DB Cooper – FBI documentation on the parachutes gets another review

By Bruce A. Smith

I’m developing a timeline to better understand what the FBI knew about the parachutes and when they knew it. Much of the following information comes through the hard work and courtesy of DB Cooper researcher “Fly Jack,” and his uncanny eyeballs that have pored over the federal 302 field reports released by the FBI over the past few months.

Note: DB Cooper hijacked a Northwest Orient 727 on the afternoon of November 24, 1971, and after exchanging the passengers for $200,000 and four parachutes at Sea-Tac airport, he jumped into the night skies of southwestern Washington and has never been seen since.

Here are our findings:

1. The FBI had the basics on the parachutes on the night of the skyjacking, or at least in the wee hours of Thanksgiving Day, 11. 25. 71. One agent, SA Reese Chipman, reported the back chutes were “in ordinary military olive drab green containers, approximately 2-3 feet long and 15-18 inches wide,” and cites an unnamed individual at Boeing Flight Services (BFS) at approximately 12:25 am. However, the name is redacted in the 302 (164-81-83), and the role of BFS is unclear.

Later, Chipman contacted two additional individuals, (names redacted again), at 2 am and 2:50 am on the 25th. Presumably these were Barry Halstad at Pacific Aviation and Norman Hayden in Renton, WA, who owned and provided the back chutes to Northwest Orient Airlines. From those conversations it is likely that Chipman developed the following descriptions:

“Number One: Civilian luxury type, tan, soft cotton material outside, 26-foot white canopy inside. Had a military chute inside of it. One or two burp sacks in folds. Has foam pad cushion, and a frayed mark down the rib on the back, from rubbing on metal.”

“Number Two: Military back pack chute, standard military olive drab green on outside, 28-foot white canopy on inside, two burp sacks in back. Foam pad cushion.”

2. The above descriptions of the back chutes – one a civilian luxury chute that is tan in color, and a second chute of military olive drab color – entered the official FBI documentation when the Norjak Summary Report was released later. This report cited Hayden as the source for parachute information, but he denied that notion when I interviewed him in 2011. In addition, he said that he had never been interviewed by the FBI. Also, Halstad told me in 2011 that he had never heard of Boeing Flight Services, so it is unclear whom Chipman first discussed the parachutes on the night of the skyjacking

3. Another 302 (164-81-181), dated Friday, 11. 26. 71, states that the FBI got a call at 12:21 am that morning from an AP reporter named “Clossy” claiming that he had spoken with Earl Cossey earlier on Thanksgiving Day, 11. 25. 71, and learned of the dummy chute. Clossy was calling for confirmation. This shows that Coss was involved early in the game.

4. On Friday, 11. 26. 71, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Seattle’s afternoon newspaper, announced that Norman Hayden was the owner and provider of the two back chutes.

5. Coss “announced” himself at the FBI Seattle office during the day on Friday, 11. 26. 71, and began the “military, sage-green, NB-6, and it was my personal parachute” narrative for the back chute not retrieved in Reno and presumably used by Cooper. However, Coss was unable to deliver the serial numbers for either chute, and the FBI begged him for the numbers “discretely” for the next year. Cossey told the FBI that he has already given the numbers to the Bureau, which is false, apparently. Note: Cossey was murdered in 2013 shortly after his reputation as the FBI technical expert on the parachutes began to sour.

6. On Friday, 11. 26. 71, Las Vegas FBI agent Dennis Barry, Jr. announced that the Reno evidence retrieval team had discovered the “not used” back chute on Flight 305 contained the packing card serial number SN 60-9707.

7. When I traveled to Norman Hayden’s shop in Renton, WA in 2011 to inspect his “not-used” chute, it had the packing card SN 226.

8. Currently, DB Cooper researcher Fly Jack and others surmise that the packing cards – SN 226 and SN 60-9707 – got swapped somehow on 305 prior to landing in Reno. Perhaps DB Cooper pulled one or both, and switched them for some reason. Bottom Line: both back chutes aboard 305 were packed by Cossey but owned by Hayden, who claimed steadfastly in 2011 that both were identical Pioneers.

9. Still undetermined is how the early descriptions of the back chutes revealed two different looking parachutes. The first reports claimed they were both olive drab/tan-looking military chutes, yet hours later FBI reports proclaimed one to be a tan luxury chute, and the other an olive- drab military parachute. Hayden’s “not used” chute that I saw in 2011 is clearly tan, with no discernible military markings.

