DB Cooper – An Interview with former case agent, Larry Carr

By Bruce A. Smith

Larry Carr was the DB Cooper case agent from 2007-2010, and is perhaps the best-known case agent in the history of Norjak – the FBI’s designation for the Cooper investigation.

During his tenure, Carr was instrumental in advancing the case in many ways, such as establishing the Citizen Sleuths Team in 2009 and joining a chat room on Cooper, known as the DropZone, to publicize the FBI’s findings. In addition, he released information about the evidence that had been unknown to the public prior, such as revealing the existence of a clip-on tie and clasp thought to be left behind by the skyjacker.

Carr was also media savvy, and relished his many appearances before TV news cameras, most famously touting that DB Cooper was a tumbling, bumbling fool who nearly froze to death on the aft stairs as he exited his 727 jetliner, and was too immobilized or too incompetent to successfully skydive to safety.

After his promotion to FBI HQ in Washington, D.C. in 2010, Carr was mostly absent from Norjak. But he returned to the FBI’s Seattle division recently, and tip-toed back into Cooper conversation, most notably on the Facebook Group page on DB Cooper, and in 2022 appearing on Darren Schaefer’s podcast: The Cooper Vortex.

On the Vortex broadcast, Larry mentioned that I had unfairly characterized the FBI in my work on Cooper, and I reached out to him to seek an interview and learn what I had gotten wrong about the Bureau’s treatment of Norjak. Carr replied favorably and informed me that he would be happy to chat with me once his retirement from the FBI was finalized in May, 2022. Hence, we spoke several weeks later.

Note: some of the exact dialogue or wording has been changed for the sake of clarity.

BAS – So, what did I get wrong about the FBI, Larry? Can you tell me what I’ve written that is incorrect or misleading?

LC – It’s not your writing, so much. In fact, I haven’t read your book. It’s your videos and what you say in your public addresses. You’re anti-FBI and anti-law enforcement.

BAS – I’m not anti-FBI, Larry. I’ve publicly stated that we need the cops to keep us safe. What I am “anti” about is lousy police work, and the FBI has lost much of the critical evidence in the Cooper case, such as the cigarette butts.

LC – But you’re highly critical of the FBI in your videos, and the FBI was extremely thorough in its Norjak investigation. Remember, the FBI has solved 99% of the other skyjackings that have occurred in this country.

Larry and I bantered over my portrayal of the FBI without resolve. Eventually Larry spoke with finality:

LC – DB Cooper died the night he jumped. The trail of clues end when he leaves the plane.

With that kind of pronouncement, I decided to move the discussion in a new direction.

BAS – Can you tell me how Geoffrey Gray got his unprecedented access to you and the Norjak files?

LC – He asked. He wrote to me asking for access, and described that he wanted to write a book that was based on facts and wouldn’t tout a suspect or any theory. He convinced me that he would do a worthy job.

BAS – Why not me, though? Why did Geoffrey get access that others like me were denied?

LC – I didn’t believe your motives were legit. I thought you were only out to trash the FBI.

Sensing I was hitting a familiar roadblock, I opted to change the conversation.

BAS – Can you tell me how the Citizen Sleuths came into being?

LC – Well, I didn’t want to tax the lab, (The FBI’s National Crime Lab in DC.) I talked to Tom Kaye, and I thought it was a good way to go.

BAS – What role did Jerry Warner play in the development of the Citizen Sleuths?

LC – Who?

BAS – Jerry Warner. Jerry has told me that you reached out to him, before Tom Kaye, and in fact he says that he recommended that you ask Tom to head up the Citizen Sleuths.”

LC – Who’s this guy, Jerry…?

BAS – Jerry Warner. You might know him as “Georger” on the DropZone or the DB Cooper Forum.

LC – Nope. Don’t know him.

BAS – Okay. How about Jeremy Blauser? Can you tell me how he got involved in the Cooper investigation?

LC – Who?

BAS – Jeremy Blauser. He was an agent out of the Los Angeles office who interviewed Pat Forman about her writings on Barb Dayton. When I talked with you in 2008 you told me that Jeremy Blauser was assisting you in your Cooper investigation.

LC – Well, he must have been a Seattle agent if he was working on Cooper.

BAS – I called the LA office at the number listed on the business card that Blauser gave to Pat Forman, and the LA people said Blauser was based in their office, but was currently on assignment elsewhere and they couldn’t reveal where.

LC – He must have been assigned to the Seattle Division. That’s all I can say.

BAS – How about Charlie Farrell? Did you ever read his 300-page manuscript that he wrote about his work on Norjak?

LC – I don’t know anything about him, and no, I haven’t read his manuscript.

BAS – Ever talk to him?

LC – No. I never talked with him.

Note: Charlie Farrell was the initial case agent in Norjak, leading the investigation from 1971 until his retirement in 1977. Geoffrey Gray discussed Farrell and his manuscript in detail at the Cooper Symposium in Portland in 2011.

BAS – How about other case agents? Have you consulted with any of them?

LC – Yes, I’ve spoken with Ralph Hope at length. Ralph Hope tried to find the cigarette butts in about 2002 or 2003. He sent formal queries down to Las Vegas, as I did later, informally.

BAS – Is this what you were talking about on the DropZone when you mentioned that the butts had been processed in 2003?

LC – No. The cigarette butts had been processed, but that was back in early 1972. Whatever you read at the DropZone was some kind of mis-communication there.

BAS – What can you tell me about the fingerprints? Galen Cook has told me that you’ve told him that the Bureau has a good print of Cooper’s – a thumb print – and it was recovered by a Seattle team the day after the Reno crew did their work.

LC – Well… I … umm. As far as I know the Bureau got 41 prints down in Reno. I may be wrong on that exact number, and there are no good prints of DB Cooper that I am aware of.

BAS – Didn’t a team from Seattle get a good print on Thanksgiving Day, when the plane came into Boeing Field for repairs? I thought I ‘ve read about that recovery in a 302.

LC – A Seattle-based search? I’m not aware of any. That would’ve been highly unusual. I don’t think it happened, but if it’s in a 302, then it probably happened.

BAS – How about the shards from Tina Bar that were recovered by Himmelsbach’s team in 1980. The PIO for the dig, Dorwin Schroeder, told me they retrieved about 6-8 large shards – big enough to read the serial numbers – underneath the area where the three bundles had been found earlier by the kid. Have you seen those shards? A TV film crew videoed Schroeder and his team placing those fragments into Plasticine evidence envelopes, but no one has seen them since, apparently. Certainly not the Citizen Sleuths when they went through the evidence back in 2009 and 2010.

LC – I never saw those shards. There were plenty of smaller pieces, and they were stored in small plastic boxes. But these larger shards – not only have I not seen them, there is no documentation of them existing. But you say there is video of them being bagged, I’d love to see it. Can you send me a link?

BAS – How about the hair follicles? I understand they are missing, too, along with the cigarette butts.

