WA WA - D.B. Cooper Hijacking Mystery, 24 Nov 1971 - #4

JustinW

Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2019
Messages
29
Reaction score
84
Almost everyone on earth could use $200k(in 1971 and now, not even adjusting for inflation). Probably not enough for me to believe this. We suspect is it, although I have yet to find one I have believed in. Hopefully there’s more Ulis isn’t saying yet.
 

Magnum P.E.

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
698
Reaction score
878
I have never made up my mind as to whether he made it or not. There is evidence for both possibilities, ALL CIRCUMSTANTIAL…
Evidence that he made it:
1) No body ever found, despite a WHOLE LOT of searching
2) No missing person matching Cooper’s description was reported in that time span
3) Richard McCoy did a copycat hijacking and survived the jump. There may have been others I am forgetting.
Evidence that he didn't:
1) None of the missing money has ever turned up in circulation, only some in a sand bar, found by a kid.

I am probably missing some but that is what I can think of at the moment.

It is best to come up with the simplest explanation that fits with the known facts. This is Occam’s Razor. We tend to go with the crazy theories first, which is wrong.
I think it possible that he landed in water, drowned (or his chute did not open and he was killed on impact). Some money comes loose and ends up on Tena Bar, Cooper is washed out to sea and not heard of again. As for no matching missing person reported, we have that a lot, for various reasons.
If Cooper made it but lost the money when he landed in water, and just dried himself off and went back to his life, I guess he had one of the best stories that could never be told…..
 

Richard

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2004
Messages
9,989
Reaction score
13,383
I have never made up my mind as to whether he made it or not. There is evidence for both possibilities, ALL CIRCUMSTANTIAL…
...If Cooper made it but lost the money when he landed in water, and just dried himself off and went back to his life, I guess he had one of the best stories that could never be told…..
Yes exactly - who could he tell?
 

JustinW

Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2019
Messages
29
Reaction score
84
I think he most likely survived the jump personally. There’s “old guys” jumping out of planes in worse conditions to prove a point all the time. Those guys are all probably quite experienced. Cooper’s experience was unknown, but most likely he had some level of experience to consider jumping out of a plane is a reasonable escape plan.
Of course there’s no actual proof, as far as I know. There’s not even positive proof where he jumped, other than it was after the flight crew last saw him and before landing in Reno.
 

JustinW

Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2019
Messages
29
Reaction score
84
On the “Cooper Vortex” podcast Arthur L. Friedberg, a numistmatist(apparently that’s an expert in how money circulates) said if it was spent and put back in circulation some of the money would have been discovered(with very high certainty).
Here’s the possibilities for the money:
1)Cooper lost it in the jump.
Issue: None of it was ever found (except on Tena bar)
2)Cooper died in the jump and the money was on him.
Issue:Cooper’s body was never found.
3)Cooper never spent it
Issue: Why take the insane risk of what he did with no financial gain.
4)Cooper survived and spent the money
Issue:Why was none ever recovered from circulation.

People were actively looking for those serial numbers and a $20 bill was a bit more valuable and less common then so more people would notice them than they would tend to now. There weren’t computers to help track the serial numbers so who knows how quickly they would have been discovered. Were banks really checking all their $20s going in and out? When bills were retired were they all checked?
 

kemo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2007
Messages
1,668
Reaction score
1,231
A list of all of the serial numbers of the bills was given to bank tellers in the Seattle Metro area. Realistically, I can not believe many took the trouble to verify the number of every(or any for that matter) of $20 bills that crossed their counters. No lists were distributed elsewhere.

In those days there was no scanning capability so there was no way the serial were ever tracked or recorded at any point including when they were taken out of circulation. I don’t think it is all that significant that none of the bills were “found” in circulation. I think Law Enforcement prefers to believe, and prefers that that the public believe that DB never got away with it.
 

Richard

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2004
Messages
9,989
Reaction score
13,383
"Cooper" had planned out his crime carefully. He apparently knew exactly how much money he wanted and in what denominations. He released all of his hostages in Seattle, with the exception of the flight crew.

He demanded two sets of parachutes (front and back packs) probably to ensure that the FBI would not try to pull a fast one and give him an inoperable chute. The implication being that one set would be used by a hostage. As it was, he left one set on the aircraft.

He knew what route, altitude, and airspeed he wanted out of Seattle, and jumped when he thought he would be near his target. He probably had studied the aircraft and knew how to lower the rear loading ramp.

The flight crew was all ordered to the cockpit and not present to observe his jump. They felt a sort of bump at one point and thought that was when he jumped off the ramp.

