ЕГО НАШЛИ? Кто такой Ди. Би. Купер? Самый известный угон самолёта в истории | Неразгаданные тайны
For early access to documentaries, real crime scene footage, exclusive content, and uncensored content, subscribe to Boosty. Subscription is free. Link to the service in the description and pinned comment. You have chosen this topic in the course of the voting conducted while watching the film about Jack the Stripper. Write topics for new documentaries in the comments. The comment with the most likes will be the winner and a movie will be released on the subject soon . The 1960s and early 70s were the heyday of hijacking. Over the past
70 years, more than 500 cases of air piracy have been reported worldwide , and about two-thirds of them occurred between 1960 and 1973. America has done its part, with 115 successful hijackings out of 225 attacks on commercial aircraft, according to the federal Transportation Safety Administration. The first report of an aircraft hijacking occurred in 1931 South America when a Pan-American mail plane piloted by an American was confiscated by a revolutionary political faction in Peru. The commandos wanted to use the plane to drop propaganda leaflets. The pilot refused
to fly, and the plane stood at the airfield for 11 days before the revolutionaries crossed out the plan. US authorities in the 1970s were reluctant to make radical changes to air safety, even after the high-profile hijackings. President Nixon expanded the powers of armed sky marshals on some flights. However, more aggressive measures, such as baggage screening and metal detectors, were dismissed as bad for the airline business: they made passengers nervous.
Against this background, anyone could easily get on board the plane with a bomb - or what he called a bomb. Although everyone in the airline industry understood that the lack of security meant that every passenger could try to hijack a plane. But this case is one of the most famous crimes in American history. Over the past three decades, the FBI has investigated nearly 1,000 suspects. With the same success it was possible to search for Bigfoot. This man has become a legend. He inspired writers,
directors and screenwriters to create works about him. In many American bars, in honor of the anniversary of that case, a contest of his doubles is arranged. He influenced the introduction of changes in the safety rules on airplanes. This case is the only unsolved hijacking in the world . That night changed the history of aviation. It all started in
Portland, Oregon, when a man walked up to the Northwest Orient Airlines check-in counter on Wednesday, November 24, 1971, before Thanksgiving in the United States . He wore a dark coat, a dark suit with a tight black tie, and a suitcase. He had perky ears, thin lips, a wide forehead, receding hairline. He gave his name, Dan Cooper, and asked for a $20 one-way ticket to Seattle Flight 305. The flight
was supposed to last 30 minutes. This man sat in the last row of seats on the plane, 18-C (according to other sources, it was either seat 18E or 15D), lit a cigarette , and ordered a bourbon and soda. Flight 305 departed from the airport at 14:50, being one third full. 8 minutes after takeoff, Cooper handed a note to flight attendant Florence Schaffner, who was sitting closest to him in a reclining seat attached to a door at the rear of the aircraft.
Flight 305 is a Boeing 727-100 that has just taken off from Washington, DC. It delivered passengers to the Minneapolis Northwest Junction, then made stops at Great Falls and Missoula before continuing west towards Portland. A short flight to Seattle should have ended that long day. The plane could carry 94 passengers - 66 in the main body and 28 in first class - but that day there were only 37 passengers on board, as well as 5 crew members. The crew from Minneapolis included the pilot, Capt. William Scott, 51, a 20-year veteran; first mate Bob Rataczak; flight engineer Harold Anderson, senior flight attendant Alice Hancock and two young flight attendants, Tina Macklow, 22, and Florence Schaffner, each with less than two years of service.
The Boeing 727-100, registered with the US Federal Aviation Administration under the number N467US, was manufactured in 1964-65. and transferred to Northwest Orient Airlines on April 9, 1965. It was the 137th aircraft of this model produced by Boeing. Florence Schaffner was 23 at the time. She was a sweet, perky,
sexy flight attendant. Working on airplanes, she was approached by so many men that she began to wear a wig on board to disguise herself. She tossed the note the man handed over into her purse, thinking, "It's just another guy flirting with me." But the man was persistent.
"Miss. You'd better take a look at this note. I have a bomb." She looked the man in the eye. She saw that
he was serious. Florence read the note . I want you to sit next to me." The stewardess did as he indicated and then asked to see the bomb. Cooper opened the case, in which the stewardess saw a device that she described as eight red cylinders attached to covered with such red- insulated wires and a large cylindrical battery. He then dictated a few instructions: "I want $200,000 by 5:00 pm. Cash. I need to put it in my backpack. I need two sets of parachutes, front and back.
When we land, "I need a fuel truck ready to refuel. Don't be stupid or I'll blow everything up." The man allowed her to stand up and relay the demands to the captain. Schaffner relayed Cooper's instructions to the pilots in the cockpit; when she returned, Cooper was in sunglasses. Schaffner's thoughts were confused. She pictured her parents
in Arkansas watching the evening news. She imagined the plane exploding. She imagined how this man tightly grabs her wrist and immediately rapes her. She took a deep breath. Inhale, exhale, one more time. Surprisingly, the man was able to calm her down. He wasn't the so-called
sky pirate she'd read about in the papers, or a hardened criminal. He was not a political dissident who wanted to divert the plane to Cuba, like many of the hijackers of earlier years. Before takeoff, none of the crew members paid much attention to Dan Cooper, a fit man about 180 cm tall and weighing about 80 kg. In 1971, D. B. Cooper's wardrobe was the epitome of nondescript: a light black
coat, moccasins, a dark suit, a neatly pressed white collared shirt, a black tie with a barrette and a mother-of-pearl pin. Like many other Americans of the time, he wore a narrow-brimmed homburg felt hat . He was white and spoke without an accent. He was tan or had a Mediterranean complexion, described as swarthy or olive. The eyes were brown and close- set, the skin had a swarthy tint. There were no mustaches . According to Schaffner and another flight attendant, Tina Macklow, he behaved completely calm, confident and polite (Macklow even admitted that Cooper seemed to her rather nice in behavior). He was very polite. His manner could even be called gentlemanly. At one point, he offered to pay for the drinks with a $20 bill and insisted that the flight attendant keep the change ($18) for herself. He also offered to request
food for the crew while the plane was being refueled in Seattle. Cooper was clearly familiar with the area. Looking out the window, he said, "Looks like Tacoma is down there." The flight attendant later said that Cooper recognized Tacoma as the plane flew over her, and also correctly mentioned the presence of McChord Field Air Force Base, located 20 minutes from Seattle-Tacoma Airport. Pilot William Scott contacted Seattle-Tacoma Airport Air Traffic Control, who in turn informed local and federal authorities. The feds
urgently called the president of the airline Northwest Orient Airlines to Donald Nyrop, who ordered that Cooper's demands be fully complied with. Nyrop hoped to avoid the negative publicity that a crash aboard the Northwest flight would bring. By comparison, $200,000 by airline standards is pennies.