LC – Yes, they were sent to the lab, and the lab claimed they were sent back to Las Vegas. Ralph Hope chased them down, and he thought it might have been mis-directed to the Los Angeles Division, but that was not the case. I don’t see Las Vegas getting rid of them, though. Nor the cigarette butts. I see the possibility of Las Vegas destroying the hair samples as being very far-fetched. Maybe not the butts so much, but definitely the hair samples. Instead, I think the hair – and possibly the cigarette butts – came back from the lab and were placed into “1-A Evidence.” It’s how all evidence is tagged when it comes into an office. I think the hair came in and got designated at 1-A, but was not attached to any outstanding DB Cooper case file. So, I think the hair is still down in Las Vegas. I went through every 1-A file here in the Seattle Division basement and didn’t find anything. But I think the hair – and maybe the butts – are down in a Las Vegas Division basement, somewhere.”

BAS – How about Al Di? Any idea who he might be?

LC – Who?”

BAS – Al Di, the guy who decoded the letter signed by DB Cooper that is generally called ‘Letter Number 3.’ Al DI made a stir in August 2011 by conclusively showing that this letter was a cut and paste job using pages from two different 1970 Playboy magazines. Some people say that Al Di was Norjak agent Curtis Eng doing an end-around the Bureau for unknown reasons.

LC – Eng? That’s ridiculous. I know Curtis Eng and he would never do anything like that. As for the letters, I think it’s simply the work of trolls – remember there were a lot of letters sent to the FBI signed by DB Cooper – but I think it’s really a statement about the collectors of this kind of trivia.

BAS – What about Lynn Doyle Cooper? Curtis Eng thought it was the Bureau’s ‘most promising suspect’ as of 2011.

LC – I talked with Curtis about this after I had gotten to DC. There was nothing there, and it wasn’t any more legitimate than Duane Weber.

BAS – How about the Amboy chute? Can you tell me where it was found, exactly, and by whom?

LC – I’ve long-forgotten the name of the guy who found it, but I can tell you that his house is located exactly on the line of the most probable landing zone for DB Cooper. The guy who found it doesn’t want to be known, and the chute was found in a trash pile. It wasn’t buried; it was just mixed-in with years’ worth of garbage the previous owner had thrown out, and this guy was trying to clean up his property.

BAS – Speaking of chutes, what can you tell me about the true role of Earl Cossey in the Norjak investigation?

LC – DB Cooper was 100% a no-pull. As for Cossey, he was not a major player in the Cooper case…. I never got involved in his murder, and I can’t imagine how it could be connected to the Cooper investigation. Frankly, I can’t give you any insight into the matter.

BAS – Regarding the chutes, what do you make of the recent release of a 302 conclusively showing that a second Pioneer/Steinthal back chute packing card was found in Reno the night of. Doesn’t prove that Cossey was wrong about the NB-6, and that Norman Hayden was correct in claiming that he gave Northwest Orient two identical back chutes since we have proof of the second Pioneer/Steinthal packing card?

LC – I haven’t seen that particular 302; can you send me a link to it? But what you are saying runs counter to the previously released 302s, which support the idea of two different back chutes – one tan and one sage-green. Remember, Earl played with journalists. He was a very interesting, um, character.

BAS – Did you ever talk to any of the old hands – the guys who worked the case since the beginning and are still around – like John Detlor and Bob Fuhriman?

LC – I’ve gone to a couple of retired-agent parties, but I haven’t had any in-depth conversations with the ‘old hands’ as you say. There was nothing more they could tell me, as I had everything I needed.

BAS – Tina? Ever talk to her? She’s getting her own movie soon.

LC – No, I’ve never talked with Tina, nor have I heard anything about the movie.

BAS – What can you tell me about the money stored at SeaFirst bank? Who arranged that, and when?

LC – The money was not pre-set. The banks took it upon themselves to have a stash available for ransom demands. 100%. The banks pre-staged everything. I never saw a 302 saying the FBI pre-staged money for ransoms, so please send me a link if you have seen any documentation on other scenarios.

BAS – What do you think of the upcoming Netflix special on DB Cooper?”

LC – I’m aware of it. Eric has told me about it.

BAS – Do you follow the Cooper case?

LC – I’m certainly interested.

BAS – How’s retirement?

LC – Good. If I had the money, I’d be playing golf every day. But I’m not that rich. I coach a lot, though. Volleyball, and track and field at the high school level, or for local club teams. My girls got volleyball scholarships, of which I am proud. When I went to Florida State I was on the track and field team, competing in the pole vault, long jump and the high hurdles.

©

2022

Bruce A. Smith

This entry was posted in DB Cooper. Bookmark the permalink.

92 Responses to DB Cooper – An Interview with former case agent, Larry Carr

  1. FLYJACK says:

    Understandably, LC isn’t up to date on the case..

    LC is trained not to speculate then he speculates that Cooper died in a no pull, there is no evidence for that. It sounds like an FBI bias to explain why it was unsolved.

    Cigarette butts were destroyed per 302 p 21311

    No good prints of Cooper is consistent.

    Many TBAR shards were found, some large and many tiny ones.. (there is a pic of the containers on the citizens sleuth website), looks like hundreds or thousands of tiny frags.

    Hair sample didn’t go to Vegas,, FBI 302 p 21636 last mention has it going to Seattle (2002).

    LC isn’t aware of the conflicting evidence for the chute description from Cossey in the 302’s and the second backpack packing card found in the chute left on the plane.. Cossey played the media and the FBI..

    As I had expected, LC has been out of the loop and doesn’t have anything new.

  2. Marla says:

    Mr. Smith,
    After reading your interview with Larry Carr, it’s become obvious why the FBI pulled Larry Carr from the case. He was a Showboat agent. No substance. But a few thrills, coming in as CKRET.
    Attempting to look like Jane Bond. You outed a few others too, Mr. Smith, such as Georger, who led everyone to believe that it was Georger who revived the entire case and assembled the Citizen Sleuths with Larry Carr. And Carr didn’t even know Jerry Warner. The entire thing is laughable. Maybe we can get Mr. Carr and Jerry Warner to meet at McDonalds for a Happy Meal and see if they have enough fries between them. LOL.
    Good job, Mr. Brucie. You deliver. Far more than anyone else who purports to call themselves a journalist in the DB Cooper saga. In one short interview, you destroyed the credibility of some of the alleged Big Players.

  3. Gypsy23 says:

    Fantastic interview, Bruce. Agent Carr never was much of a hitter in the case. Apparently he was looking for someone to solve it for him so that he could get out of the FBI with a reward. He even said he left the Bureau with little money other than a government pension. So sad. Too bad.
    With all of the things stated about Robert Blevins these past years, Mr. Blevins still probably knows more about DB Cooper than Agent Carr and Georger combined, who were supposed friends?
    That narrative was dismantled. And why is Eric Ulis still ex-FBI agent Carr’s best friend? Does Ulis know about this? That’s just weird. Thanks for a great interview, Bruce.

  4. Ghost of Jo says:

    It was Duane. Larry Carr will go to his grave knowing it. Everyone knows it.

  5. Mad Hatter says:

    Bruce nailed it on this interview. Mr. Georger got caught lying about his status as THE organizer at the FBI for putting Larry Carr and his minions on the re-invention of NORJAK. For all of Mr. Jerry Warner’s opining and sarcasm, and braggadocia, Mr. Smith nailed it when he asked Larry Carr if he knew Georger from the DropZone. “Who?”
    LOL … Georger makes Mr. Robert Blevins look like a Boy Scout in truth and honor 🤣🤣

    • Johnnie Green says:

      Ok, ok. I want to go on record here to address a full apology to Robert Blevins of Adventure Books for calling him the biggest liar in the DB Cooper case. It appears that dishonor should rightfully belong to Georger (Jerry Warner) for claiming to be the man who knew FBI agent Larry Carr intimately, and putting the DB Cooper case back together with a bunch of rookie citizens, most who lack any credentials whatsoever. It is my sincere hope that Robert Blevins will forgive us all for years for pinning him down with untruthful accountings. Georger should consider a full apology to EVERYONE for intimating a special relationship with Larry Carr, the special agent in charge. Shame!

