50 years ago today, a man who passed himself off as Dan “DB” Cooper, invented a whole new way to hijack a plane, called, “skyjacking.” He boarded a Northwest Orient Airlines plane. He then threatened to blow it to bits with a bag of explosives. The FBI agreed to pay him $200,000 (in marked bills), for him to spare the plane. After this he parachuted from the plane, with the money, over Washington State. He was never seen nor heard from again.
Following this incident, passenger planes were equipped with a mechanism preventing the opening of rear cargo doors in mid-flight, so that planes couldn’t be “skyjacked” again.
In 1980, $5,800 of the loot was discovered by 8-year-old Brian Ingram, on the shores of the Columbia River. The rest has not been recovered. Ingram was allowed to keep about half of his find, and in 2008 auctioned off 15 of the bills for about $37,000.
Rumor has it that Cooper survived his jump from the plane, and invested the remaining ransom money into a company that was developing something called a “security magnetometer.”
Categories: A Foolish Filler Day