Who is D. B. Cooper?
D. B. Cooper was (and is) an enigma. In 1971, he hijacked a plane, demanded and received $200,000 in ransom money, and then parachuted away.
No one knows what happened to him since.
The Day of the Hijacking
He took a Northwest Orient Airlines flight from Portland to Seattle. Aside from the bomb he had in his brief case, he was a decently polite guy from the accounts. He demanded money, fuel, and parachutes, while paying for his drinks in the air.
He landed, let all the passengers and some crew off, and after receiving his demands, took off with the crew again.
After a brief stop to refuel again, he jumped out of the airplane–but nobody noticed when. They only knew that he was no longer in the airplane and that the back airstairs had been opened.
And then he was gone. No one knows whether he survived the jump or not. Only one thing has been clear–no one can find D.B. Cooper.
The Pursuit of D. B. Cooper
For over 40 years, the FBI has pursued D. B. Cooper, trying to determine what happened. He’s the only airplane hijacker to get away.
The History Channel recently released a two-part documentary on D.B. Cooper. Please note, the videos are only available online through August 16, 2016.
The program detailed the work of 40 investigators, including a dozen retired FBI agents, who spent five years probing the case of the now mythic suspect, who bought his airline ticket under the alias “Dan Cooper,” and whose actions have spawned movies, rock songs and comic books.
The article goes into detail about a man accused of being D. B. Cooper, though the flight attendants don’t recognize him. Still, it’s worth a read.
I’m personally sympathetic to the theory that it was a man named Lynn Doyle Cooper. There’s more information about that at the bottom of this article.
The End of the Chase
Almost concurrent to when the History Channel released these videos, the FBI decided to stop actively pursuing this case.
According to the Huffington Post, they said:
“Although the FBI appreciated the immense number of tips provided by members of the public, none to date have resulted in a definitive identification of the hijacker,” Dietrich-Williams was quoted as saying. “The tips have conveyed plausible theories, descriptive information about individuals potentially matching the hijacker, and anecdotes ― to include accounts of sudden, unexplained wealth.”
While they have stopped actively pursuing the case, they will restart their efforts if they have a credible lead.
My guess is that they stopped the investigation because they assume he died.
What do you think happened to D. B. Cooper?