It would seem odd for him to jump in November in only a suit and tie. Perhaps he had a jump suit and boots stowed on board, but that is one of the unknowns in this case.
 

Force Ten

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2012
Messages
3,179
Reaction score
10,922
A list of all of the serial numbers of the bills was given to bank tellers in the Seattle Metro area. Realistically, I can not believe many took the trouble to verify the number of every(or any for that matter) of $20 bills that crossed their counters. No lists were distributed elsewhere.

In those days there was no scanning capability so there was no way the serial were ever tracked or recorded at any point including when they were taken out of circulation. I don’t think it is all that significant that none of the bills were “found” in circulation. I think Law Enforcement prefers to believe, and prefers that that the public believe that DB never got away with it.
Yes I couldn’t see bank tellers reading every number on every 20 and comparing it to a list. At least not for very long. It’s ridiculous to suggest this was happening.
 

ColyH

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2018
Messages
514
Reaction score
2,019
On researching this case I found an obituary of Captain William A. Scott who died in 2001. It said that he served in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War 2 and that a year after the hijacking his son, grandson, daughter-in-law and her grandmother were killed in a plane crash. Scott's widow said that when he came home that night he told her what had happened and didn't talk about it for years. As time went on he began to open up about it more. His widow also stated that he felt that D.B. Cooper had perished in the jump around Lake Merwin and that he also said that authors who wrote on the hijacking had gotten the story wrong.

'D.B. Cooper' pilot dies; William Scott never talked much about 1971 skyjacking | The Seattle Times
 

DeDee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Messages
5,622
Reaction score
24,371
This DB Cooper mystery has always intrigued. I've met Arthur L. Friedberg, mentioned a few posts before this one, and own a couple of his paper money books. One might be surprised to learn of the valuable banknotes have that passed thru their hands. Collectors love odd serial #s, ie, J 12121212. Banknotes with errors are highly sought after. Checking your banknotes and you may find one with a star [*] known of as a star note. It is because a banknote was returned to the FED Reserve for replacement. Hence, it's the same banknote # only it now has a star [*] after the serial number to indicate it is a replacement note and always worth above the value of the banknote.

One oddity for me is that the rubber bands on the packs of $20s the little boy found on Tena Bar remained intact. Rubber bands in my kitchen drawer break from age without being used. The paper banknotes were decomposing but the rubber bands remaining in good shape is an odd artifact, imo.
 

Richard

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2004
Messages
9,989
Reaction score
13,383
A 1985 book titled "D. B. Cooper: What Really Happened" by Max Gunther claims to tell the true story of "Cooper" and the hijacking, his escape, and his years in hiding.

The author was a freelance writer of articles, some of which were published in the old "True" magazine. He states in his book that shortly after the now famous hijacking story had made world news, he was contacted by a man claiming to be the hijacker known as "D. B. Cooper".

Allegedly the man claiming to be Cooper wanted Max Gunther to write his story because of an article he had written for True published in January 1962 titled "Do-It,Yourself Divorce" The article dealt with runaway husband's seeking a second life by vanishing, moving away, and establishing a new identity. The article included case stories of men who had done this with various degrees of success or failure.

After another contact phone call from the man claiming to be Cooper, contact was established with a woman who claimed that "Cooper" had lived with her and eventually died, but had told her his story.

The book makes interesting reading.
 

Sonny Crockett

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2021
Messages
375
Reaction score
1,886
This case continues to fascinate - due to there being no resolution. Wanted to expand on a theory I thought was posted here recently?!, but unfortunately can't find now. I.e., another possibility that hasn't been discussed that much is this:

D.B. Cooper died in the process of landing in the parachute due to injury/drowning, etc. And, his body/parachute/bag/rest of the money (that wasn't found on the river-bank much later in 1980) was found with him at some point soon after. The person/persons realized who this was, due to all of the news reports on the case. I.e., I suspect that even in 1971, this was all over the news. So, the person/persons decided to dispose of the body/parachute/bag (somewhere where they would never be found) & keep the money. They weren't greedy. So, they just spent this a little at a time, making small purchases at numerous places over the years. And, they never deposited any of the money in a bank. That's why the $ was never located/traced back to them. Note this person/persons may (or may not) have been local to the area where Cooper jumped. But, even if they were - they could have easily moved right afterwards.

Yes, this is far-fetched. However - it would explain why his body/parachute/bag/etc. was never found.

Going along with this, if this had happened & the person/persons used the Cooper cash to buy groceries/gas/etc. - I don't see how every store/business in the U.S. could have conceivably tracked the money using the serial #'s, etc. IMHO, this would have been impossible in 1971. And, it would probably be impossible even today.
 
