The Five Biggest Myths About AB of Seattle’s Investigation of the D.B. Cooper Case

blastcoverfrontMYTH:  We’ve had all sorts of offers for the movie rights to Into The Blast, the book that looks at Kenny Christiansen as the famous skyjacker.

TRUTH:  There have only been TWO offers. The first came from an anonymous client of Paradigm, the rep agency in New York City. They merely asked if the rights were available. We said yes. Later, they revealed themselves as representing CBS Films, and made a modest five-figure offer for the movie rights to Christiansen’s story. When they warned us that they planned to take ‘serious liberties’ with Kenny’s life story, and that some portions of the film might be ‘comedic,’ we turned down the offer. Soon afterward, CBS Films purchased the rights to author Geoffrey Gray’s book Skyjack, but later sold the rights to director Will Gluck’s (Friends With Benefits, Annie) production company.

The second, and only other offer, came from a film company in the Los Angeles area who had been researching the Cooper case for over a year, including visits to the biggest website on Cooper, the famous ‘DB Cooper Forum’. After some negotiations that included a certain amount of control over the script, we signed with them on January 23, 2017. Exactly one year later, since production shooting had not yet begun on the movie, they extended the option for an additional year. We are told that a third extension will almost certainly not be needed, since they are close to a partnership deal with another studio to do the picture. On a side note, we also provided the production company unlimited access to all public and confidential files collected during our seven-year investigation into Kenny Christiansen. Due to a confidentiality agreement we signed with the company, we are not allowed to reveal their name until they go public with a film announcement first.

shruggingMYTH: Adventure Books has hosted multiple online forums, which were closed down due to Terms of Service violations.

TRUTH: There is actually some truth in this one. We hosted two previous forums, and yes, both of them were shut down for Terms of Service violations. These violations stemmed from our responses to lies being told about us, and personal attacks being done, at another website discussing the Cooper case. Our newest forum has a policy of ignoring comments made by the other site, and we no longer discuss them there, even though they continue to bait us to the present day with hateful and insulting comments.

MYTH: Some of the witness testimony against Kenny Christiansen was simply ‘made up’ by the staff of Adventure Books.

TRUTH: All witness testimony is properly sourced by providing the true names of these witnesses, their locations, the dates of interviews, and are backed up by extensive notes and photographs. These files take up two large sets of drawers in our main office.

MYTH: Kenny Christiansen’s brother, Lyle Christiansen, was just trying to sell movie companies on the idea of a film about his brother, and really didn’t think he was the hijacker. He simply wanted to ‘cash in’ on Kenny’s story.

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One of many cartoons created over the years by Robert Blevins of Adventure Books regarding the hijacking.

TRUTH: Lyle Christiansen, a retired postal worker, was already about eighty years old when he came forward about his brother. He has actively participated in the investigation into Kenny, providing extensive documents, letters, and photographs. Later, on behalf of his family and for the estate of Kenny Christiansen, he signed a full release allowing the film company to tell his brother’s story – without being paid a dime. He has said that if Kenny’s story were made into a motion picture, that this would result in the truth at last. (We agree with him completely) On a side note, the family of the alleged accomplice, Bernie Geestman, has refused any money to disclose ‘Uncle Bernie’s’ role in the hijacking. Much of their testimony has been kept confidential for the upcoming movie.

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The REAL Reason the F.B.I. Closed the D.B. Cooper Case – CONCLUSION

In Part One of this article, this writer told how a witness named Troy Bentz, a civilian engineer for the U.S. Navy, claimed that a senior F.B.I. agent told he and two other men the REAL reason the F.B.I. closed the famous D.B. Cooper hijacking case. The reason given, said Bentz, was that the F.B.I. knew the identity of the hijacker, that he was dead, and that he was none other than suspect Kenny Christiansen. Bentz named the other witnesses, even providing details on where they worked, their phone numbers, and the fact that all three of them held security clearances with the U.S. government. (The names of the other witnesses and their contact information are available to the F.B.I., or to legitimate media, should they choose to ask. But I cannot release their information publicly, of course.)

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The author of this article (wearing tie) with the cast of the History Channel show, ‘Brad Meltzer’s Decoded.’ From the D.B. Cooper episode that focused on Kenny Christiansen as the hijacker.

