FBI has lead on D.B. Cooper

The FBI is hot on the trail of D.B. Cooper, the mysterious heister who leapt from his looted airplane into myth. Nearly four decades since his disappearance, a "credible lead" has come in. From CNN:
It's been nearly four decades since a man calling himself Dan Cooper jumped out the back of Northwest Orient Flight 305, somewhere between Seattle and Reno, Nevada, carrying a parachute and some $200,000 in pilfered money. It's not known where Cooper landed, or if he even survived the jump. But the case lives on in infamy, what the FBI calls "one of the great unsolved mysteries" in the agency's history.


  1. The FBI couldn’t close an umbrella without help.  I also find it incredibly hysterical that they meet their own definition for criminal and terrorist organizations.  Does it also amuse anyone else that according to the Patriot Act it’s actually illegal to speak with the FBI? 

    1. I hadn’t heard about the Patriot Act making it illegal to talk with the Feebies, Abe. Got a link? (I don’t doubt you, just curious.)

      1. There is no specific mention of the FBI in the Patriot Act.  What was done was to say that any organization that is guilty of XYZ is a terroristic or criminal organization.  The FBI has gotten caught with it’s hands in the money laundering, jury tampering, evidence manufacturing cookie jar…  I could go on for days… just google “fbi misconduct” or something similar and you’ll find no shortage of evidence.  So by simply stating “no scumbags” in the Patriot Act… they included the FBI without actually being aware of it.   So like it or not.. it’s the black letter of the law.

          1. Dude… this is real easy.  Even you should be able to get this.  The Patriot Act is so poorly written as to include the FBI in it’s legislation.  Now… are you REALLY going to argue, based on everything that’s been going on lately in DC, that these people aren’t that stupid?  Of course we all know there are no other laws that are contradictory….   just this one.  So.. you like onions do you?

          2. So is the government irrevocably stupid, or is the government a tightly-controlled hyper-intrusive cadre of conspiratorial madmen?  Wait… the government is PRETENDING to be ineffectual to lull us to sleep!  My God, I have fallen into their trap!!!  Their genius is sublime!

  2. It’s funny how they’ll track a dead man and $200,000 for forty years but can’t be bothered to investigate the trillion dollar crime of Wall Street’s collapse and subsequent bailout.

    Priorities. We don’t have any.

  3. The part I don’t understand is why he only asked for $200,000. I mean, yeah it was 1971, but even as a kid I thought “Why not ask for at least half a million dollars?”

    1. Maybe $200k was a weight or bulk limitation? He was, after all, intending to parachute from a jetliner. 

      1. Not really wanting to go too deep into this, but I’d buy the bulk problem (100 packets of bills) over the weight problem (probably not more than 25 pounds).

  4. Hasn’t the statute of limitations run out?  And even if it hasn’t, does it make sense to keep an investigation going for 40 years when he only stole $200,000?  I’m sure the FBI has spent a lot more than $200,000 of our money investigating this.  At some point don’t you have to ask if it’s worthwhile to continue?  

    1. I assume the statute on the theft has expired, but I’m guessing the one against seriously threatening to blow up a plane has not. 

      I do think it’s worthwhile to continue in the way they are continuing.  It’s not like they’ve got a 24/7 manhunt running still.  They just investigate leads when credible plausible ones come in.  They’re not wasting a ton of time and money on it anymore.  And I like that justice is inevitable, that you can’t just commit a crime, then operate under the radar for a while, then be scott free without ever even having to worry that the authorities are still looking for you.  It makes sure that criminals know that the law will always be looming over them their entire lives even if they get away initially. 

  5. I have always loved this story. It almost seems like a fable. As much as
    I’d like to know who this was, I fear it may ruin the story for young
    people who have yet to enjoy it. THINK OF THE CHILDREN, FBI

  6. agreed Skudworth–i am in no way advocating threatening a plane or stealing, but secretly hasn’t everyone wanted to do something like this?  actually finding him would make the story a lot less cool.

  7. They found D.B. Cooper forty years ago, right after the crime. He lived in Portland, and he didn’t do it. The guy in the plane called himself “Dan Cooper”, not “D.B.” I wonder why the wrong name has stuck all this time.

  8. I met this guy once in the laundry room of a Burns. Bros. outside of Reno. He was driving a longhaul truck and headed back to idaho. We got to talking and he eventually asked me if i ever heard of D.B. Cooper, I said yes and he replied “that’s me.” I obviously didn’t believe him, but he was nice enough so i placated him with a head nod. When we said our goodbyes he handed me  a 20 dollar bill and told me to check the serial #. Then, i’ll know he was telling the truth. but i lost it at the craps table. so who knows.

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