There is only one unsolved airplane hijacking mystery in the United States and federal officials might be close to cracking the case. It has been forty years since a man in a suit took over a 727 jet and parachuted into the night with $200,000. The man sought by the federal officials is DB Cooper, who has not been seen since 1971 when he hijacked a Northwest Orient Airlines flight that was bound for Seattle from Portland according to AOL and NWCN.
Federal investigators are working to link fingerprints found on the 727 to fingerprints found on a toothbrush turned over to the FBI. The toothbrush belongs to a man known as LD Cooper, and his niece was the one who told the story of the hijacking to investigators. The niece contacted officials after she grew suspicious of her uncle’s life. Marla Cooper, the niece of LD Cooper, claims her uncle returned home one morning to Sisters, Oregon, which was the day after the hijacking took place. She claims her uncle blamed the injury on a car accident.
“I knew he did it, it wasn’t speculation, I was there when he pulled into the driveway,” Marla Cooper said. LD Cooper died back in 1999.
The ticket for the flight was purchased under an alias of Dan Cooper, but multiple media reports listed the man’s name as DB Cooper. No one from the FBI will comment regarding the case but Marla Cooper claims that she was told the case was winding down to a close.
“Regardless of the findings of the fingerprints, he told me the case was closing because they were certain my uncle did it,” she said.
After appearing at the Cooper family home in 1971 for Thanksgiving, no one saw the man ever again, reportedly passing away in 1999. Marla Cooper also said that her uncle was fixated on a character from a comic book named Dan Cooper, which was the name used to purchase the ticket for the flight. Marla Cooper also thinks that her uncle lost all of the $200,000 ransom money as he parachuted to earth from the plane.
Once Cooper boarded the plane, he ordered a whisky and lit a cigarette. Then he passed a note to one of the flight attendants that read:
‘I HAVE A BOMB IN MY BRIEFCASE. I WILL USE IT IF NECESSARY. I WANT YOU TO SIT NEXT TO ME. YOU ARE BING (sic) HIJACKED.’
Cooper then talked with the captain, asking for $200,000 and four parachutes. If he were to receive those items he would permit 36 people to go free when the plane landed in Seattle. Once the FBI agreed to the demands, the plane took off towards Mexico, flying at around 10,000 feet. As the plane flew over the Cascade Mountains in Southwestern Washington, Cooper jumped from the plane using a parachute and was never seen again according to Mail Online.
The FBI has suspected over 1,000 people for the previous four decades but none that have matched so closely to LD Cooper even though some of them claimed to be Cooper at the time.