The Case of D.B.Cooper

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There is a saying that “there is no such thing as perfect crime”. But D.B.Cooper totally proved this wrong. Now you would know this case or atleast you would have heared his name before, if not than still just read along you will know everything. In this column after a lot of research and reading documents provided by the FBI, I have brought togather almost everything we know about the case and D.B Cooper.

So, Starting from the very beginning . On the afternoon of November 24, 1971, a man calling himself Dan Cooper approached the counter of Northwest Orient Airlines in Portland, Oregon. He used cash to buy a one-way ticket on Flight 305 bound for Seattle, Washington. (The man used the alias Dan Cooper, but, in the subsequent news reporting, a reporter misheard the name as D.B. Cooper, which became widely used). This was the beganning of one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in the history FBI. Cooper was a quiet man who appeared to be in his mid-40s, wearing a business suit with a black tie and white shirt. He ordered a drink while the flight was waiting to take off. A short time after 3:00 p.m., he handed the stewardess a note indicating that he had a bomb in his briefcase. Opening a cheap case, Cooper showed her a glimpse of a mass of wires and red colored sticks and demanded that she write down what he told her. 

Soon, she was walking a note to the captain of the plane that demanded four parachutes and $200,000 in twenty-dollar bills. He demanded 4 parachutes so that the crew didn’t thought he is alone in this and that he has his friends among the masses. This was a very smart move by him. When the flight landed in Seattle, the hijacker exchanged the flight’s 36 passengers for the money and parachutes. Cooper kept several crew members, and the plane took off again, to set a course for Mexico City. Somewhere between Seattle and Reno, a little after 8:00 p.m., the hijacker did the incredible: He jumped out of the back of the plane with a parachute and the ransom money. The pilots landed safely, but Cooper had disappeared into the night and his ultimate fate remains a mystery to this day. The FBI launched what would become “one of the longest and most exhaustive investigations” in its history, known as NORJAK (Northwest Hijacking). The investigation lasted for 45 years but eventually had to close the case as they didn’t got any solid lead. There were several suspects over the years but all of them were ruled out. Richard Floyd McCoy was one of the favorite suspect of the authorities but he was too ruled out as he didn’t match the physical description. To this day we don’t actually know what happened after he jumped off the plane. But the FBI ruled out that he didn’t survive the jump as the parachute he ordered couldn’t be steered. In addition, he would have landed in a rugged, heavily wooded area. After years of dead-end leads, investigators received a break in 1980 when a boy found a decaying package containing $5,800. It was buried along the Columbia river north of Portland. The serial numbers of the money all of which were $20 bills matched those of the ransom. However, following an extensive search, nothing further was discovered. Although the FBI continued to receive tips, in 2016 the agency officially closed its investigation, stating that its resources could best be used on other cases.

This is the best and highly possible theory. But at the end of the day it’s still a theory and we don’t know weather cooper survived the jump or not. What are your thoughts and theories regarding this? Please do share in the comment section

2 comments

  1. Whao, awesome read.
    I personally think he didn’t survive the jump.
    People leave trails, it’s much easier to not leave the trails when you don’t move at all.
    Probably fell into the river or something that also explains the package with decaying money, I think the rest of the money drowned with him.

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