D.B. Cooper: The Parachuting Airline-Hijacker

Do you reckon D B Cooper survived?

  • yes

    Votes: 19 51.4%
  • no

    Votes: 18 48.6%

  • Total voters
    37

Carse

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Unless it has been stored in very carefully controlled conditions I'd expect after 47 years it will have been contaminated with all sorts of 'particles'. I've always found the Cooper skyjacking fascinating but I reckon there's a well dressed skeleton hanging by parachord from tree somewhere out in the wilderness.
 

Ringo

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That the money hasn't surfaced in circulation is quite telling.

However, he may have had an elaborate scheme. Such as this...

He dumps some bundles near the river and walks out. When he has eventually made it South or North of the border, he exchanges his USD for something else. Not at the local bank or exchange office but with some criminal connections. Maybe the gang realised then who he was and knew that the money was hot. It couldn't go into circulation so it's just stored somewhere in a back room.

It's maybe just my wild imaginings but I could imagine that well organised gangs have money they can spend and then money that just gets used in deals or transferred around.
 

Mythopoeika

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It's maybe just my wild imaginings but I could imagine that well organised gangs have money they can spend and then money that just gets used in deals or transferred around.
Like stolen art that never gets sold. It just gets traded around, between criminals.
 

Ringo

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Like stolen art that never gets sold. It just gets traded around, between criminals.
Yeah. The image that pops to my mind is from the movie BLOW with Jonnie Depp. They have so much cash that they don't know where to put it all. Cooper may have traded the USD for something else and that cash is now mothballed or itself lost/destroyed in some sort of plan gone wrong.

Or then again, maybe the cash has resurfaced but the FBI don't want to admit it.
 

escargot

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Reminds me of Breaking Bad, when there's so much cash being paid in from the drug manufacture/dealing that Walt can't handle it any more.


f he'd stopped sooner, when he'd covered his treatment expenses and had enough extra to provide for his family, he wouldn't have this problem. Trouble was, he started enjoying the excitement.

breaking-bad-money-pile.png
 

EnolaGaia

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... A powerful electron microscope found more than 100,000 particles on old the JCPenny tie, including cerium, strontium sulfide and pure titanium.

“These are what they call rare earth elements. They’re used in very narrow fields, for very specific things,” said Tom Kaye, lead researcher for the group that calls itself Citizen Sleuths.

Kaye said the elements were rarely used in 1971, during the time of Cooper’s daring leap with a parachute from the passenger jet

This is interesting, but I suspect its face-value significance is being overestimated ...

Cerium is the only 'rare earth' among the three listed trace findings. It's had commercial applications (e.g., lantern mantles, lighter flints) since the late 19th century. Cooper smoked, so he presumably used a lighter.

Titanium was in use in the military aerospace industry as early as the 1950's, and by the late 1960's it was commonly found in commercial aviation applications (e.g., engine components) as well.

Strontium sulfide has long been widely used in the glass and ceramic industries.

The combination of cerium and strontium sulfide has long been studied and employed for its electroluminescent properties, though I can't find any confirmation that any EL devices based on this combination were in use as early as 1971.

Owing to this combination's electroluminescent properties, it's been employed in electrophoresis processing of fragmentary DNA / RNA samples.

The FBI conducted DNA / RNA testing on trace materials from the Cooper clip-on tie in 2001. For all we know, at least some of these cited materials represent residues from that testing.

In any case, there would need to be a lot more detailed information provided on the specimen's (tie's) initial acquisition, storage, chain of custody, etc., before one could reasonably presume any trace materials found on the tie nowadays actually date back to the 1971 event.
 

kamalktk

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Titanium was in use in the military aerospace industry as early as the 1950's, and by the late 1960's it was commonly found in commercial aviation applications (e.g., engine components) as well.
Thus the suspicion that Cooper may have worked at Boeing, since their production facilities are in Seattle. If he was employed there the tie may have picked up the titanium particles. It's probably doubtful that Boeing's HR records go that far back, but a Boeing employee who left or disappeared at that time would be a fair lead.
 

EnolaGaia

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Thus the suspicion that Cooper may have worked at Boeing, since their production facilities are in Seattle. If he was employed there the tie may have picked up the titanium particles. It's probably doubtful that Boeing's HR records go that far back, but a Boeing employee who left or disappeared at that time would be a fair lead.

That's only one possible interpretation, and IMHO it's not the most likely one ...

For one thing, he was around airports and airplanes during the hijacking, and he could have picked up metal residue from there.

Second, the analysis claims it was pure titanium. This decreases the likelihood of civilian aerospace manufacturing as a lead, because titanium was employed primarily in multi-metal alloys at the time. One of the few applications at the time for purely titanium components was submarine components, and the west coast's primary strategic submarine base is nearby (Bangor). There were probably additional sites in the Seattle area where the tie could have been exposed to titanium residue.

Third, there's an alternative explanation for the titanium that fits at least as closely with the few facts in the case. Cooper carried a briefcase in which he claimed was a bomb. He showed a flight attendant the case's contents, which consisted of 8 red cylinders, some wiring, and a battery. The briefcase and its contents weren't left behind on the airliner.

Titanium, once triggered, ignites explosively and burns with an intense white light, on the basis of which it's sometimes used in pyrotechnics. There could have been titanium shavings or powder in one or more of the cylinders, so as to provide a credible explosion if needed. This notion also raises the possibility that one or more such titanium-filled cylinders were secondarily intended to serve as flares during the descent or later.

I'm not saying the Boeing employee theory is necessarily wrong - I'm only saying the data presented doesn't point so uniquely to Boeing as the news accounts would have one believe.
 

