podcast that goes inside the most notorious heists in history. Listen here, and subscribe for a new episode coming next week. View photos “There is the myth of the Cooper case, and the facts of the Cooper case,” Geoffrey Grey, who studied the Cooper story for years and eventually turned it into a best-selling book, says in the episode. “I think he was someone who was super troubled. He was not some sort of cowboy or counterculture figure.”

    The year is 1971. Richard Nixon is president. The U.S. is still in Vietnam, and the Space Race is in full swing. Paranoia in the nation is at an all-time high but ironically, airport security is extremely lax these days. You could smuggle just about anything onto a plane back then, and that brings us to the airport in Portland, Oregon, on Thanksgiving Eve.

    There’s a 30-minute flight set to head north to Seattle when a man named Dan Cooper purchases a one-way ticket for $20. He uses cash. Cooper’s appearance has been described as ordinary for that time period except for what onlookers described as “manic behavior.” He wears a basic suit with a clip-on tie. He makes it to his seat while chain-smoking cigarettes without removing his sunglasses. He makes those around him uncomfortable even before the plane takes off.

    After the flight attendant, Florence Schaffner, drops a bourbon and soda at Cooper’s seat, he hands her a note. Men passing notes to women was common then. Schaffner stuffs it in her pocket, thinking it is just another man taking a pass at her. She is wrong. “You’ll want to read my note, miss,” Cooper says. “I have a bomb in my briefcase.” View photosFlight attendant Flo Schaffner, one of the crew members of the hijacked Northwest Airlines flight 305, tells reporters that she initially thought the hijacker was trying to hustle her when he gave her a note stating “I have a bomb.” (Source: Getty Images)MoreStory continues David Heller, MMT, RM, CPHCGolden Hands Massage and Aesthetic TherapiesFounder / Director “Coincidences occur on purpose.”

  6. goldenhandstherapies says:

    David Heller, MMT, RM, CPHCGolden Hands Massage and Aesthetic TherapiesFounder / Director “Coincidences occur on purpose.”

  7. brucesmith49 says:

    Ah, the legend continues… Thanks. David.

    • Gypsy23 says:

      A BIG lawsuit in the works! You heard it here first…..in the Mountain News. A defamation suit against Robert Blevins and Adventure Books, for fabricating viscious, false accusations against a DB Cooper researcher and entertainer. This is going to be a blockbuster that should put Blevins in the poorhouse until the end of his days. Copy of the civil complaint will be available at MN next week. Stay tuned!

      • TED says:

        Thank God, someone is finally going after that little, crowing banty-rooster. He’s an obnoxious SOB who has been banned on almost every forum. I hope he gets nailed for slander and putting others in a false light. Does anyone know who is doing the suing? I heard that its someone in the Cooper community. At first, I thought it was a suit against R&G Housecleaners for some of the sh*tty work they are known for. But today I heard it was a big name from one of these forums.

      • Marla says:

        I heard it too from reliable sources. I wonder who Blevins is going to hire to defend him? It will be expensive. He better get more toilet cleaning gigs together and prepare for Gayla’s impending divorce proceedings. She will want half of all cleaning and scrubbing items.

      • Johnnie Greene says:

        Pre-filing publicity won’t be good for Mr. Blevins, especially just before the CooperCon in November. Someone wants to really teach Blevins a lesson this time. Adventure Books will finally have something Big to write about and publish, that is if they can actually find someone who can write, …. and publish more than a few dozen copies that sell for more than $.79 per copy. AB is sunk.

      • Gypsy23 says:

        From what I know its going to be a monster suit and very revealing about all the fake DB Cooper suspects. The mainstream press will pick up on it, as will Hollywood. If Gayla is smart, she will consider leaving Adventure Books and Auburn, WA now. And maybe leave Robert too. Otherwise she can expect to be named as an individual defendant.

      • TED says:

        ……and we all wish Eric Ulis the absolute best!

      • FLYJACK says:

        Must be a PR stunt, defamation suits are rarely successful and those rare wins usually results in a small fine and apology..

        There is virtually no chance of success here.. perhaps Sheridan Peterson has a case though.

      • Marla says:

        I saw a copy of the unfiled complaint. It personally named Robert and Gayla as husband and wife. I thought they were only shacked-up. It even gives their ages, but I shouldn’t disclose Gayla’s.

  8. Darren says:

    The latest episode of The Cooper Vortex is up now. DB Cooper Went Rouge with Nat Loufoque.

    Check it out!


    • Johnnie Greene says:

      Where did Derek get those old photos of Jerry Warner, AKA Georger? At first I thought it was an oldie of Brett Kavanaugh, but Georger would only dream of being that handsome. 😂Could Derek please put a REAL photo of Jerry Warner up for all to see.

      • Johnnie Greene says:

        Leave it to none other than Robert Blevins to fuck-up another DB Cooper website. Blevins has been deep-sixed at virtually every site except Dropzone, where it is taking a bit longer for the site manager to realize that the real problem is not Derek Godsey, but rather Robert Blevins…….the senior citizen with an estranged mind and a obsessing fantasy that someone actually likes his work. Derek Godsey is acting out and saying things about Robert Blevins that most of would love to say. Godsey has the balls to do it.

      • Johnnie Greene says:

        Robert Blevins is now threatening Shutter, the author of the DB Cooper Forum, a well organized web site. Bruce knows about being threatened by Blevins, as does Eric. Blevins is the worst POS to ever be involved in this case. Maybe a good samaritan, such as Derek Godsey, will squash this repugnant worm.

