Our Northwest

Cooper exhibit ponders 727 hijacker’s fate

Friday, August 23, 2013by  Jon Osterberg

Mystery buffs have endless appetites for D.B. Cooper musings, and the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma is cashing in.
   Beginning Aug. 24, an exhibit titled “Cooper” opens at the museum, using artifacts and a mockup of a Boeing 727 like Cooper jumped out of to tell the story of the phantom hijacker.
   Cooper hijacked a 727 bound for Seattle from Portland on Nov. 24, 1971, demanded $200,000 and parachutes, then jumped from the plane after it had landed in Seattle and jetted south to Reno. Investigators surmise Cooper jumped out over the tiny town of Ariel, Wash., to meet an uncertain fate. No trace of him was found.
   Many believe Cooper died on impact or succumbed to hypothermia. Others suspect he escaped and lived for years.
   For sure, some of his ransom – $5,800 in marked bills – turned up on the banks of the Columbia River in 1980. Did he drop his money while parachuting? Or did he lose it while hiking out of the mountains, and it washed into a tributary?
   A scientific investigator believes Cooper’s money ended up on the sand bar “by unnatural means,” and that Cooper was not a U.S. citizen. Read The Olympian article to learn more.

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