In order to avoid panic, other passengers were given false information that their arrival in Seattle would be delayed due to "minor technical problems." The head of Northwest Orient Airlines, Donald Nyrop, decided to provide a ransom and instructed employees to comply with the hijacker's demands. The plane had to circle over Puget Sound for about two hours to give the Seattle police and the FBI enough time to collect parachutes and ransom money for Cooper, and to mobilize emergency personnel. The exact wording of the note demanding Cooper was lost because the hijacker insisted that the team return the note to him as it was potential evidence. Cooper chose $20 bills, a testament to his attention to detail when planning. He apparently
calculated that 10,000 $20 bills would only weigh about 10 kg. Smaller values will add weight. Larger denominations would be more visible and therefore more difficult to sell. Cooper specified that bills should have random serial numbers, not consecutive ones. FBI agents collected ransom money from several Seattle banks - 10,000 unmarked $20 bills, most of which had serial numbers starting with the letter L (indicating that the bills were issued by the San Francisco Federal Bank) and were from the 1963A series and 1969. Each bill was photographed and entered into the database. Meanwhile
, finding suitable parachutes was harder than getting $200,000 in cash. The parachutes were originally intended to be delivered from McChord Field, but Cooper turned them down, asking for ordinary civilian parachutes with ripcords. The Seattle PD got them from the local skydiving school.
At 5:24 p.m., the hijacker was informed that his demands had been met. He allowed the pilots to land the plane at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Flight 305 landed at 17:39. Cooper then ordered the pilots to taxi the aircraft to a remote section of the runway and turn off the cockpit lights so that the snipers could not see what was happening inside. Cooper demanded that a man be sent with money and four parachutes to the plane without an escort. The employee delivered the money (the weight of this amount of money was almost 10 kg) and parachutes through the door in the tail section of the aircraft. Cooper then released all passengers, as well as
two flight attendants, Florence Shaffner and Alice Hancock. Meanwhile, the youngest flight attendant, Tina Macklow, stood next to Cooper, reading the manual for the aft ladder, which was lowered by gravity at the bottom of the fuselage with a simple handbrake-like lever . Cooper asked carefully about the stairs, and the flight attendant said she didn't believe they could be lowered mid-flight. Cooper told her that she was wrong. Cooper outlined his flight plan to the crew: heading southeast towards Mexico City at the lowest possible speed, approximately 185 km/h; the maximum height is 3,000 meters. Cooper warned the pilot that he was wearing a wrist altimeter to keep track of altitude. He further specified that the undercarriages remain extended, the wing flaps were lowered 15 degrees, and the cockpit remained unpressurized. Co-pilot William Ratachak explained to Cooper that the aircraft had a range of 1,600 kilometers, which meant that they would still need one more refueling before entering Mexican airspace. Cooper and the crew
discussed options and eventually agreed to make a refueling landing in Reno, Nevada. Larger jets could not maintain such low airspeeds. But Cooper obviously knew that a light Boeing 727 (only 50 tons without fuel) could fly at a speed of 180 km / h at an altitude of no more than 3,000 meters. Even with a full supply of fuel, a jet plane would not be able to fly at such a low speed. Skydivers prefer lower airspeeds to reduce the effect of the wind, but diving at speeds up to 300 km/h is acceptable for an experienced skydiver. And Cooper chose Flight 305 not so much because of his plane, but because of the destination. The Boeing 727-100 has three engines,
one high on the fuselage just forward of the vertical tail and two on either side of the fuselage just above the horizontal tail. He knew that neither the air intakes nor the exhausts would interfere if he lowered the aft steps and stepped out into the night sky. The FBI was puzzled by Cooper's plans and his request for four parachutes, as this meant that he could have an accomplice on board and, at the same time, suggested that he would jump off with one of the hostages. Before that, in history, no one had ever tried to parachute from a hijacked passenger plane.
While the plane was being refueled, an FAA official who wanted to explain to Cooper the consequences of air piracy approached the plane's door and asked Cooper for permission to board. He declined the officer's request. The hijacker was suspicious that the refueling had not yet been completed, although 15 minutes had already passed (this was caused by a blockage of vapors in the tanker's pumping mechanism). He threatened to blow up the plane, which caused the tanker team to quickly try to speed up and then complete the refueling process. Having settled all the important details of the flight, Cooper ordered to take off immediately. The Boeing 727 taxied, rumbled
down the runway, took off, and retracted its wheels. The time was 7:46 p.m., two hours and six minutes after Flight 305 had landed in Seattle. Opening the back door of the plane and extending the ladder, Cooper ordered the pilot to take off. An FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) commissioner, who boarded the plane during refueling to warn Cooper of the illegality of his actions, protested on the grounds that it was not safe to take off with the aft ladder deployed. Cooper protested that it was in fact safe, but did not argue, promising that he would remove the ladder as soon as they were in the air.
