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Old 11-25-2011, 09:43 PM
Valteron is offline
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Could D.B. Cooper have been a French-Canadian?


(Sorry, I meant to say D.B. Cooper, but I can't edit the title. Can the moderator help me out?)

First of all, everybody under 50 should probably go to the Wiki article about D.B. Cooper to read up about him, since you may not have a clue who he was. He is in fact one of the greatest enduring mysteries of our time. Here is the article. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D._B._Cooper

It was 40 years ago yesterday, on November 24, 1971, that this oddly polite and probably non-violent man became a legend, a folk hero, and an ongoing subject of debate, by hijacking a Boeing 727 and parachuting out of the plane in flight after extorting $200,000 from the airline. The money and the parachutes were brought to him while the jet stopped to refuel. Cooper claimed to have a bomb in his briefcase.

He remains the only unsolved airline hijacking in American aviation history. Neither he, nor his body nor the money has ever been found. For all I know he may be in his 80s and reading this and laughing right now.

Although he threatened violence, he let all the passengers go when the plane landed to refuel, and then later jumped from the plane in flight leaving the entire flight crew unharmed. So he did not kill anyone or destroy property.

Why do I think he might have been French-Canadian?

Well, first I have to explain that this man never called himself D.B. Cooper. That was a journalist's mistake in 1971. He called himself DAN COOPER to the airline. We have no idea what his real name was, of course.

So what, you ask? Well, the fact is that "Dan Cooper" is the name of a super-hero aviator in a series of comic book albums published in Belgium. These albums are still sold on the internet. See http://www.bedetheque.com/album-1753...Integrale.html Note the parachute?

Now, these comic book albums, written and drawn beginning in 1954 in Europe by someone named Albert Weinberg, have NEVER been published in English.

Furthermore, the fictional Dan Cooper is a CANADIAN pilot in these stories.

So these stories and this fictional hero named Dan Cooper would be virtually unknown to English-speaking Americans, but were certainly sold and available in French-speaking parts of Canada in the 60s and 70s.

Another fact that has been brought up is that the hijacker Cooper said in his ransom demand that he wanted the $200,000 "in negotiable American currency". Now, why would an American extorting money in the US from a US company feel the need to specify "negotiable American currency"?

Now it is true that nobody who spoke to him noted a French accent, but that to some extent lends credence to the idea that he was a French-Canadian. While many Quebecers speak English with a heavy accent or not at all, there ARE thousands who speak it so fluently that you would not know that English is not their mother tongue.

So we are talking about someone who read (and maybe spoke) French but was able to speak English like a North-American Anglophone. That could describe many French-Canadians.

Finally, there is the FBI sketch of the man. Now, I hate what I am going to say because I cannot stand stereotypes. French-Canadians are not a genetically homogenous group, and include blonds, redheads, brown and black hair, blue eyes, brown eyes, short and tall etc. etc.

But because many men in New France married Indian women in the early days of the colony, the slightly swarthy dark-brown-eyed look is not uncommon among modern Quebecers. Let's just put it this way: the face on that FBI sketch seems entirely consistent with how a French-Canadian MIGHT look.

Finally, we know that Cooper was polite and friendly during the whole ordeal, and even insisted that the flight crew get their meals. So who but a Canadian would manage to be polite even when he is threatening to blow up your friggin' plane with a bomb?

Last edited by Valteron; 11-25-2011 at 09:45 PM.
  #2  
Old 11-25-2011, 09:48 PM
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Sorry, I meant to say D.B. Cooper, but I can't edit the title. Can the moderator help me out?
Done. For what it's worth, I've also seen it proposed that "Cooper" might've been a veteran who encountered the comic in France. I think the theories are about equally strong, which is to say there's not much evidence for either.
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Old 11-25-2011, 09:53 PM
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Done. For what it's worth, I've also seen it proposed that "Cooper" might've been a veteran who encountered the comic in France. I think the theories are about equally strong, which is to say there's not much evidence for either.
Yes, but there seems to be an actual influence of the comic book on the man's thinking, which implies that he read it. And without meaning to insult Americans, are American soldiers that likely to read French?
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Old 11-25-2011, 10:01 PM
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Okay, call it confirmation bias, but the more I look at that FBI sketch, the more I get the feeling that I have seen faces just like that on the streets of Montreal, Québec City, Gatineau, etc. He just LOOKS French-Canadian to me. I know these visual stereotype notions can be very wrong. I know a big-boned blonde French-Canadian woman who is constantly told that she MUST be German. But still and all, I still get that "feeling" about the sketch. . . . . .
  #5  
Old 11-25-2011, 10:09 PM
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Yes, but there seems to be an actual influence of the comic book on the man's thinking, which implies that he read it. And without meaning to insult Americans, are American soldiers that likely to read French?
When I said he encountered it, I meant he read it, not that he just looked at the cover. And yes, considering a significant number of servicemen found themselves in France during and after World War II, I think at least a few would have learned or known some French and perhaps taken up an interest in French culture. Some people have suggested the hijacker might have had some parachuting experience and it's possible he was old enough to have been in Europe for the war, for example. There's about as much evidence for that as there is for the idea that he looks French Canadian, for example.
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Old 11-25-2011, 10:11 PM
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meh....he was actually Treat Williams in disguise.

