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Published:August 1st, 2011 15:56 EST
Observations About the Never-Ending D.B. Cooper Case

Observations About the Never-Ending D.B. Cooper Case

By Donna Cavanagh

If you say the name, D.B. Cooper, pretty much everyone knows who you are talking about.  This man or criminal or ghost or whoever is literally ensconced in mystery. He has been the topic of books, documentaries, TV shows such as Unsolved Mysteries, and there is even a bar and grill named after him in Madison Heights, Michigan ( This is a lot of publicity for a guy that no one knows anything about including his real name and what he truly looked like.

D.B. Cooper flew up the ladder of fame--well, actually he flew down  when he jumped out of a Northwest Airlines 727  he hijacked in November of 1971.  The flight attendant on the plane (who was then called a stewardess until that became politically incorrect) remembers a man wearing sunglasses, smoking a cigarette and drinking bourbon.  That description probably fit more than half the male population of the US at that time, but D.B. pulled the hijack of all hijacks and got the FBI to give him $200,000 and parachutes. Then, as the story goes, Cooper freed the hostages except for some of the flight crew when the plane landed to retrieve his booty. After taking his cash, he ordered the plane back into the air and somewhere over the forests of Washington state, D.B. Cooper jumped into oblivion. 

Where did he go?  Personally, I think Cooper, Amelia Earhart and the people who disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle all met up at Big Foot`s lair in the Pacific Northwest and are living a happy and blissful existence. It`s easy to do on that much tax-free money-- ask the Republicans.  

Anyway, for decades, the D.B.Cooper fan clubs which include everyone from real criminologists to hijackers-in-training have studied the mystery man and his descent into infamy. This week, the FBI, who are probably the most frustrated of anyone associated with the D.B. Cooper case, have acknowledged that thanks to advances in technology--especially DNA analysis, there might be a credible new lead in the case.

I sort of hope they don`t figure it out.  I like him being the mystery that he is. As the anonymous hijacker, he has a bit of sex appeal.  If they find him now, 40 years later, how much sex appeal can he have left?  How anti-climactic would it be to find out that D.B. Cooper was a disgruntled plumber who thought a hijacking might add excitement to his life, when in my mind I had him as a combination of Robin Hood, James Bond and George Clooney. 

Is there a chance that D.B. Cooper is alive?  Sure, why not? Maybe he survived the landing and made his way back to civilization and has been living off  the interest of the money he got. Or maybe, he used the $200,000 as seed money for another business enterprise that has now developed into a corporate icon.  Hm. A big company in the Seattle area that was started in the last 30 or so years?  Any ideas?  How old is Bill Gates?  Nah, even Gates was a little tyke when Cooper jumped. However, do you know that Starbucks began in Seattle in 1971.  Yes, that`s true.  Coincidence,  maybe not. 

Okay, the Starbucks thing is a joke, so there is no need to sue me.  Anyway, D.B. Cooper`s identity might one day be revealed. Maybe when all is said and done, we will find out that D.B. Cooper was a woman dressed up as a man, and once she landed, she put back on women`s clothing and walked away without attracting any suspicion whatsoever.    

I will be interested in the turns this case takes.  Who knows? One day, the real D.B Cooper will flash across our TV screens. I think D.B. Cooper deserves some sort of acknowledgment. He has become a legend. He boarded a plane an anonymous soul and exited that plane one of the most famous criminals of all time.