This mystery of the 1970's has intrigued the FBI, mainly because it is still open after all this time.
In November 1971, a man calling himself D.B.Cooper extorted $20,000 and jumped out of a Boeing 727 between Portland and Seattle and was never (!) seen or heard of again.
At the time, the FBI notified all venues which could be expected to receive large amounts of money and a huge reward was put on finding the money-to date only $5,800 has turned up and that was dredged from a river bank.
I cannot vouch for the conditions on the coast, but the pictures on the article were taken by me at Lac La Biche, Alberta, which is well inland and on the warmer side of the Rockies-believe it or not, they were taken days apart.
What interests me is why did he chose that part of that route?
He was jumping over a hilly and highly forested area, in the winter and probably with little warm clothing. My thinking is that by jumping here, he thought it would hinder the search. A valid point, except that landing through trees and on rocky land greatly increases the risk of injury.
This brings me to the next question-what did happen to him?
This part is conjecture and my view; I see three scenarios-none have a happy ending for D.B.Cooper.
Before I go further, we have to accept that by now he must realise the FBI would have put a BOLO for the money and he would have difficulty moving the "not notes," especially as the FBI told the Mafia too.
Scene 1-the best scenario for D.B-he jumps out and the chute becomes a "Roman Candle," the cords tangle up and the chute fails to open; he is now gaining speed, he pulls the emergency chute but that fails owing to the speed gained. From this point nature dictates the events as he gains speed until he reached 32 ft per sec and hits the ground like a bullet-dead on impact-I said it was his best scenario, read the others and find out why.
Scene 2- He jumps out and has a a bad landing, injured he crawls to a cave to recover from his wounds; sitting in the cold cave, with no way to build a fire for warmth he slowly freezes to death.
Scene 3- As scene 2, except he never made the cave, to a bear, meat is meat and a free meal to the family; he might have encountered and been killed by a bear or even a saquatch.
One theory was he had an accomplice waiting on the ground with a bicycle ready for an escape; I can't vouch for you, but after jumping from a plane in freezing weather, I would not relish taking a cycle ride.
My view tends to scene 3; you have also to consider that Mr. Cooper was in possession of a lot of money which he knew he could not use; but to a bear $10, $100 notes are only paper and that means a little more bedding in a freezing winter-it makes sense to me.
All this conjecture brings me back to my original point, why jump out at that point on that route? Travelling at the speed available the 727 would take no more than 30 minutes to get from Portland to Seattle-little more than an up and down trip, with no real flying time.
True, this area is the best section for an escape route being heavily forested and in the mountains, but it is also the highest risk for injuries.
Was his point to prove it could be done. or to try and humiliate the FBI with an unsolved case? If so, what did he gain apart from notoriety?