Archive for the ‘Urban Legend’ Category

I see this one a lot when I am looking for interesting tales, D B Cooper seems to be quite an adventurous tale and so I have included him here. In 1971 he hijacked an airliner and threatened to blow it up, he extorted $200,000 from the owner, Northwest Orient, and then leapt from the airborne 747 with 21 lbs worth of $20 bills strapped to his torso.

The fact he has never been caught means he either pulled off the perfect crime or died trying. Either way he makes for a fantastic story! And one for armchair enthusiasts to really get their teeth into, with pages of information and lots of speculation.

Perhaps what I love most about this, no bystanders were injured although law enforcement argues that he did put several dozen lives at risk. The FBI’s ego was probably pretty damaged though, and not long after he had disappeared FBI Director, J Edgar Hoover, died knowing that they had not yet got their man. His crime seemed to help with things like passenger security screening and other regulations to try and prevent further troubles but ultimately he was able to walk around the jet carrying a bomb.

For some reason this chap just incites smiles rather than outrage, most likely because of the buccaneer type style under which this crazy stunt was performed.

Flight 305 was a Boeing 747 that started the day before in Washington DC for its flight path, DB cooper boarded at the Portland International Airport with a ticket to Seattle-Tacoma and gave them the name Dan Cooper. He was nondescript and no one took particular notice of him, again this all went in his favour.

Moments after the jet was airborn he passed a note to Flo Schaffner, as an air hostess she was used to come ons and pocketed it. He then waited until she passed and whispered to her she should read it, he had a bomb. Her and another attendant, Tina Mucklow, then went to the Captain and told him about the whole thing. The FBU placed a call to the Donald Nyrop, the president of Northwest Orient, they complied with the monetary demand, probably as it was a smaller price to pay than the disaster and media fall out that could have occurred.

The precise wording of his note cannot be found as it was lost, he said he wanted it back and took it with him, there was an agreement it had something like ‘no funny business’ on it however. Cooper told Schaffner that he was to stay aloft until the money and chutes were ready in Seattle, he showed her wire and cylinders that might have been dynamite and she dutifully relayed the message.

Captain Scott told passengers it was a mechanical problem and they had to circle around before landing, all but a few passengers were aware of the situation. He had calculated how they had to be weighted so they were hoping that he would make his skydive safely on that basis. The notes were hurriedly copied on to microfilm to try and make a way to track them and he wanted two chutes. They got what he demanded and then aboard the jet Cooper had a bourbon and water, he then oddly offered to pay for it!

Mucklow said his behaviour was curious, that he was not cruel or nasty and seemed very calm. The FBI however said he was boozy, raunchy and obscene compared to the person that was with him most. Mucklow said it was not the case and she said that he requested the meals for the crew be brought on board once the place was on the ground in Seattle.

Cooper seemed to be at least familiar with Seattle and was well acquainted with skydiving and schooling in jet aerodynamics. With cash and parachutes ready they were able to land just 30 minutes behind schedule. Captain Scott was sent to get the money and chutes, the 36 passengers and Schaffner were allowed to disembark but he kept Tina Mucklow, and the three men from the cockpit. Through the Captain and FAA official asked to come aboard, presumably to tell him the consequences of his actions but Cooper denied that request.

Cooper then had those left on the plain fly up to an altitude no higher than 10,000 feet. The wing flaps set at 15 degrees and the airspeed of no more than 150 knots. He said he was wearing a wrist altimeter to monitor it. Cooper knew that the plane was capable of it, unlike larger types. Cooper ordered a full refuelling at Seattle and then they negotiated the flight plan he wanted, and Scott was told that the cabin should not be pressurised so that it would minimise the potential violent surge of air when he dropped the aft stairs. With this done they headed off… two hours and six minutes after the plane had arrived in Seattle.

Somewhere around Lewis River, north of Portland, the aft stairs appeared to have been lowered, they thought he may well have jumped then but they were not going to risk their lives assuming it and flew to Reno where they were to touch down. Once they landed they gave it five minutes and left the cockpit, the hijacker was gone, even his hat and coat had been taken. The cash and one set of parachutes was also taken too.