  6. Frankie says:

    Weird! I just talked with TK and asked him how long he’s been working with Jerry Warner (Georger)
    on DBC case. TK’s reply was, “Who’s Jerry Warner?” In the interest of sorting out the usual suspects from those who seem not to even exist, would someone please call Georger and see if he’s a real person. Thank you. I just hope he’s not some out of work 45- year old still living in his parent’s basement.

    • brucesmith49 says:

      Georger is a real person, and I have spoken to him several times. Although he is a bit cranky, I have learned lots of important details from him concerning DBC. The fact that Larry Carr, and now maybe even Tom Kaye don’t know him and G may have inflated his importance, it does not diminish – in my view – Georger’s many contributions to the case, especially regarding the Ingram family.

      • Julia says:

        Bruce, you are a grinder on the Cooper reporting. Sounds like Larry Carr knows little about DB Cooper at all. He had the file, but no investigative ability. Another government drone who thought he mattered. A total flop. At least this guy Georger had a few good jokes over the years. But did he ever leave his house to investigate? You, on the other hand, put yourself out there.

    • Frankie says:

      Bruce = grinder.
      .
      Georger = organ grinder.
      .
      🤣🤣

  7. Dempsey or Everdell says:

    Bruce, Are you sure Larry Carr isn’t the current information manager for the US Department of Justice? The answers you got sound much like those USDOJ is giving to the current missing emails surrounding the January 6th events. Herb

  8. Darren Schaefer says:

    Great work Bruce.

  9. Marla says:

    In a way, you could say that Mr. Smith outed agent Larry Carr as being a bit of a showy, yet phoney, investigator. Previous FBI agents showed a lot more professionalism, knowledge and courtesy. Carr is an egomaniac and a standard bureaucrat. A wannabe hero of the DB Cooper case.
    The guy that Agent Carr denied knowing, Jerry Warner (alias Georger), has actually been an impediment in solving the case. Criticizing Mr. Smith is Mr. Georger’s usual work. In fact, when you examine who has the investigative grind and puts himself out there as a writer…….it’s Mr. Smith.
    This guy Georger is an old man who lives in a storm cellar in Iowa and punches internet keys on his recliner chair. An old sourpuss who got called out by Mr. Smith. “Who’s Jerry Warner?” Larry Carr’s most famous case question. Now we know the truth.

  10. Bob says:

    Marla:
    You nailed it. Absolutely effing hilarious. Who’s Georger? 😂🤣🧚

    • brucesmith49 says:

      Georger is a long-time DB Cooper researcher and commentator at the old and new DropZone, and the DB Cooper Forum. His assistance to me in my research and writing has been critically important.

  11. Former classmate of LC says:

    I Went to High School with LC back in the day and the guy seemed like a blockhead. I’m honestly surprised the FBI would hire a guy like him! Anyways I don’t get how he can say DB was a no pull, where’s the body then? Great interview Bruce I’m glad you didn’t pull all your punched with LC. The guy is a dirtbag so don’t be afraid to call him out on his BS!

    • Paul says:

      Just out of curiosity, where did LC go to high school? Not to present any shame to you, sir, but LC doesn’t seem to be very well educated. Kind of dumb, actually. Even his interview with Darren was pretty pathetic. All of that giggling sounded like a junior high girl being interviewed.

    • Larry Carr says:

      I don’t recall having issues with anyone in high school, pretty much had a very small group of friends. If I offended you in some way my apologies.

    • Larry Carr says:

      I’m interested in who you are. I have racked my brain to figure out anyone I had conflict with. I just had none that I know of. Have some integrity. What’s your name?

  12. WilliamM. says:

    Interesting. Based on the interview by Bruce Smith, the nearly instantaneous response by Jerry Warner to explain himself as a collaborator of Larry Carr, and some outside reporting that seems to substantiate Jerry Warner’s explanations, the high likelihood is that Larry Carr is either untruthful, or, Larry Carr has memory issues. If Larry Carr denies either scenario, then Jerry Warner looks like the untruthful party. But Bruce’s latest comment seems to buttress Jerry Warner’s plea to veracity, so I suspect it is Larry Carr’s untruthfulness to Bruce during the interview. Larry Carr appeared highly defensive over questions posed by Bruce and came across hostile and combative. Most likely, Bruce outed Larry Carr as a scorned former agent who wishes he would be left alone for not being able to solve the DB Cooper case. Fantastic interview, Mr. Smith. You have demonstrated an ability to impeach your subjects with journalistic professionalism.

    • Frankie says:

      Yes, above comment says it all. Mountain News and Uncle Brucie deliver the hard facts again. Most of the stuff from others is just fluff.

      • Dr. Dan says:

        Who’s Georger? Who’s Jerry Warner? Has a secret clearance from the FBI? But the FBI doesn’t know him? Hides in a storm cellar in Iowa?
        LMFAO!

      • Sarah says:

        Bruce, you are looking good on camera. You and Darren rocked on that Conspiracy podcast. If anyone interviews Larry Carr and they ask him about Bruce Smith, I doubt Larry will ask, “Who?”

  13. Larry Carr says:

    For the record I do no Georger and did work with him by providing information from the case files. When asked by Bruce I didn’t recall his actual name. I’ve communicated with 100’s of individuals on this case since 2007. I asked for clarification from Bruce as to who he was. Bruce, as he did when dropping other names, simply said, “let’s move on to another question.”

    • brucesmith49 says:

      I stand on what I’ve written. I fully explained to Larry who Jerry Warner and Georger were to the DB Cooper community. As for other individuals, such as Charlie Farrell, I never explained to Larry who is was, nor did Larry ask me for any clarification. I moved on to another question because it was clear to me that Larry had no curiosity about Farrell, and I didn’t think it important at this juncture to inform Larry that Charlie Farrell was Norjak’s first case agent since Larry didn’t talk to Norjak eye witnesses nor any of the old hands. Apparently, that’s just how Larry conducts an investigation.

    • brucesmith49 says:

      Georger has clarified his relation ship with Larry Carr elsewhere in the DB Cooper firmament, in particular at the new DropZone chat room. Georger, aka Jerry Warner, says that he exchanged several emails with Larry concerning the formation of a citizen group to conduct investigations into Norjak, and he recommend Tom Kaye as head of the group. That may be true. Regardless, I accept Georger’s version of events, and now Larry’s.

      • Sarah says:

        Well at least Larry Carr had the common courtesy to reply and clarify at your Mountain News, Bruce. Give him that much credit, which is far more that Georger (Jerry Warner) gives to anyone. Warner sounds like an old sourpuss who may be jealous of Bruce’s accomplishments.

      • Frankie says:

        Yep. Good on Larry Carr. Never saw Jerry Warner post a damn thing here, even though Bruce hasn’t banned him.

