DB Cooper mystery: new dig for evidence underway on Washington river bank

In 1971, "DB Cooper" hijacked a plane from Portland, Oregon and eventually parachuted into the Pacific Northwest wilderness with $200,000 strapped to his body. He was never seen again. The DB Cooper tale continues to thrive in popular culture while sparking a seemingly endless stream of theories about the mystery man's identity, whether he could have lived, and, if he did, his whereabouts. (The FBI stopped their investigation in 2016.) Now, a DB Cooper historian is digging for new evidence, literally. From the Seattle PI:

On Friday, Eric Ulis and his team began excavating a 300-square-foot spot on the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington near where in 1980 a young boy stumbled upon three packets containing $5,800 of the ransom money. According to Ullis, authorities never checked this particular area.

Ulis is hoping to find one or both of Cooper's parachutes — he left the plane with only two — and the attaché case that ostensibly carried the bomb. He believes Cooper survived the jump and buried the cash and other items on the riverbank using nearby trees as landmarks he could reference when he came back to recover the money.

Going off this theory, Ulis selected the dig spot using two older trees that he says would have been on the shore in 1971. He says if one were to draw lines between the trees, they would converge in an "X" over the spot where the $5,800 was found in 1980[…]

As for the money itself, Ulis believes Cooper recovered the bulk of it prior to 1980.

He says Cooper likely removed several bundles of bills from the cumbersome, open-top bank bag the ransom money came in before he jumped, and then buried them loose alongside the sack. Ulis believes Cooper came back for the money shortly after June 12, 1972, when the Columbia River flooded.