Carse

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That's very interesting; presumably there must have been some scrutiny of the Cooper crew afterwards. Wouldn't it be wonderful though if he managed to conceal himself somewhere or somehow swap identities with a crew member and just walk off the plane when it landed!
 

GNC

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I've just remembered an episode of Tales of the Unexpected, Highjack, which aired on Boxing Day 1981.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0717448/?ref_=ttep_ep17

In which a similar scenario to the DB Cooper case unfolds. In short, the flight crew were in on it.
Here it is


Unfortunately, and as often with YT, it's a rubbish pirate copy so it's cut off the author's name. If it was a story published in the USA before (well before?) the Cooper stunt, then maybe it gave him ideas. But I imagine the crew were investigated and cleared long ago.
 

David Plankton

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Regarding the loot.

I've just been reading the wiki page for this case and it says that the money was gathered, bundled and each note photographed to microfilm in under 2 1/2 hours. Less time if you factor in having to get it to the airport. Is this feasible?

This site lets you check $20 bills against a database.
http://www.check-six.com/lib/DBCooperLoot.htm

Quick statistics on D B Cooper's loot:

  • Most of the serial numbers of $20 bills started with an 'L' (nearly 87%), which means it originated with the San Francisco Federal Reserve branch

  • Most were from either the 1963A or 1969 series.

  • Nearly all of the serial numbers ended with an A, B, or a star.

'Nearly all' and 'Most'. What if they weren't able to make a comprehensive list of all the numbers on time? Might they say that they had to prevent looking incompetent? Making this information known might also deter anyone from spending it, if they thought it was traceable.
What if DB Cooper knew this was an impossible task?
 

EnolaGaia

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Thanks, and from that I see Hijack was published in Playboy 1972, so there's a possibility D.B. was influenced by it. Mind you, the 70s was the decade of the headline-grabbing hijacks, so maybe there was simply something in the air (literally).

Cooper's stunt occurred in November 1971. Fish's short story 'Hijack' first appeared in the August 1972 issue of Playboy.

Given this timeline, it was more probably Fish who was influenced by Cooper than the other way around.
 

GNC

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Cooper's stunt occurred in November 1971. Fish's short story 'Hijack' first appeared in the August 1972 issue of Playboy.

Given this timeline, it was more probably Fish who was influenced by Cooper than the other way around.

You know what I've done, I've got mixed up with the movie version from ten years after. Thanks for the correction, we can rule out Fish.
 

dr wu

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David Plankton

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He was 61 when Cooper jumped, so a bit old. Unless he was going Mission: Impossible on their ass?
If he could pull off a heist like that then lying about his age wouldn't be a problem. How do we know the plane was even in the air at the time he jumped? Or even if there was a plane at all. Have I been watching too much Sherlock for my own good? We need answers!
 

Carse

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I found out an interesting fact today about the plane Cooper jumped from. It was later sold on, reregistered (as N29KA) and ended its days operating the well known but officially non existent JANET flights from Las Vegas McCarran to Area 51 at Groom Lake.
 

Kingsize Wombat

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DB Cooper mystery: 'Potential' physical evidence uncovered in search

A crew of volunteer cold-case investigators in the Pacific Northwest, led by a former FBI agent, has uncovered what they believe to be “potential evidence” in the 46-year-old mystery of D.B. Cooper.

Colbert declined to make the precise location of his crew’s dig public, but claimed the potential strap was located “right where a credible source claimed the chute and remaining money are buried.”


Source: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/08/1...al-physical-evidence-uncovered-in-search.html

I don't see really see how this will help, unless they can prove it was from the hijacker's parachute. And that still doesn't tell them who the hijacker was.

Then again, it's on Fox News, so it's gotta be true.
 

EnolaGaia

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Kingsize Wombat

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More from Tom Colbert:

D.B. Cooper cold case team accuses FBI of stonewalling, lying in investigation on skyjacker

Documentary filmmaker Tom Colbert, the leader of the cold-case team, held a press conference Thursday outside the FBI’s Washington, D.C., headquarters, to announce his team’s findings and accuse the Bureau of stonewalling and covering up evidence in the case.

“It’s more than a bunch of old guys chasing another old guy over forgotten history. This is about current FBI agents stonewalling, covering up, and flat-out lying for mentors and G-men long gone, over decades — all because of an unholy deal to hide and protect a valuable CIA Black Ops pilot known as D.B. Cooper,” Colbert said in an email to the Daily News.

Colbert insists that the man who took over the flight is former U.S. Army paratrooper Robert W. Rackstraw, who is now 74-years-old and lives in the San Diego area.


http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nat...am-accuses-fbi-stonewalling-article-1.3793091
 

GNC

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Don't know when it aired in the USA, but the episode of Lethal Weapon on ITV last night guest starred Adrian Pasdar as a D.B. Cooper-style criminal who robs the passengers in a small jet and jumps out at 20,000ft with a parachute. He was even called Dan Cooper in it. The rest of the plot branched off in a different direction, though, no swamps or anything involved. It would be good if Cooper came out of hiding to sue - the fictional version takes someone out of the plane with him, who plummets to his death!
 

gerhard1

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Don't know when it aired in the USA, but the episode of Lethal Weapon on ITV last night guest starred Adrian Pasdar as a D.B. Cooper-style criminal who robs the passengers in a small jet and jumps out at 20,000ft with a parachute. He was even called Dan Cooper in it. The rest of the plot branched off in a different direction, though, no swamps or anything involved. It would be good if Cooper came out of hiding to sue - the fictional version takes someone out of the plane with him, who plummets to his death!
At least Dan Cooper didn't demand 400,000 parachutes and five pounds, right?
 

Tribble

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