By Bruce A. Smith
The 48th Anniversary of the DB Cooper’s iconic skyjacking is upon us, and many in Cooper World are preparing to celebrate by attending CooperCon 2019 next week.
Cooperites will be gathering on Saturday, November 23 at the Kiggins Theater in Portland, Oregon to hear a bevy of experts on the Cooper case, along with several individuals who are connected to the skyjacking by being family members of the crew, or were residents of Portland scanning the skies as DB Cooper flew overhead on his getaway flight.
Besides the presentations, festivities will also include an optional – and free – Road Tour of the locales cited by the FBI as likely landing zones. In addition, if weather permits, CooperCon 2019 organizer and host, Eric Ulis, will skipper a pontoon boat float down the Columbia River to Tina Bar to see where some of the ransom money was found in 1980.
Here’s the itinerary for the Road Trip:
Road Tour Itinerary
We will meet at the Shari’s in Orchards, WA at 1 pm. Shari’s is a restaurant in the Fred Meyer shopping mall at the southeast corner of 76th and 117th. The latter thoroughfare is also known and posted as State Route 500/503.
Orchards is where the FBI thought DBC jumped in its 1975 revised analysis, putting the new LZ in the Hockinson area, about 3-5 northeast of Orchards.
Orchards was rural agricultural lands in 1971, but now it is a fully integrated part of the Portland-Vancouver metroplex. But Hockinson is just beyond the reach of those urban encroachments. In fact, Hockinson is now the bedroom/playground community for the very wealthy of SW Washington.
To reach Hockinson, first we’ll leave Shari’s and head north on 500/503 to their junction, then turn east on 500 and continue approximately five miles to 182nd Avenue. There we will turn north and head to Hockinson.
ROUND-UP and BATHROOMS:
Hockinson Middle School – 182nd Ave and 159th St. Bathrooms at the Hockinson Market.
The countryside of Hockinson is lovely. It will really surprise many Cooperites, I believe, as it did me. It looks today very similarly as it did in 1971. Large dairy farmlands, no major hills, gentle rolling terrain. It looked ideal for an LZ.
From Hockinson we will motor north, and then west back to SR 503 in Battleground, which is the original jump-off spot, and travel northeast along 503 to Amboy, the initial LZ. There we will leave 503 again and explore the forestlands along Cedar Creek Road where the initial ground search began on November 27th and continued until Sunday, November 29.
ROUND-UP and BATHROOMS:
Nick’s Tavern, Amboy, WA, on SR 503
Next, we’ll travel to a local’s home and antique store on Pup Creek Road – just north of Cedar Creek Road – to hear her account of the intense house-to-house search for DB Cooper in that neighborhood conducted by the FBI in early December, 1971.
Afterwards, folks will have to make a decision – travel 25 miles northeast along SR 503 to Lake Merwin, the Dam, and the Ariel Tavern, or join me and other hungry Cooperites and head along the southern flank of the Lewis River via Cedar Creek Road to Woodland and arrive at La Casa Tapatia for dinner. Note: LCT is on 503, too!
After din-din, the intrepid can travel east on 503 for 12 miles to the Ariel Tavern and the Merwin Dam complex. That’s an easy drive compared to the circuitous route on 503 from Amboy, which will take at least 30-40 minutes of curvy, mountainous driving. The area east of Lake Merwin can be quite rugged.
Map of the Road Tour
As for an author’s lament….
Feeling the Cooper Fever, I decided to sing a song about my experiences as a DB Cooper researcher and author. With profound apologies for its primitive recording value, I offer it at YouTube, nevertheless.
In addition, here are the lyrics:
The Mystery of DB Cooper
It was rainy, it was cold, it was dark, but he was bold. C- Am
The night before Thanksgivin’, DB Cooper did a little skyjackin,’ F- G
After getting his cash and parachutes, he got his show on the road.
On a deserted runway down at Sea-Tac, he let his passengers go.
But, DB, DB, DB Cooper where did you go?
DB, DB, DB Cooper, a helluva lot of people sure wanna know.