10. DB Cooper researcher Robert M. Blevins also made a meaningful contribution to this issue, as his interviews with Norman Hayden have been posted at the DZ and shared with Fly Jack. In those notes, RMB reveals that Norman told him that he bought the back chutes in 1968 from an aviation surplus supply shop that is no longer in business, and they arranged for Cossey to pack the chutes prior to sale. When I spoke with Norman, he could not remember when or where he bought his parachutes.

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69 Responses to DB Cooper – FBI documentation on the parachutes gets another review

  1. FLYJACK says:


    both of Hayden’s back chutes went to Cooper

    and Cooper used one and left one on the plane.

    and the card found in the one left behind is SN 60-9707.

    and the chute and card returned to Hayden was SN 226.

    and Hayden’s chute SN 226 card shows Cossey’s May 1971 packing and subsequent repacks.

    and both cards SN 226 and SN 60-9707 were packed by Cossey dated May 21, 1971.

    and Cossey’s claim is the only evidence that the Cooper chute was his ex-personal Sage Green NB6.


    The SN 60-9707 packing card must have belonged to the chute Cooper used and had been placed in the remaining chute by Cooper or somebody in Reno.


    The FBI never got Cossey’s records and the serial numbers for the chutes.. though he claimed he gave them everything he had.

    They had two cards, SN 226, the one returned to Hayden and the other SN 60-9707 found in the chute left behind, both packed by Cossey May 21, 1971.

    You have two chutes packed the same date, two cards packed the same date, and one chute and card match and one chute missing… it must be the other card.

    Cooper must have taken the Pioneer SN 60-9707 rip stop MFR July 1960, packed by Cossey May 21, 1971.

    Why does it matter?

    Because all the chutes found were rejected by the FBI by being compared to Cossey’s chute description… if that was wrong then Cooper’s chute may have already been found.

    They were looking for the wrong chute because Cossey assumed he knew the identity of the Cooper chute. Hayden had the chute packed via a surplus shop, they sent it out to Cossey who never knew Hayden.

    • snowmman says:

      interesting to ponder the possible alternate history, if fbi had always shown chutes found to hayden.

      although not a fan of complicated conspiracies, interesting to ponder if there could have been some other motive to Cossey inserting himself in the narrative, so early and for so long. Other than big ego.

      • brucesmith49 says:

        Yup. Add the murder, too. It ain’t called the Vortex for nuttin’.

      • FLYJACK says:

        Conspiracy “theories” is a term invented by the intel community to discredit and undermine legitimate inquiry.. a psychological strategy to both dismiss and force a defence.

        Extraordinary events occurred in this case for it not to have been solved.

        But this is neither complicated nor a conspiracy but a series of errors.

        Hayden never met Cossey, they didn’t know each other. Hayden told the FBI the chutes were packed by Cossey, the FBI contacts Cossey and told him a Pioneer was left behind so Cossey “recalls” the other chute, the sage green/sage green NB6. How does Cossey remember two chutes he packed 6 months earlier for a guy he never met? He never produced the records and the FBI admitted it in the FBI files that they never had the chute serial numbers. It may have been very simple, Cossey assumed he remembered the two chutes, one his his customized NB6 which he may have packed for somebody around the same time.

        When Cossey is asked to describe the chute the description changed dramatically from the initial one. Cossey is repeatedly asked for his records and claims he gave the FBI all he had, they claim they didn’t have anything.. Cossey probably realized he got the chute wrong and then lied to cover it up.

        We know Cossey is a liar.. he claimed to have received the chute left on the plane and all we have to ID the chute as an NB6 is Cossey recall.. that is it. No evidence. The FBI relied entirely on Cossey’s memory.

        Then we have the two Pioneer packing cards in the FBI files both packed by Cossey May 21, 1971, the SN 60-9707 packing card is found in the other chute which when returned to Hayden has the correct card SN 226. Those two cards have to represent both of Hayden’s chutes, there is no way around it.

        The packing card for the chute Cooper took ended up in the other chute but the FBI didn’t catch it. Cooper removed the packing card and either he put it in the other chute or tossed on the floor and somebody in Reno did it.