      • Ellen says:

        Bruce:
        You have an excellent news site about DB Cooper. And I enjoyed reading your book about the FBI. But please answer a question……what substantive detailed information from original discovery work has Georger (Jerry Warner) brought to the case? He whines and moans about other’s work, but I haven’t seen him produce an ounce of original work of investigative findings. He’s the great critic of the work of others and has a condescending attitude of other investigators and journalists. But he produces nothing that I have seen. He has no problem asking others to do investigations for him. BTW,
        great job on the interview with Larry Carr. Mr. Carr was a real gentleman to agree to the interview with you. And Carr did a good job getting the case reinvigorated.

      • brucesmith49 says:

        Georger, aka Jerry Warner, was instrumental in delivering original information on the money find. He has interviewed the Ingram family at length and has a comprehensive understanding of what the family’s actions were during the money recovery and their initial interactions with the FBI. Georger also was an early poster at the DZ on the findings of the Citizen Sleuths, which I found very helpful in understanding their work. Lastly, Georger has a strong grasp on DNA testing technology and has posted extensively on the subject at the DZ and the DB Cooper Forum.

      • Johnnie Green says:

        Bruce,
        You are sugar coating. After 15 years and thousands of posts, that’s all Georger has produced? He needs to go to a Blevins campout and eat some weenies and beans with all of those campers. He might learn a few more things and then report.

  14. Bill Rollins says:

    Hi Larry,

    Congratulations on your retirement.

    I read this interview and listened to your podcast at the Cooper Vortex. In summation, you believe that Cooper was ex-military, sort of a “dumb criminal”, and he died the night of his jump.

    But do you realize that military planners always look to utilize one of their greatest weapons in every mission – DECEPTION! This case is no exception.

    The forensic evidence from Cooper’s tie tells us that this man is not “dumb”. He is an intelligent man in a position of trust. Thus, just as the FBI records show, the reason for this hijacking was that this man had a grudge to settle (FBI records D B Cooper-4905/4906, D B Cooper-4895/4896, and D B Cooper-2598/2599/2600).

    The evidence indicates that this man survived and escaped. Please see the attached video, as it contains the evidence and provides the most plausible explanation for the money find, that aligns with the recent diatom discovery.

    Bruce has my contact info.

    Regards,
    Bill

    • Larry Carr says:

      I don’t think Cooper was dumb, I think his lack of planning shows he simply wasn’t prepared. As I said many times, he did have experience, just not enough of the right kind of experience to pull off what he got himself into.

      • Bill Rollins says:

        I see, so the witnesses who saw him that night were “unreliable”. That wasn’t my impression from my visit with Ms. Babitzke.

        In your podcast, Larry, you mention that too many citizen sleuths focus on a suspect and then try to make the evidence fit, versus working from the evidence first.

        How did Cooper get to Portland Airport? The FBI doesn’t know to this day. Do you really think this was a coincidence? I maintain that this man meticulously planned this hijacking. He took a big risk with the jump, but everything else went according to plan.

        Here is another video, only it was completed before I knew who Cooper was.

        Keep an open mind, Larry.

      • brucesmith49 says:

        Welcome to the conversation, Larry.

  15. FLYJACK says:

    The cigarette butts were disposed of in December 1971, within a few weeks of the hijacking… it is in the FBI files p 4370-4371 (Q1 = cigarette butts)

    • Bill Rollins says:

      Also, see documents D. B. Cooper 3556-3557. They relate to the hair found on the seat and the cigarette butts.

      The final line in the document states “All of the above enclosures may be destroyed at the Bureau upon completion of the examination”.

      • Larry Carr says:

        Hi Bill,

        Can you explain regarding to the witnesses? From reading the 302’s I think they all were very creditable in relaying what they saw throughout the hijacking. I saw not one interview that I’d consider in contradiction.

      • Larry Carr says:

        Also, the FBI conducted an all out investigation regarding PDX. Every hotel, all abandon cars, taxi and bus was checked out. There’s no magic here, you conduct an interview and document what was relayed. If there’s nothing there it’s not bad investigative work; it simply means that how got to PDX was not remarkable enough that anyone noticed.

    • FLYJACK says:

      I am SHOCKED that neither Bruce nor Darren asked Larry about the parachutes…

      Packing card SN# 60-9707 July 1960 was found in the back chute left on the plane.. Packing card SN# 226 Sept, 1957 was in the back chute returned to Hayden..

      Both were packed by Cossey May 21, 1971,, they ID both of Hayden’s back chutes..

      Since #226 was returned to Hayden then Cooper must have taken back chute #60-9707 which doesn’t match Cossey’s description of his customized chute..

      • Ramtha12016 says:

        I did ask Larry about the back chutes and that a second packing card for a Pioneer/Steinthal was found in Reno, indicating that Norman Hayden was correct and had given two similar back chutes. I’ll have to re-read the article and my notes.

      • Ramtha12016 says:

        I did discuss the back chutes and the two packing cards. It wasn’t clear?

      • FLYJACK says:

        Bruce, you did touch on the chutes but the issue wasn’t made clear to Larry or anyone who did not already know the context…

        Hayden’s two packing cards found on the plane are a big deal… the ramifications are that Cooper’s chute may have been found but rejected based on Cossey’s misinformation.

        Cossey was wrong and the FBI relied on him.. when they had the correct info in their files.

  16. brucesmith49 says:

    Delightful video, Bill. We need an update. How did the bills just get summer-only diatoms?

    • Bill Rollins says:

      Hi Bruce,

      Almost 50 years ago, when I was a student at the University of Maine ~ 1974, I read a 5-part newspaper story about this man, Army veteran Bernard Patterson, who robbed a bank in a small town in Northern Maine (the robbery took place on Nov. 12, 1971). It was a somewhat humorous story of a man who robbed this small bank and took off for Europe and the high life. He was almost apprehended while riding a camel in Egypt, I believe. But I always remembered how clever Bernard was. He didn’t have a getaway car, but took the loot to a boat he had waiting in the river behind the bank. He went down the river and stayed for a number of days in a cabin in the woods until the case cooled off.

      https://www.google.com/books/edition/The_Great_Mars_Hill_Bank_Robbery/720vCwAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=0

      When I looked at the Cooper case, I wondered, how do you escape the drop zone? It’s only a matter of time before the FBI sets up roadblocks and a perimeter, and then closes in. How do you get away? Then i remembered Bernard, and how he escaped, and I realized that Cooper did basically the same thing, he took a boat down the Lewis River. Must be that Army training!

      So the money find, the fact that the only way it got there was by human intervention, made me realize that Tena Bar was Cooper’s point of origin, and that was where he returned (via boat from the drop zone). Now remember, if Ms.Babitzke saw him at 11:30 pm in Ariel, it’s probably 3:00 am by the time he gets to Tena Bar. He’s cold, wet, tired, and it must be very dark there on a rainy evening in November. He mishandles a few bundles of cash, and they are left there on Tena Bar.

      Eric Ulis states on his website that in 1972 the Columbia River floods to the point where it reaches the spot where the money is located. With this flooding, the money is submerged under water and the diatoms are deposited (May/June time frame). But there is a great deal of silt and sediment in the river, and it buries the bundles of money while they are submerged.

      https://www.usgs.gov/media/images/columbia-river-sediment

      When the flood waters recede, the money is buried under a few inches of sediment, and never see another event where diatoms are deposited. So in essence, human intervention is involved, as Cooper brings the money to Tena Bar. However, the burial of the money happens through a natural process. and the diatoms found are from only one year, and they are only from the May/June season.