During takeoff, Cooper asked Tina Macklow to go to the cockpit and close the door. As she left, Macklow noticed that Cooper was tying something around his waist. Simultaneously with McChord Field, two F-106 fighters were raised, which flew behind the aircraft so that Cooper could not see them through the windows. For some time, a training Lockheed T-33 flew behind the aircraft, but near the border of Oregon and California, he had to leave tracking due to lack of fuel. A total of
five military aircraft followed the Boeing 727. There was no peephole in the cockpit door, and the aircraft did not have the remote cameras and monitors now used on many commercial aircraft. The crew wondered what their mysterious passenger was up to, and Captain Scott struggled to maintain the required altitude and airspeed into the headwind . At about 20:00, a warning light came on in the cockpit , indicating that the aft air ladder had been activated. Through the intercom system of the aircraft, the crew asked Cooper if he needed help, to which Cooper responded with a sharp refusal. It was the last word that was heard from Cooper. The crew soon noticed a change
in air pressure indicating that the aft door was open. At about 20:13, the tail of the aircraft suddenly leaned up so much that the crew urgently had to level the aircraft. Exactly at 22:15, the plane landed at the Reno airport, the tail ramp of the plane was deployed all this time. Captain Scott spoke over the intercom. Receiving no answer, he cautiously opened the cabin door. Passenger compartment was empty. The hijacker disappeared and he took almost everything on board with him
, including his hat, coat, and bomb case. Money and one set of parachutes were also missing. FBI agents, state cops, deputies , and Reno police surrounded the plane as it was not yet certain that Cooper was no longer on board, but an armed search quickly confirmed his absence.
From that moment on, Cooper was never seen again. The jump itself was very skillfully executed. Cooper descended the aft ladder with parachutes in both his backpack and bib. He had a baby-sized bag of money tied to his body with nylon cords cut from his reserve parachutes. He was either in a jacket, or in a hat, and in a raincoat. On her feet were leather shoes. He stood on the bottom step, driven
by biting wind and freezing rain, and he had to jump blindly into uncharted territory on a dark, stormy night. The air temperature at an altitude of 3,000 meters was 7 degrees below zero. The aircraft was traveling at a speed above its airspeed of 170 knots or 300 km/h. Yet Cooper carried out his plan. He jumped into the impenetrable darkness. Spiked mountain peaks and deep gorges awaited him below . After searching the inside of the plane, FBI agents found 66 unidentified fingerprints, Cooper's black tie, his mother-of-pearl tie clip, and eight Raleigh filter-brand cigarette butts (the tie and clip weren't made public for almost 20 years, while the butts mysteriously disappeared. from the case file and
have not yet been found). It also turned out that of the two sets of parachutes, Cooper took only one - the main parachute from the left set had two of its pendants cut off from the canopy. In 2007, the FBI revealed that of the two main parachutes, Cooper somehow took the oldest one, and for some reason he took one of the spares that did not even work: it was a "training mockup" used as a training aid in a demonstration class - the FBI explained that he got into the Cooper ransom by mistake, but at the same time they noticed that this non-working parachute had special marks, thanks to which a person professionally involved in parachuting would immediately understand that he was inactive. Based on the testimony of flight attendant Macklow, who saw Cooper tying something around his waist after takeoff, the FBI concluded that these were the same pendants from the second parachute, with which Cooper probably tied a bag of money to himself.
In April 2013, Earl Cossey, owner of the skydiving school that provided Cooper with parachutes, was found dead at his home in the Seattle suburb of Woodinville. Death was due to blunt trauma to the head. Although it has been hypothesized that his death may have been at least tangentially related to Cooper, no evidence of this was found, and the Woodinville police eventually declared that burglary was the most likely motive for the murder. The pilots of all five escort planes testified that they did not see Cooper jump out of the plane. Subsequently, it turned out that during the period of the estimated time of Cooper's jump, the plane passed through a thunderstorm area, fenced off from any light sources from the ground by a cover of clouds. Due to poor visibility,
the jump was not seen by the US Air Force F-106 fighters escorting the aircraft. After conducting an investigative experiment, the FBI concluded that Cooper jumped exactly at 20:13, when the tail section of the aircraft suddenly gave way up, which was possibly caused by the tail ramp deviated under Cooper's weight at the time of the jump. At that very moment, the plane was flying through a downpour over the Lewis River in southwestern Washington State. The cops' simplest approach to watching a plane might have been the best chance to catch a hijacker: follow the plane, wait for it to jump, and then track it to the ground. Law enforcement officers tried to do this, but the opportunity was lost due to dubious chase aircraft selection. The Air Force took off two
McCord F-106 fighters. The pilots were ordered to follow at a safe distance and keep an eye on the jumper. But these fighters are designed to fly at speeds up to 2,500 km/h. They were useless for flying at low speed from low altitude. The authorities tried to correct their mistake by sending a slower-flying National Guard Lockheed T-33 into the air, but Cooper had most likely already jumped out of the plane by the time it took off. The exact search area for Cooper's landing site was difficult to determine, as even small differences in estimates of aircraft speed or environmental conditions along the flight path (which varied significantly with location and altitude) significantly changed the predicted landing point. The most important missing
detail was the time Cooper spent in free fall before his parachute (if it did) deployed. It was assumed that he landed in the southeast, near Lake Mervin, 48 kilometers north of Portland. The FBI helped identify the location by staging a reenactment of the jump. A 90-kg sled attached to a parachute was dropped
from the aft ladder of a Boeing 727 flying at the same speed and altitude as Cooper's plane, at the very place where Captain Scott felt the tail of the aircraft move sharply upward. A thorough search of the area turned up no results - the search was so thorough that in one abandoned building in Clark County , the skeletonized corpse of a teenage girl who had disappeared a few weeks earlier was found . Further investigation and experimentation indicated that Cooper's actual landing zone could have been located southeast of the original in the area of the Washugal River drainage, but similarly nothing was found there (it has been suggested that the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens could have destroyed any physical evidence). Bad weather on the night of the jump forced authorities to postpone ground searches until the following day, Thanksgiving. Careful searches by land and air over several weeks turned up no sign of the hijacker or his parachute, bright yellow and red. In the vast forest
areas of the jump area, searches were rather difficult - most of them belonged to the giant paper company Weyerhauser. But many Cooper supporters argue that the fruitless search for the hijacker was the result of Cooper's high professionalism and planning for his mission. Later calculations determined that Cooper may have landed west rather than east of the intended search area, near the village of Woodland, Washington and the Columbia River. According to one of the FBI agents, the expensive
searches were carried out in vain. It is noteworthy that this revelation came to him in 1980, when on the day of his retirement, the captain paid him a courtesy call. They started talking, and the captain mentioned that the plane was flying west of where the FBI thought it was. No one from the agency ever explained what kind of fool for nine years was looking for Cooper elsewhere. The serial numbers of all bills were sent to all gambling houses, banks and other establishments with a large cash flow in the United States, but not a single one of the bills was noticed. At the same time, local police began searching for suspects.
