24 November 2014
Rec Room Rant
Did You Know?
24 November 2014
Nowadays, one rarely hears of hijacking attempts on aircraft. Enhanced security and the vetting of passengers have made them a rarity. Even when it does happen, it is usually perpetrated by jihadi crazed terrorists. It is virtually unimaginable that anyone might subject themselves to the risks of capture or lethal force for their own financial gain. The world would be dumbfounded if such an attempt were successful.
This has not always been the case however, and a number of successful hijackings took place on US domestic flights during the 1970s. Probably the most notable of these was that undertaken by the man who has come to be known as D B Cooper.
On this day in 1971, a man called Dan Cooper purchased a one way airline ticket for a flight between Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington. It was mid afternoon on Thanksgiving eve.
The flight took off on schedule at 2:50 pm and Mr Cooper took a seat to the rear of the passenger cabin. He was smartly dressed in a black raincoat, dark suit, white shirt and black tie. The tie was adorned with a mother of pearl tie pin. Mr Cooper duly lit a cigarette and ordered a bourbon and soda.
A short time into the flight, Mr Cooper handed the flight attendant, Florence Schaffner a note, which at first she took to be his telephone number or a request for a date. Thinking this, she dropped the note into her purse unread. Mr Cooper pulled her aside and whispered; "Miss, you'd better look at that note. I have a bomb."
When Ms Schaffner eventually looked at the note it read words to the effect, "I have a bomb in my briefcase. I will use it if necessary. I want you to sit next to me. You are being hijacked." The shocked and frightened girl complied with the demand and was shown what appeared to be a bomb inside Cooper’s briefcase. After closing the briefcase, Cooper demanded $200,000, a number of parachutes and a fuel truck to be standing by in Seattle to refuel the aircraft for an onward journey. Cooper’s demands were promptly conveyed to the flight crew.
The pilot contacted air traffic control, who in turn informed the local and federal authorities. In order to make time for Cooper’s demands to be met, the other passengers were told that their arrival in Seattle would be delayed due to minor mechanical difficulties. The President of the airline authorised payment of the ransom and ordered full cooperation with the hijacker. The aircraft then circled for some two hours while the police and the FBI obtained Cooper's parachutes and ransom money.
Throughout Cooper was calm, polite, and well-spoken. Another flight attendant, Tina Mucklow, said; "He seemed rather nice. He was never cruel or nasty. He was thoughtful and calm all the time”.
FBI agents assembled the ransom money and obtained four parachutes from a local skydiving school. At 5:39 pm the aircraft landed at Seattle and taxied to an isolated, brightly lit section of the airfield. The money and parachutes were delivered to via the stairs at the rear of the aircraft and Cooper released all the passengers and two flight attendants.
After refuelling Cooper directed the pilot to take a southeastward course toward Mexico City. He directed that the flight speed be limited to 100 knots and the altitude to 10,000ft with the cabin unpressurised.
The plane took to the air again at approximately 7:40 pm with only Cooper and a skeleton crew. Two fighter aircraft were scrambled from a nearby Air Force Base and tailed the airliner.
After takeoff Cooper told the crew to confine themselves to the cockpit and remain there with the door closed. Then, about 20 minutes into the flight, the rear boarding stairs were lowered and there was a noticeable change in air pressure. It is not known exactly when Cooper jumped from the plane, but jump he did. When the plane landed, he was not on board.
Although a number of suspects were investigated, the true identity of Dan Cooper was never ascertained. It is quite possible that he escaped with the money and is still at large now (albeit very old).
Despite the fact that Dan Cooper was nothing more than an air pirate, one has to admire him in some respects. The meticulous planning and execution of his crime could only have been achieved with a high degree of intelligence. Moreover, to jump out of the rear of a jet aircraft into a dark cold November night with a parachute supplied by the FBI must have taken balls the size of planets!
Celebrities above the law
D B Cooper
The Tempest Prognosticator
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What would you think would happen if a father, under the supervision of social services, were observed to punish his little girl by
giving her an apple which had been rubbed with a Scotch bonnet chilli? What if he then stood in a corner laughing at the effect it
had had, without any regard to the possibility that the little girl might wipe her eyes with her chilli tainted fingers?
know what would happen. The father would find himself in court and be fighting to retain access to his children. Badobadop says:
What kind of evil filth would assault a child by inflicting this sort of punishment?
well known celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver.
Why hasn't' this piece of evil filth been treated in the same
way that ordinary people are, and had a visit from social services?
Bugger me if I know the answer.
your head in shame Jamie, your face isn’t welcome in my house anymore!
24 November 2014
24 November 2014
The picture I have uploaded to Wikimedia and placed on Wikipedia this week, is the tempest prognosticator on display at Whitby
The tempest prognosticator was a weather forecasting system which attempted to predict storms with leeches trapped inside
glass jars. An approaching storm was supposed to cause the leeches to climb chains dangling in the jars. The leeches climbing
up the the chains caused bells to ring and warn of an approaching tempest. The device was invented in the 19th-century by
to view the Wikipedia 'Tempest Prognosticator' entry and Badobadop's latest upload.
Scotch bonnet chillies are among the fieriest chillies in the world. They have a heat rating of the order of 250,000 on the Scoville
scale, as compared to the Jalapeño chilli which has a heat rating of around 5000.