Legendary airplane hijacker D.B. Cooper may have written a letter to The Province newspaper and even attended the 1971 Grey Cup game in Vancouver a few days after his notorious skyjacking 40 years ago.
Alaskan attorney Galen Cook, an amateur sleuth who has been on Cooper’s trail for decades, said Thursday the case has strong connections to Vancouver.
“That’s where he stashed his money,” he told The Province. “The money is the heart of my investigation.
“If he’s not a hero, he’s still the best bandit in the history of American crime,” said Cook. “It’s the best bank robbery I’ve ever heard of.”
The mysterious case, which is the only unsolved airplane hijacking in U.S. history, happened on Nov. 24, 1971 in the Pacific Northwest.
A passenger on Northwest Orient Airlines flight 727 from Portland to Seattle, dressed in a dark suit, convinced flight attendants he had a bomb on board.
Demanding a ransom in return for releasing 36 passengers, he was given $200,000 in cash on the ground in Seattle as well as four parachutes. In return, the hostages were set free.
Soon after the plane took off for Mexico, D.B. Cooper vanished forever. He is believed to have jumped from the plane over Washington State, landing in a remote area in bone-chilling weather.
A man calling himself D.B. Cooper wrote to The Province six days after the hijacking, in an envelope postmarked in Vancouver. D.B. Cooper addressed his thoughts to “Chief Editor, The Province.”
“The composite drawing [of D.B. Cooper] on Page 3 as suspected by the FBI does not represent the truth. I enjoyed the Grey Cup game. Am leaving Vancouver. Thanks for your hospitality. D.B. Cooper.”
Cook, 56, has doggedly followed the hijacker’s trail for more than 20 years, including its Vancouver connection.
“I have a trustworthy 1995 Oldsmobile with 240,000 miles on it. About 150,000 miles are related to the DB Cooper case,” he said.
Cook suspects a man called William Gossett was DB Cooper, saying Gossett had the all required characteristics: he lived a fast life, was a U.S. military veteran and had parachuting experience.
After Gossett died at the age of 73 in 2003, Cook said Gossett’s sons came forward with convincing information about their dad’s activities in 1971 which tied him to the case.
“The letter to The Province was similar to Gossett’s type of speech,” Cook said. “He was leaving a trail for the general public to show he was OK.”
U.S. authorities are less sure of Gossett’s culpability, saying no one has been able to place him in the Pacific Northwest at the time.
D.B. Cooper’s trail went cold immediately after the plane took off. No charges have ever been laid.
The closest that police have ever come to the loot was when an eight-year-old boy discovered almost $6,000 in bills with the same serial numbers near the Columbia River in 1980.
Cook believes the case will ultimately be cracked and the public will some day learn the full story.
check your old 70's wardrobe,.anyone missing a tie like that ? Winston,this is in your backyard,have you found this suitcase ? if so,come on up here & let's go to that bank & have a party......LOL