But seriously, that's an interesting theory. Makes at least as much sense as most of the others floating around out there. My own pet theory FWIW is that his earthly remains hung by his shroud lines from the tallest spruce on the North face of Mt. St. Helens until the morning of May 18th 1980 when they were vaporized along with what was left of the money.
SS
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Old 11-25-2011, 10:36 PM
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Here is an argument from absence. . . . . . .


This is a strange argument from absence of evidence, but consider this. The FBI sketch was widely circulated in the media in the days following the event. Yet NOBODY IN AMERICA came forward with a convincing photo (remember the flight personnel had seen him clearly said the sketch was accurate) and said "I know who that is, it's my no-good son-in-law or brother-in-law or neighbour or boss or co-worker or whatever who BTW has been missing since the day before the hijacking."

People normally have other people who know them and would recognize them and turn them in, or at least point out that so-and-so looked like the suspect and disappeared just when the crime occurred. Even if it is just your landlord who rented you a room.

Is it possible that the people who knew this man to recognize him and report his absence could have been non-English-speaking people outside America. I am sure the Quebec media covered the story, but did they give it as much play and DID THEY RUN THE SKETCH in every case?

Or who knows if someone in Quebec might have looked at the sketch and said" Doesn't that look a lot like Jacques down the street, and didn't he serve a while in the US military, and we haven't seen him since the 23. . . . . . Nah, couldn't be him. Do you have the sports pages?"

Just sayin'. . . . . . . . .

Last edited by Valteron; 11-25-2011 at 10:41 PM.
  #8  
Old 11-25-2011, 10:56 PM
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Some people have suggested the hijacker might have had some parachuting experience and it's possible he was old enough to have been in Europe for the war, for example.
The theory that he fought in WWII is unlikely. The witnesses who saw his face clearly in 1971 described a man of about 42, meaning he would have been 10 when WWII started in 1939 and maybe 15 or 16 in 1945. Even if you bumpf his age up to 45, it means he was maybe 19 when the war ended.

Action as a paratrooper in Korea is more possible, but don't forget that Canadian troops fought in Korea as well.
  #9  
Old 11-25-2011, 11:02 PM
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The theory that he fought in WWII is unlikely. The witnesses who saw his face clearly in 1971 described a man of about 42
I've never seen "about 42." I've read that the witnesses felt the hijacker was in his mid-40s. If he was 45 in 1971, he would have been old enough to have been in the war in 1944 or 1945. I'm not saying this is the only explanation.
  #10  
Old 11-26-2011, 03:59 AM
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The French-Canadian theory has been around a few years. See this site.

Quote:
The potential Canadian connection to one of the FBI’s most famous cold cases was first raised in 2009, when the U.S. agency revealed that Cooper appeared to have fashioned his identity and modus operandi from a 1960s-era, French-language comic book about a Royal Canadian Air Force test pilot and space traveller named Dan Cooper.

Now, the Cooper Research Team, headed by three civilian investigators who have had “special access” to FBI evidence files since 2009, is scheduled to discuss its probe of the case at a 40th anniversary D.B. Cooper symposium on Saturday in Portland.

The informally deputized investigators, who were invited to analyze the Cooper mystery by Seattle-based FBI agent Larry Carr, are Tom Kaye, a paleontologist at Seattle’s Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, Illinois-based metallurgical engineer Alan Stone and University of Chicago scientific illustrator Carol Abraczinskas.
  #11  
Old 11-26-2011, 04:11 AM
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Wait a minute, some of his money *has* been found along the banks of the Columbia. You can even buy pieces of it.

Every time I fly out of PDX I think about Ol' DB.

Last edited by Beast Model; 11-26-2011 at 04:15 AM.
  #12  
Old 11-26-2011, 10:39 AM
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Wait a minute, some of his money *has* been found along the banks of the Columbia. You can even buy pieces of it.

Every time I fly out of PDX I think about Ol' DB.
Yes, some of the money was found apparently buried by sediment along the banks of the Columbia. A very small proportion of the money."In February 1980 an eight-year-old boy named Brian Ingram, vacationing with his family on the Columbia River about 9 miles (15 km) downstream from Vancouver, Washington and 20 miles (32 km) southwest of Ariel, uncovered three packets of the ransom cash, significantly disintegrated but still bundled in rubber bands, as he raked the sandy riverbank to build a campfire.[70] FBI technicians confirmed that the money was indeed a portion of the ransom, two packets of 100 bills each and a third packet of 90, all arranged in the same order as when given to Cooper."

The only thing that proves is that some of the money ($5,800 to be precise) that was originally given to Cooper in the plane reached the ground somewhere in the Pacific Northwest.

Here are a few things to consider:

- Cooper might have "sacrificed" some of the $200,000 by throwing it into the river in the hopes that it would be found and cause people to assume he had died in his jump from the plane.

- If the presence of this money indicates that Cooper's bag of loot broke open and maybe that he was killed, why was there not more money found elsewhere in the area?

- Cooper was observed tying something to his waist with a parachute line before he left the plane. His loot? Could a few packets of money have fallen out of this improvised fanny pack either onto the steps of the rear stairs, or as he descended?
  #13  
Old 11-26-2011, 11:23 AM
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The serial numbers on the money. . a few questions.


