D.B. Cooper Skyjacker: A Report on the Mystery

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The History of the Hijacking

On the Thanksgiving Eve of 1971, Dan Cooper walked past the ticket booth to

wait to board a plane from Portland, Oregon to Seattle-Tacoma Airport (Sea-

Tac), Washington. He had bought a one-way ticket to Seattle with a 20-

dollar bill. He was a normal looking man of some 30 years old, he looked

so benign and business looking that no one would have ever suspected that

he would soon become a famous skyjacker. At little past 4' o clock in the

evening, he boarded Flight 305 to Seattle. Just before the plane took off

from Portland, Dan Cooper passed a note to a stewardess (Florence

Schaffner) demanding 4 parachutes, $200 thousand in unmarked bills and

cautioning the plane crew not to try any "funny stuff." In the note, he

also claimed that he had a bomb in his briefcase. At first, the stewardess

thought that he was asking for her phone number and pocketed it unread.

Noticing the note unread in the stewardess' pocket, Dan Cooper called her

attention to the note just after the plane took off. As soon as Ms.

Schaffner read the note, she notified the flight crew who in turn got in

touch with the airline and airport officials. "Schaffner was sent back to

talk to Cooper and see if she could tell if he really had a bomb. Cooper

briefly opened the briefcase and the stewardess later recalled she saw some

red cylinders and wires."[1] Communication between the pilots and Dan

Cooper was from then was through notes passed to him by one of the flight

attendants. One of the passengers noticed that notes were frequently

passed to Dan Cooper, and later joked that he thought Dan Cooper and the

stewardess was having an "affair." Meanwhile on the ground...