As Thanksgiving is just around the corner, let’s look at one of the most famous unsolved cases, in not just American history, but in the world. The entirely interesting case of the only FBI unsolved Air Piracy crime. The subject, Dan Cooper or D.B. Cooper as the media portrayed him to be.
So, what are the facts? Mr. Cooper hijacked a Boeing 727 Flight 305 out of Northwest Airlines going from Portland, OR to Seattle, WA around Thanksgiving 1971. He informed a flight attendant that he had a bomb in his briefcase, and he would blow the plane up if his demands of $200,000, 4 parachutes, and food for the crew before he released any of the passengers. With his demands met, he requested that the pilot fly him to Mexico. Somewhere over Portland, he lowered the rear stairs and jumped into the night never to be seen or heard from again. Two of the four parachutes were still on the plane, along with his black tie (speculative, never confirmed), and a book of matches that he used to smoke some cigarettes.
In the over 50 years since the hijacking, there have been many leads found, along with the possible flight path that Flight 305 took. After that there was the money that was found in Tena Bar. The most promising lead though comes from the clip-on tie. Found on it were trace amounts of pure titanium and 5000 series aluminum. This evidence not only narrowed down who Dan Cooper was, but also where he would have worked, as there are not many places that use pure titanium.
Even though we do not know who D.B. Cooper is, what we do know is that this is still a fascinating case that has created many pop-culture references and conspiracy theories galore. Will we ever learn who the mysterious man is? Time will tell and a good story will captivate many more who love a good mystery.
Happy Thanksgiving from AAPI!