It would seem that except for the 290 $20 bills found along the Columbia River in 1980, NONE OF THE OTHER 10,000 $20 bills that Cooper jumped with has ever turned up (as far as we know). The FBI apparently photocopied or recorded the serial numbers of every bill.

The failure of any other bills to turn up would suggest:

1) A rotting sack containing the other 9,710 bills lies next to his skeleton in a bear's cave somewhere in the rugged northwest. In other words, his corpse and the money (except for the $5,800 that fell out on descent) is still lying somewhere unfound.

2) The bills have indeed turned up years later, but have not been detected. Let's assume Cooper was smart enough not to spend any of them in the immediate area of his landing. He would have brought his own money with him to cover expenses. He may even have waited a couple of years before spending the ransom loot.

3) The FBI asked merchants to check for the bills, but in the pre-computer era (well, not exactly pre-computer but you know what I mean) does anyone seriously believe merchants all over the US kept a list of 10,000 serial numbers handy and dutifully checked every $20 bill that came their way for weeks and months after the incident?

4) If US merchants are unlikely to have knocked themselves out to check for the bills every time they received a $20, what about merchants in Canada, the Caribbean, Mexico, Latin America and Europe? Or Asia?

5) I am told that paper money lasts from a few months to a couple of years. Old bills are eventually burnt by the US government. Does anyone know if the FBI check the serial numbers of bills about to be burnt? Somehow I doubt it.

So it seems very possible that if there is no record of any of the 9,710 unfound bills turning up, it could be because Cooper showed restraint in spending his loot, spent it in foreign countries, and because by 1973 or 1974, almost all of the original bills had been burned by the US government in the course of their normal money-printing operations .

Finally, here is one paranoid but possible theory. A few bills DID turn up but the FBI did not announce it because they hoped they were closing in on Cooper and did not want to tip their hand. When none of the bills actually led to the capture of Cooper, the FBI preferred not to publicise their failure.

And finally, a super-paranoid theory. Cooper had taken on folk hero status, a development that the FBI and J. Edgar would not have been pleased with. Since it is important to prove that "crime does not pay" the FBI insists that Cooper could not possibly have survived the parachute jump. The part about a nonfunctioning parachute delivered to him by mistake would be part of this story.

Finally, I reach the heights of paranoia. After eight years of searching and finding nothing in the jump area, after regularly finding one or two of the $20 bills in circulation but being unable to trace them back to capture Cooper, the FBI decides in 1980 or maybe in the late 70s to bury some $20 bills in a bank of the Columbia River and arranges for a kid to find them. The bills would have been specially printed at the request of the FBI to match some of the numbers of the original bills. Top secret, no questions asked.

Why would they do this? The suggest that Cooper must have died and some of his loot washed down the river. God punishes evil. Crime does not pay. Very J. Edgar.

Think about it. The Columbia and its river banks is a mighty big area. The kid in 1980 just happened to dig there? And no other money was found elsewhere along the bank?
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Old 11-26-2011, 12:01 PM
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I suspect if he had survived at some stage he would have come out of hiding, perhaps in a non-extradition country and then reaped the benefits of his celebrity.
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Old 11-26-2011, 02:55 PM
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Yes, but there seems to be an actual influence of the comic book on the man's thinking, which implies that he read it. And without meaning to insult Americans, are American soldiers that likely to read French?
It's quite possible to find an American who can read French. Pretty much everyone going through public schools here has to study SOME language (not necessarily to fluency), and French is perennially offered.

It's also possible he was Cajun or grew up in Louisiana and learned French in childhood.
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Old 11-26-2011, 05:29 PM
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It's weird to think that if he was, say, forty-two in 1971 he'd be eighty-two today. If he was still alive.

If I met him I'd like to ask, "Was it worth it?" Spend every day looking over your shoulder, afraid to trust people, breaking out in a cold sweat as you suddenly envision what it will be like to be arrested?

He might very well say, "No it wasn't worth it."
  #17  
Old 11-26-2011, 05:38 PM
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Don't forget the "American Currency".


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It's quite possible to find an American who can read French. Pretty much everyone going through public schools here has to study SOME language (not necessarily to fluency), and French is perennially offered.

It's also possible he was Cajun or grew up in Louisiana and learned French in childhood.
But would an American who reads French or a Cajun (who is an American, after all) have specified that he wanted the money in "negociable American currency"? When one American offers to buy a used car from another American in the USA, would you expect him to say "I'll give you $15,000 American Dollars for your car"?

There is something foreign and non-American about his asking for that money in US currency. Why would an American extorting money from US airline in a domestic flight over the US even think of specifying he wanted American currency? He had already said he wanted 200,000 dollars. Then he specifies he wants it in American dollars. This suggests that he is familiar with another country that also calls its currency "dollars". Canada uses "dollars". And unlike today, when the Canadian and US dollars are trading about equal, I believe that in the 70s the US Dollar was worth maybe 10-20 cents more than the Canadian.
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Old 11-26-2011, 08:33 PM
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The French-Canadian theory has been around a few years. See this site.
The fact he seems possibly to have been non-American plus the following from the link-

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In 1971, months before Cooper bought his ticket for the fabled flight, The [London] Daily Telegraph ran an article about a man describing himself as “Mr. Brown,” who hoaxed Australia’s Qantas Airline into paying 235,000 pounds in ransom money after a bomb threat, according to an FBI report dated Dec. 8, 1971. The description of the unidentified suspect were believed to be remarkably similar to sketches of D.B. Cooper.
-makes me wonder: could he possibly have been connected to one of the early-1970s revolutionary groups that were then fairly numerous AND active?