Last edited:

Ozoner

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2013
Messages
4,359
Reaction score
17,162
This case continues to fascinate - due to there being no resolution. Wanted to expand on a post I read on here recently, but unfortunately can't find now. I.e., another possibility that hasn't been discussed that much is this:

D.B. Cooper died in the process of landing due to injury/drowning, etc. And, his body/parachute/bag/rest of the money (that wasn't found on the river-bank much later in 1980) was found with him at some point soon after. The person/persons that found him realized who he was due to the high-profile nature of the case/news reports/etc. - i.e., I suspect that even in 1971, this made big headlines. So, the person/persons decided to dispose of the body/parachute/bag (somewhere where they would never be found) & keep the money. They weren't greedy, so just spent this a little at a time, making small purchases at numerous places over the years. And, they never deposited any of the money in a bank. That's why this was never traced back to them. Note this person/persons may (or may not) have been local to the area where Cooper jumped. But, if they were - they could have easily moved right afterwards.

Yes, this is far-fetched. But, it would explain why his body/parachute/bag/etc. was never found.

Going along with this, if this had happened & the person/persons used the Cooper cash to buy groceries/gas/etc. - I don't see how every store/business in the U.S. could have conceivably tracked the money using the serial #'s, etc. IMHO, this would have been impossible in 1971. And, it would probably be impossible even today.
Most profilers think that D. B. Cooper must have in dire financial straits in order to have committed such a high-risk crime, and if he was, you'd think that he would have used the money right away instead of sitting on it. There's a good chance he didn't live long enough to use it.

It's possible that someone could have found the body and stashed the loot until the coast was clear. If that happened, we may never know. Personally, I think Cooper probably landed in the Columbia River and drowned.

A twenty-dollar bill lasts an average of 7.9 years in circulation according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, so if the bills made it into circulation, they have probably all been destroyed by now.
 
Last edited:

Auntie Cipation

Context Matters.
Joined
Jan 17, 2018
Messages
2,756
Reaction score
27,146
A twenty-dollar bill lasts an average of 7.9 years in circulation according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, so if the bills made it into circulation, they have probably all been destroyed by now.
I agree that MOST of the bills would be gone by now, but it seems like there would still be a few left -- stashed in a book or in a stack in a safe deposit box, etc. Or even in a coin/bill collector's collection, if it was already old when the collector received it.

Obviously scanner technology didn't exist in banks at the time but I wonder if the serial numbers were ever entered into whatever bank scanning system I assume they currently use -- so that even while no bank employee is actively looking for those numbers anymore, if they entered the banking system they would nevertheless be found by the scanning system? Assuming that's even a thing?
 

DeDee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Messages
5,622
Reaction score
24,371
The government has no realistic way of tracking serial numbers within the banking system. When a bank receives a large bundle of new banknotes, they report, for their own benefit, the first and last serial number in the sequence. Your bank can order uncut sheets of banknotes for you to frame or to wallpaper the bathroom, btw.

I took the liberty of skimming over the territory where the pilots think Coop may have jumped and the area around Tena Bay. Unless he was nearly an expert skydiver, or not, it's possible his chute strings got caught up in the trees. A pocket knife could cut him down but he could possibly suffer broken bones, etc from the fall. I would love to know how he determined when to jump. Where did he acquire the experience and training for parachute jumping? Was a getaway vehicle stashed somewhere along the route?


AUG 13, 1974 a bank in NC was robbed. One of the robbers was Richard Floyd McCoy aka Dan B Cooper, according to the state trooper. Video shows DBC walking thru the Portland airport prior to hijacking the airplane:
Did DB Cooper rob an NC bank?
 

DeDee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Messages
5,622
Reaction score
24,371
A 1985 book titled "D. B. Cooper: What Really Happened" by Max Gunther claims to tell the true story of "Cooper" and the hijacking, his escape, and his years in hiding.

The author was a freelance writer of articles, some of which were published in the old "True" magazine. He states in his book that shortly after the now famous hijacking story had made world news, he was contacted by a man claiming to be the hijacker known as "D. B. Cooper".

Allegedly the man claiming to be Cooper wanted Max Gunther to write his story because of an article he had written for True published in January 1962 titled "Do-It,Yourself Divorce" The article dealt with runaway husband's seeking a second life by vanishing, moving away, and establishing a new identity. The article included case stories of men who had done this with various degrees of success or failure.

After another contact phone call from the man claiming to be Cooper, contact was established with a woman who claimed that "Cooper" had lived with her and eventually died, but had told her his story.

The book makes interesting reading.

Amazon.com

Paperback copy is $43.99.

Screenshot 2023-01-14 8.48.06 PM.png
 
Top