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Government Crime The Almighty Buck Transportation

Amateur Scientists Find New Clue In D.B. Cooper Case, Crowdsource Their Investigation ( 139

Six months after the FBI closed the only unsolved air piracy in American aviation history -- after a 45-year investigation -- there's a new clue. An anonymous reader quotes Seattle news station KING: A band of amateur scientists selected by the Seattle FBI to look for clues in the world's most infamous skyjacking may have found new evidence in the 45-year-old case. They're asking for the public's help because of new, potential leads that could link DB Cooper to the Puget Sound aerospace industry in the early 1970s. The scientific team has been analyzing particles removed from the clip-on tie left behind by Cooper after he hijacked a Northwest Orient passenger jet in November 1971. A powerful electron microscope located more than 100,000 particles on old the JCPenny tie. The team has identified particles like Cerium, Strontium Sulfide, and pure titanium.

Tom Kaye, lead researcher for the group calling itself Citizen Sleuths, says the group is intrigued by the finding, because the elements identified were rarely used in 1971, during the time of Cooper's daring leap with a parachute from a passenger jet. One place they were being used was for Boeing's high-tech Super Sonic Transport plane...

Interestingly, it was even a Boeing aircraft that Cooper hijacked, and witnesses say he wasn't nervous on the flight, and seemed familiar with the terrain below.
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Amateur Scientists Find New Clue In D.B. Cooper Case, Crowdsource Their Investigation

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  • Jimmy James (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 14, 2017 @05:23PM (#53668721)

    We all know that D.B. Cooper was Jimmy James.

  • WTF is a piracy?

    • by Jamu ( 852752 )
      The collective noun for a group of bittorrentors?
    • It's and example of an irritating affectation from the computer-geek world, trying to sound more sophisticated or vaguely European. A bunch of idiots go around in Wikipedia changing conventional spelling to British spellings (artefact VS artifact), too.

      • It's and example of an irritating affectation

        You couldn't make it up.

        trying to sound more sophisticated or vaguely European. A bunch of idiots go around in Wikipedia changing conventional spelling to British spellings (artefact VS artifact), too.

        What's that got to do with anything?

        You seem to have a bit of an inferiority complex, and it might well be justified.

    • WTF is a piracy?

      Hijacking an aircraft comes under the international laws on piracy, that were originally written for piracy of ships. They are in generalized terms, though, so they also apply to other large carriers of cargo and people.

      At the time this event was called piracy, but (as they do now) the news media changed it to "dumb it down".

  • You don't hear of too many gentleman bandits. I'm rooting for him, personally.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Saturday January 14, 2017 @05:39PM (#53668789)

    If it weren't for these meddling old people!

  • by guruevi ( 827432 ) < minus bsd> on Saturday January 14, 2017 @08:42PM (#53669673) Homepage

    We've know for quite a long time about the titanium. Here's a story from 2011: []

    It hasn't been relevant for a long time, the guy walked off with $200k and may or may not have survived. In the mean time, a small band of cyber criminals has been hacking banks and ATM's for the last decade without ever being caught despite still being active, having been tied to close to $1B in losses worldwide.

    • Right, but you trust our voting machines because they are made by the people who make ATMs, right?

    • It doesn't matter if he's dead, or if the case isn't relevant anymore. Who cares about its legal status. The heist captured the public imagination. The audacity of it, the lingering mystery. People will still be talking about it in 100 years, just like people still talk about wild west stage coach robberies.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Saturday January 14, 2017 @10:36PM (#53669987) Journal
    His main chute was ok, but FBI now says, they accidentally sent him a dummy class room demo chute, with inoperable rip cord and the bag sewn shut, inadvertently. So he had only one working chute. Dropped into dark rainy air, without helmet, without oxygen, without camping, hunting, survival gear, with one chute and two money bags strapped to his waist. The wiki is wrong to say he went into -57 deg F air. that is cruise altitude FL300 range. He dropped at FL100, people live at higher altitude than this, in places like Tibet, ski lodges in Alps. So with some thermal underpants, he could drop to 5000 ft in less than a minute.

    It is possible for him to have landed safely and secreted the money bags. After that it is very difficult to believe he could have survived long, somehow hitchhiked out of that area, to some bus station or train yard or truck stop traveled without being seen out of that area. With that level of media attention to that part of the country all strangers would have been noticed and reported. I think he died near where the cash was found. The wild animals tore through his body and clothing, most the cash and bones ended up in the river and washed out to the ocean.

    Advice to future copy-cats. Practice skydiving and become familiar. Try to take your own familiar parachute. Ask for basic camping survival gear. Dry food rations and some water. After landing safely, secure the cash and note the gps coordinates. Find a water course and follow it down stream. Till you come to a river with decent flowing water. Collect drift wood, form a raft and float down stream. Raft only at nights. From the watershed where you jump, figure out which river you will end up in, pick the city to rejoin civilization, practice it couple of times, do dry runs.

    With the proliferation of security cameras, high resolution picture of your face will have been recorded by TSA. So grow mustache, beard, dye them, wear glasses. Doctor your eye-glass frames to be asymmetric, slightly. You need to make the eigen values of the face detection algo matrix go askew. After the fact switch to contacts, go clean shaven and revert to natural hair color. Colored contact lenses before the crime^H^H^H^H^H adventure, a must.

    Realize if you can pull this off, you are smart enough to make more money legally.

    • by Cyberax ( 705495 )
      Area on the flight path between Portland and Seattle is hardly a vast expanse of untamed forest. You'll find a human settlement or a road if you walk for about 10 miles straight in any direction. Hardly a feat that requires superhuman abilities. Then you just use a payphone to call in your accomplice to pick you up.

      Alternatively, you can make several caches with clean clothes and camping gear beforehand. Then just find the nearest cache and backpack wherever you want.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <> on Sunday January 15, 2017 @06:23AM (#53671105) Homepage Journal

      Considering how much effort he put into planning the rest of the operation, it isn't unreasonable to assume that he had a plan for when he landed. Perhaps he prepared some supplies and transport before hand. A change of clothes so as not to look suspicious, replacement bags for the money.

      It just seems unlikely that after so carefully figuring out how to pull off the hijacking he would neglect to consider how to escape afterwards.

    • by ebvwfbw ( 864834 )

      There is one theory out there that it wasn't a guy in the first place. It was a chick dressed up as a man. Another one I think says that it was a guy, later had SRS to become a woman.

      Didn't know about the dummy chute. As Toyota used to say - "oh what a feeling."... if you go to pull a rip cord and nothing happens.

  • Since I go to yard sales and thrift shops all the time, an obvious question is how do we know that these rare or trace elements did not end up on D.B. Cooper's tie from a previous owner of the tie? Tom
  • I watched the episode and they tested a theory that he didn't actually jump out of the plane, he just jumped up and down to make it seem like he did. He then waited until the approach into Reno which is flat and covered by scrub brush. He took two of the four chutes so he could have thrown one of the chutes and some money as a diversion. One problem I had with this theory is that he wouldn't have known ahead of time that they would go to Reno. He had requested Mexico but they ran low on fuel due to flying

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