Recently, this writer caused quite a stir in Cooperland (my name for the small community of armchair investigators of the ‘DB Cooper’ case) by firing back at them.
Organized through Dave Brown’s website, (The DB Cooper Forum Dot Com) a guy named Eric offered to hold a public discussion on the case at the Portland (OR) Yacht Club. This gathering was scheduled for Saturday, November 24th, 2018. As the head of Adventure Books of Seattle, the folks who not only published a famous book on the case, but were also rewarded with a media contract to do the first-ever feature film on Cooper, I was naturally interested, as well as supportive.
However, due to certain events, I also had reservations.
My main reservation was the fact that the same people doing the organizing and attending of this event included people who had gone to the most outrageous lengths to attack AB of Seattle on the internet. They had been known to impersonate me, my wife Gayla, our techie guy Greg, even our office cat ‘Hobo’. When we confronted them about these things they simply came after us even more.
First, there was the case of Regina Winkles, a nice lady from Texas who wrote a WordPress article on Cooper suspect Kenny Christiansen. Almost from the moment it appeared, several members of Dave Brown’s Cooper website jumped on board with comments that were both obscene and beyond the pale. More than 300 of them appeared before WordPress finally deleted Regina’s account. She couldn’t delete them fast enough, and WordPress got tired of it. Even Matt Mullenweg, the co-founder of WordPress got involved, after he saw a PDF of all the comments. Below is a screenshot from the comment series. Regina Winkles later traced many of the comments via their IP addresses in her WordPress log…and many of the comments were later traced to members of Dave Brown’s ‘DB Cooper Forum’, after his site went live. These included comments by users ‘Georger,’ the second-most prolific member of Brown’s site, as well as Cooper investigator Galen Cook, known at the Brown site as ‘CoopSnoop’. (Cook was later banned from the Cooper Forum because even Brown objected to some of his comments about us, many of which were outright lies.) To be fair, some comments were also made by known DB Cooper troll Bob Knoss, who is NOT a member of the Cooper Forum. Other current and past members of the Cooper Forum were also identified as having a hand in the postings. Another one is shown below:
Now imagine, if you will, another 298 comments similar to the two examples you just read above. This type of behavior is common with Brown’s forum members, although not ALL of them are trolls. For example, forum member ‘377,’ a very nice guy who is a commercial fisherman, a skydiver, AND an attorney, seems to be the voice of reason around the forum. He even sent me a high-powered flashlight once when he heard I was going into the wilderness for a few days.
Another member of the Cooper Forum is Bruce Smith, who enjoys twisting around the facts on another WordPress blog, and allowing posts like the one below to appear, which was directed at yours truly:
These people, who believe they never do a thing others might regard as ‘wrong,’ continue their attacks to the present day and call us liars on practically everything and anything. After reviewing all this material, I considered they might continue that same behavior at their upcoming gathering. In other words, that they might continue engaging in their attacks and outright slander…but this time in front of a live audience. I decided to take action to make sure that did not happen, so I sent the following email to the administration staff at the venue where the gathering was being sponsored, the Yacht Club in Portland, Oregon:
Over at The DB Cooper Forum, this is where user ‘EU’ has been organizing this event. This is also the website where we took more than fifty screenshots of hateful and insult-ridden comments about our company, my wife Gayla, and me personally, that were made over the last four years. Many of this site’s members, including the host Dave Brown, aka ‘Shutter’, supported these posts. Most of them are extremely slanderous.
This event at the Portland Yacht Club is being advertised as free to attend, and free parking included. We intend to send an anonymous representative from Adventure Books to observe the proceedings. Since we are well familiar with most of the people involved in this event, we will be watching for slanderous comments at that event aimed at either Adventure Books, our staff, or anything else related to us. The film production companies, as well as their attorneys, are supporting this effort.
If we observe anything slanderous being presented, we will immediately file suit against the Portland Yacht Club for personal damages, and for supporting the presentation of such slander. We have good reason to believe this will be a part of the program for this conference, because that website and many of its members (including some of the scheduled speakers) are doing it now. For these people to extend their outrageous behavior it to a conference you host is not a stretch. If you would like copies of some of the screenshots taken from The DB Cooper Forum and elsewhere to see the truth for yourself, feel free to ask and we will provide them to you.
Enough was enough, we decided. If these people were going to have a symposium, they were going to have to lay off the slander, and I decided to show people the truth about them and their phony ways. They have said since this time that they had no intention of discussing Adventure Books or any of the staff at the symposium, but we have learned they are not to be trusted. Their word on that is worthless, since they’ve been engaging in negative behavior for years, and they’re even dumb enough to leave up the postings. It became worse when they were bypassed by movie producers in Los Angeles, and those same producers signed us to the first-ever dramatic feature film on the Cooper hijacking – a film in which the production company intends to name Kenneth P. Christiansen as the famous hijacker, not as a theory, but as a matter of historical record. They went absolutely ballistic, and the attacks came more frequently while they scrambled to discover WHO was making the picture. (They haven’t found out, because we are under a confidentiality agreement and we know how to keep a secret.)
In our message to the Portland Yacht Club, we say we support the symposium, but we want them to understand that neither were we going to stand by and allow more slander. The internet is one thing, (it’s expected that people will do that) but in front of a live audience is quite another.
In response, the Portland Yacht Club wisely withdrew their support for the event. We did not expect they would do that based on our email alone, and AB staff believes they may have done some internet research on Dave Brown and his followers perhaps. They may have decided that Cooperland, and the people who inhabit that world were just a bit too much for them to handle. When Cooper researcher Bruce Smith tried questioning the Yacht Club about their decision via phone…they simply hung up on him.
The Cooper organizers have found another venue. But their anger has now grown to monumental proportions and their posts at the Cooper Forum now come Too Fast, Too Furious. There have been hints we are dangerous, or a threat to them, which is far from the truth. Or Bruce Smith claiming we have threatened him physically, which is also not true. When one of his users, Meyer Louie, spoke up in our defense, he was immediately banned. When I posted up a reasonable defense of my actions, it was not allowed to appear, which is why I wrote this article. Their latest worry seems to be that Adventure Books will make another objection to their new venue. They need not worry. We think they got the message.
We believe in fair play at AB of Seattle. And what these phony-baloney folks have been doing for years has finally come out into the open. What we did with the Portland Yacht Club, although inadvertently, was to teach Dave Brown, Bruce Smith, and their followers a lesson in manners. There is an old saying:
“If you stop telling lies about me…I will stop telling the truth about YOU.”
To see Part One in this series, click HERE.
Much as I dislike going the Dr. Hunter S. Thompson route, (writing from a personal viewpoint on a story) I think a Part 3 in this series is in order.