This matter of ‘the real reason the F.B.I. closed the case’ was a stunning revelation, and I had some difficulty wrapping my mind around it. Where should I start verification on such a story? I began by talking to Bentz on the phone for a couple of hours, and then Adventure Books staff started running down the names of the witnesses and the names of the character references that he had provided.

The witnesses checked out. It was true. They were all at the baseball game with the F.B.I. agent, they all possessed security clearances as Bentz claimed, and they all heard what Agent Jarvis said.

My next step was to craft a carefully-worded email to the Seattle F.B.I. and get their response to Bentz’s allegations. I told them everything except Troy’s last name, but I did name the F.B.I. agent in question. They responded by saying ‘perhaps the agent was just giving his personal opinion on the case’. However, they did not deny that the incident happened as Bentz said. This answer from the F.B.I. did not satisfy me, so I went public and told Bentz’s story. (I referred to him as ‘Troy B’)  I named Agent Jarvis, as well as posting his picture online. A year and a half later, and there was still not a peep from the Feds telling me to cease and desist. Questioning the reputation of the F.B.I.? Calling them nationally-reported liars about one of the most famous cases they ever handled? Posting the name and picture of the agent who told the truth? I thought surely they would say SOMETHING, but they never did. I wondered if the reason was that the Seattle F.B.I. had actually checked out the 54-page illustrated report we sent them on Kenny Christiansen, less than a year prior to their announcement about closing the case. Could be, I thought.

Two weeks after Troy Bentz came forward, he called me on the phone again. He was getting nervous, he said. He had a family, a wife, and a government job. Not only that, but he had told his wife what he had done, and she was very angry with him. She called him a ‘whistleblower,’ he said, and reminded Troy that their kids went to swim team with kids of F.B.I. agents, and military personnel. She was worried how his actions might affect their family’s life, even his job.

Bentz asked if I could keep his last name out of the whole thing, and I did just that for well over a year. However, I decided that after a certain amount of time had gone by, if nothing additional came out publicly about the real reason for the closure of the Cooper case, I would finally tell the whole story. As usual, I expect to receive a certain amount of flak from armchair investigators of the D.B. Cooper case, many of whom are still not convinced that Kenny Christiansen was Cooper. They sometimes go to great lengths to discredit even the possibility that he might be the hijacker. Dirty tricks and threats directed at Adventure Books are common, which we mostly shrug off anyway.

jealousthreepoints

One email I received from Bentz contained this:

‘The Bible says that it is the glory of God to conceal a matter, and the glory of kings to search out a matter…’

Then he said I was doing the work of kings.

Nah, I told him. I was just the messenger boy.

The REAL Reason the F.B.I. Closed the D.B. Cooper Case

balanceforarticleOn July 8, 2016 the Seattle F.B.I. announced they were ‘allocating resources dedicated to the D.B. Cooper case to other matters’. Which means they were no longer going to investigate the case. According to a Seattle Times report, the F.B.I. did qualify this statement a bit by adding that if new or compelling evidence came forward, that the Bureau would reopen the case.

But if the Seattle F.B.I. was hoping that the Cooper case would simply ‘go away,’ and the constant tips stop coming in, they were wrong. Seattle F.B.I. agent Ayn Dietrich-Williams admitted the tips just kept on coming, no matter what the F.B.I. did to try and make the public lose interest. The F.B.I. also claimed they had investigated every possible suspect over the years, and checked out all credible tips.

Strangely enough, the F.B.I. has kept other famous cases open, such as the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa in 1975, as well as the Zodiac serial killer case that predates the Cooper case. Could there be a different, unsaid reason why the F.B.I. chose to close the Cooper case? If so, what could possibly be the reason they did?

Perhaps they had discovered the identity of the hijacker, found out he was dead anyway, and decided to leave it at that. This was the story presented to the staff of Adventure Books of Seattle about a month after the F.B.I. closed the case.

Continue reading “The REAL Reason the F.B.I. Closed the D.B. Cooper Case”

Adventure Books of Seattle and the D.B. Cooper Case – UPDATES

From Robert M. Blevins, managing editor, Adventure Books of Seattle –

Some brief updates regarding our investigation into the famous ‘D.B. Cooper’ case, as well as the upcoming film about the life of Cooper suspect Kenny Christiansen:

All further updates regarding Christiansen, the Cooper case, the movie, etc will be posted here, or at our main website at Adventure Books.

