Was DB Cooper a French Canadian who got the idea from Belgian comics?

The FBI thinks that DB Cooper, the infamous parachuting plane hijacker, was a French Canadian who got the idea from a Belgian comic book:

On the cover of one issue of the Belgium-produced comic — sold in Europe and French Canada shortly before Cooper’s hijacking of a Portland-to-Seattle flight — the Canadian superhero is shown parachuting from an aircraft. And that’s what the man calling himself Cooper did four decades ago this week — during a rainstorm while flying somewhere above the dense forests of the Pacific Northwest — to escape justice after receiving his ransom payoff from U.S. authorities.

The informally deputized investigators, who were invited to analyze the Cooper mystery by Seattle-based FBI agent Larry Carr, are Tom Kaye, a paleontologist at Seattle’s Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, Illinois-based metallurgical engineer Alan Stone and University of Chicago scientific illustrator Carol Abraczinskas.

FBI-backed team finds Canadian link to famous ’60s-era plane hijacking (Thanks, Nadreck!)


  1. It’s amazing that after 40 years all the evidence the FBI had of him was a comic book and a few bills found a decade later. I don’t condone holding hostages for ransom but this guy definitely had style and did it without anyone getting hurt.

  2. I suppose it’s possible, but if you’re going to be parsimonious about it, it seems more likely that he got the idea from Paul Cini, who attempted the same thing only two weeks prior.

    Seriously, why would a comic book be more likely to have an influence than an actual human being doing (or attempting to do) the exact, same thing?

  3. This has to be one of the dumbest theories I have ever read.  Was this even really that hard of an idea to come up with.

  4.  Considering the fellow’s age at the time of the hijacking, and his unique method of escape, I would think he was a paratrooper during WW2.  Can you really see an average numpty having the chutzpah to jump out of a plane in the dark, during a storm? 

    As cool as it would be to have a French Canadian pulling a fast one over on Americans, I don’t think this would be the case.  There was only one Canuck parachute battalion, so chances are slim it was one of them.

    I’d expect him to be either British or a Yank, though if he was British it would be pretty amusing; the fellow’s wanted poster has a hint of James Bond about it.

    1. That would be the Van Doos.  They were, and are, a notoriously rowdy bunch (and a regiment that pulled in three Victoria Crosses) so it’s not so improbable on that score but if it was a Van Doo you’d think they would have figured out which one it was by now.

    2. the real D.B. Cooper jumped with a parachute that any parachutist would have recognized as a nonfunctional training unit. Not only was the guy not a paratrooper, he’s dead.

      1. the real D.B. Cooper jumped with a parachute that any parachutist would have recognized as a nonfunctional training unit. Not only was the guy not a paratrooper, he’s dead.

        My reading of the situation is that he accepted the training reserve chute but didn’t use it. He also jumped without a helmet and in conditions which were pretty deadly. So yes he was probably an amateur, but I don’t think he was killed by that dud reserve parachute.

      2. You make one excellent point, while forgetting the logical following point:  a skilled parachutist normally tries to pack his own chute, yet no one witnessed DB ever checking out his chute, nor did anyone ever witness DB Cooper actually parachuting from said bird.

        Sacre merde!

    3. The escaping fugitive runs through a room towards the door, opens door, the backtracks and hides behind stacked containers in same room with just-opened door.

      The fugitive hunters race through room, seeing open door, they surmise the hunted fugitive exited through door and continue that way.

      The rear cargo door was ordered opened by DB Cooper, but nobody ever witnessed him parachuting out said opened door!

      Later, plane lands at final destination in Nevada.  Exit mastermind thief, dressed as member of cleaning crew, from the cargo hold he was previously aware of, holding his stash ready for the gambling tables of Las Vegas.

      Sacre merde!

  5. That’s weird, most Canadian French have an easy to recognize accent.
    That would have been a lead early on.
    Especially 40 years ago when the English culture was not widespread as much as it is today in la belle province…

    1. The article actually goes into that.  His grammatical sentence structure and choice of words indicated a French background but he had no French accent.  This would indicate a francophone from outside of Quebec: most probably from Manitoba.  The Frenchies in the little enclaves, surrounded by seas of Angophones, don’t have accents when speaking English.

      I also like how they deduced that he worked in, or lived proximate to,  a metal works from titanium deposits in a scrap of his tie that they have.

      1. the grammatical sentence structure & lack of accent angle doesn’t work for me.  My mother’s family are Francophones in Ontario.  They have no French accents when speaking English (they are bi-lingual), but they also do not mangle sentence structure (well, no more so than the average English-speaking person!) when translating from French to English.  In the predominantly French-speaking area of Ontario they live in I don’t find accent-free English speaking Francophones who somehow mangle English translations.  Because of the proximity to and frequent interactions with English-speakers (plus constant exposure to English-speaking media of all types) the sentence structure, syntax, slang etc is the same with these English-speaking Francophones as it is with the Anglophones.

        1. Well, they never said that all Francophones would make grammatical mistakes or that all Francophones in mostly Anglo areas would have no accents.  They said that those who do make these particular errors are Francophones and that those Franophones who don’t have accents are from outside of Quebec who, unlike your parents, are not in a mainly French-speaking area.

  6. I don’t know much of this story, but I gather the man jumped from a plane with a parachute, to evade arrest?

    This doesn’t seem particularly unique to me, not in a way that he would of needed some kind of influence.  If I were going to escape a plane in mid-air, I’d probably use a parachute too.  Am I missing an important detail?

  7. I realize this is the result of a more informal investigation than FBI involvement would normally indicate, but over $200K? Meanwhile, billions in cash go missing in Iraq when Cheney and Rumsfeld are involved.

    1. And don’t forget that when those billions went missing in Iraq (and now it’s over $16 billion missing in Afghanistan), Geithner was the chief at the NY Federal Reserve, where said oil monies from Iraq was supposed to be kept on account, transferred from their Trade Bank, headed by contractor JPMorgan Chase, where their managing director for said contract was one Daniel Zelikow, best friend forever, old college roommate of Timothy Geithner, formerly of the NYC Fed and now Treasury Secretary, and the guy who lent Geithner the use of his townhouse condo when Geithner went to Washington, D.C.

      And Reuben Jeffery, second in command to Bremer, was on site, and later would be appointed CEO of Rockefeller Financial Services (tie-in: Rockefeller’s protege, Peter G. Peterson, preceded Geithner at FRBNY and recommended Geithner as his replacement, JPMorgan Chase, a Rockefeller-Morgan bank, and it sounds remarkably similar to something which occurred during the Carter Administration regarding purloined monies from Iran to Rockefeller banks.

      Sacre merde!

  8. I have  friend of mine that has done a lot of research on what happened to him, such as trying to recreate scenarios that would result in the money that was found. IIRC he had some involvement in a Discovery Channel show about it.

    1. He didn’t board with any parachutes, he requested them along with the money, dood.

      You are making two assumptions:  (1) those chutes would be functional and Cooper would believe such, and (2) he actually used either chute!

      Sacre merde!

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