February 10th, 1980 an 8 year-old boy was digging along the sand of the Columbia River bank, he found three bundles of bills all were $20’s and matched the numbers of Coopers loot. Some say that this was the evidence of his demise, more was found deposited further up and this led to more searches, but others suggest he may have realised the numbers on the notes would be trashed and he got rid pretty fast. So far the money that hasn’t been discovered has not been used or found so there’s nothing to suggest he did get around to spending it.

Whatever the end result this has been used for stories and even a comic book called Dan Cooper! If he is alive he’s in his 70’s probably and keeping the story to himself.

DBCooper.jpg
By U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. – http://www.coasttocoastam.com/cimages/var/ezwebin_site/storage/images/coast-to-coast/repository/thumbnails/d.b.-cooper-sketches/913568-1-eng-US/D.B.-Cooper-Sketches.jpg, http://www.coasttocoastam.com/article/fbi-ends-d-b-cooper-investigation, Public Domain, Link

 

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I love Asian based horror stories as much as any story, they are wonderfully ingenious and make fantastic horror films, though I cannot say I always like the Western remakes as they sometimes miss the reason they were scary as they budget up and add in CGI none the less….

There’s a tale that a young woman who fell on to a railway line was cut in two by an oncoming train, becoming a vengeful spirit she is armed with a scythe and travels on her hands or elbows, she makes the strange tek-tek noise and anyone too slow that encounters her at night is cut in half, mimicking her own fate.

The legend says s school boy walking home saw a beautiful girl resting herself against a windowsill, he was wondering what she was doing at the all-boys group but he couldn’t ask. She leapt at him and he saw her lower-half was missing. Now before he could run he was cut in half.

Another version of the urban legend gives the name to her, Kashima Reiko, who haunts bathroom stalls and asks occupants where her legs are. To save yourself in such an incident you tell her they are at the Meishin Railway and you answer Kashima Reiko if she asks you who told you this. The ghost sometimes just asks your for her name, if you then use Kashima Reiko she will attack you. You must use Kamen Shinin Ma – Mask Death Demon – and now once you have heard this story she is said to appear one month later (incidentally I read and wrote these notes longer ago than that if you’re concerned).

Another lovely urban legend, it has been used for a horror film Teke-Teke. The story has also been used in some manga tales, including the first anime episode of Ghost Stories.

Teketeke.png
By Dr.LantisOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

 

The tale has been documented by Michael Norman and Beth Scott, in Historic Haunted America about a tunnel in western Massachusetts. The tunnel is the Hoosac Tunnel in North Adams.

It began construction in 1851 and wasn’t finished unti 1874, for 24 years workers chipped away at the rocks and around 200 men lost their lives by explosions, fires and drowning in what became known as the bloody pit. It seems that many of those were accidental but one may have been more sinister.

Nitroglycerin was an explosive introduced in 1865 to the miners and used for the first time at the Hoosac Tunnel. 20th March, 1865, three men planted the nitroglycerin and ran for the safety bunker, they were Ned Brinkman, Billy Nash and Ringo Kelly. Kelly had prematurely set the charges and it buried both of his colleagues under a heavy pile of rocks.

After the incident Kelly disappeared and he was not seen again until 30th March, 1866 where his body was found two miles into the tunnel. His strangled corpse was at the spot Brinkman and Nash had been killed by the explosion. The Deputy Sheriff thought the murder had happened between midnight and 3am but no suspect was on the cards and his murder went unsolved.

The workers felt the spirits of Brinkman and Nash were the culprits and feared the area was cursed, they felt unhappy about having to go inside. The work slowed to the point that an investigation was called for. Paul Travers was a highly respected cavalry officer in the Union Army. He went into the tunnel with Mr Dunn, they went in at 9am and went to the spot where they heard what sounded like a man groaning in pain. They agreed that it did not sound like the wind.

It was a month later, 17th October 1868, when thirteen miners died in a gas explosion, the gas explosion blew apart one of the surfaces pumping stations. The debris filled the central shaft where the miners were working. It was the single worst disaster during the tunnels construction and a local reporter said that a miner, Mallory, was lowered down by a bucket and rope to search for survivors. He emerged almost unconscious, lifted back up, saying there was no hope. With no pumping station the 538-foot shaft filled with water and the bodies of some of the unfortunates began to surface from it. A year later the remaining men’s bodies were found on a raft that they had built trying to use it to float up on the water as it rose up.

