I have searched all over and dont see this anywhere so I will assume I am just ignorant about something here...
Just to be clear, I am attempting this in my own lab at the office with an access point that I already know the key....

The password to the Access point in my lab is "starwars", WPA-PSK
I cat'ed the dictionary I am using and verified that this term is in the dictionary.
The dictionary I am using is the "/pentest/passwords/wordlists/darkc0de.lst" dictionary
that comes with BT5R1.

On to my question:

I am able to capture the WPA handshake with airodump-ng and I have had no issues with that...
but when I attempt to crack the password using the darkc0de.lst wordlist, Aircrack does not find the password.
When I run the same wordlist and capture file through cowpatty, it finds the key...

On the flipside, I created a test dictionary by "echo starwars > testfile.lst" (verifying the password was in this dictionary and
speeding up my test) and when I ran cowpatty against this file, It did NOT find the password, but aircrack-ng found the password with
not problems..

I have read some things online about aircrack not liking certain formats? When I "cat -A" the darkc0de.lst I see "^M" at the end if many of the
words in the list. Editing the list with VI, (which sees the ^M character) I inserted the password "starwars" ino the file and Aircrack found the key,
When I inserted "starwars^M" into the same file,(similar to many of the other words in the list) It did not find the password.

Question 1: What the heck is ^M? I assume it means line break or something? Googled it to no avail. Looked through several books and found nothing.

Question 2: What would cause Aircrack and cowpatty to behave this way? What can I do to ensure if the password is in the list, Each tool will
find the password? I would prefer to use aircrack-ng because I can export the key to a file (makes scripting easier) and it seems to be MUCH faster at finding the keys than cowpatty, but cowpatty seems to be better at finding the password's with the darkc0de.lst wordlist.

Sorry if I was long winded, Just trying to give as many facts as possible. I am confused. Maybe someone with more smarts can enlighten me

And yes, I did search the forum's and google for a couple of hours before posing this question, If the answer is out there, I simply have not found it.

Thank you in advance for any help with this matter.