DB, DB, DB Cooper can you give us a clue?
The FBI’s officially closed the case, so, whaddaya say, Dude?
Somewhere over Washington he put a chute on his back. F-C
Then wrapped 200 Big Ones around him, tied in a sack Em-Am
When DB Cooper jumped, he never looked back. F-C
And no one saw him go, – and folks that’s a fact! Em-G
DB, DB, DB Cooper where did you go? C-Am
DB, DB, DB Cooper, a helluva lot of people sure wanna know. F-G
DB, DB, DB Cooper can you give us a clue?
None of the witnesses are talking to me, so now I’m talkin’ to you!
Nothing was found, nothing is known F-C
‘cept three bundles of money, found in Columbia River sand. Em-Am
(But) no one knows how it got there, and no one knows when F-C
Lotsa mysteries baffling’ us curious men and women. Em-G
DB, DB, DB Cooper, where did you go?
DB, DB, DB Cooper, a lot of people sure wanna know.
DB, DB, DB Cooper, can you tell us your name?
C’mon buddy boy, you’re already in the skyjackers’ Hall of Fame.
Down in Portland you told Northwest that your name was “Dan”
The “DB” came from a mix-up between a TV reporter and a G-man.
So – DB, DB, DB Cooper, where did you go?
DB, DB, DB Cooper, a lot of people sure wanna know –
Besides those three bundolas, nothing’s been found F-C
No body, no briefcase – no chutes or the bomb. Em-Am
The FBI has lost a ton of its evidence (so please tell us) F-C
Is this part of a cover-up, or just governmental negligence? Em-G
Ah, DB, DB, DB Cooper where did you go? C-Am
DB, DB, DB Cooper, a lot of people sure wanna know F-G
DB, DB, DB Cooper, look here Mr. Cooper – C-Am
I wrote a book about ya, so I’d SURE like to know. F-G-C
Bruce A. Smith
CooperCon 2018: Author on left, Eric Ulis on right, and parachute expert Mark Metzler in the middle. This photo was taken at the Victor-23 pub in Vancouver, where Cooper aficionados will be gathering yet again on Friday, November 22. They will also be treated to a LIVE performance of “Singing DB Cooper.”
Wow!, Great….Congratulations, Bruce.
That’s it! Next stop……THE VOICE. You rock, Bruce!
Would you consider doing a duet with Georger?
Of course! Also, I give him big kudos for coining the term, “Three bundolas” of money at Tina Bar.
I should clarify that we’re meeting at Victor 23 Brewpub on Saturday, November 23rd after CooperCon.
On Friday, November 22nd we’re meeting at Von Ebert Brewpub in NE Portland.
So many brew pubs… so little time….
See you in Portland Uncle Brucie!
See you there, Nicky. Up for a duet? Just asking, in case Georger can’t make it….
Bruce, now I can’t get your song out of my head. The girls are going to be stumbling out of their chairs at the pubs, sitting on your lap and buying you drinks all night.
It’s not to late for Hollywood…..or, Nashville.
I am SO ready for Hollywood… Smile.
Bruce, what chord was that in? You need to make it more of a sing-along so we can all join-in next week in Vancouver.
Key of C, Johnnie. Lyrics and chords are posted above in the text.
Ok, thanks. But a couple notes sounded like F flat.🎵🎶🎶🗝️
Lol……I heard F sharp. See ya in Vancouver.
Robert Blevins still kicking up lots of lies at the DropZone🔌. He a boastful slacker with nothing more than a long trail of broken-record fabrications about a suspect who was ruled out a decade ago. Blevins had some apparent psychological complex and has turned into a mean old man. I think Blevin’s real problem is that he never grew into manhood. He never escaped the bellyaching dramas from his childhood. Probably had inept parents who never taught him to accept reality and do something useful in life. Blevins is also a very envious child, who dislikes others who have nicer toys. Bruce Smith’s intellectualism and journalistic craftsmanship just festers like a tumor on Blevin’s immature ego. Blevins can’t deal with Shutter’s logic and sound argumentation, and Blevins abhors Eric’s Ulis’ commercial successrs. A truly jealous individual, Blevins can’t deal with those who oppose him. What’s with these campouts? Silly and childish. Blevins screams for attention. Apparently, Blevins does not work anymore, is outcasted by the real world investigators, feels unloved in life, and cannot move on from his many failures. But mostly, time has worn him down. He’s old and feeling more isolated. He uses things from the past, long dismissed by the public, to make him feel like he had earned his keep……somewhere…..anywhere. He looks physically beat too. I deal in clinical psychology for a living and Blevin’s case is classic. Now, he can only resort to lies and tall tales to make himself feel relevant and wanted in a community. Very sad. Very, very sad.
