By Bruce A. Smith
I am pleased to announce that the 3rd Edition of DB Cooper and the FBI – A Case Study of America’s Only Unsolved Skyjacking has been published. It is available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and neighborhood bookstores. The cost is $30, and contains 504 pages, whereas the 2nd Edition was 440.
The 3rd Edition contains more than just a few additional pages, and every aspect of the case has been reviewed through the new lens of the documents provided by the FBI. In addition, all the recent findings and pronouncements since the 2nd Edition was released in March 2016, such as Tom Colbert and his digging into the Robert Rackstraw saga or the springtime diatoms found at Tina Bar, are discussed in detail. Plus, new elements are explored, such as the experience of the passengers, and I share extensive conversations with former USADA Larry Finegold, Mike Cooper, Jack Almstad, and Scott MacPherson, besides my original interview with Bill Mitchell.
I also have interviewed Tina Mucklow’s ex-husband, Allan, albeit briefly, since he still carries some emotional weight from those days long ago.
Some passages from the 2nd Edition had to be removed to make space for the new. In particular, a review of Marla Cooper’s family and their recollections are now only available in the earlier edition. In general, here is a synopsis of the 3rd Edition, along with a few comments from those who swirl with me in the Cooper Vortex:
Special 50th Anniversary Issue
The 3rd Edition of DB Cooper and the FBI – A Case Study of America’s Only Unsolved Skyjacking is an updating of events since August 2016 when the FBI officially closed their investigation.
When the Bureau threw in the towel, two important dynamics were unleashed: First, the FBI no longer had absolute control over their paperwork and it became available to the public. Second, citizens and private sleuths took over the Cooper case in a robust fashion, unimpeded by any of the bureaucratic turgidity that had stymied the FBI’s 45-year quest. As a result, the veil covering the inner workings of the FBI has been lifted, and the public has engineered many exciting evidentiary breakthroughs. These include discovering springtime diatoms on ransom bills uncovered at Tina Bar in 1980, and identifying rare earth minerals and other exotic metals on the tie DB Cooper left on the plane.
In addition, two independent research groups have presented compelling suspects in the case, and have backed their announcements with a media blitz that has included two documentaries, several books, and a lawsuit against the FBI.
Further, Cliff Ammerman, the Air Traffic Controller who actually monitored the flight when Cooper jumped, has finally been interviewed, resulting in original and critical perspectives on the flight path and potential landing zones.
All of these aspects are discussed in detail in the 3rd Edition, along with many new photographs and maps, new and exclusive interviews with several passengers, and a full chapter on the fingerprints recovered from Cooper’s plane, which is a dimension of the case not discussed substantively in any other book on DB Cooper.
Praise for the 3rd Edition
“The Mayor of Cooperville, aka Bruce Smith, is one of the central figures exploring the DB Cooper mystery. To the best of my knowledge, no one has interviewed more principals in the case than Bruce. This 3rd Edition is the culmination of Bruce’s work and is an absolute must-have for anyone interested in the mystery of DB Cooper.”—Eric Ulis, DB Cooper researcher featured in History’s Greatest Mysteries, “The Final Hunt for DB Cooper.”
“Bruce Smith is a relentless feet-on-the-street DB Cooper researcher. While others rehash Google search results, Bruce, an old school investigative journalist, finds and interviews witnesses. He digs deep, and he doesn’t automatically accept FBI reports as accurate. As a result of Bruce’s sleuthing, we’ve learned new and useful information, making his book the most comprehensive account of the DB Cooper case. It is a must read.”—Mark Meltzer, Attorney, skydiver
“Bruce Smith is one of the ‘go to’ people for anyone interested in the Cooper hijacking. His encyclopedic knowledge of the case is well known and his book covers this to a great extent.”—Tom Kaye, Head of the Citizen Sleuth Team for the FBI’s Cooper investigation
“Bruce showed up at a Cooper Internet forum in 2008 like a kid suddenly discovering he’s in a biker bar. I sensed a kindred spirit, more interested in getting to truth than pushing an agenda, and more importantly, not one to cozy up to the resident FBI agent.
“Bruce embraced, and led, with the idea that we could discover new information with in-person interviews, better than what the FBI had done. This was all before the more recent dumps of FBI files, and I was always deeply impressed with the stories Bruce gathered. He presents complicated, tangled details, in a straightforward way. Not just bare facts; he captures the human spirit and emotions.
“Your buddies speculating on Cooper don’t have a clue as to what really happened in the last 50 years on this case. Read this book and you will.”—Snowmman, described by author Geoffrey Gray as ‘one of the most inquisitive (and caustic)’ Internet forum members, who helped suspect Sheridan Peterson publish his literary documentary before his death.
“The very BEST Book ever written on DB Cooper without a doubt. From a pilot and someone who was on a flight to SEA-TAC at the exact time DB hijacked Northwest Airlines. Excellent book, Bruce. Thank you for all the years of research.”—Everett Johnson, Seattle, WA, former pilot for San Juan Airways.
“The most in-depth investigation published. Bruce has left no stone unturned as he retraces the steps in the investigation and discovers facts and suspects that have not been reported until now. I highly recommend this book.”—Pat Forman, co-author of The Legend of DB Cooper: Death by Natural Causes
“Nearly as exciting as the D.B. Cooper heist is Bruce’s thorough investigation into the mysteries associated with it. An essential read for anyone who loves true-crime stories.”—Nat Loufoque, Author of DB Cooper Examined, Identified, and Exposed