Principia Media Company Profile
In 2011, West Michigan native, entrepreneur and businessman, Vern Jones, opened a publishing company, after personally realizing the struggles so many authors have with getting their books into readers’ hands in today’s quickly-changing publishing industry. Instead of offering the traditional route, where authors and producers retain no rights to their intellectual property, Jones and co-founders, Dirk Wierenga, Irene Jones and Julie Hurley, started a company that provides the support, creativity and resources needed to bring a book or a film to its fullest potential.Read More
Principia Media in the News
KING 5's Chris Ingalls reacts to claim that Michigan man was D.B. Cooper
June 15, 2018
In the early part of 2016, Principia Editor Lisa McNeilley contacted Dirk Wierenga, its Director of Publishing, and explained that her uncle had a manuscript for them to consider publishing. He did not trust big publishers, from personal experience, and wanted to work with a small publisher he could have confidence in. Wierenga called Jones and explained the potential bombshell of a book to him: the manuscript not only purported to solve a decades old crime, but revealed a fascinating character that led a life of danger, deceit and intrigue.
Wierenga relayed the details of his hour-long conversation with the author, Carl, about his friend – who happened to be D.B. Cooper, the famous skyjacker — to Jones. “I am a die-hard skeptic of anything that resembles a conspiracy or a miraculous discovery,” said Jones. Wierenga encouraged Jones to contact the author and to keep an open mind.
Reluctantly agreeing to do so, Jones called Carl, expecting it to be a very short conversation. They spoke for over two hours. Carl was convinced that his friend was D.B. Cooper, and said he had evidence to back up his claims. Jones later learned that he had been working on unraveling this mystery for nearly 20 years. The two arranged a face-to-face meeting at the author’s home, on April Fool’s day, no less.
There, Carl gave Jones a tour of his home and “research” trailer. He learned of Cooper’s beginnings as a member of a crazy and reckless group of young men who pioneered the sport of recreational skydiving. He also learned of Cooper’s early brushes with the law, his time as an enforcer for the Teamsters under Hoffa, jumping bail after an armed robbery, and later hijacking a plane and parachuting out. Carl also revealed the identity of a man, later nicknamed Cowboy, who claimed to have met Cooper about 20 minutes after he landed near a town just over 80 miles southeast of Seattle. Cowboy was willing to speak with Jones about the events of that pivotal evening. The content of the conversation was also backed up by mounds of credible evidence.
Then, the story became interesting. Jones learned that the hijacking of a Boeing 727 on the eve of Thanksgiving in 1971 was the least dangerous, least interesting and least illegal thing that D.B. Cooper had done. He would go on to lead a life filled with duplicity, betrayal and deception, and integrated himself into the most notorious crime stories across the globe.
On April 2, 2016, Principia Media decided to take on the project.
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