On Thanksgiving Day, the FBI searched the national criminal registries for Dan Cooper's name. They did this just in case the hijacker was stupid enough to use his real name. One of the first to fall under suspicion was a certain D. B. Cooper from Oregon, who had previously had minor offenses. The police contacted him to verify his alibi, and at the same time to make sure that his crimes were committed by him, and not by a hijacker who could use his name. Although he was quickly eliminated from the list of suspects, but local reporter James Long, in a hurry to make a report, did not understand the situation and named the hijacker by the name "D.B. Cooper", which was immediately picked up by other media,
which is why it was under this name that Cooper went down in history. Cooper was not found, nor was his briefcase with the bomb, money, and two other parachutes. The people with whom Cooper interacted on board the aircraft and on the ground were interrogated to compile an identikit. As of 2009, the FBI claimed
that the drawing was an exact likeness of Cooper because many individuals interviewed at the same time in different locations gave nearly identical descriptions. In 2011, however, the testimony of passenger Robert Gregory, who was sitting opposite Cooper on the plane, was made public - according to them, Cooper's hair was not straight, as in an identikit, but wavy; the jacket was reddish brown with wide lapels (Mclowe and Schaffner simply described it as dark); and dark horn-rimmed glasses. An identikit of the suspect, based on the recollections of Northwest Orient Airlines crew and passengers, shows a man who vaguely resembles the singer and actor Bing Crosby , probably not only because of the thin tie, but also because of the facial features. The hijacker ("John Doe, aka Dan Cooper") was charged in absentia with air piracy in federal court in 1976. The accusations remain in force to this day. Technically, the case is still open. The FBI says
it has screened about 1,200 potential suspects and collected enough documents and case reports to fill the side of that same 727 aircraft. Calls continue to come in to this day - some from citizens who call with suspicion about a friend, relative or colleague, others from people calling themselves Cooper. Three weeks after the NW305 hijacking, the Los Angeles Times received a letter that read: “I am not a modern-day Robin Hood. Unfortunately,
I only have fourteen months left to live. Hijacking was the quickest and most profitable way for me to secure the last days of my life. I didn't rob an airline because I thought it was romantic or heroic. I would never take such a huge risk for such stupidity. I do not condemn people who
hate me for my act, nor do I condemn those who would like to see me caught and punished, especially since this will never happen. I had no doubt that I would not be caught. I have already flown several times on various routes. I'm not going to lie low in some old, lost town in the wilderness. And don't think
I'm a psychopath: I haven't even received a parking ticket in my life." However, many doubted that the letter was really written by Cooper, and not by some joker. After this incident , several more anonymous letters allegedly from Cooper came to the editorial offices of various newspapers , however, they were very different in style and content from each other. A month after the hijacking, the FBI sent lists of serial numbers for ransom to financial institutions, casinos, racetracks and other businesses that regularly conducted large-scale cash transactions, as well as law enforcement agencies around the world. Northwest Orient offered a reward of 15% of the money returned, up to a maximum of $25,000. In early 1972, US Attorney General John N. Mitchell
released the serial numbers to the general public. The two men used counterfeit $20 bills bearing Cooper's serial numbers to swindle $30,000 from a Newsweek reporter in exchange for an interview with a man they falsely identified as the hijacker. Otherwise, between 1978 and 2023, only four pieces of evidence (two concrete and two probable) connected with Cooper were found. In November 1978, a hunter discovered a poster near a logging road with instructions for lowering the stern ladder from Boeing 727 aircraft. The find site was about
21 km east of Castle Rock and north of Lake Mervin - that is, just within the Flight 305 flight path . On February 10, 1980, eight-year-old Brian Ingram was resting with with his family on the Columbia River at Tina Bar Beach (about 14 km downstream from Vancouver, Washington and 32 km southwest of Ariel). While raking the sandy shore to make a fire, Ingram found three bags of money. FBI experts later confirmed that the money was part of the same ransom collected for Cooper: two packs of 100 $20 bills and a third pack of 90 $20 bills. Although most of the bills were significantly torn, all three bundles were still held together with rubber bands and, as it turned out, all the bills lay in exactly the order in which they were originally folded. In 1986, after lengthy negotiations, part of the money was divided equally between the Ingram family and Northwest Orient Airlines, while the FBI kept fourteen bills as evidence. In 2008, adult Brian
Ingram sold fifteen bills at an auction for approximately $37,000. The remaining 9,710 banknotes have not yet been found. Today, their serial numbers are publicly available on the Internet. The discovery of cash gave impetus to new searches in this area. However, nature intervened. On May 18, 14 weeks after the packs were found, Mount St. Helens erupted. Because of this, the entire region was covered with a thick layer of ash, which caused extensive fires. Many still believe that the eruption permanently obscured any evidence in the Cooper case that might have been waiting for the feds around Woodland.
Richard Tosou, a former California FBI agent, said the riverside find was evidence that Cooper actually died in the jump and his body landed there. He told the reporter in his confidence that Cooper's body was at the bottom of the Columbia River. Tosou conducted searches with scuba divers, sonar and hooks in Colombia near where the money was found. He did not find anything, but published a book about his search.