All the time that they were missing the villagers spoke of vague shapes and the muffled wails of what the believed were the dead men. Workmen saw them carrying their picks and shovels through mist and also the snowy mountaintop. They left no footprints and only appeared briefly before they vanished. Once the last of the missing dead were located the strange sightings stopped.

That may have been the end of one tale but in 1872 another report came up about Dr Owens and James R McKinstrey who went into the tunnel. They went down the two miles down and halted to rest, the place was cold and dark, the only light was from their lamps. Both men heard a moan like someone in great pain. A dim light came down the tunnel and as it came closer the light took on a blue hue and looked more like the form of a human being with no head.

The strange light was so close it could have been touched but the men stood with gaping, open mouths and were most likely terrified. It eventually turned away and vanished, Owens was unable to come up with a rational explanation for the very thing they had witnessed.

16th Octobre, 1874, another bizarre event came up, a local hunter named Frank Webster vanished and three days later a search party found him stumbling around in shock, along the banks of the Deerfield River. His story was he had been ordered by strange voices to go into Hoosac Tunnel, when he did ghostly figures were walking around. Suddenly his rifle was seized from his hands, it was used to knock him him out around the back of the head and he woke up outside without the rifle and without any memory of leaving.

The first train went through on 9th February, 1875 and with its completion the stories still carried on. That fall a man named Mulvary, a fire tender, was driving a wagon load of firewood into it. He suddenly turned his cart around, whipped the horses flanks and was never heard of again. Three miles from there they did find the wagon and in 1977 a man named Impoco said he heard someone yell “Run, Joe, run!” as he was chipping ice from the tracks and there was a train coming. The voice alerted him and most likely saved his life.

The tunnel is very much in use today, the Boston and Maine railroad is very busy. It’s an impressive feat of engineering and visitors can talk to local old-timers who will recount the local tales.

Hoosic.jpg
By en:User:Acela2038 – en:Wikipedia, Public Domain, Link

 

New York Times – August 10, 1973 Friday. (rough record that I could get not the exact copy).

Voice of a very scared boy on August the 9th resumed broadcasting on the citizen’s band radio frequency in foothills of Central NM: searches say they they are closing in on area where 7-year-old is believed to be lost in fathers pick up truck; boy, who says his first name is Larry, told rescuers on August 8th that he and his father were in an accident and that his father is dead. 3 pilots reported sighting truck in Red Rock Canyon area on east side of Manzano Mountains, south-east of Albuquerque. Helicopter is dispatched to area; Army search plan had monitored transmission from the body during the night that left searchers to the hills. Sgt W A Schmidt says searchers lost contact with boy for several hours and presume that he had either gone to sleep, or the battery had gone dead. They have not discounted it as a hoax. Over 150 people were out with radio’s and directional finders on the foothills.

My notes collected from around and musings on this matter? It seems quite a few felt it was a hoax at the end as nothing ever came of it, but some were quite concerned that if it was not they had, in effect, stopped looking for a dying and trapped boy.

The search went on from the 8th-10th and then on the 11th it seems one rescuer pilot found a boy in distress on the radio called David. The searchers started to worry that it was a hoax and queried that the battery was somehow going. That same day a Missouri family out on the west is reported missing and they also have a son named Larry.

August 12th an army sergeant claimed he had spoken to the boy for three hours, but he state police were unable to very the claim. The missing family were located on this day. The CB Larry gave very little details about who he was but if he was a panicked child it might well be harder for him to articulate.

On the 13th the search was called off, the last transmission was traced to a boy with a walkie-talkie in Phoenix and it’s thought he was a copycat that had heard the story and finally by the 24th the police felt there was nothing more to do and they had no evidence the situation was even real at all.

Then on 25th August a family from Toledo, Ohio were reported as having been missing for several weeks. Their son, Larry, was said to be familiar with walkie-talkies. At that point the police chief said there was not enough to go by to restart searches and four days later the Ohio family were also found.

If the hoax train of thought is still in play then maybe a report from NBC Evening News from that time would go into support of this. On August 27th 1973 it was said the rescue teams were on a wild goose chase as a man from Denver claimed to have been reponsible.

The 9th August, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner gave more details to Larry’s supposed plight, a California radio operator received the transmission saying he was in a red and white pick up, it had overturned and both doors were jammed. The boy claimed his father collapsed at the wheel whilst taking him on a rabbit hunting trip. The search narrowed to the Manzano as an Albuquerque radio operator suggested that it was in that area of New Mexico.