Just sayin....
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Old 11-26-2011, 10:43 PM
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I
5) I am told that paper money lasts from a few months to a couple of years. Old bills are eventually burnt by the US government. Does anyone know if the FBI check the serial numbers of bills about to be burnt? Somehow I doubt it.

.
No, the FBI doesn't but the Treasury does, it records the serial number of every bill it destroys. Certainly the Cooper bill serial numbers were checked against the records of bills destroyed, doing so is trivial. Since none have been found, that means no significant number were ever spent. Thus, indeed, either Cooper has them hidden away or they are in that rotting sack containing the other 9,710 bills lies next to his skeleton in a bear's cave somewhere in the rugged northwest. In other words, his corpse and the money (except for the $5,800 that fell out on descent) is still lying somewhere unfound.

None turned up in the Treasury, where by now they certainly would have if they had been spent- they are hwaaaaaay past their "pull by date". Certainly a few could have been spent and later been lost or hoarded- not every bill stays in circulation. But most do, and thus if any significant number of bills had been spent, they woudl have turned up by now.
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Old 11-26-2011, 10:54 PM
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When one American offers to buy a used car from another American in the USA, would you expect him to say "I'll give you $15,000 American Dollars for your car"?
No, however, I'm selling my car, not extorting money from an airline with hostages. Perhaps he just felt the situation called for preciseness and clarity.
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Old 11-27-2011, 11:31 AM
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Congratulations DrDeth, I think that part of the mystery is solved!


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No, the FBI doesn't but the Treasury does, it records the serial number of every bill it destroys. Certainly the Cooper bill serial numbers were checked against the records of bills destroyed, doing so is trivial. Since none have been found, that means no significant number were ever spent. Thus, indeed, either Cooper has them hidden away or they are in that rotting sack containing the other 9,710 bills lies next to his skeleton in a bear's cave somewhere in the rugged northwest. In other words, his corpse and the money (except for the $5,800 that fell out on descent) is still lying somewhere unfound.

None turned up in the Treasury, where by now they certainly would have if they had been spent- they are hwaaaaaay past their "pull by date". Certainly a few could have been spent and later been lost or hoarded- not every bill stays in circulation. But most do, and thus if any significant number of bills had been spent, they woudl have turned up by now.
If what you say is true and there is a truly effective system in place that would have identified bills from the ransom loot before they were destroyed, and if it is true that none were ever found, then I think we must assume that Cooper's corpse and most of the money remain undiscovered and by now decomposed past recognition in the Pacific Northwest.

Also, Cooper may have survived the jump but he might have had two broken legs or a broken pelvis, and may have landed a tremendous distance from any road. And he would have had to survive alone in the Rocky Mountains of the Pacific Northwest in late November and early December! Not great odds for survival.

There is only one fly in the ointment here. We are assuming that the FBI and the Treasury are telling us the truth when they say that no bills ever turned up in circulation or were identified prior to routine destruction. I think Americans are by now used to the idea that the government often lies to them "for the public good".

Why would they lie? Perhaps because Cooper is the only unsolved airline hijacking in American aviation history, and therefore an embarassment to the FBI. There is also the fact that Cooper became a sort of folk hero, which definitely would have alarmed law-enforcement authorities. Finally, the idea that it WAS possible to "get away with it" would have encouraged copy-cats.

So, would the FBI and the Treasury have admitted that bills from the loot had been regularly turning up for destruction from about 1972 to 1980, thus proving that Copper had gotten away with it and was laughing at them?
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Old 11-27-2011, 12:22 PM
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There is only one fly in the ointment here. We are assuming that the FBI and the Treasury are telling us the truth when they say that no bills ever turned up in circulation or were identified prior to routine destruction. I think Americans are by now used to the idea that the government often lies to them "for the public good".

Why would they lie? Perhaps because Cooper is the only unsolved airline hijacking in American aviation history, and therefore an embarassment to the FBI. There is also the fact that Cooper became a sort of folk hero, which definitely would have alarmed law-enforcement authorities. Finally, the idea that it WAS possible to "get away with it" would have encouraged copy-cats.

So, would the FBI and the Treasury have admitted that bills from the loot had been regularly turning up for destruction from about 1972 to 1980, thus proving that Copper had gotten away with it and was laughing at them?
Because it would be a stupid, stupid thing to lie about because it would be trivial for them to be caught in the lie.

Let's say the FBI did have confirmation from the Treasury that D. B. Cooper bills were showing up on the destruction logs. Unless they managed to verify every single one that was known missing -- which is unlikely in the extreme -- then they know that D. B. Cooper bills are still out there, in circulation, and that the list of serial numbers is likewise also public. Further, you also have people in the government itself aware of it -- e.g. the people in the Treasury. The more people, the more complex the coverup.

