D.B Cooper

D. B Cooper took over a plane and made it land in Seattle. He asked for money and got it. Then he jumped out of the plane with a parachute and nobody found him after that.

Real Name: Unknown, Dan Cooper is believed to be an alias
Aliases: Dan Cooper
Wanted For: Hijacking, Theft
Missing Since: November 24, 1971


At 2PM on November 24, 1971, a man purchased a one-way coach ticket on a Northwest Airlines Boeing 727 from Portland, Oregon, to Seattle, Washington. He paid in cash and claimed his name was “Dan Cooper”. The only luggage he carried was an attache case. Once the plane was in flight, he handed a note to Florence Shaffner, a stewardess, who thought little of it at first, as stewardesses sometimes were slipped phone numbers by male passengers. At one point Cooper quietly told Shaffner “Miss, you better take a look at that note”, which told that he had a bomb in his attache case.
Cooper opened his carry-on attache case to reveal sticks of dynamite, and ordered Shaffner to pass the note to the captain, but for her and the other crew members not to spread alarm; acting casual and behaving as if nothing was out of the ordinary. The note also ordered the captain to divert the plane to Seattle, which the pilots did, informing air traffic control of the hijacking. However, they told the passengers that they were diverting due to mechanical failure. Cooper also requested four parachutes (two front pack and two back pack) and $200,000 in cash, asking that the plane not land until the requests were met.

The FBI put together the ransom money. Each bill was photographed and the serial numbers were recorded. Cooper insisted that the plane be immediately re-fueled upon landing in Seattle. He wanted the plane to stay on the runway, and not be taxied to the terminal. He also did not want any of the passengers released until his demands were met. At 5:43PM, the plane landed at the Seattle airport. The plane was parked in a remote area of the field.
While the passengers grumbled, they never suspected they were hijacked until being on terra firma when they were interrogated by the FBI (for composite information about Cooper). Once on the ground, an FBI agent took the money and parachutes to one of the flight attendants, who then took the items to Cooper. No one knew that one of the parachutes was defective. The FBI was worried that he would use the chutes to take hostages.
Finally, he ordered the flight crew to release the passengers but continued to keep the captain and one of the flight attendants captive. He then had the plane take off again at 7:37PM, having it fly from Seattle to Mexico City at a height of 10,000 feet and a speed of 200 mph. He agreed to stop for re-fueling in Reno, Nevada. He also requested to have the back stairwell down. However, the plane could not fly in this condition, so it was not done. At around 8:10PM over the Lewis River in southern Washington, Cooper opened the rear exit door while in flight and jumped with the cash, no visible protective gear and only a parachute into obscurity. He, the money and parachutes were never seen again.
To date, this is the only unsolved sky-jacking in the history of aviation. The FBI thoroughly investigated the case, chasing several leads and suspects. The press dubbed this character “D.B. Cooper,” who was only known on the flight manifest as Dan Cooper. No one could find a trace of him nor locate any of the stolen traceable cash.

In November of 1978, a plastic sign from a Boeing 727 was discovered in the woods near the bail-out area. Fifteen months later, on February 10, 1980, some of the marked cash was found dredged in the mud near the Columbia River, twenty-five miles from his apparent jump point. These clues suggest to some that Cooper either perished in the woods or landed in the Columbia and drowned. However, others believe from his coolness and planning that he actually survived and got away with one of the most daring crimes of the twentieth century.
Some believe that he would have been unable to navigate the difficult terrain that he landed in, especially if he was injured and wearing only a business suit. However, some have suggested that he may have been wearing more suitable clothing underneath that would have helped him.
There have been several theories as to who Cooper really was. One suspect was Richard McCoy, who hijacked a plane in April of 1972. He extorted $500,000, but was arrested during his hijacking attempt. After he escaped from prison several months later, he was killed in a gun battle with the FBI. Due to the similarities in the crimes and their photos, some believe that McCoy and Cooper are one in the same.
When Unsolved Mysteries re-examined the case, they had a new composite made of Cooper. Working with a new forensic artist, they gave Florence Schaffner, the stewardess to which he handed the note, a chance to recommission a new likeness. Most of the Americans who heard his voice said that he had a Mid-Western accent. It was also believed that due to Cooper’s demand for parachutes and his escape that the man was a military veteran, likely certified as a paratrooper.

FACTS from Wikipedia

In 1978, a sign with directions for lowering the back stairs of a 727 airplane was found by a deer hunter near a logging road about 13 miles east of Castle Rock, Washington. This was not far from Lake Merwin, where Flight 305 was supposed to go.

In 1980, an 8-year-old boy named Brian Ingram found something on a beach called Tina (or Tena) Bar, near the Columbia River. It was about 9 miles from Vancouver, Washington and 20 miles from Ariel. He found three bags of the ransom money while he was cleaning the sandy riverbank to make a campfire. The money was torn apart but still kept together with rubber bands. FBI experts said that it was part of the ransom money. There were two groups of 100 twenty-dollar bills and one group of 90 bills, all in the same order as when Cooper got them. In 1986, after long talks, the found money was split equally between Ingram and Northwest Orient’s insurance company. The FBI kept fourteen bills as evidence. In 2008, Ingram sold 15 of his bills at an auction for around $37,000. So far, none of the 9,710 missing bills have been found anywhere in the world. The serial numbers can still be looked up by anyone on the internet. The only things from the hijacking found outside the plane are the ransom money from the Columbia River and the air stair instruction placard.

