Can we say ‘brainless’? In the case of Eric Ulis, a guy from Scottsdale, AZ who claims he has proof that skydiver and former teacher Sheridan Peterson was actually Cooper…the staff of AB of Seattle give him a five-star score. Unfortunately, the higher the score, the more brainless you are considered. Ulis has organized a DB Cooper Conference for November 2018 to present his case. Although we think the conference is an okay idea, we also believe Ulis is way off base trying to pin the hijacking on Peterson.
So…it’s not really a GOOD score.
We decided to address Ulis’ public claims on Peterson using his publicly-posted points at his own website on Cooper. Drawn under Fair Use guidelines to respond to a point, for investigative or newsworthy purposes, or for research.
(Our responses are in parenthesis.)
1) ‘He is one of only three people known to have had their DNA compared with the partial DNA profile extracted from Cooper’s tie—this among a field of approximately 1500 suspects. The other two are Duane Weber and Lynn Doyle Cooper…’
(Response: Peterson freely answered the FBI’s questions, freely gave a DNA sample to them, didn’t ask for an attorney even though he was given his Miranda Warnings, and like Weber and LD Cooper, was dismissed as a suspect.)
2) ‘He is the only one of the three DNA-compared suspects that the FBI has not publicly stated didn’t match the partial Cooper DNA profile…’
(Response: According to our communications with Seattle FBI agent Frederick Gutt, the partial profile held by the FBI cannot match a suspect’s DNA with their partial sample. It can only ELIMINATE them from contention. Peterson’s DNA was tested, and he was eliminated. If he had NOT, they would have returned to his door. This is why they didn’t bother with a follow-up. They may have also checked Peterson’s alibi that he was in Nepal by using passport records and other sources.)
3) ‘He was formerly employed by Boeing as a technical editor with access to the commercial and aerospace divisions as well as the Super Sonic Transport (SST) project…’
(Response: This is moot. Prior to the hijacking, over a hundred thousand people worked for Boeing. Many were laid off in the late 60’s and very early 70’s. This leaves a possible pool of suspects numbering many tens of thousands living in the Puget Sound area. A quote from a Boeing history site: ‘As the 747 project got rolling in 1968, employment at Boeing peaked at nearly 142,400...’)
4) ‘He was an expert skydiver with smoke jumping experience and described as a maverick and fearless in skydiving circles…’
(Response: The hijacker did not request chutes as an expert would, telling the FBI he wanted ‘two front and two back chutes,’ instead of two mains and two reserves. Because of these and other things related to the hijacking, the FBI has stated that either Cooper was not an active expert, or as we believe…simply hadn’t jumped in a long time. The hijacker also boarded the jet wearing a cheap suit and loafers, something an expert skydiver like Peterson would NEVER do, even in his wildest dreams.)
5) ‘He was living in Nepal during the skyjacking, not employed at the time (2 ½ years), and provided an alibi that has since been disproved…’
(Response: This alibi has NOT been disproved. In fact, there is a record of his daughter being born in Nepal not long prior to the hijacking.)
6) ‘He opened a confidential numbered bank account in 1971…’
(Response: In order to prove this, you would need his bank account information, as well as a record of deposits and withdrawals that relate to around the dates of the hijacking. Do you have this? If not, your point is either moot, you are making this up, or you are guessing. It’s not that easy to get someone’s bank account information, especially from almost fifty years ago. Definitive proof is required for this claim.)
7) ‘DB Cooper’s tie clip was sold as a set that also included a tie tack, cuff links and money clip. Sheridan owned a pair of the cuff links that were included in these sets…’
(Response: You must prove this with definitive, close-up pictures that leave no doubt. As far as we know, you do NOT have this.)
8) ‘In a 2003 interview with the FBI, Sheridan described the “dummy reserve” (missing parachute) in terms only the skyjacker could have known…’
(Response: By 2003, a great number of details regarding the parachutes used by Cooper were already publicly known. Peterson, being a real pro at skydiving, would have been able to describe a dummy training chute anyway. Just about any pro could do this, not just Petersen.)
9) ‘He has refused to directly deny being DB Cooper when asked by the FBI…’
(Response: Not true. He denied involvement, and cooperated fully. He has also denied being Cooper on social media in years past, although he got a laugh or two over being a minor celebrity in the case for a while.)
10) ‘He resembled the physical description given by witnesses…’
(Response: Not really true. Sheridan has blue eyes, and stewardess Flo Schaffner said the hijacker’s were BROWN. In addition, Sheridan does not drink or smoke, two things the hijacker was known to do.)
11) ‘He first came to the attention of the FBI and became a suspect a week after the Thanksgiving Eve hijacking that occurred on Wednesday, November 24, 1971…’
(Response: Admittedly, we have not checked this claim. But if he was a suspect so quickly after the hijacking, why didn’t the FBI check passport records and find out he was in Tibet at the time? Also, if he became a suspect that quickly, some record around the time of the hijacking would have shown he used his passport to return to Tibet. Either way, someone from the FBI would have traveled to Tibet to interview him. They did NOT.)
If readers would like to see OUR reasons why Petersen is NOT the hijacker, click HERE. His entire history is there, in the form of a complete bio he provided while running for a school board position a few years ago in California. The timeline on it, which covers the time of the hijacking is extremely detailed.
In general, we have to file Ulis’ claims regarding Sheridan Peterson under College Humor – Junior High Edition.