New clue emerges in DB Cooper hijacking case
By T.K. Randall
January 22, 2017 · 15 comments
Cooper's tie has yielded an important new clue. Image Credit: PD / US Government
An independent investigation in to the long-running mystery has managed to dig up an important new clue.
The infamous hijacking occurred in 1971 when a mysterious man, who at the time went by the name Dan Cooper, boarded Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 305 to travel from Portland to Seattle.
During the trip, Cooper called over one of the flight attendants and asked them to write out a note declaring that he had a bomb in his briefcase and that the plane was being hijacked.
When the aircraft stopped at Tacoma International Airport he allowed the passengers to leave in exchange for four parachutes and the sum of $200,000 in cash.
After the plane had taken off again, Cooper strapped the bag of money to himself, put on one of the parachutes and jumped out somewhere between Seattle and Reno. No trace of him was ever found.
Now though, a team of scientists working for Citizen Sleuths - a group that has been attempting to solve the case for years - may have finally determined where Cooper used to work.
One of the few pieces of physical evidence left behind by Cooper was a black tie that was found sitting on his airplane seat. By using modern forensic techniques, the team was able to identify traces of "rare earth elements" on the tie including a surprising amount of titanium.
Because this metal was very rare back in 1971, the presence of it on Cooper's formal clothes significantly narrowed down the number of places where he was likely to have worked.
The investigators ultimately determined that he was most likely to have worked at Boeing - the company responsible for building the airplane in which the hijacking took place.
"The tie went with him into these manufacturing environments, for sure, so he was not one of the people running these [manufacturing machines]," said lead researcher Tom Kaye.
"He was either an engineer or a manager in one of the plants."
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