I consider this a crying shame: the FBI is closing the D.B. Cooper hijacking case, and not because they caught him. They didn’t. They’re closing it because they failed to find him! For shame, FBI!
Do you remember the story? It happened on November 24, 1971. A man calling himself “Dan Cooper” – the name was later misreported in the media as “D.B. Cooper,” and that’s how he became known – boarded a Northwest Orient Airlines plane in Portland, Oregon. Cooper said he had a bomb onboard, and took all the passengers hostage and would ransom them for $200,000 – which was a lot of money in those days. The plane landed at Seattle Airport. The hostages were released, thankfully unharmed. Then D.B. demanded another plane, two parachutes, the moolah, and a free flight to Mexico.
Somewhere over the state of Washington, he jumped from the plane and parachuted to freedom, complete with the money. The powers that be at the time didn’t think he’d survive the drop. Apparently, he did. You might think it doesn’t take a criminologist to figure out that he was almost certainly a member of some nation’s paratrooper division, but think again: he jumped out of the plane at night and over a Washington forest, the last place an experienced parachutist would have chosen to eject. Later, bills that were to be part of the ransom money were found by the Columbia River, but Cooper wasn’t, not dead, not alive, but hey, he’s got to be somewhere!
This inspired me to write the following limerick – okay, with a LOT of input from my mother and father – in Mr. Cohn’s fifth grade class at Victor Mravlag School 21 in Elizabeth, NJ:
“There once was a hijacker named Lord
who hijacked a plane while onboard.
He got all the loot,
And a big parachute,
But alas! It had no rip cord!”
In my version, he didn’t get away with it, but now, he did! They’re giving up the long hunt for D.B. Cooper!
Are we going to sit back and let that happen? Take a look at those drawings. Who knows? He jumped from that plane in Washington State. He obviously had a brain, enough so that he masterminded what is considered “the perfect crime,” so I doubt he would have stayed in the Washington or Northwest vicinity. He’d be elderly now. He sounded Midwestern. Did he go back home? Might he be living in relative obscurity in, say, the Ozarks? Is he sipping Starbucks in Indiana? Or did he go towards the ocean? Is he that old man on the beach towel beside you at the seashore? Look closely. He might be your neighbor, your boss, or even your best friend…