OT DB COOPER DAY

Discussion in 'Blazers OT Forum' started by Chris Craig, Nov 24, 2022.

  1. Chris Craig

    Chris Craig (Blazersland) I'm Your Huckleberry Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    51 years ago today, a man walk into the Portland International Airport and bought a ticket. He gave gave the name Dan Cooper.

    He boarded the plane, a 727 with rear aft stairs and sat in the back. He ordered a bourbon and Seven-Up and passed a note to a stewardess. She thought he was flirting, giving her his number and put it in her pocket. He implored her to open it and asked her to sit next to him, where he opened his suitcase revealing what appeared to be a bomb, but was likely flares and wires made up to look like an explosive.

    He demanded $200,000 in negotiable American currency and four parachutes. The plane circled the Seattle area as they waited for the demands to be met. Cooper pointed out McChord Air force base was nearby.

    He was exceedingly calm and collected, never mean to stewardess or passengers. He smoked 8 cigarettes and drank several bourbons of which he paid for.

    The plane landed, window covers down and a stewardess left to collect the money and parachutes. When she returned he let the passengers and a few of the stewardesses go. She brought instructions with the parachutes. Cooper said he didn't need them.

    He set further demands, asking for a refill of the fuel for the plane, and for the plane to fly to Mexico. He asked for the plane to fly at 10,000 feet with the landing gear and flaps down. He asked that the stewardess open the aft stairs. This demand was not met, leading Cooper to say he would do it himself.

    He was told the plane could not make it to Mexico without another refill. Cooper was offered Reno and other cities as refuel points. He chose Reno but the pilot not Cooper chose the flight path.

    Into the flight, Cooper asked Mucklow, the stewardess who stayed aboard to open the aft stairs. She said she was afraid she would get sucked out, and he told her he would do it and sent her to the cockpit.

    As she went, she turned and begged him to take the bomb. He said he would take it or disarm it. She last saw Cooper tying the money bag to him using cords of one the parachutes.

    Of the four parachutes Cooper took the older one, a Military chute, as well as a backup shoot that was sewn shut. He took the briefcase with the bomb in it, and paper bag he had brought, but left a clip on tie and 8 cigarette butts. The glass he had been drinking bourbon from had been mixed with others on a cart. He made sure to get his note back and his matchup which the stewardess was going to "throw away".

    Just after 8:00 PM the pilots felt a jarring bounce as the aft stairs were opened and Cooper jumped into the night into 10 degree freezing rain at 10,000 feet somewhere over southern Washington. He was never seen again. No trace of him found...other than a packet of a small amount of the money buried at Tina Bar on the Columbia 8 years later.

    There have been lots of suspects, multiple who confessed on their deathbeds to bring Cooper, and many others who's families suspected them of being the skyjacker.

    The FBI accidentally threw away the cigarette butts. The tie was tested to find several rare earth metals, pointing towards Cooper working in an airplane manufacturing plant or some other plant using these metals.

    Cooper was thought to be familiar with Washington as he referenced McChord Air force base and pointed out Tacoma as they flew over it.

    He was thought to have parachuting, probably military experience as he didn't need instructions for the parachutes. He was also thought to be familiar with planes, as he new how to use the aft stairs and that it was safe to fly with them open. He also knew the proper airspeeds and height at which a jump was safe.

    Who is DB (Dan) Cooper?
     
  2. MickZagger

    MickZagger Well-Known Member

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    I was obsessed with this story as a kid after watching an unsolved mysteries about it and it being so close to home.

    Now I feel like it’s gotten out of control and too many people are trying to capitalize on it.
     
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  3. Chris Craig

    Chris Craig (Blazersland) I'm Your Huckleberry Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    Yeah, the closeness of the location is part of the intrigue for me too. I think for a lot of people it's the fact that he got away and didn't leave much of a trace. That he hoodwinked the man and he did it very James Bond like. Fact is, he hijacked a plane and held people for ransom, whether he was mean to them or not. He committed a crime. Several actually.
     
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  4. Chris Craig

    Chris Craig (Blazersland) I'm Your Huckleberry Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    Several scenarios I have come across:

    • He didn't survive the jump. Either his parachute didn't open or he landed in a lake or river and drowned or died from hypothermia after injuring himself in a hard landing. His body remains unfound in dense forrest, it's stuck in a tree, or floated down a river and out to the ocean. Some of the money some how made it to Tina Bar.
    • He survived the jump, and either made it out on his own or with help (There were red sticks in the bomb, that could have been flares. He could have used those once landing to mark his position to an accomplice.) He either buried the chute and money or brought it with him. He later purposely left some of the money at Tina Bar to let the world know he made it, to further stick it to the man, or to keep the case in the spotlight.
    • He was unprepared and careless, as he wore only a suit with loafers and left his tie and cigarette butts behind. He allowed the pilot to plot the course.
    • He was prepared and very careful as he made sure to get back the note and matchbook. He took the briefcase with him. His construction of the "bomb", wearing glasses to hide his appearance, his instructions for the plane to fly at 20,000 feet, the airspeed, etc all showed careful planning. Maybe he left the tie and cigarette butts on purpose. Maybe he changed out the butts with others and left a tie with planted DNA and stuff to throw off the FBI. Probably not. Though his tie being left shows he took it off, probably to change, so maybe he didn't jump out in just a suit and loafers after all. The trip is just 20-30 minutes between Portland and Seattle. Did he time it, and jump according to that or did he just randomly jump? Or...
    • He never jumped. He just made it look like he did. He threw out the money or at least the briefcase and the extra chutes out, shook or jumped up and down on the aft stairs to make the pilots think he bailed and hid somewhere on the plane. Perhaps he dressed as a policeman and walked away from the plane after it. Where? Remember he asked for the plane to fly at 10,000 feet with the landing gear down. Maybe he waited till they were landing in Reno and hid in the landing gear before hopping out and walking away. He later returned to the forest for the money or dropped it near the Reno airport and got it from there. Or....
    • Dan Cooper was never on the plane to begin with. It was an inside job. One of the pilots, or a crew member pretended to be Cooper. They "hijacked" the plane then threw out the parachutes and money or his the money in their bags and left the plane after landing without suspicion.
    • But...the money was never spent or shown up besides the $6,000 at Tina Bar. So either, if there was a Cooper he died on impact and the rest of the money was lost, he made it and it was never about the money. He hid it away or burned the rest of it to keep DB Cooper a legend and unsolved, the banks stopped checking for the bills after a certain time and the money was spent and it's just not known, or it was laundered or used in another country.
     
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  5. riverman

    riverman Writing Team

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    He's an alien in human form...the money was for kindling to start fires with until he got to the pickup spot and flew off to the planet Zemo...he gave 6k to a homeless guy hoping to cover his tracks
     
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  6. PDXFonz

    PDXFonz I’m listening!

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    DB Cooper turned into a real “I’m Spartacus” situation.
     
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  7. barfo

    barfo triggered obsessive commie pinko Staff Member Global Moderator

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    727 not 747.

    Chute not shoot.

    barfo
     
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  8. HomerLovesKoolAid

    HomerLovesKoolAid I have a well-known member.

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    I hear he lives in Bellingham and used to post here.
     

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