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.
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.
TICKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON AND WILL BE LIMITED
PARKING IS FREE!
ADDITIONAL DETAILS WILL BE RELEASED SOON
SPEAKER & PARTICIPANT BIOS
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
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.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2019
START-OF-CONFERENCE SOCIAL :: DETAILS TBA
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2019
10:00 AM – 10:15 AM :: INTRODUCTION | ERIC ULIS
10:20 AM – 10:50 AM :: PUBLIC FASCINATION WITH THE CASE | DARREN SCHAEFER
10:55 AM – 11:25 AM :: PARACHUTES & JUMP | MARK METZLER
11:25 PM -12:25 PM :: LUNCH BREAK
12:30 AM – 1:10 PM :: TIE & TIE PARTICLES (2018 REPLAY) | TOM KAYE
1:15 PM – 1:55 PM :: DB COOPER JEOPARDY GAME W/ 3 CONTESTANTS FROM AUDIENCE
2:00 PM – 2:30 PM :: CONSPIRACIES | BRUCE SMITH
2:30 PM – 3:00 PM :: BREAK
3:30 PM – 4:15 PM :: PANEL DISCUSSION W/ LOCALS ABOUT THAT DAY IN 1971
4:20 PM – 5:10 PM :: PANEL DISCUSSION WITH EXPERTS & AUDIENCE
5:15 PM – 5:30 PM :: GIVE-AWAYS & CLOSING
DB COOPER MOVIE @ KIGGINS THEATRE :: DETAILS TBA
END-OF-DAY SOCIAL :: DETAILS TBA
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2019
BOAT TOUR TO TENA BAR :: DETAILS TBA
DB COOPER ESCAPE ROOM :: DETAILS TBA
END-OF-CONFERENCE SOCIAL :: DETAILS TBA
LOCATION : CooperCon 2019
1011 Main Street
Vancouver, WA 98660
Saturday, November 23, 2019
10 AM – 5 PM