        I can imagine a scenario like this,, Cooper has the two chutes in front of him he pulls the card from the chute 60-9707 then with his other hand when he pulls the card from 226 he sticks 60-9707 into 226 and then drops the 226 card. He uses chute 60-9707 with the card left in the other chute.

        The only question is whether the FBI figured it out later.. if they did they are covering it up, if they didn’t they are entirely incompetent.

        The fact that Hayden’s chute was returned with the correct card suggest that somebody must have figured it out.

        and all this means that all the chutes found and processed were done in error.

  2. brucesmith49 says:

    Excellent analysis, Fly. Thanks for all your work on this issue.

    I concur with your additional assessment, as posted directly above.

  3. Frank says:

    This chute topic always locks my brain, am I reading this correctly?

    1) There were two cards found inside the unused back chute left on the plane by Cooper (SN 60-9707 and SN 226) ?

    2) Is this same unopened/unused back chute that was left on the plane the same one returned to Hayden and now in the WSHM ?

    3) So if above analysis holds true, then he didn’t use the NB6 chute with NB8 (overstuffed canopy) yadda yadda ?

    4) What was the Pioneer canopy made out of ? I believe the chute(s) (Amboy) that were found and brought to FBI were eliminated based on the material and what Cossy said it should have been — silk vs nylon or something like that.

    Thanks for article and indulgence on the questions.

  4. FLYJACK says:

    It is complicated.. there are lots of documents that go with this.

    Bruce should do a video…


    Card SN 60-9707 was found in the chute that was left on the plane and later returned to Hayden in 1976. When returned it had the other correct card in it SN 226. Chute SN 226 is reported in FBI files as the one left on the plane but the SN 60-9707 card is ALSO reported found in that chute..

    Both cards represent chutes packed on the same date May 21, 1976. Those have to represent both of Hayden’s chutes.

    Somehow, the card from the missing chute ended up in the chute left on the plane. Either Cooper pulled the cards to check them and stuffed them back in the chute not used or maybe he dropped the card in the plane and somebody in Reno stuck it in the chute.

    Somehow the SN 60-9707 card was found in the other chute.

    Hayden’s SN 226 is now at WSHM.

    and it means that Cooper didn’t use Cossey’s NB6 described chute.

    Pioneer is the container. The 60-9707 chute is a Steinthal rip stop,, Amboy chute was claimed to be silk. Markings on Amboy chute do not match.

  5. Frank says:

    Thanks for the clarification FJ, got it now and makes a lot of sense. If indeed this is the case that Cooper didn’t use Cossey’s NB6, it also means that he didn’t have to deal with the modifications to the rip chord that some have believed ensured him no pulling and dying that night. (i.e. the rip chord was moved, it was tucked inside a pocket, had to pull out and up) Hopefully LC will read your analysis.

  6. brucesmith49 says:

    As for Larry Carr, his veiled commentary with Eric on the parachutes has led to all of this.

    The Big Question for me is who and how the FBI determined on the night of the skyjacking the back chutes were military-type. Who told them that? Who did they contact at Boeing Flight Services? What did Barry Halstad and Norman Hayden actually tell the feds at 3 am?

    Norman told me that he never talked with the FBI.

  7. FLYJACK says:

    Claim,,, Cooper took the packing card from the chute pocket…

    If true, that card would have remained on the plane somewhere,, had to be SN 60-9707

    Tosaw’s book.. no book is 100% accurate but Ratazcak said it was the most accurate Cooper book because Tosaw talked to the crew.

    p 30 The first thing Cooper did when examining the “Sage Green” (Cossey’s descrption) military back chute was to take the packing card from its pocket on the inside flap.”
    He then opened the chute and examined the nylon panels and suspension lines.

    • Mark Edward Hinrich says:

      Tosaw’s book seems to me to be extremely accurate. He presented a lot of information. Granted, time has changed some of his conclusions. No one can help that.

      But it’s interesting to see how much of Tosaw’s book still holds water after all these years.

      • brucesmith49 says:

        “Extremely accurate” is an overstatement, Mark. Tosaw wrote a LOT of ca-ca, such as his descriptions of the ground and aerial searches. I have found zero corroboration on what he wrote, which was vague, too. The Lewis River and environs was searched in the day after the skyjacking? Really? By whom? That’s a 12-mile stretch of water and roadway, as SR 503 hugs the northern shoreline for most of the flow. Tosaw also backs Cossey on the parachutes. Plus, Tosaw’s interview with Tina was mostly conjecture and not factual.

