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New DB Cooper statement after scientist claims 'access to his parachute was blocked'

New DB Cooper statement after scientist claims 'access to his parachute was blocked'

The museum that houses DB Cooper's parachute has released a detailed statement

Museum bosses have responded after a scientist investigating the infamous DB Cooper skyjacking case claimed the institution stopped him from examining a parachute touched by the unknown criminal more than half a century ago.

They've also clarified rumours the FBI might have been behind the restricted access supposedly placed upon the item.

It's a criminal case that's bothered the security service since the early 1970s when Northwest Orient Flight 305 was hijacked by a passenger subsequently dubbed DB Cooper.

Ever since he disappeared in 1971, people have wondered exactly who DB Cooper was.

His identity remains unknown ever since the incident on 24 November, 1971, with the DB name given to him after booking his ticket under the fake name of Dan Cooper.

Cooper demanded a total of $200,000 (£158,604) - roughly $1.54 million (£1.22 million) in today's money - as well as a collection of four parachutes.

The money was given to Cooper and then off he went in to the night, skydiving out the plane while it was flying through the air between Oregon and Washington in the US.

The case has gone down in folklore and become the focus of countless TV shows and true crime documentaries including a Netflix special.

However, FBI bosses officially closed the case in 2016, with the real identity of DB seemingly never set to be unveiled.

But new DNA sequencing techniques mean that private investigators are injecting life back in to the case, with Cooper's identity set to 'finally be discovered' after 53 years.

One private investigator, Eric Ulis, claims he'll '100%' have Cooper's DNA in his possession come the end of 2024.

See part of our interview with him below:

Scientist Tom Kaye, an associate of Ulis who is also investigating the case independently of the FBI, claimed a scheduled test to take DNA samples from one of the parachutes left behind by Cooper was cancelled at the last minute by those in possession of it.

The parachute, which is in the possession of the Washington State History Museum, was reportedly meant to be swabbed by Kaye after having been arranged by fellow Cooper investigator, Pat Boland.

This is due to the theory that Cooper may have put his hand inside one of its pouches to retrieve a packing card.

Kaye was of the belief that the FBI could well be behind the blocking of the planned tests.

He told The Sun: "I was quite surprised. I've been in museums around the world and I've asked to see multi-million dollar specimens, and getting access with my credentials has never been a problem.

"But the curator pulled the plug on it suddenly for unknown reasons... sometimes curators have their own reasons for doing things, like if they're studying the subject matter themselves, but we know that's not the case here.

The parachute touched by DB Cooper.

"So it was all kind of a mystery. I don't have any knowledge of why they would close off access to that [parachute].

"But it's interesting that in the last year, we've brought up the subject of DNA publicly, and how to go about getting Cooper's DNA, and trying to get access to the tie he left behind, etcetera.

"The FBI has continuously said the case is closed, and now we find out the case was open or opened back up and they're working on the DNA again. It's an interesting coincidence, for sure. We don't have any evidence but it's very coincidental."

But the museum itself now has hit back at the claims and also provided clarity on the FBI's potential role in the situation.

A museum spokesperson said that the 'FBI had not requested to research or test' the parachute, with it being kept in environmentally controlled storage when not on display.

They also said that due to the parachute's involvement in criminal activity, 'research restrictions are in place and appointments for the parachute have not been granted'.

An FBI wanted poster for DB Cooper.

In a statement sent to LADbible, a museum spokesperson said: "The Washington State Historical Society receives many research requests related to the parachute provided to Dan "D.B." Cooper during the hijacking of Northwest Orient Flight 305 on November 24, 1971. The parachute, a part of the WSHS collection, is not currently available to the public for research.

"Under the care of our collections team, the parachute is secured in environmentally controlled archival storage when not on display. Public access to the parachute has never been offered.

"In 2013, the WSHS consulted the Federal Bureau of Investigation in preparation for a D.B. Cooper exhibition at the Washington State History Museum that included this parachute. The FBI has not requested to research or test this item.

"As this item could be considered evidence in the Cooper case, the WSHS would cooperate in full with requests from the FBI, should they occur.

"The WSHS accommodates scholarly research requests for a majority of the items in our collection by appointment. Research appointments occur at the WSHS Research Center in Tacoma under the guidance and supervision of our collections team. Pieces from the collection remain on-site during the appointment.

"Due to the parachute's involvement in a crime, research restrictions are in place and appointments for the parachute have not been granted."

Featured Image Credit: FBI

Topics: DB Cooper, US News, Travel, Crime, True Crime, History