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Beth Schmillen

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Re: is this D.B. Cooper ???
3/18/2009 3:56:00 AM

Here's a new twist to the D.B. Cooper Case: Comic Book clue to why he called himself Dan Cooper?

D.B. Cooper case

FBI: Comic book holds clue in D.B. Cooper case

By Staff

PORTLAND, Ore. - One of the Northwest's most notorious unsolved crimes may have a comic book connection and while it may sound kooky, the FBI agent in charge of the case says the new clue is no laughing matter.

D.B. Cooper Factoid
The jumper, who identified himself as Dan Cooper, later became known as D.B. Cooper after authorities questioned and then released a man named Daniel B. Cooper. That man was cleared but the name stuck.

In November 1971, a man identifying himself as Dan Cooper, later mistakenly called D.B. Cooper, hijacked a Northwest Orient flight from Portland to Seattle, claiming he had a bomb.

At Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, he released the passengers in exchange for $200,000 and four parachutes and asked to be flown to Mexico. He jumped from the plane somewhere near the Oregon state line.

The hijacker was never seen or heard from again and thus one of the Northwest's most famous mysteries was born.  Did he die in the jump?  Did he survive and make off with the money?  No one knows, although there are a number of theories out there.

Larry Carr, the FBI agent currently overseeing the case, now believes the hijacker may have taken his name from a French comic book.  The Dan Cooper comic book was popular in France in the 1960s and early 1970s and one issue published around the time of the hijacking shows the character parachuting.

Carr said this is an important clue in the case because the comic books were never translated into English, which supports his theory that the hijacker had been in the Air Force and probably spent time in Europe, where he likely came across the Dan Cooper comic books.

This new information brings another twist to the story, which continues to fascinate people decades later.  You can read more about the FBI's link to the Dan Cooper comic book here.


Beth Schmillen

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Re: is this D.B. Cooper ???
7/24/2010 10:53:37 PM

Historical Mystery? D. B. Cooper - A Look Back!

I was looking for anything recent on D. B. Cooper to add to my forum at AdlandPro ( ) because last year there had been a flurry of new info or evidence that came to light.

from one of my earlier posts over at Adland Community
Re: is this D.B. Cooper ???
3/7/2009 5:51:24 PM

New D.B. Cooper Theory
Researchers are taking a fresh look at the D.B. Cooper case. Paleontologist Tom Kaye has been examining the tattered Cooper bills as well as testing how the money, thought to have been separated from Cooper during his skydive, could have made it down the Columbia River. He has also looked into how long the rubber bands which held the bundles of loot together could have lasted in the wild. According to Kaye, not long enough to allow the ransom money to get downstream to where some of it was found. Get more details and several video reports at KGW-TV. ( )

from CoasttoCoastAM

So I did a quick google search and found an article from 2000 with
information about a woman whose husband told her he was D. B. Cooper while on his death bed…

Thought it might take our minds of oil spills etc….

Amplifyd from
Mysteries of History
Mysteries of History
From the 7/24/00 issue of USN&WR
Skyjacker at large
A Florida widow thinks she has found him

It was the day before Thanksgiving, Nov. 24, 1971. As Northwest Airlines Flight 305, from Portland, Ore., to Seattle, sped along the runway preparing for takeoff, the man in Seat 18C, wearing sunglasses and a dark suit, handed a flight attendant a note. It said he had a bomb and threatened to blow up the Boeing 727 unless he received $200,000 cash and four parachutes when the plane landed. The man in Seat 18C purchased his ticket under the name “Dan Cooper.”

After receiving his booty at the Seattle-Tacoma Airport, the man released the 36 passengers and two members of the flight crew. He ordered the pilot and remaining crew to fly to Mexico. At 10,000 feet, with winds gusting at 80 knots and a freezing rain pounding the airplane, Dan Cooper–mistakenly identified as D.B. Cooper by a reporter–walked down the rear stairs and parachuted into history.

What followed was one of the most extensive and expensive manhunts in the annals of American crime. For five months, federal, state, and local police combed dense hemlock forests north of Portland. D.B. Cooper became an American folk icon–the inspiration for books, rock songs, and even a 1981 movie. Over the past three decades, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has investigated more than 1,000 “serious suspects” along with assorted crackpots and deathbed confessors. Most–but not all–have been ruled out. The case was back in the news just last month when FBI agents investigated a skull discovered nearly 20 years ago along the Columbia River. It turned out to belong to a woman, possibly an American Indian. Today, the D.B. Cooper case remains the world’s only unsolved skyjacking.

In March 1995, a Florida antique dealer named Duane Weber lay dying of polycystic kidney disease in a Pensacola hospital. He called his wife, Jo, to his bed and whispered: “I’m Dan Cooper.” Jo, who had learned in 17 years of marriage not to pry too deeply into Duane’s past, had no idea what her secretive husband meant. Frustrated, he blurted out: “Oh, let it die with me!” Duane died 11 days later. Jo sold his van two months after his death. The new owner discovered a wallet hidden in the overhead console. It contained a U.S. Navy “bad conduct discharge” in Duane’s name and a Social Security card and prison-release form from the Missouri State Penitentiary, in the name of “John C. Collins.” Duane had told Jo that he had served time for burglary under the name John Collins. Still, says Jo, a real-estate agent in Pace, Fla., Duane rarely spoke of his past. “His life started with me, and that was it,” she says.

