Thursday, November 24, 2011

D. B . Cooper Leaped into History 40 years ago Today


Today marks the 40th anniversary of the disappearance of D.B. Cooper, who on Thanksgiving Eve 1971 hijacked a Seattle-bound jetliner and parachuted into history with $200,000 in ransom money. It remains the nation's only unsolved skyjacking.

It is truly a great unsolved crime. The facts are as follows:
On a rainy Thanksgiving Eve in 1971
(November 24, 1971)

A passenger who gave his name as ‘Dan Cooper’ (the "D.B." is based on later errors in the media, but has become more widely known) boarded Flight 305 in Portland, Oregon, bound for Seattle. Using the threat of a bomb in his suitcase, Cooper hijacked the plane shortly after take off.

It landed in Seattle, where Cooper released the passengers unharmed in exchange for his ransom demands being met: $200,000 in unmarked bills and 4 parachutes. After taking on these items, Cooper directed the crew to take off once more, and fly to Reno, Nevada.

During this second flight, he sent all the crew to the cockpit, and parachuted from the plane with the money. He was never apprehended, and although approximately $5000 was later found in the area that he parachuted into, nothing else ever was. Cooper has never been identified, and his true name may never be known. The FBI has stated that it believes him to have died upon landing, and decayed to nothing before he could be found. Of course, they also claimed that he was rude and abusive in conversations with them, which is at variance with the recollections of the crew members who heard these conversations, so it’s possible that the Bureau may be engaged in a certain amount of ass-covering.
More about D.B. Cooper

The case of D.B. Cooper, the only unsolved airplane hijacking in United States history, may soon lose that distinction.

Or at least that's the hope of a man who is playing host at a symposium in Portland on Saturday about the infamous 40-year-old incident.

"There's going to be some discussion of new terrain," said Geoffrey Gray, author of "SKYJACK: The Hunt for D. B. Cooper."
The symposium, which is open to the public, will take place in the Pavilion East room of the Portland Hilton starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday. It will bring together many of the key people involved with investigating the case.
full story:

The cover of 1960s-era French-language comic book featuring the character Dan Cooper, a Royal Canadian Air Force test pilot who battles enemies on Earth and in space. The FBI now believe that the 1971 disappearance of hijacker-parachutist "D.B. Cooper" somewhere over the U.S. Pacific Northwest might have been influenced by the comic.
Photograph by: Handout, Handout.


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