Contributors to this article: Robert Blevins, Gayla Prociv, and ‘Greg the Techie Guy’.
Our thanks this year to Anna Stephens, John Dower, Kyle DeDominces, Bryan Ward of the V-23 Brewery, and many others.
We’ve certainly done our part in 2018 on the D.B. Cooper case, and either met or exceeded our goals for this year. Sometimes it was difficult, but as Senator Elizabeth Warren likes to say, ‘We persisted…‘
Basically, that means we were the Energizer Bunny this year when it came to the D.B. Cooper case, fighting past our critics and showing things about them they didn’t enjoy seeing. But those things were relatively minor compared to the work we did helping forward the Cooper case. Our work this year was twofold. We may have brought about a solution to the only unsolved hijacking in U.S. history. On the other hand, we were the object of much controversy. It goes with the territory.
Our Year in Review: Highlights
- January 13 – We started out the year with a blockbuster bang, releasing our allegation that senior F.B.I. agent John Jarvis, a behavioral profiler who works at Quantico, had revealed the REAL reason the F.B.I. ‘closed’ the Cooper case back in July 2016. The article immediately became our most controversial to date.
- January 23 – Signed (and were paid) for a second straight year by a film production company in Los Angeles for the rights to our story on suspect Kenny Christiansen.
- February 3 – Finally made contact again with a key witness, (alleged accomplice Bernie Geestman’s niece) and got a promise from her son Jordan that at some point, his mother might be willing to go public on her story regarding Kenny Christiansen and the creation of the phony bomb used in the hijacking. Over the next few months, we slowly built trust with this family and tried not to pressure them too much. The results were better than we expected.
- February 28 – Established the most serious version to date of The Adventure Books of Seattle Discussion Forum at host Proboards, but it didn’t last long. When we started using the site to respond to some of the lies being told about AB of Seattle and our investigation, the folks doing the lying managed to get us shut down using a bit of trickery and deception. The second time this happened, (later in the year) we decided to halt the public forum idea, at least for now.
- March 20 – Contacted by the film production company who we signed with and were told they wanted to concentrate first on a top-notch script by a screenwriter with a known track record, and that this could take some time. They asked us to be patient. We decided to be patient.
- April 3 – We created a Google Interactive Map showing how anyone can drive to the location in Washington state where the placard that flew out the back door of the hijacked flight was eventually found by a hunter. We may do one of our famous camping trips at that same location. It is possible, we think, that the placard might not be the ONLY thing that went out the airstairs door. For example, no one to date has located the phony bomb, the briefcase used by Cooper, or the dummy chute. Maybe Cooper tossed out the placard himself, along with other unneeded items, to confuse the ground search. Maybe someone should take a metal detector and go LOOK.
- May 8 – Released the first of three articles on ‘Fear and Loathing in Cooperland,’ showing readers that there IS such a thing among armchair investigators and some hard core fans of the case. The articles caused quite a stir at other Cooper-dedicated websites, as well as our email box to fill with questions – and demands that we ‘mind our own business’. We answered the questions politely, and ignored the demands. The series breaks previous records at Cooper WordPress for views.
- May 12 – We began an email exchange with former Cooper suspect Sheridan Peterson. This went on for two months, until Peterson’s apartment suffered a plumbing flood. We were trying to coax him into allowing Adventure Books to publish his 680-page antiwar book, The Idiot’s Frightful Laughter. After the flood, we had to wait on further negotiations, which were continued later in the year. A glitch was tossed into the whole thing when a user at the infamous DB Cooper Forum announces he is going to re-edit the book without Peterson’s permission, and possibly offer up copies via Lulu dot com. Peterson sees the posts and goes ballistic. We respond to this copyright infringement by supporting Peterson (he’s 92 years old) and sending Lulu a warning with Peterson’s US Copyright Office registration on the book. As of November, some damage control has been done to restore Peterson’s confidence that Adventure Books is actually the BEST venue to present his work. We also offered to publish the book at trade rates, at no cost to him in Kindle, paperback, and hardcover versions. Why? Why NOT? We did the same thing for young writer Katie Onus a few years ago.
July 10 – The production company in Los Angeles informs us that they are creating a ‘teaser reel’, in their effort to convince two other production companies to sign on for the Kenny Christiansen movie. The reel is confidential, although we are allowed to show it to others privately. Later, we released a short article with still shots because some folks said we were lying about its existence.
- July 21 – Witness Kyle DeDominces of Bonney Lake, Washington comes forward to AB staff to tell us that yes, hidden money WAS found behind Kenny Christiansen’s house after Kenny’s death. Until then, it was only an urban rumor. To support his story, Kyle provides a witness or two, a picture of the money, and appears on a video. There was a lot of traffic noise on the video, which was our only disappointment about it. Kyle is considering attending our January 2019 Cooper Campout, which will be our second one in less than a year.
- July 22 – Tragedy strikes when ‘Hobo the Office Cat’ dies suddenly of feline cardiomyopathy, a genetic disease of the heart often found in Maine Coon males. He is eleven years old. The staff is devastated. Hobo is taken far into the Olympic Mountains and buried four feet down in a spot overlooking the Skokomish River valley. Several of his favorite toys are buried with him.
- August 1 – Seeing so much argument online about ownership regarding the four parachutes given to D.B. Cooper, we tried to straighten it all out for readers.
