D.B. Cooper Hijacked A Plane, Jumped Into A Storm Without A Parachute, And Started A Trend

D.B. Cooper has done the only successful skyjacking in history

There are some modern American secrets that D.B. Cooper, the man who skyjacked a Boeing jet in 1971 before diving from the plane with $200,000 in cash and disappearing into thin air. The investigation has stalled since Cooper's disappearance, and with Cooper drawing more than one to work, they've never even come close to finding out who he really is. The case was officially dropped in 2016 after 45 years of speculation and a dead end, but that doesn't mean amateur investigators have stopped trying to unravel the mystery at the heart of the case.

On the afternoon of November 24, 1971, a man identifying himself as "Dan Cooper" (he was later misreported as "DB") was just a suitcase on a plane in Portland, Oregon. bound for Seattle along and sat back. He wore a sharp suit and tie, smoked a cigarette, and ordered a bourbon and soda. There didn't seem to be anything unusual about him by 1971 standards.

After taking off, he handed a note to a flight attendant informing him that he had a bomb in his briefcase. The suspicious woman asked to see the evidence, so she opened the briefcase to reveal a collection of wires, batteries and eight red cylinders. It may have been fake, but not wanting to take a chance, he gave a note to the pilot with a list of Cooper's demands: four parachutes, a fuel truck on standby in the Sea-Tac, a second flight to Mexico City, and $ 200,000 in cash.

Once the plane landed in Seattle, Cooper allowed the passengers to walk free and stayed on the plane to avoid the FBI snipers who, of course, were waiting for him. Once the parachute and penny were brought onto the plane, Cooper asked the pilot to fly it to Mexico and made sure he flew "low and slow". Cooper made his way down the aft stairs before opening the back door and exiting the plane with cash and two parachutes. That was the last time anyone saw him. That's enough for some to conclude that he didn't survive the jump, but others think he got away with it.

This is the U.S. The only unsolved air hijacking in history is

db Cooper certainly didn't invent skyjacking, but he's the only person who pulled one off without getting caught. In fact, a year after Cooper's prank, at least 15 imitators attempted their own sky-hurt, all of them failing. One of the criminals most inspired by Cooper was Richard McCoy, a former Utah Sunday school teacher who jumped from a plane flying over the state with $500,000. A few days later he was caught by the FBI and sentenced to 45 years in prison. Glenn K. Tripp picks up Cooper's ideas of demanding a parachute and cash, but Taste is thrown into the murder of his boss, though he is thwarted by a flight attendant, who drugged him with Valium to buy time until the authorities arrived. Gave. He attempted to hijack another plane while on probation but was shot and killed by FBI agents during the crime.

That's DB. Where did Cooper succeed where so many failed? Amateur spies believe he was connected to Boeing in some way, possibly as a pilot or engineer, such that he knew how to keep the plane low and slow for its final jump. The criminals who followed in his footsteps did not know his insides.

A bundle of Cooper's money was found nine years after he jumped

If Cooper didn't survive his jump, his body would never have been found. In fact, the only trace of Cooper ever found was found in 1980, when a bundle worth more than $5,000 was discovered by a boy in his twenties in the Pacific Northwest. The money was stuffed into a bag sitting a few feet from the Columbia River, and it was soon authenticated by FBI technicians as part of Cooper's disguise. The FBI campaigned in a field near the river hoping to find some traces of Cooper, even a piece of clothing, but they came up empty. The most notable absence, of course, was the rest of the money, giving proponents of the "Cooper life" theory all the confirmation they needed. After all, where did the rest of the thousands of dollars go if Cooper hadn't been there?

There are several theories about Cooper's identity.

In the decades since Cooper's leap, amateur investigators have identified a number of people they believe to be mysterious criminals. Some of them have even made their mark. Three days before Duane Weber's death in 1995, he confessed on his deathbed to his wife that he was Cooper. His widow noted that Weber often dreamed of jumping out of a plane and drank bourbon and chain-smoked, just like Cooper, but the FBI dismissed him as a suspect in 1998, when technicians concluded Turned out that his fingerprints did not match his. on the flight.

Kenny Christiansen was identified as another suspect, although not by the FBI. It was actually Christiansen's brother who became convinced after watching a television documentary on the matter that he was Cooper. It all seemed fine: according to his brother, Christiansen was trained as a paratrooper, paid in full for a house in cash just months after the kidnapping, and just before his death had a vague The secret was confessed. A lot of that didn't turn out to be true---he wasn't skilled enough at skydiving to pull off the crime, and amateur investigators trace his finances to legitimate sources---perhaps that's why the FBI never took him seriously. Not taken from a suspect. Nevertheless, his brother so wholeheartedly believed in the story that he tried to persuade Nora Efron to make a film about it.

One of the most scrutinized characters in this story is Robert W. Rackstraw, a former Army soldier familiar with parachuting and demolition, who ran a boat shop until the end of his life. When the FBI investigated him in the '70s, they claimed there was not enough evidence to link him to the Cooper case, but historians and conspirators still question his findings today. Rackstraw passed away in 2019, so if he hijacked a 1971 flight, he got away with it for the rest of his life.

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