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The Mystery of D B Cooper


  Background

          D.B. Cooper is the world's most famous jumping skyjacker. The mysterious passenger, who bought a ticket using the name Dan Cooper, boarded a Northwest Orient flight in Portland, Oregon on 24 November 1971 -- the eve of Thanksgiving. Once aloft, he threatened to blow up the plane and demanded $200,000 and four parachutes. After the plane landed at Seattle-Tacoma Airport and his demands were met, Cooper ordered the pilot of the 727 to take off and head for Mexico, flying at 10,000 feet. Cooper jumped from the rear stairway of the plane somewhere over Washington state, taking the cash with him. Despite exhaustive searches, D.B. Cooper's body has never been found. It's unclear whether Cooper died during the jump and his whereabouts are unknown.

          Extra credit: The hijacker actually called himself Dan Cooper; a reporter later heard an investigator mention a "D.B. Cooper," and the name stuck... In 1980, an eight-year-old boy named Brian Ingram dug up a bundle of $20 bills in the sand beside the Columbia River near Vancouver, Washington. The cash was identified as $5800 of Cooper's money; the FBI had recorded the serial numbers. No other money was found, though, and that's the only Cooper cash uncovered so far... D.B. Cooper smoked; his brand of cigarettes was Raleigh... The 1981 movie The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper starred Treat Williams and Robert Duvall in a fictionalized version of Cooper's story... Northwest Orient became known as Northwest Airlines in 1986, then merged with Delta Airlines in 2008.

 
 

 

D B Cooper's Identity Revealed!
by Mike Titus


  The Titus Theory

          A group of Northwest airline employees, consisting only of pilots and stewardesses are having a party.  I don't care what kind of party.  Perhaps a birthday party at a fancy restaurant, or at one of their homes.

          Everybody is having a good time.  Conversation includes the topics of money, compensation, the future, etc.  Somebody jokes about holding up the airline.  They conclude that this would be too difficult for anyone, even in top condition.  They all go home.

          Some time later two or three of that same group are again together, perhaps at an airport flight crew lounge.  One of them indicates that he has thought of a foolproof system.  They all have a good laugh, and go on with their jobs.  Here comes the fuzzy part of my theory.  I don't know exactly how, but somehow three or four of them work out a viable plan.  Female employees are approached to find several who could also be trusted.  In any case, they decide to go for it, planning all the details necessary to have the theft appear to be committed by a lone terrorist.  A terrorist with at least as much knowledge of parachutes, money denominations, rear-exit details, etc, etc.

          For many years I had simply followed this story on television, never really paying too much attention.  I had remembered though that if I were D B Cooper, I would have prepared a small bundle of notes and dropped them separately, ostensibly to be found later and proving that he could not have survived, and to have lawmen stop further searching for him.

          Suddenly, quite recently, I must have been paying better attention, as I realized a breakthrough.  Specifically, I heard the voice on television say that D B Cooper had let all the passenger off, keeping only some of the crew!

          Eureka!  Everything came together.  They kept only the flight crew and only the cooperating stewardesses, including the one who had dressed herself up to look like a man -- D B Cooper -- to be seen by the passengers who all swore to having seen the culprit.

          The rest was easy.  The disguised stewardess discarded her disguise.  A small portion of the money was separated, and dropped simultaneously with the weighted down parachutes.  The rear door was closed.

          Now, $200.000 in $20.00 notes is 10,000 pieces of paper, or 10 bricks of 10 packs of notes.  My definitions here are that 100 notes is a pack, and ten packs is a brick.

          Assuming ten participants, each had to take along ten packs of 100 notes.  I don't remember whether duct tape was available or came along later, but there certainly were tapes which would not degrade from perspiration long enough for the participants to exit the plane, punch their time cards, and unobtrusively meander to their parked cars or to ground transportation.

          The weakness of this theory is that criminals, in Hollywood theory, sooner or later, begin arguing among themselves, and everybody is caught, and there is a Hollywood happy ending.  But, in this case nobody suspected the "hijack victims".  They were all hell bent on looking for a parachutist!

          The jobs each of the participants were required to perform were simple and easily doable.  Remember, these were very special people.  Unlike some flunky pencil-pusher, or a paper-shuffler, these people were veterans in handling the many and varied pressures of dealing with all types of individuals.  Walking past law enforcement professionals was a snap for them

          The answer, then, is that D B Cooper never existed!
 


 

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  Copyright © 1998 Mike Titus.  All rights reserved.  .....  Sunday, 22 March 2015