Combined with a lack of an actual tangible benefit to the FBI to create such a cover-up, I feel you've veered too far into 'conspiracy theory' territory here. All the evidence that we have is that D. B. Cooper bills were never spent, which tends to strongly imply that D. B. Cooper died before making it back to civilization. Considering that some bills were found, I don't find it implausible to think that there are many other such bundles spread throughout a large enough area to make it implausible that we'll ever find them, along with a lonely skeleton.
  #23  
Old 11-27-2011, 01:22 PM
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I think his sketch looks remarkably like Lee Harvey Oswald. I'm not the only one, either. Just the only one to admit it. <- D B Cooper smilie

Seriously, Val, I am thinking the odds of him surviving his leap into the cold, rainy darkness in the Pacific Northwest are extremely remote. But for the sake of argument, let's say he did survive. He didn't jump during the day over a big open field. He jumped out of a 727, flying fairly low, correct? That means the plane is moving at, what.. 500mph or so? He has absolutely NO idea where he would land. None. So, even if he survived the landing, he had one hell of a hike to the nearest truck stop.

my computer was dying and I couldn't get to the wiki page (or any page) to confirm the plane speed or alt.

Also, I believe this was not only the only successful hijacking of a US airliner, but it was the first. The airlines weren't even remotely set up to handle the hijacking, and neither was the FBI. After Cooper, no one else has been successful at hijacking a plane for money. So, I don't think they were worried about copy cats.

Even if someone else DID copy it, how many people would have the balls to jump out of a 727?

I think Hoover was worried more about people finding out about his personal dressing habits than hijacking airliners.
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Old 11-27-2011, 01:47 PM
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Youi have a point there fluiddruid


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All the evidence that we have is that D. B. Cooper bills were never spent, which tends to strongly imply that D. B. Cooper died before making it back to civilization.
There is another argument in favour of the thesis that he never made it out alive. Human beings have very little idea how tiny we are on this Earth. Modern air travel has made us forget.

Take the state of Oregon as an example. It is a square roughly 500 km. by 500 km., for a total surface area of about 250,000 square km. This means that it contains an incredible 250 BILLION square metres (roughly the same as a square yard).

The state has a population of about 3.8 million. That means that if everyone in Oregon stood together in a loosely packed crowd with everyone occupying a square metre/square yard, they would occupy only one one thousandth of one per cent of the state's total surface area. In other words, they would be a tiny dot barely visible on a state map. The other 99.999 per cent of the state, 249,999,620,000 square metres/yards, would be devoid of humans. Just bears, mountains, trees, lakes etc.

Most people are surprised by such statistics. Most of us assume that since the US has over 300 million people, it must be covered with roads, villages, cities anywhere and everywhere. In point of fact, in areas such as the rocky mountains of the Pacific Northwest, the chances are that you would land very far from a road, a village or any other place where you could get food, help and transportation.

Cooper did not seem to have a tent or survival equipment with him, and he landed in the Rockies in late November. Parhaps he did land unharmed. But is it possible that his biggest mistake was his failure to understand how unlikely he was to find any form of civilization besides maybe an unused logging road?
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Old 11-27-2011, 01:57 PM
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Good point Stink Fish!


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Seriously, Val, I am thinking the odds of him surviving his leap into the cold, rainy darkness in the Pacific Northwest are extremely remote. But for the sake of argument, let's say he did survive. He didn't jump during the day over a big open field. He jumped out of a 727, flying fairly low, correct? That means the plane is moving at, what.. 500mph or so? He has absolutely NO idea where he would land. None. So, even if he survived the landing, he had one hell of a hike to the nearest truck stop.
You have brought up another point I did not think of. He jumped on a rainy, cloudy night. Very unlikely that there were any lights under him, and if there were, would he see them through the rain? Would he have any way of judging how high up he was, or how fast the ground was coming at him? Plus, most skydivers will tell you that landing in a forested area is dangerous. Branches just waiting to spear you, blind you. Yet, the terrain there is very heavily forrested.

The more I think about it, the more I think his landing was the part of his plan that needed more work.
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Old 11-27-2011, 03:06 PM
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Cooper did not seem to have a tent or survival equipment with him, and he landed in the Rockies in late November. Perhaps he did land unharmed. But is it possible that his biggest mistake was his failure to understand how unlikely he was to find any form of civilization besides maybe an unused logging road?
Very sobering thought. Of course if he was former military, that greatly increases the chances he survived.

But if it really is true that none of the bills ever surfaced...

Probably died up there in the north woods. Sad really.
  #27  
Old 11-27-2011, 03:27 PM
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Of course if he was former military, that greatly increases the chances he survived.
It seems more likely it made him overconfident.

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Probably died up there in the north woods. Sad really.
It's sort of disappointing from a story point of view, but not really sad.
  #28  
Old 11-27-2011, 04:00 PM
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It's sort of disappointing from a story point of view, but not really sad.
Do I detect a little hostility towards ole D.B.? Think if he died it was pretty much what he deserved?

To you his jumping to a lonely violent death is not sad, okay, to me it is.

However....

Having followed one of the links to read more about Cooper, he didn't jump out over the Rocky Mountains (as one message stated). In fact later estimates of where he jumped would place him 10-15 miles east of downtown Portland Oregon. It's still pretty desolate country but he wouldn't have been dependent on finding a logging road. If he wasn't too badly hurt on the jump he could have hiked out by morning.

