After over 40 years of mystery the DB Cooper case may finally see closure thanks to the most unlikely and tiny of particles discovered on his tie decades later. If you haven’t already heard of the mysterious DB Cooper and his fateful hijacking of a plane along with over $200,000, he was one of the most notorious hijackers of the 1970’s. And the mystery of his identity has made him and the FBI sketch of him famous. But if the mystery ends now, then it will be due to a strange piece of evidence unearthed by the FBI leading in an unlikely direction.
So what was this strange particle scientists working with the FBI found on DB Cooper’s tie? The clip on tie left behind by Cooper shortly before he made his fateful jump with over $200,000 in stolen cash from the side of a Northwest Airlines 727 had on it evidence too tiny to analyze 40 years ago when it all happened. But with time, analysts have reexamined the tie along with the case time and time again making Cooper’s case not only historic but also a perplexing mystery. The particle, discovered on the tie years later, was Titanium in its unrefined form. Refined titanium is seen commonly today in a number of household objects in everything from cars to surgical tools and even kitchen appliances. But at the time titanium was a rare and unmistakable metal. Interestingly enough, it was also one of the elements expected to be used by Northwest Airlines one day in a project that was later canceled. As a result hundreds working at the Titanium refinery found themselves out of work. Among them, suggest researchers, the man who would become known as DB Cooper.
So was the hijacking all just a plot in order to get even with the plane company that cost him so much money? In 1980 the case came to a halt, but didn’t close when a family discovered almost $6,000 in cash that had clearly been left to the elements with no sign of a body anywhere nearby. Was this a plant to lead travelers on a wild goose chase? Or was it evidence that Cooper had not been able to successfully navigate the treacherous night time parachute drop he had planned?
While it may seem like ancient history today – with Cooper likely in his 70’s today, and none of the crew were harmed, it did start up a string of DB Cooper copycats which attempted to do the same thing as him and were all ultimately apprehended. Several thousand files were processed in the wake of the Cooper case with the FBI attempting to narrow down the number of suspects to one person. And there were dozens of people who either claimed to know DB Cooper’s real identity personally or even that they were the hijacker on their death beds. It is perhaps the fact that Cooper himself became a subject of notoriety that assisted him in his escape. After the incident it was difficult to imagine anyone could have survived the fall down to the wilderness’ edge. And yet it’s that possibility that keeps the dream of one day catching Cooper and solving the mystery once and for all. Perhaps this latest evidence will prove to narrow down the search.