“Dan Cooper” or “DB Cooper” hijacked Northwest Orient flight 305 from Portland to Seattle on November 4, 1971, jumping from the rear airstair with $200,000. He was never found by the FBI. If you’re unfamiliar with the story, broadcasting legend Bill Kurtis has the details in the news video above from 1971.

There is still a group of citizens investigating the case, and they found some interesting trace elements on a J.C. Penney tie Cooper left behind before his jump.

DB Cooper’s Tie, FBI photo

Apparently there are traces of a number of advanced materials used in aerospace and CRT displays, consistent with some of the work Boeing was doing at the time with the SST (SuperSonic Transport) and display technology. The fact that he wore tie in the presence of those substances also is leading investigators to theorize he was a manager, engineer or supervisor for Boeing or one of its contractors.

The timing of the hijacking would also jive with this thoery as well. Congress ended funding for the SST program in mid-1971, throwing many aerospace employees out of work.   It devastated the economy in the Seattle area, and might have given DB Cooper motive to commit one of the Pacific Northwest’s most infamous crimes.

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