D.B. Cooper

Outlaw / Missing Person

Born: ?
Birthplace: ?
Best known as:

The parachuting skyjacker who maybe got away

D.B. Cooper is the world's most famous jumping skyjacker. The mysterious passenger, who bought a ticket using the name Dan Cooper, boarded a Northwest Orient flight in Portland, Oregon on 24 November 1971 -- the eve of Thanksgiving. Once aloft, he threatened to blow up the plane and demanded $200,000 and four parachutes. After the plane landed at Seattle-Tacoma Airport and his demands were met, Cooper ordered the pilot of the 727 to take off and head for Mexico, flying at 10,000 feet. Cooper jumped from the rear stairway of the plane somewhere over Washington state, taking the cash with him. Despite exhaustive searches, D.B. Cooper's body has never been found. It's unclear whether Cooper died during the jump and his whereabouts are unknown.

Extra credit:

The hijacker actually called himself Dan Cooper; a reporter later heard an investigator mention a "D.B. Cooper," and the name stuck... In 1980, an eight-year-old boy named Brian Ingram dug up a bundle of $20 bills in the sand beside the Columbia River near Vancouver, Washington. The cash was identified as $5800 of Cooper's money; the FBI had recorded the serial numbers. No other money was found, though, and that's the only Cooper cash uncovered so far... D.B. Cooper smoked; his brand of cigarettes was Raleigh... The 1981 movie The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper starred Treat Williams and Robert Duvall in a fictionalized version of Cooper's story... Northwest Orient became known as Northwest Airlines in 1986, then merged with Delta Airlines in 2008.

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