1971- “Dan Cooper” hijacked a plane and took $200,000 before jumping out

November 24, 2022

As Northwest Orient Airlines flight 305 took off on November 24, 1971, passengers didn't know they would be in for a harrowing experience. It should have been a short uneventful flight between Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington. Instead, the flight became air-zero to one of its history's most baffling FBI cases. Highlighted by a hijacking and a death-defying parachute jump out of a jumbo jet, D. B. Cooper leaped into infamy.

Flight 305 Hijacked

The FBI started investigating the hijacking of flight 305 as a matter of national safety. Hijackings have been plaguing domestic and international flights since people started flying. During the sixties alone, the global airline industry had to cope with almost two hijackings a year. Today, hijackings are extremely rare because of security. However, when Cooper handed his hijacking note to a flight attendant, any passenger could enter the cabin. Cooper took advantage of the fear created by hijacking a plane, not for a political motive, but to get away from police with $200,000 in ransom money.

Cooper’s Demands

The note read there was a bomb in his briefcase as Cooper took the plane and the 36 passengers hostage. His demands were 4 parachutes and $200,000 in twenty dollar bills. When the plane landed in Seattle, officials met his demands, and the 36 passengers were released. The plane took off again with a skeleton crew and Cooper ready to launch the last part of his plan. Jumping out of a flying Boeing 747 and surviving is almost impossible. D. B. Cooper was never seen again, although tiny clues have since emerged.

The FBI finally put the case in the cold file, always ready to answer the next tip.

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