In 2017, a group of people who help for free found something they think could be an old parachute strap in the Pacific Northwest. Later in August 2017, a piece of foam was found and believed to be from Cooper’s backpack.
Later information from the FBI

In 2007, the FBI said they found some DNA on Cooper’s tie from 2001, but they’re not sure it’s from the hijacker. Special Agent Fred Gutt said there were two small DNA samples and one big sample in the tie. “We can’t be sure about the results from these samples. The Bureau shared new evidence, like Cooper’s 1971 plane ticket and sketches, and asked the public for help. “
They also said that Cooper picked an older parachute instead of a better one, and he chose a fake reserve parachute that wouldn’t work. He used the other parachute to tie the money bag and attach it to himself. The FBI said the extra parachute was not supposed to be in the bag, it was a mistake.In March 2009, the FBI announced that Tom Kaye, a dinosaur scientist from the Burke Museum in Seattle, had put together a group of regular people to help solve a mystery. The team included an artist and a metal expert. The Cooper Research Team looked into the case again using new technology, but didn’t find much new information about the ransom money or where Cooper landed. However, they did examine tiny particles on Cooper’s tie using a special microscope. Small particles of Lycopodium (probably from medicine) were found, along with pieces of bismuth and aluminum

In November 2011, Kaye said that they found pieces of pure titanium on the tie. He said that titanium was harder to find in the 1970s than it is now. It was mainly used in metal factories or chemical companies to store dangerous substances. The evidence showed that Cooper might have worked in a factory as a chemist, metal expert, engineer, or manager. These were the only employees who wore ties in those places back then. In January 2017, Kaye found rare earth minerals like cerium and strontium sulfide in particles from the tie. In the 1970s, Boeing used these special elements for their supersonic transport project. This could mean that Cooper worked at Boeing. Other places where the material could have come from are the plants that made cathode ray tubes, like the companies Teledyne and Tektronix in Portland. Agents believed that Cooper may have chosen his fake name from a well-liked comic book character called Dan Cooper, who was a brave pilot in the Canadian Air Force and did many daring things in his stories. A picture of a Dan Cooper comic cover is on the FBI website. It shows test pilot Cooper skydiving in a paratrooper uniform. Some people think Cooper saw these comics while serving in Europe because they were never in English or brought to the U.S. The Cooper Research Team thinks that maybe Cooper was Canadian and found the comics in Canada, where they were being sold. They noticed that he asked for “negotiable American money,” which is not a common way for Americans to talk. Since he didn’t have a noticeable accent, they thought he might be from Canada if he wasn’t from the U.S Person who belongs to a country and has certain rights and responsibilities


As per the FBI website, Seattle FBI agent Larry Carr has some ideas about the Cooper case.

Carr thinks that Cooper got ideas from a French comic book called “Dan Cooper. “
Carr doesn’t think Cooper survived the jump. “He came from somewhere and someone. ” “And that’s what we want to find out. ” According to what he has learned, here is Carr’s description of Cooper: He was in the Air Force and was stationed in Europe, where he may have started liking Dan Cooper comic books.
In 1971, he loaded cargo onto planes and learned a lot about the early aviation industry.
Cooper had to throw things out of planes for his job, so he would have worn an emergency parachute just in case he fell out. This would have given him some information about parachutes, but not enough to actually survive the jump he did.
He might be from the East Coast, but he got a job working with airplanes in Seattle after he left the military. He might have lost his job when the aviation industry had a hard time in 1970-71. If he didn’t have many friends or family, no one would have noticed if he was gone.

extra notes

This case was on the show that aired on October 12, 1988. It was shown on two TV shows, Brad Meltzer’s Decoded and Unsolved History. It also made the movies The Pursuit of D. B popular Cooper (1981) and Without A Paddle (2004) movies had an impact on an episode of the TV show “Leverage. ” The movies were also made fun of in the show “Drunk History” along with other cases.
Because many people knew about the case, a lot of different people were thought to be the suspect. Some widow women said their husbands told them they were “Dan Cooper” before they died. Also, a man named John Emil List who killed his family in 1971 was considered a suspect because it happened in the same year as the skyjacking and the money demanded was similar to the amount of money he owed. But after being put in prison, List said he wasn’t involved in the Cooper case. In the end, he was not considered a suspect.
In 2011, it was reported that the FBI is looking into a new person of interest named Lynn Doyle Cooper, who died in 1999. Because they didn’t have enough information, the FBI stopped looking into the case in 2016. But even after that, they have found new information and possible people who might have done it. This includes Robert Rackstraw and Walter Reca. The FBI has not said anything about these people.