The Legend of D.B. Copper
On November 24, 1971 a man going by the name of Dan Cooper purchased an airline ticket from the ticket counter of the Northwest Orient Airlines in Portland Oregon. Dan Cooper paid cash for a one-way ticket from Portland, Oregon to Seattle, Washington. Dan Cooper boarded a Boeing 727 carrying 37 passengers and 5 crewmembers. What followed is a series of events that has left law enforcement agencies and amateur sleuths alike dumfounded for well over 40 years. Who is the D.B. Cooper?
Dan Cooper, now famously known as D.B. Cooper due to a mix up by the media in the early days of the investigation, was the embodiment of nondescript being about 45 years old, standing ...view middle of the document...
Nyrop ordered the crew to obey all commands given to them by Cooper. The exact wording of the note remains unclear as Cooper demanded it back shortly after turning it over. The intent of the note clear, comply with my demands, which included 4 parachutes and $200,000 dollars in unmarked, non-sequential serial numbers, or I will blow up this airplane. While waiting for the ransom to be collected by law enforcement the airliner circled over Seattle Cooper said to Schaffner, “looks like Tacoma down there.” Also during his conversation with Schaffner, Cooper proclaimed that McChord Air Force Base was a short 20 minutes drive from the Seattle Tacoma Airport, a little known fact outside of military circles, leading many investigators to believe that Cooper had a connection to the city and base.
Once the hijacker’s demands were met on the ground the airport radioed the circling airliner announcing, “everything is ready for your arrival.” Once landed Cooper ordered the pilots to taxi to a secluded well-lit tarmac. He also demanded that no vehicles approach the parked aircraft and a single person deliver the parachutes and money, which were delivered via the aft stairs of the 727. During the delivery of the ransom Cooper questioned Mucklow about the stairway, she did not believe that they could be deployed mid flight, Cooper told her flat out she was wrong and that the stairs could in fact be deployed during flight. Once his ransom was onboard the aircraft Cooper got busy, demanding the pilots fly at no more than 150 knots, no higher than 10,000 feet and with the wing flaps set at 15 degrees. Cooper showed intimate knowledge of the aircraft by knowing the settings at which a parachute jump could be successful, and that larger commercial airplanes would not have been capable of sustaining such a slow airspeed. The fact that Cooper seemed to be familiar with aircraft and parachuting suggests to investigators that Cooper may have been an experienced military paratrooper or perhaps a pilot.
Once the Cooper informed the flight crew the specifics for the upcoming flight the 727 was
ready for take off. Shortly after take off Cooper ordered all the crewmembers into the cockpit. Moments later an illuminated red light came on in the cockpit indicating the aircrafts aft staircase door had been opened. Shortly after the door being opened the crew in the cockpit felt the nose of the airliner dip slightly quickly followed by a corrective dip in the tail, leading the crew to suspect that Cooper had jumped out of the airliner. Upon arrival to the agreed upon airport, Reno Nevada, law enforcement swept through the plane finding Cooper and everything he brought onboard the plane along with the bag containing the ransom money missing. If Cooper did in fact jump out of the airliner he would have faced near impossible parachuting conditions. The airliner was traveling slightly faster than Cooper had prescribed before taking off. The weather outside was terribly cold being...