So California to New Mexico is around 770ish miles, Ohio family from New Mexico is 1320ish miles and the variation from New Mexico is 810ish miles. On the usual radio channels without ‘skipping’ the transmissions are local to 1-18 miles and base stations from 5-10 to mobile, with 10-30 miles for base to base.

Skipping, firstly it’s illegal to practise the art of skipping. A normal CB uses short range, there are times when the earth’s atmosphere acts as a mirror and bounces the signal. This may happen by accident and can work for thousands of miles but trying to force the bounce/skip is an offence. However, if the story is true then Californian reception by accident may have occurred.

So what can I conclude? Having spoken to some friends on the CB front (or HAM Radio) it seems that what may have started out as a prank became so much more. I pray my conclusion of hoax is correct as I’d rather that than the idea of a child trapped in a lorry, lost and left because of a power failure/battery drain.

If, like me, you are a fan of the Dan Bell hotel reviews for bad hotels/motels do you also wonder what review you could leave for discovering a dead body? 1 out of 5 stars, or is that bad taste? Well it all started with a small campfire style story…

 A couple book a night away and find the smell in their room to be over-powering and foul. Human beings tend to be quite inquisitive and a search shows up something truly awful… a dead body! Is there any truth to the claims? Well yes, I started with a Snopes article on his and went on to read up from there. So here goes:

 13th July, 2003 a news article for WDAF Kansas City TV News (now expired link) says that a man complained about a bad smell and checked out early, after three days. The Capri Motel on Independence Avenue was the location, the cleaning crew then then found a body of an unknown male under the bed. It is thought the wood paneling masked the odour for a period. Police knew his identity but had to notify his next of kin.

 In 1999 Saul Hernandez of Queens, New York City was discovered dead, his body had been stuffed under the bed of room 112 of the Burgundy Motor Inn. A German couple managed to sleep there for one night, despite the smell, and it led to the discovery of the dead man when they complained the next day. The County’s Medical Examiner, Dr Hydow Park, concluded that death was due to exsanguination from chest and abdomen stab wounds. A follow-up article in the New York Times states a 17-year-old girl was charged on suspicion of murder.

 A slightly different way to report this one, in 1961 Jerry Lee Dunbar was born and sometime around May/June 1989 in Virginia he strangled two women and hid their bodies. Deidre Smith (27) and Marilyn Graham (29) were found murdered and left for guests to discover. Smith was found under the floor of a motel room on Route 1 and Graham under the bed in the Alexandria Econo Lodge (Murderpedia source). Dunbarr waived the rights to a jury trial, he was sentenced having been found guilty of both murders and sent to prison in 1990.

 CBS News reported a missing person found dead in a motel room, with a few frightening thoughts about the circumstances. Sony Millbrook reported missing on 27th January 2010, after she failed to pick her children up from school. On 15th March, 2010 homicide police were called to the room of a Budget Motel, Memphis, Tennessee when her body was found in the motel bed frame, she had been living there prior to her disappearance and after her room had been cleaned and rented several times. It had taken 47 days for her to be found and there are suggestions online that reports were made about a bad smell in between.

 Lakeith Moody was found guilty of strangling her to death and sentenced to life in prison. Moody was the father of four of Millbrook’s Children and was arrested several weeks later driving her car.

 Now don’t go thinking this is all exclusive to the USA either, poor Amphon Kongsong’s body was discovered in a hotel in Pattaya, Thailand. Two teenage boys of 14 years old and 17 years old were arrested for the murder of the transgender woman, the boys from Nakhon Ratchasima were tracked down by CCTV. The two boys had made friends with Amphon but she was apparently aggressive about the 17-year-old vying for sex, the fight turned lethal as he strangled her and the 14-year-old held her legs down.

 Having killed her they then stuffed her body under the mattress and a couple of tourists who used the room complaint about the odour, where upon her body was found.

 So, if you do get a funky smell in a room have I made you sufficiently paranoid?

 Sources: www.snopes.com/horrors/gruesome/bodybed.asp

www.bangkokpost.com

www.wreg.com

www.murderpedia.org

www.cbsnews.com

www.nytimes.com

www.thesun.co.uk

www.freerepublic.com

www.blumhouse.com