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Modern Mysteries

Crime historian digs for DB Cooper evidence

By T.K. Randall
August 9, 2021 · Comment icon 20 comments

Did Cooper bury his parachute and briefcase ? Image Credit: PD / US Government
A new effort is underway to uncover evidence that could help solve the infamous 50-year-old hijacking case.
Amateur crime historian Eric Ulis is conducting a two-day dig along Washington's Columbia River where he believes the mysterious hijacker known as DB Cooper may have buried some of the money he stole as well as his parachute and briefcase.

The hijacking occurred in 1971 when the 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.
$6,000 of the ransom money however was later discovered by a young boy in Washington in the same area that Ulis is now searching in the hope of finding further clues.

He believes that during their earlier investigation, the FBI had searched in the wrong area.

As things stand, however, the FBI considers the case closed and it is not looking to expend any more resources attempting to solve it.

If Ulis is going to get to the bottom of the mystery, therefore, he'll need to go it alone.

Source: AP News | Comments (20)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #11 Posted by Manwon Lender 3 years ago
Thanks for your thoughts on this, and .I don't disagree with you about that gentleman because I didn't research him like you did. I have also been following this case, for 30 plus years, because I found it really amazing. Here is the complete DB Copper Case File from the FBI Archive that was declassified through the freedom of information act. I have stayed on top of this file since it was released and while something's are redacted there is a great deal of very interesting information there.  D. B. Cooper FBI Case File :  I thought you guys may be intere... [More]
Comment icon #12 Posted by Myles 3 years ago
I don't buy that theory. It wouldn't be very smart to randomly throw thousands of dollars out of the back of a plane.  
Comment icon #13 Posted by Manwon Lender 3 years ago
I agree, in fact I think he died the night he jumped. I just see anyway you could survive jumping into forested mountainous terrain at night in a lighting and thunder storm using a chute with no control capabilities.  Thats some real crazy chit, you would need to be lucky like a million in one shot, nothing less!
Comment icon #14 Posted by Myles 3 years ago
I agree.   Not as exciting in thinking he survived and got away, but more realistic.  
Comment icon #15 Posted by Robotic Jew 3 years ago
Sadly, I think he perished as well. The fact that none of the other serial numbers have ever been identified as being used points in that direction as well. This case was one of the first "mysteries" I remember reading about as a child and it has always held a special place in my heart and mind. I have always wished he would either step forward with a death bed confession or that somebody stumbled across his final landing spot though. Perhaps it's the rebel in me but I always admired how he was able to steal money, not use a mask, and not harm a soul while doing so and no one has ever come for... [More]
Comment icon #16 Posted by Manwon Lender 3 years ago
You make some great points, and yea I feel the same way. It is easy to look at him as some kind of Robin Hood. But, there is one fact that stands out that say. He never made it, and that's the fact that none of the money was ever spent. Not a single bill have turned up with one of matching serial numbers. Now maybe he was a thrill seeker, and did it for that purpose alone. But, I think it can be assumed he didn't make it, and this mystery will never be solved!
Comment icon #17 Posted by TashaMarie 3 years ago
I did wonder whether that was his plan all along.  Nothing he did after taking off the second time seemed to me to make any sense, maybe it was his last hurrah, so to speak.  
Comment icon #18 Posted by Manwon Lender 3 years ago
That's very possible, I think more than anything he was a thrill seeker who wanted to see if it was possible. Unfortunately I think he found out it wasn't the hard way, I don't think this mystery will ever be solved and maybe that's the way he would have wanted it!
Comment icon #19 Posted by TashaMarie 3 years ago
I haven't checked out the FBI files yet, did the police check missing persons records to see if anyone fitting his deion was reported missing?  If he did die surely someone would have missed him.
Comment icon #20 Posted by NCC1701 3 years ago
That the money was never found doesn't mean he died. Maybe he got separated fom the money in a river and the money washed out to the ocean. He just swam to shore and went back home.

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