Apart from the FBI, few believe that the money found on the river bank was irrefutable proof of Cooper's demise. Some argue that he was able to get to Vancouver or Portland and then threw the money into the river because he found out that the serial numbers of all banknotes were rewritten by the feds. Still others say that several wads of cash fell out of Cooper's bag while he was parachuting. According to one version, Cooper hid his parachute in an animal den or under a ledge of a forest cliff, went on foot to a scheduled meeting with an accomplice and rushed to Mexico, where he spent his booty. What
about the cash found in the river? It is said that he may have stopped at the bridge to throw some bundles into the river, just to confuse the police. This theory has several shortcomings. Cooper was wearing boots that would fly off during a parachute jump. If he walked, he would have to walk barefoot.
In addition, he was rather casual about the exact line of the flight path from Seattle to Reno, accepting Captain Scott's suggestion of choosing a low-altitude route called Vector-23. A scheduled meeting with an accomplice would require jumping in a well- defined location. And then there is the problem of missing money. Cooper didn't waste his loot. The FBI distributed to law enforcement and banks 100,000 copies of a 34-page pamphlet listing every serial number on the $20 bills given to Cooper. As far as the FBI admits,
apart from those found on the Columbia River, not a single denomination has ever appeared in circulation. In his book, former agent Tosou offered a reward of $100,000 in exchange for one of the bills. Nobody contacted him . In addition, there were no applicants for the $30,000 reward offered by Northwest Orient Airlines and the Seattle newspaper. If Cooper had accomplices, they were extremely loyal. The location of the banknotes confirmed the version that Cooper could have landed in the wastewater area of the Washugal River, as it merges with the Columbia River upstream from where the bills were found. The U.S. Army
Corps of Hydrological Engineers said the appearance of the bills suggests that packs of packs were not deliberately buried on Tina Bar - they were washed up by the current on the beach and washed into the sand in a natural way. However, this did not explain why only part of the money ended up in the water and why 10 bills were missing in one bundle . The period of time when the packages with packs ended up on the beach was also a subject of controversy. Retired FBI Chief Investigator Ralph Himmelsbach noted that the tutu packs could only float for a maximum of two years after Cooper's jump, because otherwise the elastic bands around the tutu would have deteriorated. Ultimately, the Tom
Kaye group ruled that less than a year had elapsed from the time of the jump to the arrival at the shore. The Kaulitz County Sheriff suggested that Cooper may have accidentally dropped the three bags while jumping. However, the packs were found to contain the remains of diatomaceous algae, which bloom only in spring, from which it was concluded that the money got into the water at least four months after the theft. In 2017, Thomas Colbert, who led a group of volunteer sleuths investigating cold cases of their own, announced that they had found a strap and a piece of foam rubber from Cooper's parachute. Colbert refused
to reveal the location where they were found, saying only that he found them after his own investigation, as with the consent of the FBI, he had access to the case file. It is reported that the FBI accepted the finds for consideration, but has not made any official statements at the moment . The Washugal River Valley, as the most likely location for Cooper's landing, was repeatedly searched by individuals and groups, but no other evidence was found. As usual, there are plenty of versions in such cases, but there is not enough evidence.
In US commercial aviation, security measures have been tightened to the point that now airlines have been given official authority to search passengers and their luggage for weapons and explosives. The measures had an effect - if in 1972 there were 31 hijacking attempts in the United States (in 19 cases, hijackings were carried out with the aim of extorting money, in the rest - with the aim of escaping to Cuba; in 15 cases, the hijackers attempted to jump out of the plane, as Cooper did ), then in 1973 there were only two such attempts (in both cases, the hijackers turned out to be mentally ill people; one of them wanted to hijack a plane in order to ram the White House and kill then US President Richard Nixon). The last such hijacking occurred in 1983. Boeing 727-51 aircraft N467US continued to be operated by Northwest Airlines after the capture . On June 6, 1978, with flight number
N838N, it was purchased by Piedmont Airlines, from which it was leased to United Technologies, Flight Dynamics and Key Airlines. Decommissioned in May 1985 and broken up for scrap in 1996 at the Aircraft Graveyard at Greenwood-Leflor Airport in Mississippi. Some parts of the aircraft continue to fly today as spare parts installed on Federal Express 727 fleet aircraft.
FBI agents found a black tie with a clip at seat 18-E, where Cooper was sitting. Attached to the tie was a gold tie clip with a round mother-of-pearl rim in the center of the clip. The FBI determined that the tie was sold exclusively in JCPenney department stores, but was discontinued in 1968. In late 2007, the FBI announced that its experts had succeeded in compiling a partial DNA profile based on three organic samples (two small and one large) found on a tie clip in 2001 - provided, of course, that the samples belonged to Cooper. In March 2009, the FBI announced that Tom Kay, a paleontologist at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture in Seattle, had assembled a team of volunteers (including a scientific illustrator Carol Abrachinskas and metallurgist Alan Stone) for his own investigation and he was given full access to the evidence - the group later became known as the Cooper Research Group. Kay's team did research using GPS, satellite imagery, and other technologies that weren't available in 1972 .
Although they were unable to find any essentially new information about the whereabouts of the missing piece of the ransom or Cooper's landing site, at the same time, they were able to find many small particles on Cooper's tie using microscopy , partially shedding light on where the owner of the tie (if only Cooper wore it all this time ) appeared before the theft. So they managed to find lycopodium spores on the tie (these spores are actively used in medicine, so the tie probably had contact with a certain pharmaceutical product), as well as fragments of bismuth and aluminum. In November 2011, Kay announced that particles of pure titanium had been found on the tie - since in the 1970s titanium was widely available only in chemical plants and metalworking plants, Cooper could be a chemist or metallurgist (but since traces were found on the tie, then Cooper, apparently, was an engineer or manager at the corresponding enterprise). In January 2017, Kay and his team announced that particles of rare earth minerals, such as cerium sulfide and strontium, were also found on the tie - in the 1970s, such elements were used in the development of the supersonic Boeing 2707 (development was curtailed a year before the hijacking), which suggests that Cooper may have been an employee of the Boeing Company (this generally explained how Cooper knew the technical component of the aircraft so well). Other businesses that used such cells at the time were the Portland divisions of Teledyne Technologies and Tektronix, which used these cells in the manufacture of cathode ray devices. In 2019, the FBI released a report indicating that about three hours after Cooper's jump, a burglary was reported at a small grocery store near Huysson, Washington, located in a calculated search area that Northwest Airlines submitted to the FBI. The FBI noted that the burglar only took survival items
such as beef jerky and gloves. FBI agents found two hair samples on Cooper's seat : one strand of limb hair on the seat and one strand of Caucasian brown hair on the headrest. The limb hairs were destroyed after the FBI Crime Lab determined that the sample did not have sufficiently unique microscopic characteristics to be useful. However , the FBI crime lab determined that the scalp hair was suitable for future comparison and preserved the hair on a microscope slide. During their attempts to build a DNA profile of Cooper in 2002, the FBI discovered that the hair sample had been lost.
