DB Cooper hijacked a flight in America in 1971 before disappearing without a trace

DB Cooper is the pseudonym given to a man who successfully pulled off one of the most significant plane heists of all time. 

The aviation mystery has been left unsolved for almost half a century, but it might be one step closer to being solved. 

Armchair investigators say they have found fresh evidence, in the form of a parachute strap, that may have belonged to DB Cooper. 

Aged in his 40s, DB or Dan Cooper hijacked a flight in America in 1971 before disappearing without a trace.

The smartly dressed man wore a business suit as he boarded the Northwest Orient Airlines flight in Portland, Oregon, on November 24 that year.

He donned dark sunglasses as he ordered a bourbon then lit up a cigarette.

DB Cooper plane hijacking mystery clueFBI

DB Cooper is the plane hijacking mystery left unsolved for 45 years

Soon after the plane took off for its destination of Seattle, Cooper handed a note to Florence Schaffner.

The 23-year-old flight attendant read that the plane she was travelling on was being hijacked.

Using the threat of a bomb in his suitcase, Cooper had written demands for $200,000 in cash (£132,000), which would have an approximate value of £970,560 today.

The note read: “I HAVE A BOMB IN MY BRIEFCASE. I WILL USE IT IF NECESSARY. I WANT YOU TO SIT NEXT TO ME. YOU ARE BING (sic) HIJACKED.”

His other requests included four parachutes when they landed in Seattle, a fuel truck on standby at the airport and a second flight after that to Mexico City.

The FBI was waiting to provide Cooper with his demands as the plane touched down.

DB Cooper plane hijacking mystery clueFBI

DB Cooper hijacked a plane in 1971 before disappearing without a trace

All 36 passengers were allowed to disembark but the pilot was ordered to fly Cooper to Mexico.

The hijacker wouldn’t let the pilot fly him higher than 10,000ft, and when the plane neared Nevada for a fuel pitstop, Cooper opened the rear door and parachuted out.

No trace of Cooper, alive or dead, has ever been found, but there have been a few potential clues along the way. 

In 1980 an eight-year-old boy in Washington uncovered cash that matched the serial numbers of some of Cooper’s ransom money.

Earlier this year armchair investigators found titanium on the necktie Cooper left behind.

They believe this particular type of metal proves the hijacker had worked for Boeing as an engineer or a manager in one of the plants.

DB Cooper plane hijacking mystery clueFBI

DB Cooper: Cash from the ransom money was uncovered in 1980

DB Cooper was taken off the FBI’s most wanted list last year, but that hasn’t stopped volunteer investigators continuing to work on cracking the case. 

This week, a scientist group called Citizen Sleuths have claimed a breakthrough. 

TV and film executive Thomas Colbert and his his wife organised their own investigation, which included a thorough search of one of the possible landing sites of DB Cooper. 

Colbert claims the group found an old parachute strap which he plans to pass onto the FBI. 

Though he wouldn’t reveal the exact location, Colbert told Fox News it was “right where a credible source claimed the chute and remaining money are buried”. 

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