Continue reading “Adventure Books of Seattle and the D.B. Cooper Case – UPDATES”

On Request – The Two Page Outline on Christiansen and Geestman in the D.B. Cooper Case

HeaderPicOutlineArticleRecently, I was asked by the film producers I am working with in Los Angeles to create an outline (limited to two pages for print in 8.5×11) laying out the case against Kenny Christiansen and Bernie Geestman.

Well, boiling down a multi-year investigation where you interview dozens of people and take page after page of notes isn’t an easy thing. However, this was the result, shown below:
Continue reading “On Request – The Two Page Outline on Christiansen and Geestman in the D.B. Cooper Case”

D.B. Cooper -The Bomb and What the FBI Withheld on it

no6-a-cells-x4When the F.B.I. or any law enforcement agency investigates a major crime, one of the things they do is to hold back a known fact or two from the public. They do this to weed out false confessors to the crime, or to eliminate (or confirm) suspects. The D.B. Cooper hijacking case was no different. It has recently come to light that the F.B.I. decided to hold back a key bit of evidence about the bomb the hijacker used to force Northwest Airlines to hand over $200,000 in cash and four parachutes.

Over the last forty-six years, only four things have ever been revealed about the bomb itself. First, that it was housed in a briefcase. Second, that there was a battery inside similar to the one in the picture. Third, that there were wires attached to both the battery and the bomb. Fourth, that the bomb was composed of red sticks. This last bit originated from stewardess Florence Schaffner, who was allowed a quick glance inside the briefcase. Schaffner was passed a note from the hijacker shortly after takeoff from Portland, OR that read:

Miss. I have a bomb here and I would like you to sit by me.

As soon as Schaffner did as she was told, the hijacker opened the briefcase for a quick moment. She later told the flight crew what she saw. Red sticks, lots of wires, and a battery bigger than one you would put into a flashlight. That’s been the story for several decades now, although FBI agent Ralph Himmelsbach has said occasionally that he was sure the bomb was phony because dynamite sticks are generally tan in color, and not red.

Red sticks. Could they have been road flares? The problem with road flares isn’t that they are red. It’s that they have an ignitor on one end, and a lot of instructions printed on the outside. Even a stewardess who only got a quick look would be able to tell the ‘dynamite’ was phony. So if they weren’t dynamite, and they weren’t road flares, then how could they pass for a real explosive? If the F.B.I. had even a clue that the bomb was a phony, they probably would have stormed Flight 305 right on the tarmac after it reached Seattle. But something created doubt in their minds about the whole thing, and somehow they assumed the bomb could be real, even if the alleged dynamite was the wrong color.

The answer was both simple – and a brilliant move by the hijacker. He not only fooled the F.B.I. and the flight crew, but the bomb itself had a purpose beyond just being a bomb.

It was a key part of the hijacker’s escape plan.
Continue reading “D.B. Cooper -The Bomb and What the FBI Withheld on it”

D.B. Cooper – Cartoons on Alleged Accomplice Bernie Geestman

weddingtimesthreeBernie Geestman, a guy who lives in the shadow of the Olympic Mountains of Washington State, is the man alleged by Adventure Books of Seattle as being the main accomplice in the D.B. Cooper hijacking. We believe he not only supplied the vehicle used to take Cooper suspect Kenny Christiansen to the Portland Airport, but provided key information regarding the Boeing 727 that was hijacked by Cooper. His story has already been told at length. He and Kenny served together on Shemya Island in the Aleutians for Northwest Airlines for a few years. Basically, Bernie was the mechanic and Kenny his assistant. They oiled the planes, cleaned out the interiors, and did occasional repairs if needed. Kenny’s job was mostly the labor stuff, and Bernie was the boss.

I only interviewed Bernie Geestman once in person. I showed up on his doorstep one day and got thirty minutes from him. In order not to put him on the defensive, I told him at first I was there gathering information on his friend Kenny for a biography on Kenny’s life. Geestman bought into that fib for twenty-five out of thirty minutes. He went on about their friendship, working for all those years off and on for Northwest, and some of the things they had done together.

Continue reading “D.B. Cooper – Cartoons on Alleged Accomplice Bernie Geestman”