        For an early book, though, it’s a decent overview of the whole shebang.

      • Mark Hinrich says:

        Thanks for setting me straight. I liked Tosaw’s book. I am not as well versed as others in the Vortex.

        Still, it was a lucky find and still read it occasionally.

      • FLYJACK 2024 says:

        Rataczak claimed in his NWA presentation that Tosaw’s book was the most accurate.

      • brucesmith49 says:

        I don’t think Bill has read my book, or that of Geoffrey Gray. I acknowledge that these two books stand on the shoulders of Richard Tosaw, but they have much more accurate information because we’ve had access to much more accurate information.

      • FLYJACK says:

        Rataczak made the statement Sept 2012..

        I have his NWA presentation on DVD.

        He said Tosaw’s was the most accurate Cooper book.

        “If you are looking for the real story” Tosaw’s book

        Called everyone on the crew.

        Most other books drifted into fiction, about 22 at the time.

        Also recommended Himm’s book, he got draft approval.

        That doesn’t mean it is 100% accurate of course.

  8. brucesmith49 says:

    Okay, but everything Tosaw has written I take with a few grains of salt because I think he got much of his material from his brother Mike, who was feeding him the 302s from the Seattle office. Especially info on Tina. Parachutes? Probably heavily influenced by Cossey.

    • FLYJACK says:

      The info on Cooper removing the packing card didn’t come from Cossey.

      That had to come from Tina or the 302’s..

      That would be completely manufactured not a a typical book writer error.

      Ratazcak recommended Tosaw’s book as the most accurate.

      but that doesn’t mean he didn’t maker errors.

  9. Frank says:

    Agree, the verbiage below (from Tosaw per previous post), sounds like an eye witness testimony:

    [ p 30 The first thing Cooper did when examining the “Sage Green” (Cossey’s descrption) military back chute was to take the packing card from its pocket on the inside flap.” ]

    If so, what is the source? Had to be from someone on the plane with the ability to observe DBC (Tina/Flo/Allison). Why isn’t it in any of the available 302 flight crew interviews ?

    It would have to be from information held back by the FBI. I wonder how much was held back? Is there a Ckret folder somewhere in the bowels of the FBI ? Will the FBI ever release the information they rightfully/soundly chose to hold back during the active investigation. If only the Vortex could have that info !

    Last thought, IF Cooper did in fact take the card from the back chute, that means he touched it — was the card dusted for finger prints ? Oh no…back to Bruce’s fingerprint article I go….cheers !

    • brucesmith49 says:

      Frank, clearly the winds of the Vortex are strong. Enjoy your swirl. Smile.

      As for the eyewitness, Tina was the only one onboard with DBC, as Alice and Flo had already departed. By fuel truck, no less.

  10. FLYJACK says:

    Cooper had to to have removed the packing card from the chute he took,, for there to be both back chute cards documented.

    Found this summary from Tina’s interview..

    “Her recollection was that she did not see him tampering with the two large parachute containers other than to cursorily inspect them when she had brought them aboard”

    Tina’s first trip was a backpack chute,,,

    Then the two front packs.. (Cooper was alone with one backpack)

    and finally the other backpack.

  11. brucesmith49 says:

    My understanding is that Tina made three trips for the parachutes. The first two were for the back chutes, and the last one was to carry both reserves. Also, the passengers tell me that she never left the plane for the money bag. Rather, “two men” brought it onboard and Tina retrieved it from them at the forward door area.

  12. Frank says:

    As a simple man, I like to restate the goal or importance of a discussion or rabbit hole if you will. For me, the importance of this current chute discussion by FJ, Bruce and the rest of the crew on the DBCooperforum:

    1) It’s crucial to know the actual chute used by Coop for obvious reasons

    2) Specifically, where is card SN 60-9707 ? I know it isn’t in the current record regarding the evidence that was shared with TK and GG when they were given access. Or the old LC video out there from perhaps an old History Channel show where he presents “all” of physical evidence the FBI had in the Copper case. To me, it’s important because presumably Cooper touched it if all of this is true. If so, it can/should be checked for finger prints. (perhaps it was)

    Can Citizen Sleuths (TK-inc) get their hands on it to conduct finger print analysis ? Perhaps this is all too late or silly to think or suggest that CSs could perform finger printing, after all obtaining finger prints from suspects who are probably deceased at this point is probably a fools errand–but it’s so fun to keep dreaming here ! Cheers !

