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Modern Mysteries

Has DB Cooper finally been identified ?

By T.K. Randall
January 9, 2018 · Comment icon 45 comments

A letter written by Cooper could hold the key to identifying him. Image Credit: PD / US Government
A hidden code may have finally lifted the lid on the mysterious hijacker known as DB Cooper.
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 around 40 former FBI agents, forensic scientists and private investigators believe that they may have finally discovered Cooper's real identity.

Their investigations uncovered five typed letters that Cooper had allegedly written and sent out to various newspapers following the hijacking. The letters had been held in the FBI archives for many years and were only made available following a Freedom of Information Act request.

At the bottom of one of the letters Cooper had written a mysterious sequence of numbers that experts now believe to be a reference to three covert military units which operated during the Vietnam War.

As it turns out, one of the original suspects in the DB Cooper case was a Vietnam veteran who happened to have ties to all three of those units.

Efforts are now underway to conclusively tie him to the case and solve the mystery once and for all.

Source: IFL Science | Comments (45)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #36 Posted by Skulduggery 6 years ago
I can say this, though. When I was in basic training for the Army, I had a drill sergeant who looked like he was pushing 60, full head of gray hair and all. He looked very well-warn. He was actually 29. Looks can be really deceptive. Rackstraw's age definitely made me question this at first, though. I can't wait to see how this plays out.
Comment icon #37 Posted by _KB_ 6 years ago
Intriguing, the justice system over there seems fairly different from the one over here
Comment icon #38 Posted by regi 6 years ago
I appreciate that, but in this instance, it's my opinion that Rackstraw didn't appear to be mid-forties.
Comment icon #39 Posted by Skulduggery 6 years ago
I agree. He definitely didn't. However, I do enjoy looking at all possibilities sometimes. I'm definitely not convinced Rackstraw actually is the guy, but damn, they are really trying to paint a picture. That letter is interesting, TBH. I'm not convinced any of the suspects are the highjacker. I've been following this thing for years but apparently missed all the Colbert stuff till now. Last couple of years have preoccupied me with other things, so a lot of this is new to me. I do think 'Crazy Uncle L.D.' and Weber should be looked into further, especially Weber. I'm aware of the DNA testing,... [More]
Comment icon #40 Posted by Myles 6 years ago   The mysterious plane hijacker known as "D.B. Cooper," who has eluded authorities for more than 45 years, was an ex-military paratrooper from Michigan who boasted about the daring heist to a friend, a publisher plans to reveal Thursday. Michigan publisher Principa Media says Cooper was former military paratrooper and intelligence operative Walter R. Reca, and Principa worked with Reca's best friend, Carl Laurin, in compiling the evidence. While the publisher did not disclose if... [More]
Comment icon #41 Posted by powerplant 6 years ago
I don't put much stock into this suspect. The audio interview made me cringe. The guy asking the interview questions is very disingenuous, he totally leads the interviewee into giving answers. Really makes me question the competence of the people doing the investigation.  (the wrong way to conduct an interview, the person asking the question reveals all the details)  Interviewer: "When you asked for the ransom money, did you ask for all $20 bills?" Suspect: "Yeah I did"  (the right way to conduct an interview -- the person answering reveals the details) Interviewer: "Could you tell me about... [More]
Comment icon #42 Posted by Maureen_jacobs 6 years ago
Need to ask a question.  According to something I just saw, there were 4 red sticks in briefcase that he said was a bomb.  Isn’t it possible that these 4 red sticks were flares that he used as he jumped to see the ground?
Comment icon #43 Posted by Skulduggery 6 years ago
That is an interesting line of thinking, to be honest. I figure there's not a definitive way to know nowadays. That's not a bad idea. I don't believe his so-called bomb was ever inspected while in the air. Was it? It would have been difficult to juggle the parachute, money and flares, I'd imagine. It isn't impossible, though. I don't know much about that kind of thing. If my grandfather was still alive, I'd ask him a few questions. He'd both flown planes and made jumps with flares. That is a really creative thought.
Comment icon #44 Posted by BrooklynGuy 6 years ago
The search for D.B. Cooper: Investigators say they've confirmed skyjacker's identity by decoding long-lost 'confession'
Comment icon #45 Posted by Maureen_jacobs 5 years ago
But was he caught?   He may have been called out, but never served any time.  He did win if it were he.

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