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DB Cooper 'will finally be identified' after 53 years due to huge DNA breakthrough

DB Cooper 'will finally be identified' after 53 years due to huge DNA breakthrough

The identity of the plane-jacker has remained a mystery for decades

An expert has said the identity of DB Cooper could be revealed for the first time thanks to a DNA breakthrough.

The identity of the illusive skyjacker has puzzled investigators for more than five decades.

On 24 November 1971, Northwest Airlines Flight 305 was hijacked by a mystery man who claimed to be carrying a bomb - he demanded $200,000 in ransom before donning a parachute and jumping from the plane.

The only clue he left behind was a clip-on tie from the US retail chain JCPenney.

His identity has never been revealed, but investigator Eric Ulis, who has been trying to solve the mystery for more than a decade, reckons that could all be set to change.

A composite drawing of the hijacker known as D.B Cooper from the 1970s.

Speaking to the Sun, he said that he had recently met with scientist Tom Kaye who has tested the tie twice using a special device that is able to collect the smallest particles.

Kaye was initially hoping to analyse the tie for traces of certain chemicals or metals which could help shed some light on its owner - but the duo claim the device is also able to collect DNA.

The pair now plan on sharing the DNA they captured with a lab that specialises in metagenomic DNA analysis - an incredibly advanced type of DNA analysis that enables scientists to separate individual strands of DNA.

He told the publication: "Metagenomic DNA is the holy grail where this is concerned because it can separate individually all of the DNA profiles on the tie, even for something like a dog.

"So if DB Cooper had a dog, we'd be able to find that on there.

An FBI wanted poster for DB Cooper.

"It's critically important because [...] let's say you have a dozen different DNA profiles on that tie from everyone who has come into contact with it over the years, including various FBI agents and Cooper himself.

"We will be able to separate all of those strands individually, and - while we won't know which one is Cooper's - we will be able to gradually narrow them down."

If all goes well, Ulis is hopeful that this case could be closed by the end of the year.

"By December 31, 2024, this is going to be a new world as far as this case is concerned," he said.

"We're either going to have figured out who this guy is, or we're gonna have a solid DNA profile to work with that's going to be pointing us in the right direction."

Featured Image Credit: FBI/Eric Ullis

Topics: Crime, Science, US News, DB Cooper