  13. FLYJACK says:

    In the FBI files the SN 60-9707 card is listed as evidence and noted as found in the chute left behind.

    There a three takeaways…

    1. The FBI had the card and it might have Cooper’s prints. However, they admit they never found any meaningful prints on the plane and other items. At this point, the FBI won’t share any evidence for testing.

    2. All the chutes found that were rejected need to be re-evaluated.

    3. This is disturbing.. The FBI should have figured this out, they have far more info than we do. If they didn’t figure it out they are incompetent and if they did figure it out they are covering up something pushing a false narrative. In 1972, the FBI switched to a Cooper died in the jump narrative and Cossey switched to a Cooper probably died because his chute was too modified..

    Why did the FBI rely solely on Cossey’s word about the chute if they had contradictory evidence?

    Are the released FBI files curated in such a way as to mislead us? Are they just covering up an early mistake or something else?

  14. snowmman says:

    oh bruce.
    You might mention that apparently the rigging card on the left-behind back rig, was never checked for fingerprints

    It would have been interesting to check it for dna too, as much as it was interesting to check the tie.
    Cossey repacked it after Hayden got it back (if I remember correctly from the card)

    but the dna on it probably was just Hayden, Cossey and maybe Cooper if he examined that card. Don’t know if he did though.

  15. snowmman says:

    Another thing to revisit is the accuracy of the claim that the 2nd reserve rig was a dummy rig with a red x painted on it.

    That’s based solely on testimony from Issaquah, the morning after the hijack, based on looking at what reserves were at the Skyport. And assuming that a “missing” one meant it was given to Cooper.
    It’s a very loose claim.

    There’s no other confirmation that the 2nd reserve was a dummy setup. It’s possible that assessment was an honest mistake by the skyport.

    I was musing about whether Cooper might have used some of the cord he cut to tie the 2nd reserve to the pilot bailout rig he used…While nonstandard, I’m wondering if a couple of loops of cord thru the rings of the reserve, to the straps of the back rig, would have been better than nothing in an emergency.

    Too bad we can’t know for sure if Cooper really was delivered a red-X’ed reserve. There’s no documentation or testimony that confirms that, only the observation at Issquah skyport by “someone” the next day. Maybe the dummy reserve was missing for some other reason? It’s not clear it was in use all the time, so maybe it had gotten lost earlier, and this was the first time they did a full check and noticed? Who knows.

    • brucesmith49 says:

      I concur. The “dummi-ness” of the missing reserve chute was first broached by folks at Issaquah – Lynn Emmrich’s wife is what I have read. Oddly, Cossey never touted the dummy notion until his initial interviews with the FBI had taken place, as I understand that timeline.

      Even stranger is the fact that the reserve chute that Cooper used to cut the lines from has a patch on it that reads: “COSS.” Yet, Cossey never told anyone that I know of that his reserve was on 305. I find that absence utterly bizarre.

      Strangest yet, though, is that the FBI did not document the parachutes in any fashion at Sea-Tac. Okay, so photographing everything was not SOP in 1971, but still, nothing?

      • Frank says:

        The lack of photographs is hard to comprehend, It’s not like it was 1871. But, humans make mistakes, even the FBI and I suppose that they were under pressure to get everything to Cooper within his time demands.

        How about in Reno? I have to imagine that once the plane was cleared of any threat i.e. the bomb or Coop himself, they must have taken hundreds if not thousands of pictures of the inside of the plane right ? The tie on the seat ? The unused back rig ? The cannibalized front rig ? How about the Raleigh cigarettes ? Wonder if TK or GG saw the pics from the plane….

        BTW, not sure if anyone has ever scene any of the coupon catalogs for Raleigh, but here’s a link to the 1968 catalog:


        The guys in the catalog actually look like Cooper! Wonder if anything Cooper was wearing or used came from the Raleigh catalog ? They had clothes, pocket knives, watches, ties and tie clips and even sunglasses ! Wouldn’t that be a hoot ?

        Did you know that the Red Skelton show used to be called: “The Raleigh Cigarette Program”

        The show ended in 1971 ! What a coincidence !


    • FLYJACK says:

      A bit fuzzy now but I went over this a while ago..