- September 12 – After seeing dozens of posts at Bruce Smith’s Mountain News blog accusing Kenny Christiansen of being a child molester, we find out a symposium on the Cooper case is being scheduled for November. We notice that some of the same people making the false allegations will be speakers or are contributing to the upcoming event. In response, we send a message to the venue (Portland Yacht Club) where the event will be hosted, asking them to warn the organizers that such unsupported allegations, should they be a part of the program, will NOT be tolerated. The Yacht Club immediately cancels the use of their facilities to the organizers, who line up another venue. We decide not to issue a second warning, figuring the organizers learned their lesson, although it was not our intention that the Yacht Club actually cancel on them. In response, the organizers and their websites (Bruce Smith’s Mountain News and The D.B. Cooper Forum dot com) went on a tirade that hasn’t ended, even today. Our opinion is that they simply have no manners. Then we poked fun at them with a cartoon.
- September 22 – ‘CoCo’ takes over the reins as Adventure Books of Seattle’s new Office Cat. She is the fourth one, preceded by Hobo, Sophie, and our first Office Cat, Katie. She is a tortoise cat, and was a rescue after one of our neighbors abandoned her after they moved. Coincidentally, that is the exact same way we got Hobo.
- September 26 – Released our article on why we believe Sheridan Peterson, despite a resurgence of interest and some weak claims, was NOT D.B. Cooper.
September 28 – After two months of hard work, AB staff sells a 1982 Nissan 280ZX we completely restored to running condition. The buyer travels all the way from Portland with a big envelope of cash – and drives it away. We use part of the money to upgrade the gear we provide on our public-invited campouts. This includes a new, and bigger portable toilet, better shower, a high-definition projector that accepts practically all forms of media inputs, and a ten-foot movie screen.
October 1 – Our busiest month of the year, we were involved nearly every day with the Cooper case. It is almost too much to list. In a nutshell, we coordinated with Minnow Films on the first-ever full-length feature film documentary on the case. (‘The British are Coming!’) We got an assurance that AB would be optioned for a third year this January regarding the upcoming movie on Kenny Christiansen. And we fired back at our critics the entire month. Some of our worst critics were bypassed for the Minnow Films movie on Cooper, after their production staff saw many ugly and false identity postings online that were directed at AB staff. Here is just ONE example. Other than the first comment to that example, which I made personally, only one of the 50 or so others is real, and that was done by ‘VickiEW’ from the DB Cooper Forum. All the remainder are phonies, and were done by other members of that forum, or folks from Bruce Smith’s Mountain News blog. They tried posting using OUR names, or impersonating other people. We worked with Minnow Films over a two-day period, for a total shoot lasting several hours. This kind of negative activity was discussed for the film.
October 19 – After releasing our article on whether the famous Ariel Store and Tavern would ever reopen for more annual D.B. Cooper celebrations, we are contacted by Bryan Ward, the owner of the V-23 Brewery in Vancouver, WA. (His brews are named after characters and situations in the Cooper hijacking.) Ward asks for advice on hosting a new version of the Cooper celebrations once held in Ariel. Our assessment was that the Ariel Store will never reopen anyway, so why not have Ward take the reins for this historical party. The people attending the November meeting on Cooper down in Portland decide V-23 is a good place to gather the night beforehand. We agree with that decision, but we also expect them to bad mouth Adventure Books staff to owner Bryan Ward, which is typical for this group. (One reason they might do this is because we offered Ward financial and logistical support to help establish a NEW Cooper Party venue with V-23 as the host.) We warned Mr Ward about this type of thing, and if he is approached with negative junk about AB of Seattle, we will let Mr Ward decide about all that.
- October 29 – We schedule another Cooper Campout for January 18, 2019 (a Friday) until Monday, January 21. Response has been surprisingly good, despite the fact it’s a winter campout. (Those 20×30 foot tarps really do the job keeping out the weather.) This will be the first test of all the new gear – such as the projector, the screen, new toilet, the upgraded shower, and offering up the complete series of Breaking Bad and Band of Brothers on DVD, in case anyone wants to watch those. We also plan to screen the teaser reel on the upcoming Kenny Christiansen/DB Cooper movie.
- November 13 – Unless something really extraordinary occurs in the Cooper case, I decide this is my last article at Cooper WordPress until December, and maybe not even another article then. Christmas is coming, and there is no room for controversy at Christmas. Despite our differences with The DB Cooper Forum and Bruce Smith’s Mountain News, we still wish them a happy meeting in Portland later in the month, as well as a nice Thanksgiving and Christmas. (Something extraordinary DID happen) For Thanksgiving, Gayla Prociv and I hired a housesitter for the cat and are flying to San Diego to visit her mother, so attending the November meeting was out. It’s doubtful we would have been welcome anyway. [In our opinion, this is like being banned from a restaurant that serves moldy food. 🙂 ] We are also banned from both websites, yet they continue to comment about us by name almost daily. Not nicely, of course.
- November 29 – We open our new website on the DB Cooper case over at Quora, the famous question-and-answer site, by invitation of senior Quora staff. As of December 24th, we now have over 500 followers getting the feed and some contributors.
- We will leave these people with this thought: Your negative actions, as well as hundreds of ugly posts (many done anonymously) have only resulted in your groups being bypassed by the media. You are getting a bad reputation with the same folks, perhaps even the public. Learn your lesson, practice a few manners, and cease supporting negativity. You will do better in 2019.
Submitted by Robert, Greg, and Gayla, from Adventure Books of Seattle.
Edited, and photos added, by Robert Blevins. Questions about this article should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org