A new clue has emerged in the infamous DB Cooper plane hijacking case after a scientist discovered that part of the criminal’s $200,000 ransom money, which was buried on the riverbank near his drop zone, had been submerged in water several months after he landed.
In November 1971, a ‘non-descript man’ identifying himself as Dan ‘DB’ Cooper bought a $20 ticket for a Northwest Orient flight from Portland to Seattle. During the flight, he gave a note to a flight attendant, telling them he had a bomb, and demanding a $200,000 ransom and a parachute.
After securing both, and freeing his hostages, he parachuted from the plane, never to be seen again.
The only clue to what happened happened to Cooper was discovered `nine years later in 1980. A young boy camping with his family on Tena Bar stretch of the Columbia River, northwest of Vancouver, discovered $6,000 of Cooper’s ransom money bound-together by elastatic bands, while they dug a fire pit on the riverbank.
The discovery led the FBI to believe that the money had washed down river, 18 miles from Cooper’s drop zone, and been buried in the sand. The money is also one of the only clues to what happened to Cooper who disappeared after pulling of the middair heist.
But now scientist Tom Kaye, armed with an electron microscope, has thrown doubt on the theory after he discovered that seasonal specific ‘diatoms’ – or tiny deposits of algae – present on the money showed that the cash had been submerged in the water several months after the hijacking, before being buried.
The find suggests that the money was safely stored somwhere dry for months after the landing before it was moved.
‘Suddenly, the light bulb came on and we wondered if we could use these different species of diatoms that we found on the Cooper bills a long time ago to determine when the money got wet and when the money landed on [Tena Bar]’, Kaye told King5.
DB Cooper ransom money found buried in sand along Columbia River had fallen into the water months after infamous skyjacking, scientist claims – adding new mystery to the 49-year-old cold case
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