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November 24, 1971 – 50th anniversary of D.B. Cooper hijacking

On this day in 1971, a man known as Dan Cooper, later misidentified in a paper as D.B. Cooper, hijacked a plane and then disappeared after supposedly jumping out of it into a storm over the Washington/Oregon border. While not directly related to the auto industry, the use of modern transportation in the case of D.B. Cooper is quite fascinating. For those unfamiliar with the story, the gist of it involves a man ticketed as Dan Cooper boarding a plane in Portland and then claiming he has a bomb once airborne. When the plane lands in Seattle he is given the $200,000 he demanded, along with four parachutes. As the plane is refueled, everyone except the pilots and Cooper are removed from the Boeing 727. Cooper then orders the plane to be flown to Mexico.

Shortly after take-off, somewhere over the Columbia River, Cooper had the rear stairs of the plane lowered. He supposedly jumped from the plane into a stormy evening, never to be seen again. A decade after the incident, a child found some of the money along the banks of the Columbia River, but no other physical evidence has been found. Check out this update from Seattle news station, KING 5.

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