On the day before Thanksgiving, November 24, 1971, an unremarkable middle-aged man bought a plane ticket under the name Dan Cooper, paid with cash, and boarded the Boeing 727 for a short afternoon flight from Portland to Seattle.
He sat by himself in the back row of Northwest Orient Flight 305.
He ordered a bourbon and soda, and slipped a note to flight attendant Florence Schaffner shortly after takeoff.
Schaffner assumed it was just another passenger slipping her his phone number and slipped it into her pocket. Cooper urged her to read it.
On the note, Cooper had written, “Miss, I have a bomb here. I want you to sit by me.”
“When you think of the Grateful Dead, you think of peace and love and music and community,” podcaster Jake Brennan tells The Daily Beast. “You don’t think of murder and true crime.”
Brennan and co-host Payne Lindsey are behind the podcast Dead and Gone, which has been grabbing attention since its release earlier this month for its investigations into the unusual spate of missing and murdered fans of the Grateful Dead, better known as Deadheads. (The aforementioned cases are just a handful of the examples.)
There’s a record-scratch intrigue in the seeming dissonance between the vibe associated with the psychedelics-devouring, hippie-skewing, tie-dye-wearing anti-establishment fan community and the darkness underscoring the violent crimes and mysteries outlined in Dead and Gone.
The podcast explores the surprising darkness at the core of the Dead’s music and the culture surrounding them, and the phenomenon of how susceptible Deadheads, in their free-wheeling nature, have been to predation. (After founding member Jerry Garcia’s death in 1995, surviving band members continued to tour.)
The husband and son of a New Jersey federal judge were shot at their home Sunday afternoon, and a massive law enforcement response is underway.
Three senior law enforcement officials tell News 4 New York that a gunman shot Judge Esther Salas’s spouse and child at their North Brunswick home around 5 p.m. Sunday. Both are in very critical condition, the sources said.
Preliminary indications are that the husband answered the door and was shot multiple times; the son came running to the door and was shot as well before the gunman fled, the sources said. Judge Salas was believed to be in the basement at the time of the shooting.
In the middle of a Russian swampland, not far from the city of St Petersburg, is a rectangular iron gate. Beyond its rusted bars is a collection of radio towers, abandoned buildings and power lines bordered by a dry-stone wall. This sinister location is the focus of a mystery which stretches back to the height of the Cold War.
It is thought to be the headquarters of a radio station, “MDZhB”, that no-one has ever claimed to run. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, for the last three-and-a-half decades, it’s been broadcasting a dull, monotonous tone. Every few seconds it’s joined by a second sound, like some ghostly ship sounding its foghorn. Then the drone continues.
Once or twice a week, a man or woman will read out some words in Russian, such as “dinghy” or “farming specialist”. And that’s it. Anyone, anywhere in the world can listen in, simply by tuning a radio to the frequency 4625 kHz.
It’s so enigmatic, it’s as if it was designed with conspiracy theorists in mind. Today the station has an online following numbering in the tens of thousands, who know it affectionately as “the Buzzer”. It joins two similar mystery stations, “the Pip” and the “Squeaky Wheel”. As their fans readily admit themselves, they have absolutely no idea what they are listening to.
Russian officials have announced that their reopened investigation into the infamous Dyatlov Pass incident determined that an avalanche and subsequent hypothermia were to blame for the tragic event, but not everyone’s convinced of the findings. The decision to take a fresh look at the curious case sparked headlines and excitement back in February of 2019 when it was announced in conjunction with the 60th anniversary of the eerie 1959 episode in which nine hikers in the Ural Mountains died under mysterious circumstances. Now, nearly 18 months later, the results of what was promised to be a rigorous study have been released to the public.
While many had hoped that the new investigation would examine some of the more exotic suggestions for what caused the incident, such as a Yeti attack or a weapons test gone wrong, it was made clear very early on the process that only prosaic explanations would be explored. This was revealed at the start of the study when lead investigator Andrei Kuryakov told reporters that “all fantastic theories have been dropped” and that “it is absolutely out of question” that the event had any connection to a clandestine government operation.
Therefore, it was not altogether surprising when Kuryakov held a press conference this past weekend in Russia and indicated that the months-long investigation into the case had concluded that the hikers perished due to an unfortunate series of natural events. Detailing what he believed to be the group’s fateful final hours, he explained that the injuries sustained by the young men and women were akin to those suffered by “rock climbers caught in an avalanche.” More specifically, Kuryakov said, when the hikers realized that their camp was about to be overwhelmed by snow, they fled the area to seek a safer shelter approximately a mile and a half away.
Alas, this only compounded the predicament as the ill-equipped group lost sight of their tent due to poor visibility and ultimately succumbed to hypothermia over the course of the evening as they were battered by a blizzard as well as unsuccessful and sometimes injurious attempts to return to the camp under those perilous conditions. No doubt trying to close the book on the Dyatlov Pass incident once and for all, Kuryakov declared that the avalanche theory “has found its full confirmation” via the new investigation. “It was a heroic struggle. There was no panic,” he mused, “but they had no chance to save themselves under the circumstances.”
As one might imagine, the results of the investigation have already been called into question by longtime Dyatlov Pass researchers as it fails to answer a number of questions surrounding the case. Additionally, the decision to only look at natural events from the outset has raised suspicions that the new study is really a cover-up of the clandestine weapons test theory. To that end, a group of independent researchers who have been looking into the case for the last twenty years expressed dismay at the findings and called for yet another official investigation into the case. Considering that the Russian government has portrayed their conclusions as rather definitive, it’s doubtful that the case will be officially re-opened any time soon or ever again, despite the misgivings of critics.