Who is D.B. Cooper?
An unknown man named D.B. Cooper abducted a Northwest Orient Airlines flight in 1971, demanded $200,000 in ransom, and then jumped out of the aircraft. Despite a 45-year investigation, the FBI has never managed to apprehend the unidentified man who used the alias Dan Cooper to book the flight.
Under the guise of Dan Cooper, the hijacker boarded the aircraft on November 24, 1971, with a briefcase containing explosives. He had paid cash for his one-way ticket from Portland to Seattle. According to New York magazine, the man claimed to have a bomb and passed a note to air hostess Florence Schaffner with the following instructions: "I want $200,000 by 5:00 p.m. in cash. Put in a knapsack. I want two back parachutes and two front parachutes. When we land, I want a fuel truck ready to refuel. No funny stuff or I'll do the job."
Cooper requested the release of the passengers upon landing in Seattle and was given the ransom. Then, after asking the pilot to take him to Mexico City, he strapped the money to himself and jumped out of the plane while it was over southwest Washington.
The FBI discovered that the name Dan Cooper was a fake while they were looking for him/his body. Then, in 1980, a boy, age 8, who was on vacation with his family discovered $5,800 in bills floating down the Columbia River. The FBI recognized them as being part of the ransom money even though they had partially disintegrated.
Over the years, the FBI investigated more than 1,000 suspects who might be D.B. Cooper, but it was unable to definitively identify him.
DB Cooper developed a cult following as a result of the newsworthy crime, with t-shirts bearing the slogan "D.B. Cooper, Where Are You?"' is being sold all over the country, and a store in Washington celebrates D.B. Cooper Day every year.
Was D. B. Cooper’s parachute ever found?
The DB Cooper parachute has never been located. This has prompted many conspiracy theorists to postulate that he actually survived the jump and fled with the parachute.
The FBI reported in March 2008 that they were investigating a shredded, tangled parachute discovered buried in Southwest Washington. Children were playing outside their Amboy-area home when they discovered the parachute.
A month later, it was determined that it couldn't have been the hijacker's parachute because it was made of the incorrect material and had the wrong design.
According to what we could gather from the people we spoke with, the parachute "just didn't look like it was the right kind of parachute in any way," an FBI spokesperson said.
Was any of D.B. Cooper's money recovered?
It's true that some of D.B.'s money was found. On the banks of the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington, a young boy discovered $5,800 in cash in 1980. The cash's serial number matched that of the cash given to D.B. Cooper, according to the investigators.
Nothing else, though, was ever discovered. His tie and pearl pin, which he forgot to take off with him, were the only other items that were found.