      Although this essentially unravels the “Mystery within the Mystery”, Tom Kaye argues that
      rubber bands wouldn’t survive for 6 months in the wild. How do you formulate answers when you dismiss a solution that provides 90% of the answers, over a 10% remaining question? But I realize the Tom lives in Arizona. He probably doesn’t see much snow these days. Here in New Hampshire, we get snow and it typically stays for the
      entire winter. But we get snow, then some warm weather, some rain, then more snow, etc. As spring and warm weather comes, the snow melts and we end up with a few inches of ice on the ground. Perhaps the money was encapsulated in snow and ice for a good portion of the 1971-72 winter prior to the spring floods.

      I hope this makes sense.

      Regards,
      Bill

  17. Bill Rollins says:

    Hi Larry,
    It seems that I don’t have a reply button, so I will answer your questions here.
    On the night of the hijacking, Ms Babitzke was driving from Vancouver where she lived and worked, to the home where she grew up in Ariel. Her 302 is contained in “The Money Find Explained” video above. She will state that although she has lived in the vicinity for years, this is the only time she has seen anyone walking on Lewis River Road after dark. Her description of the man she saw walking at 11:30 pm fits the description of Cooper. I have met and talked with Ms. Babitzke, and the things that stick out in her mind from this brief encounter was that this man was thin, and dressed in all black.

    The way I found Ms. Babitzke was from an article in the Eugene Register from 1976. Her father, Harold Babitzke, went to the annual celebration in Ariel and talked to a reporter, stating that he thought his daughter saw D. B. Cooper the night of his jump. Near the end, the article states, “The FBI reportedly has followed that lead, like dozens of others, into a deadend.

    Regarding PDX, I am sure the FBI conducted a thorough search. But if you are Cooper, and use logic in your planning, you know you can’t drive to the airport. Whether you abandon the car or come back to retrieve it, you will be become a prime suspect. I discuss all of Cooper’s logic in my book.

    Note that I am not saying that the FBI did poor investigation work. To the contrary, I am sure that extraordinary investigative work was done. But Cooper planned this caper to leave almost no evidence behind. Take a look at the video “Calling D. B. Cooper” to understand how an intelligent man with 10 years of planning and logistics in the Army, and 10 years of experience in electronics manufacturing, might plan this escapade.

    • Sylvain says:

      Hi Bill, Bruce, and Larry (+ everyone).

      Larry, jumping back from one of your previous post and Bill’s response,
      Regarding PDX, the fact that the fbi found nothing remarkable there, coupled with the fact that Db Cooper jumped just an hour drive from pdx on the return flight speaks volume. Of all places between Seattle Washington to Reno Nevada, he jumped very close to its starting point. This strongly suggests that he had an acomplice with a car, who dropped him at pdx and then drove to the rendez vous zone.
      Which implies a significant preparation. And probably a way to communicate from the plane. I know some walkie talkies used in vietnam had a range of several miles and that could be what he had in his briefcase, and why he asked Tina to get the hell out when he knew he was approaching. And with a pair walkie talkies and one of them at least having a flash light, everything is easy at night to facilitate the rendez vous at night. Which implies the night was no accident. He meeded it. The same way he chose to do the hijacking just before thanksgiving to ensure there would be plenty of time before the police would be able to start looking for him seriously.

      Plus the talkie walkie with its battery look like a bomb and may have fooled the flight intendent. Also explains why he took it with him. Had it been a fake bomg, he would have left it in the plane to lessen his punishment, had he ever been caught.

      My qyestion would be: had the fbi looked at the previous passengers on that very flight. I bet he would have taken the same flight at the same time a few days before, as a dry run.

      • brucesmith49 says:

        Welcome to the discussion, Sylvain.

      • Larry Carr says:

        It would have been near impossible for Cooper to have worked with an accomplice. The reason, is he gave know specific flight instructions to the pilots (headings, airways….) and he never asked the cockpit for updates to the planes location. Cooper wouldn’t have been able to look forward from the cabin to know the plane was approaching Portland, he could only see out of the sides of the craft. Also, radios in the 70’s that had any real range to them weighed as much as 50 lbs and was carried as a backpack.

      • Larry Carr says:

        I think the reason Cooper gave no specifics to the flight crew is it didn’t matter to him. He wanted the air stairs down for takeoff. When that wasn’t possible, minutes after takeoff he released them. I believe all this points to Cooper wanting to jump as soon as the plane reached enough altitude. Meaning just outside of Seattle.

      • Bill Rollins says:

        Hi Sylvain,

        When I looked at this case, I read every bit of evidence and every article I could find. This man’s jump was borderline suicidal, a middle-aged man, jumping at night, from a jet doing 200 mph, with no visibility, and on the ground it is 42 F and raining. Isn’t the objective of a thief to live so that he can spend the money?

        Larry Carr, using the name Ckret, had online conversations with skydivers on the Dropzone forum. He asked who would attempt Cooper’s jump for one million dollars (the equivalent of $200,000 from 1971). There were no takers. It became obvious to me that something beyond money was motivating this man, so I realized something tragic had happened to this man, and his grudge was his motivation.

        The forensic evidence from the clip-on tie suggested Cooper was perhaps an engineer in a manufacturing facility. Being an engineer, I decided that this man wasn’t dumb, and he wasn’t even a criminal, he was a trusted member of some company’s manufacturing team. So I saw an everyday person with an intense grudge.

        As I wrote in my book, if this man has a conscience, he can’t ask anyone to help. The FBI might shoot first and ask questions later. He can’t ask someone else to risk their lives to help him settle his grudge.

        I say that Cooper had an avionic device in his briefcase. The FBI describes the contents as having ~6 or 8 red sticks and “a mass of wires”. Why do you need a mass of wires for 6 or 8 sticks? I believe Cooper had a avionic device commonly referred to as DME (Distance Measuring Equipment). We were entering the digital age, and smaller devices, without the large vacuum tubes, were being developed.

        https://books.google.com/books?id=kJm-NQgrbnQC&pg=PA6&lpg=PA6&dq=century+21+DME&source=bl&ots=pv9MDZ73ue&sig=7EasA0yudxd8YekbpnEByOVQD-U&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjx_O7ugLjYAhVD54MKHaq_A9sQ6AEIQjAE#v=onepage&q=century%2021%20DME&f=false

        Above is a link to an ad it the March 1971 edition of “Flying” magazine, advertising a new computerized DME (page 6). Cooper could have had the guts of this device in his briefcase. People think Cooper wanted the aft airstairs down for takeoff from Seattle airport because he wanted to jump there. Like you, I agree that he wanted to return to the PDX area. I contend that he wanted the airstairs down so that he could get signals from the Olympia VORTAC (FAA navigation station) and jump near Merwin Dam.

        I like the way Leonard Nimoy states it. See this 1979 video from about 9:45 to 10:50.

        Bill

      • FLYJACK says:

        Not exactly true,,,

        Cooper initially demanded nonstop in the US and airstairs lowered inflight, he changed it during his negotiations with the crew as they also wanted to get Tina off the plane… they settled on Reno. Cooper also rejected refuelling airports for being too big and demanded a smaller airport.. those things suggest his initial plan was to jump much further south and his actual jump was a last minute change of plan probably due to the stop in Reno as he wanted no US stops.

