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FBI: No Longer Actively Pursuing D.B. Cooper


Composite sketch of Dan "D.B." Cooper, circa 1972. - FBI
  • FBI
  • Composite sketch of Dan "D.B." Cooper, circa 1972.

Nearly 50 years after he jumped out of a passenger jet with $200,000 and a parachute, escaping somewhere into the Pacific Northwest, the Federal Bureau of Investigation confirmed to a Seattle television station that it was essentially closing the file on D.B. Cooper. 

"Following one of the longest and most exhaustive investigations in our history ... the FBI redirected resources allocated to the D.B. Cooper case in order to focus on other investigative priorities," FBI spokeswoman Ayn Dietrich-Williams told Seattle's KIRO-TV.

A man, calling himself Dan Cooper, hijacked a Boeing 727, traveling from Portland, Ore. to Seattle, Wash. in November 1971. Cooper told a flight attendant he had a bomb and, once the plane landed in Seattle, he swapped the jet's passengers for a suitcase of full of cash and four parachutes.

He demanded the jet be flown to Mexico City but, en route to a refueling stop in Reno, Nev., jumped out of the back of plane somewhere near the Oregon/Washington border.

No sign of Cooper, dead or alive, was ever found but, in 1980, a stash of approximately $5,800 of the money that was given to Cooper was discovered buried near the Columbia River.

Cooper's legend inspired decades of books, TV specials, movies and even a song. He is remembered in the town of Ariel, Wash., which celebrates "Cooper Day" each Thanksgiving weekend.