FBI sketch of D.B. Cooper
On November 24, 1971, a man going by the pseudonym Dan Cooper bought a one-way ticket for a flight between Portland and Seattle. During the flight he informed a flight attendant that he had a bomb. The man requested that he be given $200,000 in cash and 4 parachutes.
When the airplane landed in Seattle, the 36 passengers were released, and Cooper was granted his requests. Then per his orders, the plane took off again, headed toward Mexico City. However, somewhere on a route between Seattle and Reno, Nevada, Cooper jumped out of the Boeing plane. The exact jump location is a mystery, but it was likely somewhere over southern Washington.
Although the man gave his name as Dan Cooper, a mix-up in the media led to the creation of the moniker D.B. Cooper, which is what he is now most commonly called. His real name is unknown. He was described as being in his 40s with a height between 5’10” and 6’ tall. He wore a black raincoat, dark suit, clip-on tie, and sunglasses.
Despite a 45-year-long investigation and search, Cooper was never found, and the FBI closed active investigation on the case in 2016. The true identity of D.B. Cooper, as well as what happened to him following his disappearance, remains an unsolved mystery to this day, despite the many theories about the hijacking.
Learn more about the D.B. Cooper Hijacking through historical newspapers from our archives. Explore newspaper articles, headlines, images, and other primary sources below.
Articles and Clippings about the D.B. Cooper Hijacking
"Man Leaps from Plane with $200,000 Ransom" Thu, Nov 25, 1971 – Page 1 · Ukiah Daily Journal (Ukiah, California) · Newspapers.comAuthorities find no clues in D.B. Cooper search Sun, Nov 28, 1971 – Page 16 · The Terre Haute Tribune (Terre Haute, Indiana) · Newspapers.comD.B. Cooper familiar with airplanes and parachuting say authorities Fri, Nov 26, 1971 – 14 · The Morning Call (Allentown, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.comD.B. Cooper's hijacking success baffles officers Tue, Nov 30, 1971 – 9 · Enterprise-Journal (McComb, Mississippi) · Newspapers.comPerson claiming to be D.B. Cooper sends letters to newspapers Mon, Dec 20, 1971 – Page 1 · The Decatur Herald (Decatur, Illinois) · Newspapers.comD.B. Cooper captured the hearts and imaginations of Americans Sun, Dec 5, 1971 – Page 61 · Star Tribune (Minneapolis, Minnesota) · Newspapers.comSkyjacker D.B. Cooper Becoming Folk Hero Fri, Jan 7, 1972 – Page 1 · Lansing State Journal (Lansing, Michigan) · Newspapers.comOpinion: "Selective law and order" on how the public views D.B. Cooper Wed, Dec 22, 1971 – Page 6 · Star Tribune (Minneapolis, Minnesota) · Newspapers.comMan finds Boeing airplane placard that may be linked to D.B. Cooper case Thu, Jan 18, 1979 – Page 19 · Great Falls Tribune (Great Falls, Montana) · Newspapers.comKids find tattered D.B. Cooper money near Columbia River Wed, Feb 13, 1980 – Page 36 · Muncie Evening Press (Muncie, Indiana) · Newspapers.comD.B. Cooper investigation still open after 25 years Sun, Dec 1, 1996 – Page 29 · Southern Illinoisan (Carbondale, Illinois) · Newspapers.comSome suspect Richard McCoy of being D.B. Cooper Mon, Nov 25, 1991 – Page 1 · The Des Moines Register (Des Moines, Iowa) · Newspapers.comAmateur investigators believe D.B Cooper is Robert Rackstraw, 2016 Tue, Aug 2, 2016 – A11 · Daily Press (Newport News, Virginia) · Newspapers.comFBI closes active investigation on D.B. Cooper case after 45 years Thu, Jul 14, 2016 – Page 1-16 · Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) · Newspapers.com