        Cooper did not jump where he had initially planned…

      • Larry Carr says:

        He wanted the plane to take off with the stairs down. He later agreed to lower them once in flight. Which to me indicates an exit as soon as possible. Especially given the fact he didn’t bother with any specifics to the flight crew.

      • FLYJACK says:

        Not true,,,

        Cooper’s INITIAL demand was airstairs lowered inflight..

        It is in the crew transcripts and corroborated in the Harrison notes… more accurate than the the summaries in the FBI notes..

        100% fact, Cooper’s initial demand was airstairs lowered inflight…

        he changed his demand when Reno was in play.

      • FLYJACK says:

        Everyone has had this wrong for years…

        Cooper initially wanted airstairs lowered inflight…

        The argument that he wanted to jump ASAP because he wanted airstairs lowered on takeoff is false.. sort of,, he wanted to jump ASAP AFTER Reno was in play… before Reno was in play he wanted to jump further South.

        He did not jump where he had initially planned.

        The receipts…

        https://www.dropzone.com/forums/topic/56036-db-cooper/?do=findComment&comment=4975358

      • Sylvain says:

        Thanks Bruce.
        Thanks bill for your response. And thanks Larry for your response too.

        About the radio device, i was thinking about the AN/PRC-6. From what i understand its about 6 pounds (3kg if you use our good old metric system). And it would fit in a briefcase.


        (In this video you can seewhat it looks like, and at about 3.01min when the back is side opened, it does looks like a bomb with dynamite-like-sticks and electrical wires. At least to me. Dont know what you think. Maybe asking Tina if that reminds her of what she saw is doable? Could be interesting, by the way hope Darren will be interviewing her in the future…)

        Regarding the path, i took a plane from seattle (tacoma) to san diego in 2004 and I distinctly remember passing between mount rainier and then mount saint Helen, thus the same path as db cooper.

        And db cooper was very specific about only one thing. he wanted to go south. That was his only specific demand which again speaks volume. Had he wanted to just get away and bail out alone he would not have been so insistant. He asked first for mexico, but He eventually settled for reno nevada due ti bogus fuel concerns. But He did not care about the destination as long as it was flying south from seatlle. Si the fuel trick was of no impirrance for him. Obviously He could not tell the pilot to “fly over ariel, washington at exactly 8.13pm”. Or even tell him when the plane was approaching Portland. That would have made the fbi work a bit easier but its not realistic.

        And Just by knowing the average speed of100 knots(another specific demand) he whew rougly when he would be flying over his target.

        When you fly south you can hardly take any other route. In theory you can argue that the pilot can chose another path , or the tower impose it. But in reality there is no other way because of the mountains. And at night you do not deviate from the best most economical route. And you dont fly over the ocean when you dont have to. Its always a no-no.

        Lets remember that in 1971, the eruption of mount saint helen had not happened yet and the mountain was still 10000 feet high. So asking to fly below 10000 feet ensured the plane maintained a very specific path, especially around that portion of the corridor. Also the 10 000 feet demand may be linked to the range of the radio (arent i stubborn)…

      • Sylvain says:

        Just to clarify one point about the range of the walkie talkie I was talking about, to be specific about something Larry mentionned: The first versions of the An pr6 had a range of about 1 mile on rolling ground and less in the vietnam Jungle.

        But the later versions were far more interesting. For instance a late version was manufactured in France in the late 60s under license, and under the name tr pp 11.
        You can read its specifications here:
        https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/read/31294272/the-french-tr-pp-11-vmarsmanuals

        The range was between 3km (incidently this is 10 000 feet) and 8 km (5miles). Which is exactly the range that you would want for such a mission. I dont know if the access of these newer versions was easy in the US in 1971 but after all Larry said (I think in a documentary on the history channel), the dan cooper comic book suggests that db cooper could have had some connection with nato countries.

  18. Bill Rollins says:

    Hi Larry,

    My previous post discusses why I think Cooper wanted the aft airstairs down for takeoff in Seattle. He needed an opening to receive signals for his avionic device. Now consider this, the Boeing 727 is flying at 200 mph, but with the south westerly winds, the ground speed was about 180 mph, or 3 miles per minute. Note that from the cockpit communications log, at 7:42, there is an indication that the airstairs are down. So why does Cooper wait almost a half hour before he jumps?

    What if he jumps at 8:05 instead of 8:11? This 6 minutes at 3 miles/min equates to 18 miles further to the north. It is in the vicinity of Pigeon Springs. Check out this area using Google Earth. Even today, 50 years later, it appears to be an area of logging roads and timber harvests. If Cooper came down here, I would agree, he is a dumb criminal.

    But the fact that this man came down in the vicinity of a hydroelectric dam that is lit up like a Christmas tree at night is no coincidence. This was planned!

    As I state in my book, Larry, “The FBI has totally underestimated D. B. Cooper”.

    Bill

    • Larry Carr says:

      Cooper didn’t jump after releasing the stairs because they didn’t lower. He communicated with the cockpit regarding the issue. I’m sure it took him some time to figure out that as his weight moved down the stairs, they lowered enough for him to jump.

      • Bill Rollins says:

        I have a transcript of the cockpit communications, from Sluggo’s website many years ago. It is in PDF format, so I can’t provide a link. Here is what is said in the cryptic format.
        ———————-
        7:42 PM PST – ….305 still at 7thsd feet 19 DME S V23, No Comms with him but have an aft stair lite.
        ————————
        This tells me at 7:42 pm, 6 minutes after takeoff, he has the airstairs down. Why doesn’t he jump here instead of waiting for another 30 minutes?

    • FLYJACK says:

      The light comes on when the handle is moved from the up detent and the stairs are unlocked,,, not when the stairs move. The light can be on and the stairs still up due to wind pressure.

      • Bill Rollins says:

        I am going to disagree, unless you have some proof. I believe there is a limit switch on the airstairs that provides an indication once the stairs have lowered into position.

        Remember, Cooper had moved the handle, but couldn’t get the stairs down. The flight crew then went to 30 degrees of flaps and slowed the aircraft, then they got the airstair light.

      • FLYJACK says:

        There are two lights,, a red one goes on when the lever is moved from the up detent.. then a green light when the stairs are locked down.. no green light came on.

        The red one is not triggered by the movement of the stairs.

        I have the detailed operations of the 727 airstairs.. 100% solid.

        Cooper moved the handle from the up detent, red light goes on but stairs don’t drop. Later they slow the plane and Cooper walks out on stairs to get them partially down.. Stairs were never fully down or locked.

        There is a report by Tina that the stair light came on later, a second time.. If she is correct that means Cooper moved the handle back into the up detent then forward again while he was trying to get the stairs down.

        But, bottom line is the red airstair light in the cockpit does not indicate that that the stairs have moved, only that the lever has been moved from the up detent.

      • Bill Rollins says:

        Well, I guess there is a question regarding which “light” the flight crew is referring to.

      • FLYJACK says:

        It was a red light,,

        The stairs never locked down which would be indicated by the green light.

        Check the images of the sled test,, the stairs were not anywhere close to fully extended with a person out on the stairs…

      • Bill Rollins says:

        I have been in a decommissioned Boeing 727.

        First, the red light is probably a safety light, so that the pilots don’t take off without the door being in its up and locked position. This is the lever that you mention.

