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Who Is The Mysterious Skyjacker D.B. Cooper That The FBI Never Caught?

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Who Is The Mysterious Skyjacker D.B. Cooper That The FBI Never Caught?

What happened to the mysterious skyjacker DB Cooper who parachuted out of a plane? These are all the theories.

Netflix has released its newest documentary series looking into the unidentified airplane hijacker that called himself Dan Cooper.

The four part series titled D.B Cooper: Where Are You? investigates the incident in 1971 that saw a man board a flight from Portland to Seattle and tell a flight attendant that he had a bomb in his briefcase. Cooper demanded $200,000 and four parachutes.

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The flight landed in Seattle and then took off with just a few crew members and Cooper who was given the $200,000. The skyjacker parachuted from the plane and was never seen again or identified. The FBI have never solved the case.

Here are the leading theories on who D.B Cooper is...

DB Cooper died when he was parachuting from the plane

The FBI have said the parachute he was given was not able to be steered and that he was not wearing shoes or clothes that would protect him from a rough landing. It is also believed he jumped into a wooded area, making parachuting extremely difficult.

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"Diving into the wilderness without a plan, without the right equipment, in such terrible conditions, he probably never even got his chute open," Special Agent Larry Carr who led the investigation said.

This theory is supported by the fact that a boy came across $6,000 while digging a firepit on the riverbank of the Columbia River. The FBI believed the money washed down the river from where they estimated Cooper landed.

Tom Kaye, a scientist, however claimed that seasonal specific algae on the money indicated it was buried months after Cooper hijacked the plane. No traces of the body were ever found either.

DB Cooper was hijacker Richard Floyd McCoy

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Floyd McCoy, a devout mormon, was one of the main suspects in the investigation as he was arrested for a similar hijacking where he escaped by parachute months later.

McCoy, who served the US Army in Vietnam, hijacked a plane in April 1971 heading from New Jersey to Los Angeles. He demanded $500,000 in cash and escaped using a parachute. He was arrested a few days later and was sentenced to 45 years in prison.

McCoy escaped from prison for three months later in 1974. He was killed during a shootout with FBI.

The FBI removed McCoy as a suspect in the D.B. Cooper case as he did not match the physical description given by two flight attendant.

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D.B. Cooper was actually a flight attendant

Flight attendant Kenneth Christiansen was another suspect in the case with his own brother, Lyle, telling the FBI he believed Christiansen was Cooper. Lyle went as far as hiring a private investigator.

Christiansen was previously a paratrooper and mechanic before joining Northwest Orient Airlines, the airline Cooper hijacked, as a flight attendant. A rumour spread that Christiansen had bought a house in cash a few months after the hijacking, but it was later debunked.

The FBI ruled him out as a suspect due to a lack of evidence and because he was much shorter and fairer skinned than the description of Cooper.

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D.B. Cooper is war veteran Lynn Doyle Cooper

Lynn Doyle (L.D.) Cooper was a leather worker and a Korean War veteran. He was proposed as a suspect in 2011 by his niece Marla. Marla said that she recalled as an eight-year-old that Cooper and another uncle were planning something "mischievous" that involved walkie-talkies.

The hijacking took place the next day while the uncles claimed to be turkey hunting. day Flight 305 was hijacked; and though the uncles ostensibly were turkey hunting, L.D. Cooper came home wearing a bloody shirt which he said was due to a car accident.

Marla claimed that her parents believe that L.D. was the hijacker. She added her uncle - who died in 1999 - was a fan of Canadian comic book hero Dan Cooper.

The FBI said L.D.'s DNA did not match the partial DNA profile obtained from the hijacker's tie. It added that there is no certainty that the hijacker was the source of the organic material obtained from the tie.

D.B. Cooper was a transgender woman

Barbara Dayton, a librarian and skilled recreational pilot and parachutist, said she had carried out the hijacking two years after undergoing gender reassignment surgery while disguised as a man.

Dayton said she stage the hijacking to "get back" at the airline industry which she believed prevented her from becoming an airline pilot. She said the money was hidden in a southern suburb of Portland. She then backtracked entirely on her confession when she learned the hijacking charges could still be brought.

The FBI never commented publicly on Dayton's claim. She died in 2002.

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Topics: Netflix, Documentaries, True Crime, TV and Film, Money

Sonja Tutty
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