D.B. Cooper pulled off the only unsolved air piracy in the history of American aviation. It was so successful, in fact, that nobody even knows his real name: D.B. Cooper is just a label that was given to him by the media because they could never figure out who he is. Since 1971, it has seemed like this case would never be solved, and today, it was confirmed that it probably never will be—at least in any official capacity: The FBI announced that they have finally closed the case because after 45 years of coming up short (via Reuters), they feel like their resources would be better used dealing with other matters.
For those who don’t know the story, it’s a fascinating one: On November 24, 1971, a man who identified himself as Dan Cooper boarded a flight at the Portland International Airport en route to Seattle, a 30-minute voyage. Once the plane was in the air, the skyjacker handed a note to a flight attendant and discretely told the woman that he had a bomb.
Then, he demanded $200,000 (roughly $1.18 million today) and four parachutes. The plane landed in Seattle, Cooper’s demands were met, and the plane took off again on a course towards Mexico City, per Cooper’s request. At some point around 8 p.m., Cooper was found to be no longer on the plane, and it’s not clear whether or not he survived the jump.
Really, not much at all is clear about this case, which is why it’s puzzled authorities for nearly half a century, and why the FBI decided to throw in the towel and move on to more solvable mysteries. Interestingly, the announcement comes just after the conclusion of a two-night special about Cooper on the History Channel, D.B. Cooper: Case Closed?. Watch a trailer for the program below.
Featured Image: U.S. Federal Government