FBI agents found eight filtered cigarette butts in the ashtray on the armrest of seat 18-E . They were sent to the FBI Crime Lab for fingerprints, but investigators were unable to find fingerprints and returned the butts to the local office in Las Vegas. In 1998, the FBI attempted to extract DNA from the cigarette butts, only to find that the cigarette butts had been destroyed while they were in storage at the Las Vegas field office.
Due to the fact that in the process of hijacking the aircraft, none of the hostages were injured or killed, just as the aircraft itself did not receive any serious damage, then in 1976 the statute of limitations for the crime should have ended. The ensuing discussion eventually led to the November 1976 Portland Grand Jury indicting Cooper in absentia and ruling that if Cooper was ever found, then (provided he was alive at the time of his arrest) he would be required to stand trial. . Based on all the materials in the case, the FBI compiled the following characteristics about Cooper: • Cooper was probably left-handed as the clip on his tie was snapped on the left side. • Cooper knew the surroundings of Seattle well, because, while on the plane, he recognized Tacoma from a height. • Cooper may have been a US Air Force veteran because he knew the then location of McChord Field Air Force Base. It also explained how
he might have had skydiving skills. • Cooper could, or planned, lie low by the fact that after the hijacking he returned to his former life, for which he very successfully chose the day of the hijacking. Thanksgiving is celebrated on Thursdays and is a day off, while the next three days are also days off - during this period, Cooper had plenty of time to get out of the woods and return home before Monday. • Cooper specifically asked for two sets of parachutes to convince the FBI that he could jump off with the hostage - thus he secured himself in advance from being given a faulty parachute. • Cooper knew the design of aircraft such as Boeing. He specifically chose the 727-100 because it was perfect for what he had in mind: its design had the so-called "single-point refueling" (an innovation of the time that allowed all the aircraft's fuel tanks to be filled through one fuel port at once, which reduced refueling time); all three exhaust engines were located well above the stern ladder (allowing Cooper to safely jump out of their area); the plane itself could fly at a relatively low altitude (which was also an innovation for the then commercial airliners); the aft ladder could be opened during the flight using a switch located in the same place in the tail of the aircraft (and in such cases it was impossible to close the ladder by control from the cockpit). By
and large, Cooper had a knowledge about aircraft that was more characteristic of a CIA employee than an ordinary citizen. • Cooper could be in a very difficult financial situation, as hijacking an entire plane for ransom and then jumping was a rather risky undertaking. On the other hand, Cooper could also be a " thrill-seeker". • The hijacker could borrow
the name Dan Cooper from the hero of the Franco-Belgian comic book series of the same name by Albert Weinber and Jean-Michel Charlie, a funny but heroic pilot of the Royal Canadian Air Force. However, the Dan Cooper comics were never translated into English and were not sold in the United States, on the basis of which it was concluded that Cooper may have lived in Europe for some time. • Tom Kay and his group noted that when Cooper named Florence Schaffner the amount of the ransom, then, according to her, he did not mention dollars, but "Negotiable American Currency" (freely tradable American currency) - such verbal turns are not characteristic of those who were born , grew up or lived all his life in the United States. Based on the
Dan Cooper comics theory, Kay and his team found that these comics were being sold in Canada at the time (since they were written in French, they were sold in Quebec), and since none of the witnesses noticed Cooper had any pronounced accent, they concluded that Cooper could be from Canada. Although the FBI was of the opinion at the beginning of the investigation that Cooper was a professional skydiver, Larry Carr, the last head of the investigative committee on the case until it was dissolved in 2016, announced that the FBI ultimately dismissed the theory of Cooper's professional skills. From a professional point of view, Cooper's jump was pure suicide: it was November and the plane flew through a thunderstorm area, which caused the appropriate temperature to stand overboard (according to their data, the wind temperature was -10 degrees Celsius), but Cooper jumped off, being dressed only in a business suit and moccasins, and with an old parachute and a non-working spare. But even if we assume that Cooper survived the jump, he could not have survived alone in the mountains at this time of year, he had to have an accomplice on the ground, but even with the last jump, it was suicide: it was late evening, the plane flew over an uninhabited area without bright light sources, because of which Cooper literally jumped into the unknown, having no idea of what kind of landscape the plane was currently flying over. Thus, the FBI was more inclined to believe that Cooper did not survive the fall and during the investigation period tried to look for him among those residents of the state who went missing during that four-day period, but such people were not found.
Other inconsistencies noted by the FBI included the fact that Cooper demanded a cash ransom: Cooper demanded unmarked bills, but it is highly unlikely that he did not know that even in this case, the money would still be tracked by individual numbers. A local journalist put forward the version that the bags of money found at Tina Bar were most likely thrown away by Cooper himself when he realized that he could not use them. Honored test pilot of the USSR Viktor Zabolotsky told the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper in 2020 that, from a professional point of view, Cooper could well survive the jump. In the period from 1971 to 2016, the FBI tested more than a thousand suspects for the role of Cooper - some declared right during their lifetime that they were Cooper, others did it allegedly on their deathbed, while still others did not make any confessions at all and their relatives declared "identities" and relatives because of the corresponding suspicions. In no case was
any direct evidence found to charge them. The first and foremost suspect was Richard Floyd McCoy Jr., an Army veteran who served two terms in Vietnam, first as a demolition officer and then with the Green Berets as a helicopter pilot. After his military service, he became a warrant officer in the Utah National Guard and an avid paratrooper, aspiring, he said, to become a Utah State Patrolman. At the time of the hijacking, he was a
Sunday school teacher. McCoy was the most famous candidate for the role of Cooper: on April 7, 1972 (five months after Cooper was hijacked) in Denver, under the pseudonym James Johnson, he boarded a Boeing 727 (which similarly had an aft ladder) of United Airlines Flight 855 . After taking off, he took out a hand grenade and a pistol (later it turned out that the first was a props, and the second was simply not loaded), demanded four parachutes and $500,000. After delivering money and parachutes to San Francisco International Airport, McCoy ordered the plane to be lifted into the sky and jumped off the aft ramp as it flew over Provo. A search of the plane found a handwritten note with instructions for the hijacking and McCoy's prints on a magazine he was reading. McCoy was identified when the note's handwriting was compared to his notes he made in the military.