        I believe that when this lever is moved, it unlocks the door from its inflight position (locked). The airstairs are operated by hydraulics. I don’t see why there would be a “locked down” position. There are separate switches (not on the lever) that control the hydraulic system which lowers the stairs until they contact the ground, and there they rest. The hydraulics also lift the stairs.

        The stairs may only need to be partially down for the indicator light to come on.

      • FLYJACK says:

        The red light is a safety thing for takeoff.. it means the lever is not in the up position and stairs not locked..

        The red light is activated by the movement of the lever from the up detent, not the movement of the stairs..

        To lower the stairs, you need to move the lever from the up detent position, press a button on the top and push it to the down position.. the lever can be in between.

        I have the schematics and documents..

        The red light can come on without the stairs moving at all, just move the lever from the up detent. The red light does not indicate the stairs have opened.

      • Bill Rollins says:

        I am sure that the 2nd light (green as you mention) came on. All one has to do to get the red light to come on is move the lever.

        Cooper had done that, and used the push button to lower the aft stairs, but they didn’t lower sufficiently. Bill Rataczak told me that they went to 30 degrees of flaps and slowed, then they got the light. I don’t think he was talking about the “red” light.

      • FLYJACK says:

        Green light never came on, plus stairs never opened all the way to lock open..

        only red light was reported and Tina said amber,, (light red)

      • Bill Rollins says:

        As an engineer, I doubt that the aft stairs “lock open”. Tell me where that comes from.

        Amber light sounds right, about halfway between orange and yellow, not red.

      • Larry Carr says:

        They do lock open. If they didn’t, when boarding from the rear the plane would tip backwards.

      • FLYJACK says:

        The stairs lock down/open to support the aircraft, that is indicated by the green light,,

        There is no amber stair light.. only two, red and green. Tina said she saw a red light and amber light elsewhere in an interview because the red is a light red and looks amberish..

        But, the stairs never fully extended and/or locked down. no green light ever. There is no middle,,

        Locked fully down = green
        Locked up and lever in up detent = no light
        Lever out of up detent and unlocked – red

        There was only one stair light lit up in cockpit, the red one which is triggered by the movement of the lever., not the movement of the stairs..

        The FBI files say “red light”.

        I have the 727 documents.. this is not debatable.

        A red light does not indicate the stairs were open or down. It indicates the lever has been moved from the up detent position..

      • Bill Rollins says:

        Here is a video on YouTube.

        The red light is not in the cockpit. It is at the upper and lower control stations, and illuminates whenever the stairs are not in the upper or lower locked positions.

        The green light in the cockpit indicates that the stairs are locked down (safe for passengers to use). The amber light indicates that they are not locked up (not safe for takeoff).

        So forget the red light, no one in the cockpit can see it. The amber light indicates the stairs aren’t locked up, but provides no indication of the stairs position, only that they aren’t in the fully extended locked position (green light).

      • FLYJACK says:

        I got the colour backwards,, checked my old notes.

        The light is officially called “Amber” in the technical docs, but it looks light reddish and Tina called it red… and it is called red in the FBI files, the same indicator in the rear is red.

        Regardless, there are only two airstair lights in the cockpit the “green”, stairs down and locked and the “amber”, lever out of up detent position and unlocked.

        But, Tina said when she went to the cockpit the red (amber) airstair light came on.. at about 8:00.

        Since, the crew had previously reported the airstair light on.. this doesn’t make sense.

        The only options..
        Tina was mistaken/misquoted that she saw it come on and it was always on.
        Cooper moved the lever back to the up detent position then forward again.
        The first red light reported by the crew was mistakenly noted as an airstair light but was actually the rear door light on the panel.

      • FLYJACK says:

        I got the red and amber mixed up because Tina said red, but it doesn’t matter.. the point is the same.

        The technical docs say that the light comes on when the handle is moved from the up detent and the stairs are unlocked.. not from the movement of the stairs.

        The stairs would have barely cracked open depending on how Cooper used the lever.

        8.6 degrees open at 125 knots.. 305 was faster so even less of an opening.. so, almost closed.

        =====

        The Boeing airstairs report starts p. 333 to p.356 FBI files part 71..

        The airstairs were dropped in two modes at various speeds.. they were “unlatched” with gravity which is done by not pressing the button on the lever and then hydraulic assist by pressing button and moving lever to down position.

        (IMO, Cooper initially had trouble because he didn’t press the button on the lever)

        With gravity “free floating” the drop was 8.6 degrees. (125 knots)

        With hydraulic assist the drop was 13.5 degrees. (125 knots)

        No excessive pressure was noted. (depressurized cabin) (That confirms the oscillation/bump had to be the stairs retracting not opening)

        Slight pitch when stairs dropped.

        Obviously, higher speeds no freefall.

        No unusual control or handling problems should be experienced if the aft airstair should accidentally extend inflight.

      • FLYJACK says:

        I have an actual image of the 727 engineer’s panel with the airstair light lit up.. can’t post it here but It looks more red than amber,, though officially it is called amber. The video of the airstair panel is an animation.

        There are only two airstair lights in the cockpit… green and amber (that looks red)

        It is understandable for somebody like to Tina to call it red.

      • Bill Rollins says:

        Thank you for the pages on the Boeing 727 tests. Note that I believe the speeds that you see are indicated, not actual speeds. To correct these indicated speeds, you must ratio between air density at sea level and air density at altitude. This is about a 0.70 adjustment at 10,000 feet, so 125 knots indicated equals 125/0.70 = ~179 knots true airspeed.

        So the amber light in the cockpit only tells the pilot one thing, the airstairs are not in the up and locked position. At the test conditions (similar to actual flight conditions on the night of Nov. 24, 1971), with hydraulic assist, the stairs dip 13.5 degrees (out of a possible 40 degrees?). That is probably fine until it is time to jump.

      • FLYJACK says:

        305 was travelling faster than the 125 knot Boeing test.. even after it was slowed down.

        here are some relevant docs posted elsewhere,,

        https://www.dropzone.com/forums/topic/56036-db-cooper/?do=findComment&comment=4981740

        For the 1963 727 airstair test with full hydraulics the stairs only opened 12 inches.

        https://www.dropzone.com/forums/topic/56036-db-cooper/?do=findComment&comment=4930288

  19. Bill Rollins says:

    Larry,

    Your quote, “He wanted the plane to take off with the stairs down. He later agreed to lower them once in flight. Which to me indicates an exit as soon as possible. Especially given the fact he didn’t bother with any specifics to the flight crew”.

    See this article from aviation expert Mike Machat, (who is also a talented artist).

    https://www.airlineratings.com/news/did-he-get-away/

    Excerpt:

    “This was yet another clever reuse placing the route-of-flight on FAA Victor Airway 23 over an area midway between Seattle and Portland, using minimum enroute altitudes for terrain clearance, and ensuring a planned arrival over a predetermined point where perhaps assistance and a getaway vehicle lay waiting”.

    In other words, by specifying an altitude of 10,000 feet of less, and with the Cascade Mountains to the east, the only practical route was Victor 23, and Cooper knew this. From my reading, the route was assigned by ATC (Air Traffic Control).

    Bill

  20. brucesmith49 says:

    Thanks, Fly. We can always count on you to clarify details.

