D.B. Cooper sleuths still searching 40 years later

Nov 28, 2011
Originally published on November 23, 2011 4:16 pm

PORTLAND - It's been 40 years since the most famous airplane hijacking in Northwest history. D.B. Cooper enthusiasts still hope for a breakthrough in the unsolved case. November 24th is the anniversary of the high altitude heist. Saturday , a group of amateur sleuths will gather in Portland for a D.B. Cooper symposium.

The hijacking of Northwest Orient Airlines flight 305 was big news in November 1971.

The question of who jumped out of that plane with $200,000 remains the only unsolved airplane hijacking in U.S. history. Geoffrey Gray is author of the recent book "Skyjack." He estimates even today there about 1,000 possible suspects with a handful of leading contenders.

"What's so amazing about this case is that the mystery itself continues," Gray says. "It defies the ability to be solved. It is Teflon."

Gray is organizing what he calls the largest single gathering of D.B. Cooper sleuths ever. Guests include an Oklahoma woman who claimed in August that her uncle was the elusive hijacker.

After the symposium ends, the group plans to a 40th anniversary party in Arial, Washington believed to be the closest town to where the hijacker could have landed.

On the Web:

Thanks to Feliks Banel for gathering archival tape for this story.

D.B. Cooper Symposium: http://huntfordbcooper.com/join-the-hunt

FBI vault - D.B. Cooper:


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