  9. Johnnie Greene says:

    Robert Blevins is now threatening Shutter, the author of the DB Cooper Forum, a well organized web site. Bruce knows about being threatened by Blevins, as does Eric. Blevins is the worst POS to ever be involved in this case. Maybe a good samaritan, such as Derek Godsey, will squash this repugnant worm.

    • Johnnie Greene says:

      A bunch of us, ….Eric, Georger, Dave, Derek and Darren reported abuse by Robert Blevins to Meso at DropZone. Our goal is to shut down Robert Blevins for good so that he has no voice on the case any longer. We also contacted Expedition Unknown and asked them to sever all future contact with Blevins. They will comply.

      • Johnnie Greene says:

        Meso contacted us today. We told him that Robert Blevins exhibits very child-like behavior for a 65-year old man. His actions have caused much concern for legitimate investigators and journalists like Bruce Smith and Eric Ulis. Therefore, we asked Meso at Dropzone to permanently ban Robert Blevins.

      • Johnnie Greene says:

        We just wrote a long, detailed letter to Meso regarding Robert Blevins. Copied to Expedition Unknown.

      • Johnnie Greene says:

        Robert Blevins had been identified as the culprit attempting to steal email passwords from DropZone users, by using his invitations to his own network sites (here). Do NOT enter any Blevins websites or engage with this individual. We are reporting his internet abuse to the authorities, and anyone else known to communicate with Blevins. Bruce and Shutter: BEWARE!

      • Johnnie Greene says:

        Mashugana! As Georger word say, “Robert Blevins is full of mashugana.”

      • Johnnie Greene says:

        Mashugana equals bullshit.

      • Johnnie Greene says:

        Finally, some relief. Warner and others put the brakes on Blevins with a strongly written letter to the DropZone host. It worked. Blevins is such a narcissist and full scale liar. He’s been REMOVED, thanks to Jerry and Dave.

      • Johnnie Greene says:

        Finally, some relief. Warner and others put the brakes on Blevins with a strongly written letter to the DropZone host. It worked. Blevins is such a narcissist and full scale liar. He’s been REMOVED, thanks to Jerry and Dave.

      • Johnnie Greene says:

        EU and company still trying to get Blevins bumped from the DZ. Yay……!!

      • Marla says:

        Georger finally lost it and has been banned from the Forum by Shutter. They must have had some words. Georger could still come here, or, go to the DropZone, but that’s unlikely. He’s a man without a Cooper site.

      • brucesmith49 says:

        Yikes. If true, it’s a loss to Cooper World. Georger is a tough man to love, but he is knowledgeable.

    • FLYJACK says:

      Georger’s case knowledge is past due, stale and dated..

      He is often completely wrong and I caught him making up evidence to win an argument. (recently, the Cooper offering tip timeline – wrong)

      He may have been an asset a decade ago but he is a toxic belching ego today. Nothing he states can be trusted.

      I am sure Mr INCINNUENDO will be back shortly smearing and lying about almost everyone around him, the Vortex never let’s you leave.

      • Johnnie Greene says:

        Agree with Flyjack. On another note, it’s already been confirmed by William Mitchell (Flt #305 witness) that Ken Christianson was NOT DB Cooper. Mitchell saw a photo of Christianson circa 1970’s and said, “No Way.”
        The FBI ruled out Christianson back in 2011. Christianson, a gay, bald, short, flight attendant for NW Air is crossed-out from the suspect list…..forever.

      • Marla says:

        Totally agree with Johnnie. Christianson never was a good suspect from the start. Physical description was totally a ref flag for me. Moreover, no employee still at work would hijack his own airline and return to work. The person’s supporting Christianson are ranked low in the area of sound reasoning.

      • Marla says:

        …….did you mean low in IQ too?

      • Johnnie Greene says:

        Actually, Christianson was ruled out by SA Carr back on 2011. The Christianson fable is only kept alive by some janitor who has been kicked off multiple internet sites for constantly lying. Business must be slow ……. for the past decade.

  10. FLYJACK says:

    For Bruce as he refuses to look at DZ..

    I have filled in this redacted FBI document and it I am 99% it is correct..

    It is a Hahneman document but the witness ID was a bit of work.. the type is uniform so everything comes down to letter count. Robert Gregory is the only witness that fits, he is also the one that described Cooper as having Marcelled hair. Normally, the names of Cooper suspects who have died are not redacted, Hahneman’s name is redacted throughout even though he died almost 30 years ago. I believe they have redacted his name because he was never eliminated. The FBI had Hahneman’s passport image on June 1… I have many photos of Hahneman and he does look quite different in the face as his weight fluctuated. He also had a turkey neck.

    Hahneman did have curly/marcelled hair, he was swarthy and latin in appearance.

    • Marla says:

      Good find, Fly.

      • Marla says:

        Congratulations on your new position as Master of Ceremonies at the Cooper Con. Here are a couple of question s for Cooper Jeopardy:
        1. Who is the biggest liar in the Cooper Vortex? (RB)
        2. Which suspect looks the least like DB Cooper? (KC)
        3. How many total copies of “Into the Blast” have been sold? a. less than 200?
        b. less than 50? c. less than 25? d. less than 10, because the author could give them away? (d)

    • Marla says:

      The problem with Mr. Blevins is that he has worn everyone out with his poppycock and whining. It’s been going on continuous for 10 years. Shutter and Mr. Smith finally had enough of him and cut him off. Everything was going great until DZ restarted. Then he’s back, spewing the same malarkey from last decade. He’s 65 years old but has an emotional level of a teen. No one in the Cooper world cares what Mr. Blevins duscusses. He’s insignificant and irrelevant. Yet, he’s back like a little kid whining that no one likes him. He needs to go see a psychiatrist and get help.

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