  21. Bill Rollins says:

    Hi Larry,
    Maybe you can clarify this for me. See FBI documents DB Cooper 4095 and 4096.

    It states:

    “It was further agreed that the plane could be flown to Portland, Oregon, south to Red Bluff, California, and then east to Reno, Nevada, where it would stop for refueling”.

    So did Cooper agree to this flight path? If so, how can you can state that he didn’t know, at least to some extent, where he was?

    Bill

    • Larry Carr says:

      I believe it was a conversation between the pilots and NWA ground and ATC. I never came across any documents in which Cooper was involved directly with flight path decisions. He was only told they’d have to refuel to meet his demands and was asked if landing in Reno would be ok.

      • Bill Rollins says:

        You might want to look at the aforementioned documents. They are in Part 15 of the D. B. Cooper documents.

        Let me add some more from this document, dated Dec. 7, 1971.

        “At first the hijacker wanted the plane to take off with the stairs down but after he was advised this would be impossible, he agreed to having the steps raised with the comment that they could be lowered after they became airborne”.

        “It was further agreed that the plane could be flown to Portland, Oregon, south to Red Bluff, California, and then east to Reno, Nevada, where it would stop for refueling”.

        So unless there is some error, the phrase “It was further agreed”, tells me that Cooper may have not made the decision, but her agreed to the flight path.

      • Sylvain says:

        Hi Larry, in your previous posts you suggest that Cooper did not care where he was (somehow he could not know about it) and once he was out of Seattle he immediatly jumped. Showing how unprepared he was.

        But this is not consistent at all with the way the events unfolded.
        From what i understand, the plane took off at 7.40. Immediatly Tina is requested to open the door. She is worried about being sucked out of the plane and pleads to go to the cockpit to get a rope but Cooper does not allow it. She then asks to sacrifice a chute to get some ropes from it so that she can attach herself to a seat, but again this is denied. Then cooper is annoyed and asks her to go away from the door so that he opens it himself. Once he succeeds he tells Tina to go to the cockpit and not come back. No more than 5 minutes had passed since the take off by then (i.e. it is about 7.45pm).
        Nothing happens untill 8.pm at which point a warning light indicates the aft stair has been activated. In other words cooper has waited 15 minutes in the plane.
        Then nothing again nothing happens until 8.13pm at which point he jumps out of the plane (as revealed by the pressure bump felt in the cockpit )

        Sorry Larry but this is not consistent with a guy immediatly jumping as soon as the plane is out of Seattle. Cooper clearly waited for the right moment to jump. And why wait in that case
        My guess is that he had to get ready with everything in place , by 8pm. Then he waited for the right moment to jump. There is absolutely no precipitation. Evrything was under his control.

  22. Bill Rollins says:

    Larry, Larry, Larry,

    It’s time to stop the Q&A, and time for me to give you the answers. Yes, I have unraveled this 50-year old mystery. Now you, me, and Ckret know that no person in their right frame of mind is making Cooper’s jump for money. There needs to be a greater motivation.

    A week after her Reno interview, Tina is worried that she didn’t relay the following information to the FBI, “Hijacker indicated to her he had a grudge to settle, not with her airline, just a grudge”. She will be interviewed a second time at her family home near Philadelphia. So the grudge is the reason for this hijacking.

    I can differentiate this man from all other suspects. Live or die, this man sees his jump as a win-win situation. I can explain later. But for now, watch this video and understand why Joe Lakich hijacked Flight 305 – Because he had a grudge to settle.

    P.S. As an FBI man, you won’t like the answer, but you can’t hide from the truth.

    • Larry Carr says:

      Congratulations

      • Bill Rollins says:

        Thank you.

        People who knew Joe tell me that he adored his daughter Susan, and was emotionally devastated by her loss (they also say, “That FBI sketch of D. B. Cooper sure looks like Joe”). He was not in a good place. So as I stated earlier, jumping from the Boeing 727, live or die, was a win-win situation for Joe. If he lives (and he did) we have a 50-year old mystery that frustrates and embarrasses the FBI. Had he of died, his body would be found, his identity revealed, and this would bring media attention back to the atrocities in Nashville.

        Since the reason for this hijacking was that Cooper had a grudge to settle, tell me who has been avenged by this hijacking? (hint: they expended tens of thousands of man-hours on this case, considered over 1000 suspects, and spent untold millions of dollars). Maybe you can provide better numbers that I have.

        So Joe became Dan Cooper, a military man who takes on daring missions in the name of Justice.

        In Geoffrey Gray’s book, (page 208) he speaks (through an interpreter) to Albert Weinberg, Dan Cooper’s creator. Weinberg states, “I think he main quality of my character is that he is very very sensitive. Even though he was a military pilot, he always held a high regard for human life”.

        And why is D. B. Cooper a folk hero? Because he didn’t kill or hurt anyone.

        Here is a link to a Canadian film about Dan Cooper, the comic book hero.

        https://www.films.com/ecTitleDetail.aspx?TitleID=34295

        You can view the trailer and note one of the segments, “Cooper’s Values”. It states, “Despite the tragedy of Dan Cooper’s lost love, he never strays from his core values of altruism and compassion”.

        So D. B. Cooper is described by the flight attendants as being rather nice. An updated description calls him “Very polite at all times”. He orders meals for the crew for the flight to Reno, He spares the passengers from the horror of knowing a bomb is on the plane, by keeping the hijacking between him an the flight crew. Even Tina describes him as an executive type “because of the special consideration that he shows her while on the aircraft”.

        This is Joe, a soft spoken man who is extremely polite (other people’s description). He is a nice man, who just got pushed over the edge.

        This is one of the best stories of revenge in history!

      • Marla says:

        Great to have Larry Carr (CKRET) back “onboard.”

      • Bill Rollins says:

        So Larry, how did I find Joe Lakich? I saw an entirely different man than most. A man who wasn’t after money, but who had a grudge to settle. His crazy jump from the back of a Boeing 727 seemed borderline suicidal, and even Ralph Himmelsbach called it “An act of desperation”. But your friend Jo Weber actually provided the key evidence. She had a conversation with Tina in 2003, and conveyed Tina’s comments in the Dropzone; “He was a very sad man”.

        https://themountainnewswa.net/2013/02/15/the-hunt-for-db-cooper-an-in-depth-look-at-the-resurgence-to-solve-americas-most-mysterious-skyjacking/

        At this point, I knew something tragic had happened to this man, and he had a serious grudge. So I searched through the tragedies of the day. I examined the Kent State Massacre, major airline crashes of 1971, and Vietnam War casualties, looking at the fathers, husbands, and brothers of the victims. More than 200 men would be eliminated. But then I found Joe Lakich, and I couldn’t eliminate him. He checked all of the boxes.

        He had over 20 years in the US Army, with the last 10 years in Planning & Logistics – Check
        He fit the physical description perfectly – Check
        Joe was multi-lingual and stationed in Germany from 1957 to 1960 – Check
        His place of employment utilized pure titanium, bismuth, gold, silver, and palladium in its product line – Big Check
        He had an intense grudge – Biggest Check

        With all of these unique attributes, Joe is one-in-a-trillion.

        Then there is the evidence that seals the deal, his match with the FBI sketch.

        So Larry, it is now up to you. Is one-in-a-trillion conclusive, or is this just another ingredient to put in your pot of stew?

        Regards,
        Bill

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