“Blevins gossiping like an old lady.” No truer words said, Shutter.
Looking forward to attending Eric Ulis’ well-organized CooperCon and getting to hear experts like Bruce Smith and others. You fellows put a lot into this extravaganza.
As Marla stated, Mr. Blevins is getting left behind in the rear-view mirror. What’s with these campouts that he keeps mentioning.? What does it mean, and how does it tie-in with an investigation? To me, it sounds like a solicitation for homosexual activity by someone who has a cruising mentality. Sorry if I offended, but campouts are what boy scouts and families do. Mr. Blevins sounds weird, asking for strangers to join him on campouts. This guy has issues.
5 Reasons Why Ken Christianson is NOT DB Cooper:
1. Robert Blevins
2. Robert Blevins
3. Robert Blevins
4. Robert Blevins
5. Robert Blevins
Looks like Rackstraw is the guy. Colbert is making a HUGE announcement this weekend at the CooperCon. At least Colbert is a gentleman, unlike Mr. Blevins who feels the need to be rude and intrusive 24/7. Blevins is just a big con man.
Hats off to Cooper Conventioners. And thanks to all of the great organizers, especially Bruce Smith who is the best reporter on Cooper, and has a voice my own mother would love. See ya all tonight at the pub…and at the theater tomorrow morning.
Having a blast in Vancouver at the kick-off party. Everyone here in good spirits and we all agree on one thing:. Robert Blevins is the real Cooper con.
What a great day at the Kiggins Theater in downtown Vancouver. Fantastic line-up of speakers. Robert Blevins didn’t make the cut….
but nobody missed him.
Having SO much fun at the Victor 23 Brewing Company……right now. Packed bar with a huge crowd listening to Bruce do his thing. Every drink makes Bruce sound a bit better. Lol… Wish Shutter was here with us. Meso should be called up tonight, and take care of that rotten egg once and for all. Everyone is signing the petition to shutdown the DZ. Love you guys!
Totally awesome event. Eric, Bruce, Vern the publisher from MI, 377, Darren and all. Wow! You guys rock. Getting coffee now and ready to board with Bruce Smith for a Cooper Country tour.
We will not be going to Bonney Lake to see the home of fake Cooper suspect Christianson. The Kiggens Theater needs some janitorial work, and the adjacent restrooms too. We suggested that they call R&G Janitorial Services to come down and clean up. We would even get them a free pass to next year’s CooperCon.
Ken Christianson…. the man that wasn’t.
Robert Blevins …… the guy that never was.
You got that right, Marla. Blevins is the biggest liar in the entire Cooper case. There will never be a movie on Christianson as Cooper because all film producers out there know that Christianson wasn’t Cooper, and that Robert Blevins is a huge liar. The word is everywhere now. End of story.
From the looks of things, I’d say that Shutter pretty well exposed all of the lies cast by Blevins over the years (see DropZone comments). Blevins has lied so much and so often, he has to lie to cover up the constant flow of more lies. Just a pathetic old man. And his YouTube video about Eric Ulis is pretty disgusting. Others, like Andrade, have also called out the Blevs.
Hey Blev……..Goodbye and Good Riddance. And don’t come back. Hear?
Maybe Blevins went to CA to sign a big contract with Hollywood. Maybe he’s just camping. Probably neither because the guy can’t keep any of his stories straight, or any of his cover-up lies straight. Maybe he has a house cleaning gig.