The FBI sketch strongly resembles a photo of Duane Weber.

In April 1996, Jo discussed Duane’s criminal and military past with a friend. She also mentioned that just before he died, Duane had revealed the cause of an old knee injury. “I got it jumping out of a plane,” Jo recalls him saying. “Did you ever think he might be D.B. Cooper?” the friend asked.

Handwriting match. In May 1996, Jo checked out a library book on D.B. Cooper. “I did not realize D.B. Cooper was known as Dan Cooper,” Jo says. The book listed the FBI’s description: mid-40s, 6 feet tall, 170 pounds, black hair, a bourbon drinker, a chain smoker. At the time of the hijacking, Duane Weber was 47, 6 feet, 1 inch tall, and weighed around 185 pounds. He had black hair, drank bourbon, and chain-smoked.

The similarities between a younger Duane and the FBI’s composite drawings struck Jo. “It’s about as close a match as you can get,” agrees Frank Bender, a criminal forensic reconstructionist who has worked with the FBI for 20 years.

Jo never knew Duane to go to the library. Yet in pencil in the book’s margins was what looked to her like Duane’s handwriting. On one page he had written the name of a town in Washington where a placard from the rear stairs of Flight 305 had landed. “I knew right off the bat that handwriting was his,” says Anne Faass, who worked with Duane for five years.

Jo called the FBI the night she read the D.B. Cooper book. “They just blew me off,” she says. Eventually she began a dialogue with Ralph Himmelsbach, the FBI agent in charge of the case from 1971 until his retirement in 1980. At his urging, the FBI opened a file on Duane Weber in March 1997. They interviewed Jo, as well as one of Duane’s former wives and his brother. They compared his fingerprints with the 66 unaccounted-for prints on Flight 305. None matched, although the FBI has no way to know if any of the prints were Cooper’s. Himmelsbach finds Jo Weber, who has agreed to take a polygraph test, to be credible. There is no reward money to motivate her. He thinks she simply wants to learn the truth about her spouse. “The facts she has really seem to fit,” he says. But the FBI dropped its investigation of Weber in July 1998. More “conclusive evidence” would be needed to continue, they say.

copied from

Beth Schmillen

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Re: is this D.B. Cooper ???
7/25/2010 12:27:37 AM
Back in 2001 ...

D.B. Cooper puzzle: The legend turns 30

If you believe a persuasive San Diego cabdriver, D.B. Cooper was a drifter and card player who died of a cocaine overdose in California 15 years after skyjacking a Northwest Airlines jet between Portland and Seattle.

If you believe an equally insistent Florida realtor, D.B. Cooper was her late husband, a chain-smoking ex-con who revealed his true identity to her six years ago as he lay dying of kidney disease in a Pensacola hospital.

And if you believe the FBI, the notorious skyjacker, after parachuting out of the plane at 10,000 feet with a 21-pound satchel of ransom money strapped to his chest, died in the jump. No matter that his body has never been found.

Three decades later, the only unsolved skyjacking in the country's history continues to fascinate mystery lovers, with many hoping the passenger known as D.B. Cooper — who physically hurt no one, except possibly himself — landed safely with the loot and got away"

the story continues with...

But the San Diego cabbie and the Florida realtor have no doubts. Not only are they certain Cooper survived the jump, they insist they know who he was.

The cabbie's tale

The two men were poker-playing buddies. Sitting in a bar one night in 1984, Rizzo said, he confided to Huddleston that he was a fugitive wanted by the FBI for counterfeiting.

Huddleston replied with his own confession: He had skyjacked an airplane in 1971.

Rizzo said he kept the secret until after Huddleston died in 1986 of an aneurysm brought on by a cocaine overdose at age 52. Rizzo told the FBI his tale. An autopsy of Huddleston revealed his legs were covered with scars, which Rizzo says were caused by the jump from the plane.

Rizzo said Huddleston gave him this account:

After plunging from the plane, he landed near a river, in a tree about 10 feet above the ground, where a sharp limb punctured his knee and ribs. The weather was so bad his shoes blew off, and ice and sleet coated his arms and back.

The strap that held the money tore, and that's how he lost the packet later found by the child on the riverbank. He crawled to a cave and later hitchhiked to Portland, where he spent months recuperating before eventually moving to San Diego.

He hid the money until 1978, when he took it to an Indian reservation in Montana to be laundered. When he returned to San Diego, he kept it stashed in the taillight of an old Cadillac.

Because he was constantly fearful of running into someone from the flight who would recognize him, he often changed his appearance, growing a beard and shaving his head, then growing a mustache and wearing a long ponytail.