      There was no red X,, that was tossed in by somebody on DZ…

      I think it was Tosaw’s book said a black X.. and a USPA article said red flaps…

      Somebody combined them.. to a red X

      Emrich’s daughter reiterated the X on the dummy but obviously had no first hand knowledge.

      Emrich said he grabbed the wrong chute.. he just wanted an old chute he’d likely never get back. Seems odd he would mistake a dummy chute but that is the VORTEX.

    • FLYJACK says:

      I have it right.. it was a BLACK X.

      There was no red x.. it is a myth. Sheridan was WRONG.

      Page 17 of Tosaw book.

      Emrich noted that one of the chutes he had chosen had a big black X painted on the casing and wondered what it meant. But there was no time to lose and he handed the two chutes to the officer and quickly departed.

      Article fist published 2003 updated for 2010 (same relevant text)

      Investigators also discovered that in his rush to grab the rigs, the skydiver in the loft accidentally grabbed the drop zone’s dummy reserve, marked with a large “X” and red closing flaps. The DZ used the dummy reserve for students to practice deploying the reserve by scooping the canopy out of the container and throwing it in the air and over their heads.

      Jan 26, 2009 on DZ (the big red X appears) A combination of an X and red flaps..

      “It was marked with a big red X, but was grabbed by the FBI, who were let in by an airport staffer who had a key.”

      Step daughter of former employee Linn Emrich talks about the chutes, mentions the big X on one (no colour), Relevant part starts at 2:30 in video

      “Linn went over to the clubhouse and chose two chest or reserve parachutes the backpacks had been provided by another party but they needed the reserve chutes, Linn found those and as the story goes one of them had a big X on it the front and he wasn’t sure what that meant. Later he found out that was called a dummy chute that was one that wasn’t functional at all, used for training purposes.”

  16. snowmman says:

    Skyjack’s comment revisiting the claim of a Cossey-modified rig is a good point. All that stuff is nonsense. It’s sad how Carr regurgitated it in modern times.

  17. brucesmith49 says:

    Yup. Flyjack is a smart and dogged fellow. Yup, sad how Carr keeps regurgitating it. More troubling is that Eric believes Cooper used Cossey’s chute, based upon an unnamed, “legit” source.

    • Eric Ulis says:

      Come on now Bruce, I never said any such thing. What I did say is that I was given access to Hayden’s 302 which proves that Cossey did previously own Hayden’s rigs, and that Cossey packed the rigs. I did not disclose my source.

      • brucesmith49 says:

        Yes, that is true, Eric. You never disclosed that Larry Carr was your source for the information you shared about the back chutes. So, you DO read the Mountain News! Smile. I’ll correct the post.

      • FLYJACK says:

        We know Cossey packed Hayden’s rigs. There are 302’s that claim Cossey owned Hayden’s rigs but that came from Cossey, he never produced his records. We have no confirmation.

        but that isn’t the point..

        It is certainly possible they once belonged to Cossey and he recalled the wrong chute that Cooper took…. Cossey may have misremembered and misidentified the chute he did for Hayden six months earlier, a man he never met.

      • snowmman says:

        I thought we all got unredacted 302’s on the parachutes. I forwarded unredacted stuff I got from Geoffrey Gray, that he got from the FBI (he must have copied it)

        What I don’t understand, if Eric Ullis got more unredacted 302s than the community had, why didn’t he dissemniate it. There’s not going to be any penalty. It’s just acting like high school kids with private info. Nah, nah, nah.

        We all ride on each shoulder’s ….it’s so dumb keeping anything private, unless you’re actively working a source. Nothing about 302’s should be “private info”

        And if you’re worried about he FBI, fuck ’em. Being afraid of the FBI on this…just makes you a poser. They’re nothing. (unless you haven’t been paying income tax or distributing meth, etc.

        Bruce can confirm he got an unredacted 302 that was forwarded from Geoffrey Grey’s possesion. The fact that he copied 302’s and took them out of the FBI office..hell he should be given shit for that! but he won’t be, cause it doesn’t matter.

      • FLYJACK says:

        Not sure if Eric got access to an undisclosed Cossey 302, but in the released FBI files there are a few 302’s that say Cossey owned the chutes…

        The problem is the only source of that info is Cossey… 302’s are not conclusions they are investigative notes…

        Cossey never provided his records and has told a shifting story regarding his chutes.