On April 9, McCoy was arrested (out of $500,000, $ 499,970 was found on him) and sentenced to 45 years in the Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary, from where he, along with several accomplices, escaped on August 10, 1974, ramming the prison gates with a captured garbage truck. Three months later, the FBI tracked McCoy to Virginia Beach, where he was killed in a shootout with agents. Due to the fact that McCoy's hijacking coincided with Cooper's in almost every detail, he was the most potential candidate for the role of Cooper. In 1991, parole officer
Bernie Rhodes and former FBI agent Russell Kaleim released a book, DC Cooper: The Real McCoy, which explicitly called McCoy Cooper. As evidence, they cited McCoy's family as saying that the tie and hairpin for him were similar to McCoy's, and that McCoy himself, at his trial, not only did not plead guilty to the theft, but also refused to make any admission or denial that that he was Cooper. Also in the book was a quote from Agent Nick O'Hara, who was the one who shot McCoy, claiming it was Cooper who shot him. Although McCoy looked like an identikit of Cooper, The FBI officially removed him from the list of suspects because he was younger than Cooper and because they considered his level of skydiving skill to be much higher than that of Cooper. Strong evidence was also
found that McCoy was in Las Vegas on the day of the hijacking, and the next day celebrated Thanksgiving with his family at home. The next prime suspect was Dwayne L. Webber, a World War II veteran who served time in at least six prisons between 1945 and 1968 for burglary and forgery. He did not publicly declare himself as Cooper: according to his widow, he told her three days before his death that he was Dan Cooper. At that time, this name did not mean anything to the woman, only a few months after the death of her husband, her friend told her the story of the theft. So she went to
the local library to read about Cooper and found Max Gunther's DB Cooper: What Really Happened. When she opened it, she found numerous notes in the margins, made in a handwriting that, according to her, was similar to that of her husband. Other circumstantial evidence, in her own words, included the following: Webber liked to drink bourbon; Webber had an old knee injury, which he explained was "jumping out of a plane"; once she heard Webber talking in his sleep and mentioning something about prints on the "aft ladder"; in November 1979, they went to the Columbia River and Webber at some point took a solo walk there in the Tina Bar beach area - four months later, eight-year-old Brian Ingram found bags of money there.
In July 1998, the FBI officially removed Webber from the list of potential suspects: no direct evidence was found and fingerprints did not match. A DNA test later also came back negative. The Cooper case turned into tons of dead-end eyewitness accounts. All of the case files are stored in the basement of the FBI's Seattle office and occupy several shelves in long rows that open and close with spinning black plastic wheels. Among
the agents on the case now, there is a belief that Cooper died in the jump - the conditions were simply too cruel to survive. When a new message arrives in the mail from a witness, the feds usually ignore it and archive it. One such message came from Lyle Christiansen. He claimed to have told the FBI about his older brother several times. “Dear kind people,” begins a copy of one of his letters, written in November 2003 . “Here is the story of how I began to suspect that my brother was Dee. Bee. Cooper." He told them that he was watching television one
evening and turned on Unsolved Mysteries, which was showing an episode of the Cooper case. "I did sit down in my chair because my brother was an exact copy of the compound sketch of the suspect." Being very suspicious, he began to study this case. “There were so many circumstances that I became convinced that my brother was really Dee. Bee. Cooper!
Kenneth Peter Christiansen was a quartermaster for Northwest Orient Airlines. He enlisted in the army in 1944 and was trained as a paratrooper. He went to land in 1945, but by that time the Second World War had already ended and Christiansen remained in Japan as part of the occupying forces, where he made training parachute jumps in the late 1940s . After leaving the army in 1954, he went to work as a mechanic for the Pacific branch of Northwest Orient Airlines, where he rose to the rank of steward, and then transferred to Seattle as a quartermaster. Died of cancer in 1994. Kenneth was left-handed, likewise liked to smoke and drink bourbon , and a few months after the theft bought the house for what Lyle thought was cash. According to Lyle, before his
death in 1994, Kenneth told him the following: “There is something that you should know, but what I cannot tell you,” Lyle did not insist then. After his death, relatives found in his property gold coins, a valuable collection of stamps, as well as bank accounts containing more than $200,000. A folder of Northwest Orient newspaper clippings was also found - there was no specifics in the notes themselves, but the first was dated to the mid-1950s, when Kenneth began working for this airline, and the last was dated on the eve of the hijacking. “I am not getting any younger,” Lyle Christiansen wrote to the FBI again , most recently in January 2004. “Before I die, I would like to know if my brother was D. B. Cooper. From what I have been able to find out, I can conclude that without a doubt it was him.