Rizzo said Huddleston once said: "In the back of my mind, one day I'll be sitting on a bus, in a bar, and look into the face of the only person who could identify me. I'll see that stewardess. I know she will never forget my face."

Huddleston told Rizzo he'd bought the airline ticket under the name Don — his real middle name, not Dan — and was amused that the FBI went searching for a Dan Cooper.

"He was a James Dean type, a daredevil," Rizzo said. "This is not a story I could make up, but the FBI's never going to prove it."

The real-estate agent's tale

She claims she found the remote spot near Battle Ground, Clark County, where her husband, an insurance salesman and ex-con, took her in 1979. At the time, all he told her was that it was a sentimental journey for him.

It wasn't until 1995, when he was 70 and on his deathbed, that he whispered to her, "I'm Dan Cooper."

Jo Weber had no idea what he meant, and he angrily blurted, "Oh, let it die with me."

She has since uncovered a trail of stories, suppositions and what could just be coincidences. Among them:

Composite sketches of Cooper resemble her husband, who was a chain smoker. Because he'd served time for burglary and forgery on McNeil Island when it housed a federal penitentiary, he was familiar with the general area where Cooper is believed to have landed.

He sometimes talked in his sleep, drenched in sweat. "I left my fingerprints on the aft stairs," he mumbled. "I'm going to die."

When she asked him about it later, he was vague and evasive.

Jo Weber once found an old airline ticket from Portland to Seattle in a box of records. She came across it a second time when she was cleaning out clothes, but her husband said it didn't mean anything, and the ticket got lost again.

"I've offered to do anything I have to to prove I'm telling the truth," she said. "Now, I have to let God take care of the rest. I've given it five years of my life ... but I'm not going to use up the rest of my life trying to do the FBI's job for them."

Investigations 'just burn out'

The FBI has investigated a litany of stories like those from Rizzo and Weber but rejected them because there is simply no proof, Hope said. Except for the sodden bills along the Columbia, the forests have held Cooper's secret.

"Every so often one would come along, and I'd get the rush of adrenaline," said Himmelsbach, the retired FBI agent and author. "There's a guy in a bar with a bunch of $20 bills, he's limping on one leg and someone asks where he got the roll, and he says he might of hijacked an airplane. You track those things down, and they just burn out."

Another who discounts Weber's deathbed confession is Thomas, the retired Army infantryman who has spent the past three decades searching the thick forests of Southwest Washington for signs of Cooper.

"There's no way," said Thomas, 50, a survival expert. "... A lot of what (Jo Weber) is claiming came right out of a book."

Thomas pulls out a well-worn map and traces the forests around Washougal, Clark County. This, he believes, is where Cooper's remains rest.

But he is willing to entertain the notion that Cooper survived, so he walks the woods, sometimes with his grandchildren, searching for signs under branches and along creek banks.

"Unsolved cases really intrigue me. This is my life," Thomas said.

Some clues still kept secret

When Cooper commandeered the Northwest jet, skyjacking was hardly a novel crime. More than 25 were attempted in 1971 alone, but he alone did not get caught.

The following year, screening devices became mandatory in airports, and Himmelsbach said exit doors on airliners were modified with a device named the Cooper Vane so they could not be opened in midflight.

The FBI won't talk about suspects in an open case. But agents say they have kept some of their clues secret in hopes of someday solving the mystery. "There's stuff we know nobody else knows," Hope said.

The small town of Ariel, Cowlitz County, where some think Cooper landed, hosts an annual Cooper celebration; this year there will be no one parachuting from the sky because of security concerns over a nearby dam. After 30 years, the event still draws a crowd.

"It's that desperado mystique," said local historian Walt Crowley of the story's enduring fascination.

"It was an extraordinary audacious act to lower that rear gangway in flight and jump into a dark and stormy night," Crowley said. "He didn't hurt anybody ... and we all love a mystery."

Susan Gilmore can be reached at 206-464-2054 or

The friend of the Taxi driver, with the scars on his legs allegedly from hitting the ground
after jumping from flight 305, died at age 52.

The widow's husband died at age 70 yrs.
One has to ask: Did this man also have scarred legs?


Beth Schmillen

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Re: is this D.B. Cooper ???
7/25/2010 12:37:46 AM
D. B. Cooper
seattlepi | January 22, 2009

FBI agent Larry Carr reviews key pieces of evidence from the unsolved 1971 hijacking case.

also History Channel D. B. Cooper on "Who was Dan Cooper"

note: D. B. Cooper is the name of someone who was questioned but found
innocent... or D. B. Cooper is the mis-reported name by newspapers or both!

Beth Schmillen

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Re: is this D.B. Cooper ???
7/25/2010 1:10:41 AM
In 1999 the co-pilot of Flight 305 retired and his recollections
of D. B. Cooper are heard on Minnesota KARE 11 NEWS STORY ABOUT THE CO-PILOT ON D.B.COOPER FLIGHT-1999


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