Hangin' With Mr. Cooper

November 26, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Airplane overheadAirplane overhead     As I read a Facebook post this morning where someone quoted something brilliant that someone famous said, I considered posting this on my own page...

"I'm just going down to the corner for cigarettes and milk. Be right back." - D.B. Cooper

    Admittedly, I'm pretty sure he never said anything about cigarettes and milk. I had the general idea about the story. But that led me to look on the Internet. My "go to" place when I'm looking for facts is still Wikipedia because... it's crowd-sourced on the internet. It can't be wrong. And since I wasn't preparing for Congressional testimony, Wikipedia would get me close enough to the truth. It's out there. And that's when my foot slipped off the edge of the rabbit hole and I tumbled into the bottomless abyss.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D._B._Cooper

    While there's a certain romanticism and draw in America to "the gentleman outlaw", Mr. Cooper's story is more of a curiosity to me than anything I could actually pick sides on. Personally, I'd like to think he got away with it merely because I hate to think that all that intelligence and detailed preparation could get you 90% home free.. only to be ended, rather unceremoniously, by some small oversight. If that's the case, we're all subject. I will say that I'm a little miffed with him because, before Cooper, it was possible to pay cash, get on an airplane and fly somewhere. No in-depth identity check. No full body cavity search. No searching through your luggage like your coming through customs from Columbia wearing a Bob Marley shirt with a "Let's Get High" button. You could just get on a plane and go. I blame Cooper, in part, for the loss of that unencumbered world.

    But somewhere near the end of the Wiki, there was a blurb about what happened to the 727, or more precisely, the scene of the crime and how it ended up in an aircraft boneyard. [insert Tim Allen tool man grunt here]

    Aircraft boneyards. Yeah, I've seen them on TV. A Google search confirmed that there was a list (or 20) of them. For an airplane fan, boneyards are wonderful and crushingly sad all at once. They draw me and break my heart all at once. For a biker and vlogger, they whisper possibilities of a trip and a video. I started looking at each one in ever-growing concentric circles from my home. GoogleMaps gave me a wonderful satellite view of each site. So many options.. military.. or civilian. Do they look, from the satellite, still active? Could I, legally, get access to the field? "I'm with the media (of sorts), you know?" Drones would be out of the question since most of the boneyards are at airports. Maybe a chartered helicopter ride?? Morning light would be best.. or maybe sunset, symbolic of the end of the lifespan of the planes...

    I'll have to keep that all in mind when I'm out for motorcycle rides or looking for someplace to go.

    It dawned on me that the myriad of alphabet agencies who are tracking Internet browsing may be curious why I'd be "researching" D.B. Cooper.. and then perusing airports around the country. If I really wanted to have some fun with them (although "fun" might not really be descriptive of the result), I'd go out searching for "How To Make Your Own Parachute". Perhaps another time.

    Anyway.. have a great day. It's an interesting world out there.

 

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