The 50th Year Anniversary of an Unsolved Case


DB Cooper’s money found on a bank in Washington state. (Credit: Daily Mail)

Ricky Hernandez

2021 marks the 50th year anniversary of the notoriously known DB Cooper case. Although the FBI became involved with the case, any answers of what has happened to DB Cooper and the money he stole have remained unsolved.

On November 24, 1971, a man would step onto Boeing aircraft 727. Other passengers joined and many workers on the plane thought it would be a regular workday. However, one of the passengers in the back of the plane called one of flight attendants over to him. The man handed the attendant a note and asked her to read it. She reported that the note claimed that he had a bomb although this could not be confirmed as he later reclaimed the note. The man then requested the attendant to sit next to him and said that he wanted $200,000 in $20 bills as well as four parachutes.

Thankfully for the passengers and workers, a bank had recently reserved money for this exact situation. It is worth noting that the bills serial numbers were written down so the proper authorities would know when the money was spent. The man was also granted four parachutes as requested, however; it was later revealed that one of the parachutes was a dummy suit that was only used for training. The plane met with the authorities at Seattle-Tacoma airport where workers and passengers were sent off in exchange for the money and the parachutes. The authorities tracked down the ticket the man had used to get on the plane and discovered that he had written down the name Dan Cooper. A mistake in the press in the later stages of the case then produced the name DB Cooper.

After the exchange finished, Cooper requested to be taken to Mexico, however the pilot pointed out that the plane would run out of fuel before making it and would need to refuel along the way. Cooper agreed to the refueling and they flew off again. It was around this time that the staff last saw Cooper, one of the workers reported that he had asked her how to operate the hatch under the plane, specifically how to open it. After she told him how to work, he asked her to leave and to not have any communication with him again. The attendant reported seeing Cooper put on a parachute right before she entered the cockpit. The pilot flew to the agreed spot for refueling and landed, however; they soon discovered that the plane’s hatch was open, and Cooper was nowhere to be seen. To this day, he has not been found.

Authorities scrambled to find Cooper and the money. This was hard, however since all the authorities were given was a vague description of a Caucasian man in his late thirties. The only clue that has ever been found was in 1980 when a boy found about $5,880 along a shore in Washington that had the same serial numbers as the ones given to Cooper. Several suspects were made but none of them were declared to be the real DB Cooper. The case was then later closed in 2016. Unless the actual DB Cooper turns himself in or the rest of the money becomes found, it seems as though the DB Cooper case will remain a mystery.