When former FBI Asst. Director Tom Fuentes declared the cold case team’s evidence on Rackstraw to be “a tremendous circumstantial case,” alarm bells went off at D.C. Headquarters. The agency abruptly ended its long-standing collaboration in 2016, refused to receive the sleuths’ new forensic materials (including DNA) and officially closed the 1971 Cooper hijacking investigation.
Six months later, the dogged team won a court fight for access to the FBI file’s archived secrets. They soon learned how the jumper escaped with the help of three partners, the parachute’s burial location, and why special agents continue to shield Rackstraw. All the shocking details are in these time-lined releases:
FYI: For skeptics of the coding, please scroll below the map.
SKEPTICS OF THE CODE DECRYPTIONS
If you believe it is all bogus:
How did Rackstraw’s encrypted name, initials and every one of his military training schools and units — including two units that were top secret until the 1980s — get into the six 1971-72 letters?
Are the conclusions from three neutral experts (former FBI and military brass) also bogus? Is the 1950 Army interpretive code book (link at bottom) that they all relied on a sham?
If so, how do you explain the related interpretive code, used by WWII Navajo “code-talkers,” that fooled Japanese soldiers throughout the war?
If you believe Rackstraw wrote the letter coding but IS NOT the fugitive:
In Letter #5, how did the typing writer know the three confidential pieces of Cooper case evidence (“I left no fingerprints… I wore a toupee… I wore putty make-up”)? Old FBI memos show only the Bureau, a few sworn-to-secrecy passengers and the hijacker himself had this knowledge in 1971.
Two world-renowned forensic document experts separately compared D.B. Cooper’s hand-printed Letter #2 to the handwritten signature on the “Dan Cooper” airline boarding pass. Why, years apart, did they both declare there “are indications they were written by one person”?
Finally, a college student who sat directly across from Cooper rejected hundreds of mugshots brought to him by federal agents. But when a career lawman presented six black & white photos from that period to this witness in 2015, he pointed right at Rackstraw. Was it because of the nine points of match to the FBI’s “Sketch B” that this student in fact helped an artist create?
Before algorithms, apps and Apple, there was interpretive code — unique masked messaging created by young soldiers sharing the sleepless nights, putrid smells and guttural screams of hell on earth.
“Project Left Bank” was one of the most classified and valuable intelligence-gathering operations in the Vietnam War (More in 7/2/18 Stockton Record article at home page’s bottom). And like other military units in history, its veterans developed a private code-speak that only their particular group of brothers in 1969-70 could understand. Along with pilots like Rackstraw, radioing in from above.
If you want to truly comprehend interpretive coding, put aside your computers and smart phones, stop talking to academia under 60 years of age and find a veteran who still remembers the real VR. Your bible for this mission is a 200-page code manual from 1950 (at link below), put together by the very brightest men and women in the U.S. Army. Once absorbed, you will be ready to climb into a fox hole or co-pilot seat with our forgotten warriors.