In fact, the accounts note he gave the flight crew explicit directions on how to fly the plane. Low speed (under 200 mph) and at a low altitude. He seems to have then jumped on his own schedule. Maybe he knew about where he was?

Maybe he did survive.

The oddest feature about the hijacking to me is Cooper not anticipating that the serial numbers of the bills would be recorded. Making them difficult to spend without tipping off the authorities as to where he was.

Why DIDN'T he anticipate that?

Maybe it's not so surprising. Usually these guys turn out not to be as smart as they're credited with being, don't they? More daring and lucky than smart.
  #29  
Old 11-27-2011, 04:06 PM
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Maybe he did survive.

The oddest feature about the hijacking to me is Cooper not anticipating that the serial numbers of the bills would be recorded. Making them difficult to spend without tipping off the authorities as to where he was.

Why DIDN'T he anticipate that?
Which leads to another conclusion, that after landing safely and returning home, he realized that he couldn't spend any of the loot without risking discovery, so he never did (or spent very little).

If a part of the loot fell away by accident, or if he planted some near the landing site for whatever reason, that doesn't make my theory any less likely.

I just don't feel that the lack of bills returned to the feds means he didn't survive (although I'll admit survival was unlikely).
  #30  
Old 11-27-2011, 04:25 PM
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Did anyone happen to remember what kind of accent Cooper had?
  #31  
Old 11-27-2011, 07:23 PM
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From reading the Wikipedia entry (which is pretty extensive) I didn't see any mention of an accent. He did interact quite a bit with one of the flight attendants too.

Northwest Orient flight attendant Florence Schaffner said during takeoff when Cooper first passed her the note -- she was seated near him in a jump seat -- at first she thought he was a "lonely businessman" flirting and she dropped it in her purse unopened. She said he then leaned over and whispered, "Miss you better look at the note. I have a bomb."

Cooper then requested Schaffner sit next to him, which she did. Then she asked to see the bomb!

Anyway, to answer your question Argent Towers, there was no mention of any kind of accent.

Quick Edit- Here's a link to the Wikipedia page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D._B._Cooper

Last edited by tommymann; 11-27-2011 at 07:24 PM. Reason: Provide Link
  #32  
Old 11-29-2011, 02:05 PM
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I've been waiting for someone else to respond before posting my next message here. However, since I don't see a rule prohibiting back-to-back messages from the same person in a thread, I'm going to add this.

I have a copy of the D.B. Cooper FBI wanted poster which I'd like to insert but I did find a rule prohibiting images.

Reading from it, the FBI said,

"Complexion - Olive, Latin appearance, medium smooth."

"Voice - Low, spoke intelligently, no particular accent, possibly from Midwest section of U.S."

That kind of rules out French-Canadian. Here's a link to the poster:

http://www.independent.co.uk/migrati...per030108.jpeg
  #33  
Old 11-29-2011, 02:13 PM
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Modding


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Originally Posted by tommymann View Post
I've been waiting for someone else to respond before posting my next message here. However, since I don't see a rule prohibiting back-to-back messages from the same person in a thread, I'm going to add this.
Just so you know, there is no rule against that.

Quote:
I have a copy of the D.B. Cooper FBI wanted poster which I'd like to insert but I did find a rule prohibiting images.
Images are disabled in all SDMB forums except for the Marketplace.
  #34  
Old 11-29-2011, 04:09 PM
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It does NOT rule out French-Canadian.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tommymann View Post
I've been waiting for someone else to respond before posting my next message here. However, since I don't see a rule prohibiting back-to-back messages from the same person in a thread, I'm going to add this.

I have a copy of the D.B. Cooper FBI wanted poster which I'd like to insert but I did find a rule prohibiting images.

Reading from it, the FBI said,

"Complexion - Olive, Latin appearance, medium smooth."

"Voice - Low, spoke intelligently, no particular accent, possibly from Midwest section of U.S."

That kind of rules out French-Canadian. Here's a link to the poster:

http://www.independent.co.uk/migrati...per030108.jpeg
What part of that description rules out French-Canadian, pray tell? French Canadians, like Americans, are an amalgam of a core group (the Maritime Provinces of France rather than England) to which were added considerable Indian heritage (the early colony of New France was short of women, so many men married Indian wives) to which was later added huge numbers of Irish Roman Catholics, German Catholics, and English and Scottish. In the 20th century, much immigration to French Canada came from Haiti, north Africa, etc. So a slightly swarthy French Canadian who looks slightly Latino is by no means rare.

Concerning the accent, there are thousands of French-Canadians who speak English so well that you would think it is their native language. I am one of them.
  #35  
Old 11-29-2011, 04:16 PM
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What part of that description rules out French-Canadian, pray tell?
I think he's referring to the accent.

Quote:
Concerning the accent, there are thousands of French-Canadians who speak English so well that you would think it is their native language.
I'm sure you know that a person can speak a language fluently and still have an accent. I don't think a Canadian accent would be mistaken for a Midwestern U.S. accent, and it wouldn't be described as 'no particular accent.'
  #36  
Old 11-29-2011, 04:57 PM
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Also the "Latin appearance."

You know it's subjective. I looked at the wanted poster drawing and thought yes he could be a French-Canadian. After I read the description, "Latin appearance....no accent," I just get the feeling he wasn't French-Canadian.

