D.B. Cooper, El Dorado, and Flight 19 SOLVED!


          I figure since my life is now mostly composed of figuring out how women’s minds work, I might as well solve these nagging mysteries and free up some processing space.

          Few things mesmerize me.  Bigfoot captured my mind as a kid (but so did ninjas).  I went through my UFO phase around 14 and “Nessie” captured me for a few years here and there as well… Nothing though, has captured my attention so much as 3 specific mysteries well-known and abundantly told through the years:


            On Thanksgiving, 1971, a man providing the name Dan Cooper bought a Northwest Airline ticket, one-way, from Portland, Oregon to Seattle, Washington for $20.  After boarding the plane, he took a seat in back, ordered a couple of bourbons, smoked a couple of cigarettes, then slid the attendant a note saying that he had a bomb.  He demanded that the stewardess keep quiet and relay his instructions to the pilot, otherwise “We’ll all be blown to shit and flutter down to earth like burnt little snowflakes”…and if he didn’t actually say that, he should have, that’s Die Hard stuff right there.

            After landing at the request of Cooper in Seattle, all of the other passengers were let go (none of whom even knew the plane was hijacked).  He then collected his $200,000 ransom and two parachutes.  The plane re-fueled and Cooper gave orders to fly to Mexico City.

            Fuel demanded they stop in Reno, and at this point, Cooper gave orders to fly low and slow with flaps down.  A short time later, cabin pressure was compromised.  Cooper had lowered the staircase in the rear of the Boeing 727 and jumped, presumably while yelling something cool like “Bio con dios!” or simply singing the theme to Batman.

            D.B. Cooper’s hijacking remains the only unsolved hijacking in U.S. history.  He has never surfaced, nor has any of the $200,000, with the exception of $5,800 that was found weathered on a beach of the Columbia River in 1980. 


          It’s December 3rd as I write this.  Weather.com says it’s 30F at 11pm in Seattle right now.  That, my friends, is below freezing.  The reports say when Cooper jumped, it was late November and raining.  I don’t know the exact conditions, but that sounds like jumping out of an airplane at 10,000 feet in freezing rain, which by my calculations and extensive research is really fuckin’ cold.

            Take that weather and add the fact that he jumped somewhere around Mt. St. Helens in thick Washington forest, which by the way, at night-time from a plane looks something like this…

Forest shown at night

             ..and you get a VERRRRRY slim chance of survival. 

            So the mystery is what happened to him.  Did he survive? 

          I say NO, but I love this story and wish he did.  So much so, that I researched it a little more and found that one of the 4 parachutes was actually sewn shut (they got them from a parachute training facility). Whether this was on purpose or not, nobody has said, but when the 727 landed, the sewn-up parachute and another one wasn’t on the plane, meaning Cooper either got lucky or had one hell of a long time to mouth “well played” to the cops.

            But what about the $5,800 they found?  Well, if you were falling into darkness and found out your chute was sewn shut, in between cuss words and flailing about to find the reserve, it’d be really easy to drop some cash.  As far as the body – here is a picture of the area that he supposedly landed in: 

Not shown at night


       Now, pretend that his chute didn’t open and he hits the ground with a thud…game over.  Who is going to stumble upon him in that forest?  Then you have to take into account that over time he decomposes and all that’s left is a parachute…again, finding a person in that forest would be near impossible, but now we’re looking for a green parachute that’s weathered?  

            It should also be noted again that none of the missing $200,000 has surfaced.  So, either he’s dead, or he hijacked a plane because fuck it. 


          So there’s this guy, Juan Rodriguez Freyle.  In the chronicles entitled “El Carnero”, he describes a city made of gold whose king is “covered in gold dust” during royal ceremonies and festivals.  It also goes on to explain that the whole freaking city is made of gold, because you know, lumber was just so hard to come by back then.  Word about these chronicles got around pretty quickly and a mad dash to find and claim El Dorado was on like Donkey Kong.  You can imagine that in the 15th 16th and 17th centuries, any mention of gold to a Spaniard was similar to telling a lion you have a bag of dead giraffe.  Long story short, the world heard about a golden city and they completely lost their shit. 

            The Spanish (and everyone else) went on endless expeditions to find this place.  Its  supposed location varies from Venezuela to Columbia to Guyana and anywhere else up and down the Amazon.  It has never been found. 

          One happy note – On an expedition to find El Dorado in 1541, Gonzalo Pizarro accidentally discovered the Amazon River.  He named it the Amazon after the band of Amazonian women that attacked and killed most of his expedition…yes I’m serious.


            Juan Rodriguez Freyle is a damned liar. 


            On December 5th, 1945, five Avenger torpedo bomber planes  led by veteran pilot Lt. Charles Taylor were sent on “Navigation problem #1” out of Fort Lauderdale to fly east on a 3 point training mission which cut into the classic Bermuda Triangle. 

             In other words, there were 5 airplanes flying really slow over the ocean.

            To sum it up, Lt. Taylor (flight leader) became disoriented and started complaining of his compass not working.  He assumed he somehow took a wrong turn and flew over Florida WITHOUT NOTICING and was flying in the Gulf of Mexico.  Naturally he turned around to fly east again and after an hour, figured he was right the first time and turned around again.  Taylor did this a couple of times, all the while one of his trainees was screaming over the radio to “just fly west”.  Being the veteran that he was, Lt. Taylor decided against that wise and well thought out suggestion and turned around yet again, presumably while making childish airplane and machine gun noises with his lips, and kept flying into the great blue yonder until all 5 of the planes disappeared without a trace. They’ve never been found.


            There may be a little confusion as to what exactly the mystery is here.  We’ll cover both:

1-      How did they get disoriented? – Ok here’s the thing; Taylor wasn’t even that great of a pilot when it came to navigation.  He had a habit of flying by the seat of his pants…which is sort of a bad trait when you’re leading a navigation training mission.  It’s like Hulk Hogan teaching a class on how to calm down.  Combine that with the arrogance of being a flight leader and a flight of trainees that are trained to follow their leader no matter what..well… 

2-      Where did they vanish to? – The average number of plane crashes worldwide per year is 36, Bermuda triangle or not.  Multiply that since 1945 to 2011 you get 2,376 plane crashes since this particular one.  You don’t remember those because you only remember ones that were taken down in fantastic fashion or ones that disappeared without a trace, such as flight 19.  That being said, flight 19 was over the ocean when it disappeared.  Well, when you take a gigantic piece of steel, run it out of fuel because you’re confused and ram it into the water at 250 miles per hour, it will sink.  So think of “disappearing without a trace” as “sinking to the bottom of the ocean”.  Mystery = solved. 

          Now that those are out of my head, and dare I say, simple enough, on to figuring out women.  That should take a little longer, I started that before UFOs.

Categories: EVERYTHING (in no particular order), Humor

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1 reply

  1. Generally, a pretty good analysis of DB Cooper, but not the $5,800. It didn’t just “drop.”…1) It was found way outside any plausible drop zone. 2) If it had floated there, all testing shows the money would have “fanned out”, but it didn’t, since 3) The bills were still tightly packed together, where all of the serial numbers were perfectly aligned, and the ink had leeched through in full alignment on all of the other bills, and 4) The original rubber bands were still intact, which is almost impossible after 8 years outdoors. So 5) There is virtually universal agreement that the $5,800 was moved from somewhere else, and planted there, deliberately, by somebody. …Whether or not it was DB Cooper – dead or alive – somebody deliberately planted the money. Why was the $5,800 planted there, and who had a reason to plant it there? Any theory about DB Cooper has to address that central question of motive. – Best wishes, John AKA SLOphoto1

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