New Revelations of the Most Renowned  Disappearance Case of D.B. Cooper

The vanishing of D.B. Cooper has remained murky and fascinating in recent times and is considered by many to be one of the most renowned enigmatic disappearances.

In November 1971, a man named Dan Cooper commandeered the passenger plane and threatened everyone on board with a bomb he claimed was in his suitcase. He demanded $200,000 in ransom money and four parachutes on a short flight from Portland airport to Seattle.

The aircraft subsequently landed in Seattle, where 36 passengers disembarked. The ransom money was handed over to him. The aircraft took off again, and DB Cooper parachuted down over rugged Oregon terrain at night and in horrible weather.

It is still unknown whether he survived the jump or not. D.B. Cooper was never located, and no sign of him was ever traced, although many believe that he was a professional skydiver. It remains the only unsolved air piracy case in US history.

Who is D.B. Cooper?

D.B. Cooper is a moniker given by the media to an unidentified hijacker. The man booked his flight ticket under the pseudonym Dan Cooper but became famous as D. B. Cooper in popular lore due to a media error.

Subsequent to the 1971 incident, the FBI had an ongoing investigation for 45 years. Despite a case file that grew to almost 60 volumes during that time, no definitive conclusions about Cooper’s true identity or fate were obtained.

The Main Suspects

Kenneth Christiansen, whose story was recounted in the novels “Skyjack: The Hunt for D.B. Cooper” by Geoffrey Gray and “Into the Blast: The True Story of D.B. Cooper” by investigator Skipp Porteous, was one of the primary suspects. 

Kenneth Christiansen was a skilled paratrooper who resembled D.B. Cooper’s demeanor and nature. The accusation dates back to 2003, after Kenneth Christiansen’s brother, Lyle Christiansen, used circumstantial evidence to convince officials and a film director of his brother’s identity. 

Another major suspect, Sherida Peterson, passed away at the age of 94. Due to his expertise as a smokejumper, a fireman who parachutes into isolated places to combat wildfires, and his passion for skydiving, he was considered a prime suspect.

Mr. Sherida Peterson was a marine during World War 2 and later worked at Boeing in Seattle as a technical editor.

The mysterious story took another turn when D.B. Cooper was identified as Robert W. “Bob” Rackstraw, a retired Vietnam War veteran who became a university law teacher, according to Los Angeles director Tom Colbert and a team of detectives.

They also claim that sections of Rackstraw’s story have ties to Arizona. Rackstraw has given confusing and evasive answers in previous interviews with law enforcement and journalists, unwilling to confirm or deny that he is Cooper.

Some Insights of Thomas J. Colbert

As Colbert released a History Channel video pointing to Rackstraw as the culprit, the FBI ceased its investigation on Cooper two years ago. Colbert says that he is working on a new film and has a financial stake in its success.

However, he argues that his main purpose is to expose the FBI’s failure to perform its duty, ostensibly because, after the incident, Rackstraw became a CIA operative.

Some years ago, Colbert filed a lawsuit against the agency to access the case file. During the frenzy, a man named Dick Briggs apparently informed two acquaintances that he was the actual D.B. Cooper, not Rackstraw.

Ron Carlson, one of their friends, told The Republic that their conversations took place in 1979. According to Carlson, the men were at a gathering in Portland when Briggs pointed out a young couple.

He claimed that together with their child, they would soon “discover” money from the airplane robbery hidden along the Columbia River.

The revelation prompted a five-year investigation by a team of 40 retired law enforcement officers. Briggs, according to Colbert, did not match the hijacker’s profile. 

However, they found he was an acquaintance of Rackstraw and grew to believe that money from the plane hijacking was planted to exonerate Rackstraw. Briggs was killed ten months later in a car accident that was ruled an accident.

In the late 1970s, the FBI interrogated Rackstraw and found him not guilty. Inside the Coopersphere, there are no clear answers, only a confusing amusement house of uncertainty and perplexity.

Given the frenzy that surrounded the case’s resolution, the crime may now seem antiquated. Nevertheless, no one was killed. Cooper’s skyjacking, on the other hand, has long transcended a single act, becoming an ever-expanding world of new stories that are the most contemporary of Hollywood productions.

The Legacy of D.B. Cooper

The case is almost closed, but the suspects are still under detectives’ scrutiny. Throughout the event, Cooper was depicted as calm, calculated, and courteous. 

He did not harm anyone, and he outwitted the country’s top criminal detectives. D.B. Cooper has been celebrated as a folk hero due to his actions.

After the hijacking incident gained notoriety, numerous sketches of the hijacker were created by artists. He was described as a whitish olive-skinned man who was 6’1 tall and weighed almost 70-75 kgs. 

Cooper was believed to be between the ages of 35 and 40, with brown eyes and black hair, according to the FBI. Sources mentioned that he was wearing a clip-on necktie and he had eight cigarette butts in his pocket.

The Formal Investigation

These were among the evidence collected by FBI agents, even though Cooper did not leave a ransom letter behind. Agents also conducted interviews and carried out ground searches. During the initial five years of the inquiry, the Bureau came across nearly 800 suspects.

The fact that investigators were interviewing a Portland man named Daniel B. Cooper, who referred using his initials, was leaked to the press. However, that D.B. Cooper was released, and the notorious D.B. Cooper was born from the press. 

For 18 days, authorities combed the area with aircraft, helicopters, and around 300 troops. Cooper was nowhere to be found.

Revelations of the Disappearance Case of D.B. Cooper

In 2016, the FBI declared that it was halting the Cooper investigations to reallocate resources. All Bureau evidence will be preserved. Cooper’s cigarette butts, which potentially include DNA, are missing from the investigation.

People are still searching for leads. In 2020, a hobbyist scientist claimed that he had detected minuscule pieces of algae (“diatoms”) on the 1980 cash found near the riverbank. 

The diatoms on these bills only appear in the springtime, and they were only found on them for one season. This contradicts the theory that the money was thrown into the ocean during Cooper’s November 1971 leap.

Final Word

His story has become something of a legend because of those enigmas. Cooper’s identity has been a subject of speculation for decades. He has been mentioned in numerous books, TV shows, and movies, but the mysterious disappearance case of D.B. Cooper remains unsolved.

Rate article
Add a comment