The tie clip, pictured in Figure 1, was attached to the tie found on the cushion of seat 18E, which was where Cooper sat . The clip is unremarkable and slightly damaged with a bent alligator clip on the rear making it hard to remove and replace.
Silver particles were found on the tie that potentially could come from the tie clip. Scrapings from the alligator clip on the rear were analyzed using energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) under the electron microscope . In addition to the EDS analysis, a new discovery was made after macro photographs were taken of the tie during the 2011 Seattle examination. Figure 3 shows two puncture holes, one of which has a small depression. These punctures were found on the center line of the tie in the area of the tie clip. These holes provide evidence that there was a tie tack pinned through the tie. This discovery was made after leaving Seattle so no corresponding hole in the other end of the tie could be confirmed in just the pictures.
It was observed that the tie clip found with the tie, left marks on the back of the tie once removed. There were very few of these marks indicating that the current tie clip was not removed and replaced very often. The permanent depression left in the tie, by the now absent tie tack, suggested that a single tie tack was present on the tie for an extended period of time.
The tie clip has been discussed publicly as a potential way to identify Cooper in a suspect photo. The additional discovery of the tie tack holes and the depression suggesting that it had been in place for a period of time, adds a tie tack to the list of possible connections to Cooper.
1. FBI Transcript: "A black clip-on tie which contained a tie clip, yellow gold in color, with a round, white pearl in the center, was located in the seat allegedly used by the hijacker. The tie bore the label "Towncraft", a trade-mark of the J.C. Penny, Company. Tie and clip were found on seat 18E and Stewardess TINA MUCKLOW, after seeing the tie, said it possibly belonged to the hijacker."
2. Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy detects the wavelength of the x-rays given off by any element in the sample when bombarded by electrons from the electron microscope.