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DB Cooper investigator '100% certain' he'll have hijacker's DNA by end of the year

DB Cooper investigator '100% certain' he'll have hijacker's DNA by end of the year

It's a matter of time, he says

It's just a matter of time before the world's most infamous anonymous airplane hijacker will be known to everyone.

That's according to the man who has been investigating the DB Cooper case for more than a decade.

Eric Ulis privately took on the case as a passion project that only grew after the FBI officially ended its official pursuit into finding out who DB really is.

The case of DB Cooper refers to an unknown planejacker who 53 years ago threatened to blow up Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 305 if he wasn't given $200,000 and a parachute to escape the aircraft.

The money was secured as well as a means to flee the aircraft mid-air, which saw DB Cooper jump into the sky during the dead of night. He has never been identified since, with only a number of FBI sketches to hand created from accounts given by cabin crew.

Nicknamed DB Cooper by the press in the aftermath of the event, the incident on 24 November, 1971 remains the most notorious unsolved plane hijacking in US history.

On getting involved with the case, Ulis said: "It was just something that crossed my mind randomly. I'd been aware of the case since the 70s and I just thought it's amazing this thing is still unsolved. I relish a challenge.

Eric Ulis.
LADbible

"Looking into it was a guilty pleasure and accidentally morphed it into something much bigger over time."

Last week, Ulis revealed he was able to secure a DNA sample from a tie DB Cooper had left on the plane.

He says, combined with new DNA technology called metagenomics, he can now find out who the criminal mastermind was once and for all. Ulis believes we can have what we need by the end of 2024.

In an interview with LADbible, Ulis confirmed that he has '100% confidence' that regardless of how many DNA strands are on the tie, one of them will belong to Cooper.

He is also hopeful that there could be a cluster of DNA belonging to a family, imagining he might have hugged a partner he may have had or children he might have fathered while wearing the tie. If this happens, it could speed up the process by months.

Ulis told LADbible: "I have 100% confidence that we will ultimately sequence DB Cooper's DNA. As to whether it's a full profile or not remains to be seen.

"But the front of the tie was vacuumed, the particulars were captured in a fine filter and that absolutely includes DB Cooper's DNA, there's no way around it.

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

"The metagenomic DNA gives us the opportunity to individually sequence all the DNA on the tie. Not just human DNA but even a dog or a cat.

"We may well find ourselves in a situation where we've got, for example, a dozen DNA profiles that end up being sequenced. We will not initially know which one is DB Cooper but we will know that one of them is definitely DB Cooper.

"Importantly, however, if DB Cooper had a family and children biologically connected to the man, their profiles would also likely be on the tie if they ever gave their a father a hug or any sort of interaction with the kids and then the tie.

"So if we see a cluster, a family of DNA profiles that make up the [hypothetical] 12, that goes a long way towards isolating DB Cooper's DNA profile so I'm very confident when all is said and done we'll have a DNA profile for him."

An FBI drawing of what DB Cooper might look like.
FBI

Ulis has just come out of what he called an 'inexplicable' failed legal bid to make the FBI give himself access to DB Cooper's tie.

He says a hidden spindle in the knot of the tie will 'in all likelihood' have just DB Cooper's touch to it, speeding up the DNA sequencing process significantly.

He said: "If the FBI had agreed to give access in March of last year, or any point previously to that, then yes we may well already know who DB Cooper is.

"The particular part of the tie that I identified was the spindle apparatus which is in the closed position and has always been closed in that position while in the custody of the FBI.

"DB Cooper in all likelihood opened it up to adjust his tie so there would be touch DNA on that and highly likely it's only DB Cooper's touch DNA on that. It'd have made the job a heck of a lot easier."

He says the tie would never have had to leave the FBI's possession, with a small window of time to take swabs all he would have needed.

In order to carry out the DNA sequencing, Ulis requires $50,000 or labs to come forward and offer the service in the public interest. He has set his hopes on the United Kingdom and USA to help complete the investigation.

Featured Image Credit: LADbible/FBI

Topics: DB Cooper, Crime, True Crime, US News, Weird, Travel, Science