The identity and whereabouts of D. B. Cooper remain one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in the history of American criminal investigations. D.B. Cooper is the alias used by an unidentified individual who, in 1971, hijacked a commercial airplane, extorted a ransom, and then parachuted out of the plane, disappearing without a trace.
On November 24, 1971, a man using the name Dan Cooper (later mistakenly referred to as D.B. Cooper) hijacked Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 305, a Boeing 727, between Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington. He demanded a ransom of $200,000 and four parachutes. After getting the money, he released the passengers in Seattle, and instructed the crew to refuel for a flight to Mexico City with a stop in Reno, Nevada.
Cooper parachuted out of the plane somewhere over the rugged terrain of the Pacific Northwest.
The case posed significant challenges for investigators. FBI distributed ransom notes’ serial numbers to financial institutions, businesses, and law enforcement. In 1980, a portion of the ransom money found, but Cooper’s identity or fate remains unknown. The lack of definitive clues, coupled with the rugged and inaccessible terrain where Cooper presumably landed, hindered the search efforts. The FBI exhaustively pursued leads but officially closed the investigation in 2016, marking the end of active efforts to solve the case.
Over the years, numerous theories and speculations have emerged regarding D. B. Cooper’s identity and fate. Was he an experienced skydiver, a disgruntled airline employee, or perhaps an intelligence operative? This case study explores some of the most prominent theories and their credibility.
D. B. Cooper’s disappearance has left an indelible mark on popular culture, inspiring books, documentaries, and discussions. The enduring mystery continues to captivate the public’s imagination, symbolizing the perfect crime that remains unsolved.
Where to Watch ?
Watch the series on Netflix, released in 2022, it is a four-part documentary mini-series entitled D.B. Cooper: Where Are You?! exploring the hijacking incident and exploring the identity of D.B. Cooper.