Lyle tried to report his sightings to the FBI, but his claims were not accepted. Then he tried to interest the director Nora Efron with his story, but this attempt was unsuccessful, but at the same time attracted public attention to the person of Christiansen. Florence Schaffner was presented with his photograph in 2007 for identification, and she confirmed that he was generally very similar to Cooper, but she still could not say that it was him (it is noteworthy that Tina Macklow, who was in contact with Cooper much more, no similar request was made). Lyle then contacted New York City private detective Skipp Porteous, who published a book in 2010 claiming that Kenneth Christiansen was Dan Cooper. The book caused a lot of publicity , and as a result, hacker detectives became interested in Christiansen, who eventually established that Kenneth Christiansen bought the house not for cash, but with a mortgage (which he paid off only after 17 years), and he received $ 200,000 as a result of selling about 20 acres at 17,000 an acre in the mid-1990s. Lyle also mailed some photos and documents to one of the reporters and began talking about his family. They grew up on a farm with cows, pigs,
tractors and chickens. This was during the Great Depression. “All of us kids didn’t get a lot of hugs when we were growing up, and we missed a lot because of that,” Lyle says. “I think it made us all a little shy and made us crave hugs. Our people have been
so busy. Dad worked in the fields, and mom cooked, sewed, washed, preserved, gardened, and also helped harvest. For fun , they went to the county fair, where the father once fought a fighter and earned $100 by surviving one full round. Lyle and Kenny watched as their father was paid five $20 bills. Kenny will never
forget those $20 bills, Lyle says. “It was big money during the Great Depression. Their father also invented things. One of them was “a contraption that was supposed to work like a perpetual motion machine,” Lyle recalls. It was made of wood and moved on marble.
As a child, Lyle was different from Kenny. Lyle was into contact sports and girls. Kenny loved "cool stuff. Kenny was so precise in his drawings that he drew illustrations for the yearbook's staff. He played the cornet in the orchestra and sang in the men's choir. He was tap dancing. Played in several school plays. And
in sports, Kenny set school records in the half-mile run. In high school, he was top of his class and had a choice of twelve private colleges. But the war was on, it was 1944, and Kenny signed up for military service. He thought about the Air Force, but settled on the army and chose an elite, dangerous and therefore higher paid specialty: paratroopers. “Kenny was always looking for ways to make money,” said his brother Lyle.
The training was brutal. By that time, Kenny had strapped on all of his equipment, including parachute and reserve parachute, helmet, canteen, bandolier, compass, gloves, flares, message book, hand grenades, machete, M-1 Garand rifle, Colt .45 caliber, batteries for radio, wire cutters, rations, shaving kit, instant coffee, bouillon cubes, sweets - all equipment weighed as much as 40 kg. The paratroopers were equipped with such heavy equipment (they had to survive behind enemy lines for weeks) that they could not independently enter transport aircraft.
Jumping was also dangerous. The quality of the parachutes was primitive. They could not be directed away from power lines or trees. Paratroopers hit the ground hard with their boots, bruising their ankles and knees, and in some cases breaking them. Kenny
trained with the 11th Angels Airborne Division, which was sent to the Pacific. But he never fought. When he was finally sent into the army on August 16, 1945, his demobilization papers show that the war was over. He ended up in Japan, joining the original occupying forces. He ran the post office and earned
extra money. After college, Lyle said his brother returned to the Pacific , this time to Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. There the government tested nuclear bombs. Kenny worked
as a telephone operator. He was lonely there, although he loved loneliness and hot weather. Kenny loved the beaches, he always saved up money for trips to warmer climes. Even at home, he saved money for the trip. In college,
he got a job selling subscriptions to road magazines. He went once with the carnival, selling tickets. Then he left for warmer climes: Jamaica, Laguna Beach, Los Angeles, Mexico City. Then Kenny found out about working for an airline. Northwest, based in Minneapolis, was looking for technicians to work on their planes in Shemier, an island in the Aleutian Islands. He started as a mechanic, and in 1956 he was again hired as a flight attendant. He moved to southwest Washington and was appointed treasurer. This meant an additional monthly
payment of $50, as well as dealing with customs and immigration agents and managing the plane's money. The FBI has officially announced that it does not consider Kenneth Christiansen a potential suspect: firstly, there is no concrete evidence of his involvement, and secondly, the description of external data does not match (although Christiansen was 45 years old at the time of the hijacking, he was shorter and lighter in weight, than described Cooper), thirdly, Christiansen had good skydiver skills and, according to the FBI, had he been in Cooper's place, he would not have dared to make such a reckless jump. Another suspect was Theodore Burdett Braden Jr.
He was a commando during the Vietnam War, a skydiving master and a criminal. Born in Ohio, Braden first entered the army at the age of 16 in 1944, serving with the 101st Airborne Regiment during World War II. He eventually became one of the leading military skydivers, often representing the army in international skydiving tournaments (according to army records, he made 911 jumps). In the 1960s, Braden was a team leader in the MACV-SOG, a top-secret US special forces unit created for special operations and operating during the Vietnam War in various countries. He also served as a military skydiving instructor, teaching freefall techniques to members of Project Delta. Braden spent 23 months in Vietnam, conducting covert operations in both North and South Vietnam, as well as Laos and Cambodia. In December 1966,
Braden defected from his unit in Vietnam and went to the Congo to serve as a mercenary, but was arrested there by CIA agents and sent back to the United States to face military trial. Although desertion was considered a felony, Braden got away with only being honorably discharged in 1967 and barred from re-enlisting—thus the CIA forced him to keep secret about MACV-SOG's activities. In 1967, Braden was the subject of an article in the October issue of Ramparts magazine. In the article, Braden's colleague in special forces Don Duncan described him as someone with a "secret death wish" who "constantly puts himself in unnecessary danger, but always seems to get away with it " - Duncan claimed that Braden always disregarded safety rules while jumping . He also claimed that in Vietnam, Braden made money by often "participating in dubious transactions." Little is known about Braden's life after the army.
At the time of the hijacking, he was working as a truck driver for Consolidated Freightways, which was headquartered in Vancouver near Cooper's proposed landing zone. At some point in the early 1970s, he was the subject of an FBI case involving his theft of $250,000 in an alleged trucking scam, but he was never formally charged. In 1980, Braden was indicted by a federal grand jury for driving a truck full of stolen goods from Arizona to Massachusetts, but the verdict remains unknown. In 1982, Braden was arrested in Pennsylvania for driving a stolen car with fictitious license plates and for not having a driver's license. In the late 1980s, Braden was eventually sent to a Pennsylvania federal prison for an undisclos