  18. FLYJACK says:

    This is fascinating…

    If this quote from Cossey is true.. it explains everything. Cossey assumed two of his back rigs from Issaquah went to Cooper with the front reserves,,, that explains the sport rig vs NB-8 in the FBI files and ultimately Cossey got the NB6/8 rig taken by Cooper wrong based on an assumption.. the rig left and returned to Hayden was not a freefall rig.

    It looks like the FBI relying on Cossey has undermined the case entirely.


    “Gear Details
    The evening of the hijacking, Cossey received another call from authorities after the jet landed in Reno, and he then learned what happened to his gear. Cossey explains, “The skydiver staying at the loft had grabbed two of my personal backpacks and two chest packs from the drop zone. One was my B-4 sport rig and the other was my Pioneer NB-8, a Navy emergency chute used for pilots.” Over the phone, Cossey learned that Cooper took his NB-8 pilot emergency backpack and that his freefall rig remained in the aircraft.”

  19. brucesmith49 says:

    This is huge, Fly. It shows that Cossey may have impeded the Norjak investigation, if not de-railed it.

    • FLYJACK says:

      YUP. On many levels.


      Call the FBI…

      We need to track down all those found chutes that were rejected based on Cossey’s description.

  20. brucesmith49 says:

    Call the FBI? I’m not even sure who to call. Ayn Dietrich-Williams? Larry Carr ain’t talking to me, and he befriended me on Facebook a year ago! Curtis Eng? His FBI email bounced back to me months ago.

    Maybe Galen can track down who in the FBI handled this parachute in 1976 and work from there. He has much better leverage within the Bureau than I.

    • FLYJACK says:

      Right, this is far too embarrassing for the FBI,,, they’ll just deny it..

      For all we know they may have figured out Cossey’s lack of reliability, kept it quiet… and still went with him.. but why?

      It would be very difficult to track down all those chutes found years ago…

  21. brucesmith49 says:

    To use a term that the KGB created, Cossey may have been an “UI.” Useful Idiot. He may have given the feds the technical tidbits to make their Cooper narrative more palliative. Bad chute, just smart enough to get himself killed, too cold, etc.

  22. snowmman says:

    you wrote
    “8. Currently, DB Cooper researcher Fly Jack and others surmise that the packing cards – SN 226 and SN 60-9707 – got swapped somehow on 305 prior to landing in Reno. Perhaps DB Cooper pulled one or both, and switched them for some reason. Bottom Line: both back chutes aboard 305 were packed by Cossey but owned by Hayden, who claimed steadfastly in 2011 that both were identical Pioneers.”

    if they were swapped, that means cooper’s fingerprints and dna may have been on the rigging card that was returned to Hayden.
    Too bad the FBI didn’t get prints off it that night!, if so.

  23. snowmman says:

    Bruce: along the lines of getting the parachute story “right”
    there’s similar questions about “How many serials are correct in the hoover ransom list. How many serials are wrong, and how are they wrong?”

  24. brucesmith49 says:

    Snow, yes I did get an unredacted 302 from GG thanks to you and discovering the password to his cache of FBI documents. Fortunately, he has donated all 77 pages of them to the DB Cooper Forum’s vault.

  25. Pat says:

    The witness/fight crew—Tina Mucklow/Maria Regina Convent/pilots/FBI/airport-aircraft personnel confusion/retractions/contradictions in the “Dan Cooper” hijacking was deliberately contrived and orchestrated by the FBI/CIA/Robert Rackstraw, etc. and very limited number of airline employees to:
    – Raise airline equipment safety features, i.e. rear airstairs’ in-flight lock, etc
    – Bring new passenger safety checks/screening along with public acceptance—sell the safety
    – Flush out/encourage/bait the subject of an ongoing FBI [future] hijack case, Richard Floyd McCoy to act; which he did five months after the Dan Cooper hijacking.
    What if the “Dan Cooper” hijacking was staged? Perhaps during the “hijacking” the “hijacker” changed into an airline security uniform and tossed the chute/clothes into the lake/river, jumped on the airstairs, etc., hid in the 727 tail maintenance crawl space, and with the aid of the flight crew simply blended in with security upon landing. What if the CIA buried the “found” bills for/and orchestrated a/the future “find”?