But I agree he could be. He could be from anywhere.
  #37  
Old 11-29-2011, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Marley23 View Post
I'm sure you know that a person can speak a language fluently and still have an accent. I don't think a Canadian accent would be mistaken for a Midwestern U.S. accent, and it wouldn't be described as 'no particular accent.'
French-Canadians with no particular accent when speaking English aren't all that rare. For example,

*waves*
Hi!



Also, I know wikipedia isn't really the best cite, but many Canadians are indistinguishable in speech from many Americans. Again, *waves* hi! In my travels in the USA, the default assumption from pretty much everyone was that I and my family are American until/unless we say otherwise.

Quote:
The phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax and lexicon for most of Canada are similar to that of the Western and Midland regions of the United States.[4] The Canadian Great Lakes region has similarities to that of the Upper Midwest & Great Lakes region and/or Yooper dialect (in particular Michigan which has extensive cultural and economic ties with Ontario), while the phonological system of western Canadian English is virtually identical to that of the Pacific Northwest of the United States, and the phonetics are similar.[5] As such, Canadian English and American English are sometimes classified together as North American English.

Which doesn't really mean much in the case of DB Cooper.
  #38  
Old 11-29-2011, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by mnemosyne View Post
French-Canadians with no particular accent when speaking English aren't all that rare. For example,

*waves*
Hi!



Also, I know wikipedia isn't really the best cite, but many Canadians are indistinguishable in speech from many Americans. Again, *waves* hi! In my travels in the USA, the default assumption from pretty much everyone was that I and my family are American until/unless we say otherwise.




Which doesn't really mean much in the case of DB Cooper.
I am also a French-Canadian, and I also have a "Latin appearance". I was raised in an English-speaking area of Canada but in a French-speaking family. French is my mother tongue, but everone is convinced I am a native English-speaker when they first meet me.

My English is pretty identical to that of Americans in Ohio, Michigan, Upper New York State, etc.

Besides, the flight attendant with whom he interacted was not an expert on accents and linguistics. If he had spoken English like I do, she would have said he had "no particular accent."

Come to think of it, I could be Cooper except that I was not in my mid-forties in 1971!
  #39  
Old 11-29-2011, 09:02 PM
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There is no Canadian accent really.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Marley23 View Post
I think he's referring to the accent.


I'm sure you know that a person can speak a language fluently and still have an accent. I don't think a Canadian accent would be mistaken for a Midwestern U.S. accent, and it wouldn't be described as 'no particular accent.'
EVERYBODY speaks with an accent if you define "accent" as meaning your particular way of speaking based on where and when you learned a language.

But I heartily disagree with the idea that there is a "Canadian accent" that stands out in the US.

The following is a short list of Canadians who have appeared in US media without viewers detecting their alleged Canadian acccent.
  • Eric McCormack (Will on Will and Grace)
  • Michael J. Fox
  • Matthew Perry (Chandler on Friends)
  • Nathan Fillion (TV's Castle)
  • Glen Ford
  • Kim Cattrall (Samantha on Sex in the City)
  • Donald Sutherland

Do any of these people sound different from Americans when they speak? Any of these persons would be described by a US flight attendant as having "no particular accent".

Last edited by Valteron; 11-29-2011 at 09:04 PM.
  #40  
Old 11-29-2011, 09:20 PM
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Just to add to that list, Peter Jennings, former ABC News anchor.

This has been a fascinating thread for me. I came to it not knowing much about this story. In fact, I had somehow equated D.B. Cooper with the guy who claimed he helped Howard Hughes one night. It's an intriguing read and a great mystery to ponder.

One point that I don't think has been brought up yet is Cooper's demeanour throughout the whole episode. It wasn't just calm, cool and collected, but courteous and thoughtful as well, like making sure the crew was fed. Is it possible for the FBI to come up with a psychological profile based on that type of behaviour in those circumstances?
  #41  
Old 11-29-2011, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by mnemosyne View Post
French-Canadians with no particular accent when speaking English aren't all that rare. For example,

*waves*
Hi!
Hi! I don't mean to cast too much doubt on your assessment here, but I think a lot of people feel they have no particular accent. That doesn't necessarily mean that nobody can tell where they are from.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Valteron View Post
I heartily disagree with the idea that there is a "Canadian accent" that stands out in the US.
Not every Canadian has that accent, but yes, it stands out. I've spoken to enough Canadians to know that the accent is similar to what you might hear in the Midwest, but not exactly the same.

Quote:
The following is a short list of Canadians who have appeared in US media without viewers detecting their alleged Canadian acccent.
Actors tend to practice suppressing their accents, so that doesn't mean anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Valteron View Post
Besides, the flight attendant with whom he interacted was not an expert on accents and linguistics.
Probably not, but assuming that's where the description comes from: a flight attendant who traveled around the country might have a fair amount of experience with accents. And she was from Arkansas, so she would probably know what Midwesterners sound like. So who knows. It's still plausible but I don't think these are very compelling arguments.
  #42  
Old 11-29-2011, 10:03 PM
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A flight attendant who traveled around the country might have a fair amount of experience with accents. And she was from Arkansas, so she would probably know what Midwesterners sound like. So who knows. It's still plausible but I don't think these are very compelling arguments.
We are getting way off the point here. The original objection was that if Cooper was really a French-Canadian he would have spoken with an accent. And that even if he were a French-Canadian who speaks English without a trace of a FRENCH accent (of which there are thousands including your obd't. servant) then the flight attendant would have spotted an English-Canadian accent.

