Sunday, November 27, 2011

Video: Where is D.B. Cooper?

>>> the 40th anniversary of his disappearance, dozens of amateur sleuths have made it their personal crusade to find out what happened to d.b. cooper .

>> could have landed anywhere in there. see the kind of terrain he to come down?

>> jerry thomas has been hunting for cooper 25 years, deep in the woods in washington state .

>> you get a general idea in here what he has to negotiate.

>> the army veteran believes the thick, rugged terrain could have played a role in the hijacker's fate.

>> bottom line, not experienced enough or prepared for the terrain in which he jumped in.

>> thomas doesn't think cooper survived.

>> very good reasons to believe he lived, because we've never found a body in 40 years.

>> i feel he -- he very much survived it.

>> over the years, dozens who have tried to crack the case and now on the 40th anniversary, these amateur sleuths are comparing notes.

>> if he's out there, no way he can't come to this event.

>> on saturday, jeffrey gray, author of "skyjack" held the first ever cooper s eer symposium in portland.

>> all because a guy passed a note that said, miss, i have a bomb. i'd like you to sit by me.

>> reporter: the hijacker took over the flight from portland to seattle. his demand? $200,000 and a means to escape.

>> four parachutes, two backups, two primaries.

>> reporter: his demands met, the hijacker, who bought the ticket under dan cooper , freed passengers and instructed the flight to take off and fly south. the entire crew was in the cockpit. he the cabin to himself. at one point, they get a warning light to tell them that the rear exit had been opened. cooper walks down these stairs, opens up the lower ramp, jumps out of the airplane and into history.

>> reporter: he jumped into a cold rainy night into the washington/oregon border. not until some of this money was found eight years later was there any sign of cooper. since 1971 , there have been thousands of tips from those claiming to be or know where d.b. cooper is. another made public on saturday.

>> well, we believe we know who d.b. cooper is. a friend we met back in 1977 . i flew for a whole year before she told us she used to be a man.

>> new theories continue to emerge about the case. reports resurfaced indicating cooper may have been canadian and got the idea from a comic book .

>> dan cooper is a character in a comic book .

>> reporter: this man has been investigating the lead and the possibility that he had access to a rare metal . traces of titanium on a rare neck tie.

>> he probably had a military history , worked in the titanium industry.

>> reporter: as far as motive, cooper's own words are most telling.

>> one fortunate things i found in the files deals direct well this motive. it's right here. it's not because i have a grudge against your airline. it's just because i have a grudge. dan cooper likely was extreme loner, depressed, i believe suicidal.

>> reporter: ralph himlesbach, one of the first fbi agents assigned to the case, believes it's highly unlikely he survived the jump.

>> he jumped out of an airline going almost 10,000 feet, with the air temperature outside the plane 7 degrees below zero . i think of him as being just another sleazy rotten criminal.

>> reporter: regardless of what you believe, 40 years later, these cooper sleuths are determined to solve the mystery.

>> becoming part of the story is what you have to do in order to solve the case.

>> it is a great american mystery. it's like the x-prize. when you throw out a challenge to the public, the public will pick it up and do a good job of trying to solve it.

>> i have a feeling they will try to solve it.


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