D. B. Cooper

unidentified man who hijacked a Boeing 728 airplane in November 1971

D. B. Cooper (also known as Dan Cooper) is an alias (false name) for a man who hijacked an airplane in November 24, 1971. At that time, airline passengers were not searched before boarding their planes. He carried a bomb onto a flight between Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington.[1] He received the ransom payment of $200,000.[2] He jumped from the airplane, which was a Boeing 727. When he jumped, the airplane was in the Pacific Northwest, perhaps over Woodland, Washington.[3] Hundreds of suspects have been named through the years, but no conclusive evidence has surfaced regarding who Cooper was, or where he lived. The FBI believes he did not survive the jump.[1][4] Several people have tried to explain what happened after the jump. Some of these explanations contradict each other.

D. B. Cooper
A composite drawing of D. B. Cooper made by the FBI in 1972
Other namesDan Cooper
Known forHijacking a Boeing 727 on November 24, 1971, and parachuting out of the plane
A sketch drawing made by the FBI. It shows how Cooper could possibly look today

Because no one expected he would jump and because little is known of what happened afterwards, people are still interested in the case. The Cooper case (code-named "Norjak" by the FBI)[5] remains an unsolved mystery.

The case is famous for its lack of evidence. A few important clues have arisen, nevertheless. In late 1978, a placard, which had instructions on how to lower the rear stairs of a 727 was found just a few flying minutes north of Cooper's projected drop zone. It is believed that this is from the rear stairway of the plane from which Cooper jumped. In February 1980, eight-year-old Brian Ingram found $5,880 in decaying $20 bills on the banks of the Columbia River.[6]

In October 2007, the FBI announced it was able to get a partial DNA profile of Cooper from the tie he left on the hijacked plane.[7] The FBI warehouse had lost other material with his DNA.[1] On December 31, 2007, the FBI revived the unclosed case: They published never before seen composite sketches and fact sheets online. They did this because some people might remember them, and help identify Cooper. In a press release, the FBI said that it still does not believe Cooper survived the jump, but wanted to know who Cooper was.[7][8] In March 2008, the FBI announced that another possible clue was being investigated after a torn, tangled parachute was found within the bounds of Cooper's probable jump site near the town of Amboy, Washington.[9] However, the FBI announced on April 1, 2008 that the parachute in question was not D. B. Cooper's. The man responsible for packing the four parachutes said that the recently discovered parachute was not Cooper's, as his was nylon, and the newly discovered parachute was silk, dating from the 1940s.[10]

Normally, the criminal laws cannot work against people years after their crimes (statute of limitations). In 1976, to prevent D. B. Cooper from escaping punishment, a Portland grand jury charged D. B. Cooper with crimes.[11]

Since 1999, Ariel, Washington holds an annual D. B. Cooper celebration on the anniversary of his jump.[1]

He is said to be a disabled veteran.[12]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Johnson, Gene (November 25, 2011). "After 40 years, D.B. Cooper skyjacking still an enticing mystery". Washington Post. p. A9.
  2. Adjusted for inflation, $200,000 in 1971 has the buying power of $$1,118,128.40 in 2011. "Consumer Price Index Inflation Calculator". United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved 2011-11-26. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. LaBoe, Barbara (2008-01-01). "Search for D.B. Cooper 'reignited'". The Daily News. Retrieved 2008-01-03. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. "FBI makes new bid to find 1971 skyjacker". Associated Press. 2008-01-01. Retrieved 2008-01-01. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. Himmelsbach, Ralph P.; Thomas K. Worcester (1986). Norjak: The Investigation of D. B. Cooper. West Linn, Oregon: Norjak Project. p. 135. ISBN 0-9617415-0-3.
  6. "Cash linked to 'D.B. Cooper' up for auction". MSNBC. 2008-03-31. Retrieved 2008-03-31. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. 7.0 7.1 "D.B. Cooper: Help Us Solve the Enduring Mystery". FBI. 2007-12-31. Retrieved 2008-01-01. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. "Interview with lead FBI Investigator Larry Carr". Steven Rinehart. 2008-02-02. Archived from the original on 2008-02-29. Retrieved 2008-02-02. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. "Did children find D.B. Cooper's parachute?". MSNBC. 2008-03-25. Retrieved 2008-03-25. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. "Parachute 'absolutely' not Cooper's". MSNBC. 2008-04-01. Retrieved 2008-04-01. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. Denson, Bryan (November 24, 1996). "D.B. Cooper legend lives". The Oregonian. Archived from the original on September 20, 2003. Retrieved 2011-11-26. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. Krakow, Morgan (July 11, 2019). "He died claiming to be a disabled veteran. But many believe he was hijacker D.B. Cooper". Retrieved April 9, 2020.

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