  26. brucesmith49 says:


    In general I would say that it is possible that the DB Cooper skyjacking was staged in some manner. Possibly to enhance airline safety. Lots of folks believe that and even Himmelsbach saw Norjak as an inflection point in public awareness of the dangers of skyjacking and the need for tougher airline security.

    Specifically, I doubt that the CIA, FBI and Robert W. Rackstraw colluded together. Rather, I can imagine someone at the Pentagon or Langley picking up the phone and telling J Edgar to shut down the Norjak investigation in an artful manner because DBC got too close to some geopolitical hotsie-totsie issue, such as illegal warfare in Vietnam.

    I doubt that the crew was part of any of it. Rather, they may have been told by NWO to cooperate with the FBI, and they steered the show in the manner they preferred, such as the canard that the passengers were moved forward early in the holding pattern flight around Puget Sound.

    No, no hijacker changed his clothes and walked off the plane in Reno, Boeing Field or Minneapolis, in my opinion. I see no evidence for that. Nor do I get that vibe from any of the crew that I’ve spoken with. They are uptight about something, but an inside job is not it, in my view.

    No, I do not think the CIA buried the bills and got rid of the rest.

    As for Richard McCoy being “flushed out,” I don’t see it. If anything, he may have been part of an MK-ULTRA program that may have had Norjak aspects, re: all the copycats and confessees.

  27. brucesmith49 says:

    Now, Pat. Can you answer my question?

    • Pat says:

      Your initial question “How did you arrive at these speculations?” is far too general and leading (motif/background/justification/etc.) to respond to directly.
      Instead, I will answer generally.
      The reported: hijacking circumstances, witnesses’/flight crews’ testimony contradictions/glibness/suspicious behavior, the preponderance of professional airline/air-traffic people with memory lapses/self-contradictory testimony–changing their story/even no record[!]… even the parachute request/fulfillment contradictions/ignorance suggests willful malfeasance, possibly conspiracy on its face.
      I am somewhat familiar with FBI/CIA/NSA “dirty tricks” and although I too see a “FBI/CIA/etc, hijack dry-run” somewhat far-fetched, given their “dirty tricks, some well documented and some really inept or botched by any standards” IMHO I do not see a “D.B. Cooper” hijacking “FBI/CIA dry-run” entirely out of the question at this point, given the time frame [envision 1971and by today’s standard rudimentary technology- post Woodstock (08/69), My Lai (1968), impending Watergate scandal (1972-1974), CIA Director James Angleton/Wilderness of Mirrors-David Martin, The Puzzle Palace [history]/Inside the National Security Agency-James Bamford, personal discussions with NSA/FBI/|CIA agents/regional directors post 1978].
      Given the decades spent pursuing—physically as well as in print—many arguably far-fetched theories why has no one really examined these possibilities exhaustively, as well?
      BYW, the “hide in the 727 vertical tail” theory has been openly discussed at Boeing Everett/DC/Renton for decades [first-hand knowledge].

      • brucesmith49 says:

        Thanks, Pat.

        Can you tell us more about those vertical tail discussions at Boeing, please.

      • Pat says:

        As far as I see it, hiding in the 727 vertical tail is extremely difficult and only possible for an average size adult male with disassembly/assembly. The male would need to remove the overhead panel, disassemble the S-shaped aft engine air inlet, then while keeping these items in contact ascend into the T-tail then reassemble these features from above, all without a ladder! Forget the idea of removing the S-shape aft-engine air inlet access door and crawling inside. Sure he would fit, but what about when the engine is started or is already running? IMHO, practically all of the “hide in the T-tail” theories simply do not stand up to close scrutiny.
        Bae 727QF Cutaway Drawing

  28. Marla says:

    Brown dbcooper forum is down again.

  29. Georger says:

    Hi – this is Georger the real Georger. I just talked to Dave/Shutter. Shutter DID NOT take his site down. The hosting server is down and Shutter’s site will be back up asap. Thats whats going on. Be patient. Thanks … take care.

  30. brucesmith49 says:

    Thanks for the update, Georger.

  31. Georger says:

    No problemo Bruce – Dave said he was already busy with work when this happened. But he’s on it and is aware. Stay well! Thanks…

    • Gypsy23 says:

      Post deleted by admin due to inappropriate comments.

      Please note: the “Marla” who posts here is not Marla Wynn Cooper.


  32. Marla says:

    Posted edited by admin due to inappropriate content.

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