Hijacking can be defined as the act of seizing an aircraft, vehicle, or ship by an individual or a group of people unlawfully while the vehicle or the aircraft is in transit. DB Cooper is used to describe an unidentified person who had hijacked a Boeing 727 aircraft in the air space of the United States between Portland and Seattle on November 24, 1971.
The hijacker parachuted out of the aircraft with the collected ransom money. Even after an extensive manhunt, the hijacker was never identified or caught, which made the case of DB Cooper to be one of the greatest unsolved mysterious cases in U.S. history.
This article provides information on the mysterious case of DB Cooper and also provides brief information on the recent amendments in the case.
Hijacking by DB Cooper
On the afternoon of November 24, 1971, a middle-aged man who was carrying a black case arrived at the flight counter of the northwest orient airlines at Portland international airport. He called himself Dan Cooper and used cash to buy a one-way ticket, for the flight that was bound for Seattle, Washington.
Cooper seemed to be a quiet man who appeared to be in his mid-40s. He was wearing a business suit with a black tie and a white-colored shirt. He ordered a drink while the flight was waiting for taking off. He handed the air hostess a note sometime after it was 3.00 pm.
The note indicated that Cooper had a bomb in his briefcase and wanted her to sit with him. The astound air hostess did what she was asked to do. Cooper opened his case and gave a glimpse of the mass of wires and the red colored sticks. He ordered her to write down another note. The note demanded four parachutes and $200,000 in twenty-dollar bills. She walked along with the note to the captain of the plane.
In Seattle when the flight landed, DB Cooper exchanged the 36 passengers on the plane for money and the parachutes. Cooper yet withheld several crew members in the plane and the plane again took off. He commanded to set a course for Mexico City.
In the U.S. air space between Seattle and Reno around 8:00 pm, the hijacker jumped out from the back of the plane with the parachutes and the ransom money. The pilots of the plane landed safely, although Cooper had disappeared and is still a mystery till date.
Investigation of the Case
An extensive investigation of the case was carried out by the FBI. 66 unidentified latent fingerprints were recovered from the aircraft. The FBI agents also discovered the black clip-on tie that belonged to DB Cooper, his tie clip, and two of the four parachutes, one which had been opened and two shroud lines cut from the canopy. A series of sketches were made based on the information given by the eyewitnesses.
A precise search area was very difficult to determine. All the consecutive investigations failed to prove whether or not Cooper survived his fateful jump. Many suspects were interrogated but all in vain, some did not match the DNA recovered from the tie and some did not match the physical evidence found.
Recent Amendments in the Case
FBI suspended the case of DB Copper on July 8th in the year 2016. The 60 volume case file of the DB Cooper case that compiled over the 45-year course of the investigation is preserved for the historical purpose at FBI Headquarters in Washington D.C.
Using the electron microscope and a new theory, scientist Tom Kaye has revealed a new clue in the 49-year-old case of the skyjacker DB Cooper in the year 2020. The microscope was used to identify the diatoms on the Cooper’s ransom money that was discovered mysteriously buried beneath the sand on the bank of the Columbia River.