I say bull! I have had many, many Americans express surprise that I am not an American when I visit the US. The flight attendant could easily have assumed Cooper was an American when she heard him speak, and so told the FBI he had "no accent."

In fact, everybody who speaks has SOME accent. When people in America say "no accent" they usually mean "his way of speaking is not much different than mine". If you are from the midwest, people from Toronto, Canada do not have an accent but your fellow Americans from the US south do!
  #43  
Old 11-29-2011, 10:35 PM
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Just to add to that list, Peter Jennings, former ABC News anchor.
I don't agree about Peter Jennings. Or Donald Sutherland. I can hear 'Canada' at times in their voices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Esox Lucius View Post
This has been a fascinating thread for me. I came to it not knowing much about this story...It's an intriguing read and a great mystery to ponder.
Me too. Great mystery to ponder. In fact I realized -- with some surprise -- I had just gotten home on leave from Viet-Nam the day this happened.

One other thought. He ordered two drinks while on board -- bourbon and water I think -- paid for them and insisted the flight attendant keep the change.

That's why to me he sounds vaguely like a '70s style radical. Sounds like he was practicing a little solidarity with the workers. He paid for what he used, maybe the attendant might be responsible for the liquor served? And he tipped her. She was a working person. She wasn't at fault.

Probably not.
  #44  
Old 11-29-2011, 11:24 PM
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Do I detect a little hostility towards ole D.B.? Think if he died it was pretty much what he deserved?

To you his jumping to a lonely violent death is not sad, okay, to me it is.
He did hijack a plane and hold people for ransom. It's not like he died saving a bus full of nuns.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Valteron View Post
The original objection was that if Cooper was really a French-Canadian he would have spoken with an accent. And that even if he were a French-Canadian who speaks English without a trace of a FRENCH accent (of which there are thousands including your obd't. servant) then the flight attendant would have spotted an English-Canadian accent.
I think the argument - or a more narrow reading of it - is that the description of his speech is not consistent with his being French-Canadian. It doesn't prove he was not, but it does nothing to indicate that he was.
  #45  
Old 11-29-2011, 11:55 PM
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I don't agree about Peter Jennings. Or Donald Sutherland. I can hear 'Canada' at times in their voices.
Funny, I don't notice anything different aboot their voices. (I'm Canadian)

Quote:
Originally Posted by tommymann View Post
That's why to me he sounds vaguely like a '70s style radical...
I hadn't thought of that, but why not?

The Wikipedia article mentions that "At approximately 8:13 pm the aircraft's tail section sustained a sudden upward movement, significant enough to require trimming to bring the plane back to level flight." I assume that indicates when he jumped out, but would it have that much effect on a big plane? I'm wondering if it's possible that he jumped later.
  #46  
Old 11-30-2011, 05:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Esox Lucius View Post
Funny, I don't notice anything different aboot their voices. (I'm Canadian)



I hadn't thought of that, but why not?

The Wikipedia article mentions that "At approximately 8:13 pm the aircraft's tail section sustained a sudden upward movement, significant enough to require trimming to bring the plane back to level flight." I assume that indicates when he jumped out, but would it have that much effect on a big plane? I'm wondering if it's possible that he jumped later.
I know nothing about these events having heard about them here, but there was a thread (aha here, from August with link to a subsidiary thread that was interesting)

The big effect on the plane was the opening of the door, I understood from this reading, in mid-flight. Not something it was supposed to do.
  #47  
Old 11-30-2011, 09:20 AM
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I know nothing about these events having heard about them here
A likely story. Exactly where were you on the night of November 24, 1971?
  #48  
Old 11-30-2011, 01:55 PM
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I know nothing about these events having heard about them here, but there was a thread (aha here, from August with link to a subsidiary thread that was interesting)

The big effect on the plane was the opening of the door, I understood from this reading, in mid-flight. Not something it was supposed to do.
Okay, I mistook the 8 pm warning light in the cockpit (13 minutes previously) as when the stair was lowered, but I see now that just indicated the rear stairs apparatus had been activated and the door opened.

But lowering the stairs at 8:13 means he still had a two-hour window before the plane landed in Reno. There's nothing in the wikipedia article that explains why it was thought he jumped right away.

And thanks for the link. More reading...
  #49  
Old 11-30-2011, 02:14 PM
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Well Sherlock Holmes would say, "Watson, there's no evidence he was killed."

Watson: "Dammit Holmes, you don't mean to say...?"

"Yes I'm very much afraid our Mr. Cooper landed quite safely, thank you."

"But Holmes, the police say....!"

"Ahh, please Watson."
  #50  
Old 11-30-2011, 02:19 PM
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Well Sherlock Holmes would say, "Watson, there's no evidence he was killed."
That's not really the case, though. There's no evidence the money was never spent and some was found in the woods. We know he made a poor choice of parachutes (he picked one that would not have opened) and then made a difficult jump in difficult conditions while dressed in a suit and evidently not carrying any other provisions. There's not much affirmative evidence he died, but I think that's the likeliest result based on what we do know. There's also no evidence he survived.
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