The Case

D B Cooper is the pseudonym of an unidentified man who hijacked a Boeing 727 aircraft on November 24, 1971. He extorted $200,000 in ransom and then parachuted from the plane, disappearing without a trace. The case has remained a mystery for over four decades and has captured the public’s imagination, making it one of the most famous unsolved crimes in U.S. history.

The Incident

The hijacking took place on a Northwest Orient Airlines flight from Portland to Seattle, and Cooper, who was described as a man in his mid-40s, was one of the passengers on board. He handed a note to the flight attendant, claiming that he had a bomb in his briefcase, and demanded the ransom and four parachutes.

The plane landed in Seattle, and the ransom and parachutes were delivered to Cooper. The passengers and most of the crew were released, but Cooper ordered the pilot to take off again and fly to Mexico City at a low altitude. He then opened the rear door of the plane and jumped out with a parachute, never to be seen again.


Despite an extensive manhunt, no trace of Cooper or his parachute was ever found. The case has generated numerous theories and investigations over the years, but no definitive explanation for what happened to Cooper has been established.


Many theories have surfaced over the years on what happened to D B Cooper and his ultimate fate. Some of the most popular theories include:

  1. Cooper died during the jump: The jump from the plane was risky, and Cooper may not have been able to survive the fall or the landing. He may have died on impact or succumbed to injuries after the jump.
  2. He survived the jump: Cooper may have had the necessary skills to survive the jump and land safely. He could have escaped into the wilderness and lived out his life under an assumed identity.
  3. Cooper was a skilled criminal: Some people believe that he was a skilled criminal who meticulously planned the hijacking and knew how to cover his tracks. He may have been a member of a criminal organization or had ties to the government.
  4. Cooper was an ordinary person: Others speculate that he was an ordinary person who acted on a whim and did not fully understand the risks involved in his actions. He may have been caught up in the excitement of the moment and made a spur-of-the-moment decision to hijack the plane.
  5. He was an airline employee: Some theories suggest that Cooper may have been an airline employee with knowledge of the plane’s systems and procedures, allowing him to carry out the hijacking with ease.

Although none of these theories have been proven, any of them could be plausible, given the evidence.

So what do you think?

What is your theory about who D B Cooper is and how he was able to escape?

Do you like to theorize about unsolved cases?  Check out Be the Detective’s latest cases and try your hand at solving some of our challenging mystery games.

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