DB Cooper mystery: new dig for evidence underway on Washington river bank

Originally published at: DB Cooper mystery: new dig for evidence underway on Washington river bank | Boing Boing

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We all know the real reason no physical trace of Cooper or his parachutes were ever recovered.



That was one of a number of brick jokes in that movie.




I just…
Can’t summon any enthusiasm for yet another
D.B. Cooper theory.


Ulis selected the dig spot using two older trees that he says would have been on the shore in 1971. He says if one were to draw lines between the trees, they would converge in an “X” over the spot where the $5,800 was found in 1980

Cool, let’s try this. Draw two “trees” on a piece of paper. Dots will do - this need not be fancy. Now draw lines through them and note where they converge to form an “X”. Where is that “X” now? Any fuckin’ where, that’s where. The two damn lines could be at any angle you would like. To make this work you need at least four trees (three won’t work as the “X” would be at the location of one of the three).

I’m going to go out on a limb (tree puns!) and say this proves fruitless.

(edited for typo)


Heard about the one-armed fisherman?

He claims he caught one THIS BIG.


Exactly what I was thinking, lol. Doesn’t make any sense to use two points to determine where they converge, you can literally say they converge anywhere depending on the angle you choose to draw the liens at.


I got a friend who has been researching and trying to figure out who and where DB Cooper went. He has been on several shows about it, and did some spectral analysis on his tie. I saw a good talk he did on that subject, but my google fu is weak right now. I will see if he can direct me to it.


Not to mention that they may be the last two of MANY trees that were on the riverbank, especially before that river flooded. Derpity derp derp.

My Dad used to keep an X sticker (house numbering style) in his tacklebox when we went fishing in his boat. With a straight face he told me that when I caught “the big one” he’d put that X on the bottom of the boat to mark that special spot. :stuck_out_tongue:


I mean the idea if checking near where they found those bills is a good one. It’s just it’s already been done, a lot.

The FBI already checked up and down the river, and the general area has already been picked over heavily in the 40 years since they turned up.

If it was as simple as the chutes also being buried there they probably would have turned up by now. IIRC people have even run ground penetrating radar through there.

The main theory is that the bills washed down from another area. Which means the chutes wouldn’t be there. There’s less evidence pointing to the bills being deposited there through other means or deliberately buried there some time after the hijacking. Which also means the chutes wouldn’t be there.

I don’t think there’s any reason to believe the site where the money was found is near any landing (or more likely smushing) site. And I think it’s been about as proven as you can that it isn’t.

Even if the authorities never checked it, amateurs almost certainly have have.

Amateurs like Eric Ulis. Who appears to be a true crime writer mostly working on Cooper. And closely tied to the History Channel. Not a credentialed Historian, or anyone with any expertise in this sort of dig. His website seems to mostly be media credits and bog standard stuff about Cooper.

Not exactly encouraging as goes credibility, and it’s likely this is a stunt for a TV show (or an attempted one).


Not to mention that the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens probably would have destroyed or permanently buried any physical evidence that managed to survive the 1972 flood. The bills that were recovered in 1980 were pretty trashed even before that eruption, and I doubt that the subsequent 40-plus years have been kind to any other forensic evidence that might have once existed.


let it go GIF


I had that thought also. The generous interpretation might be that there are some trees that are sufficiently old as to perhaps have been useful to Cooper and some geometric configuration of them and the location where the money was found that’s at least suggestive of something (a big reach, yes). Whether other trees were once there doesn’t impact this interpretation, tortured though it might be.

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If the surrounding trees haven’t survived the changes that landscape has been through over the last half century (including floods and a major volcanic eruption) then what are the odds that a parachute would?


Adequately buried, say on the inside bank of a bend in the river, it’s at least feasible. I wouldn’t bet on it though.

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You can congratulate your dad on his renaissance humour! This is exactly one of the stories that are told in 16th century German folk literature about the inhabitants of the fools’ town of Schilda, the Schildbürger.
The Schildbürger and the town bell (my retelling)

One day it was war and the town of Schilda was threatened with attack by its enemies. The Schildbürger were concerned about their valuables, so they hid them all over. Only the big bronze church bell could not be hidden. So the mayor had the idea to sink it in the lake. They took down the bell, rowed out onto the lake and heaved it over the side.
At the last minute the blacksmith realised that they would never find it again if they didn’t mark the spot. So he pulled out his pocket knife and carved a large notch into the boat’s gunwale. The other Schildbürger were impressed with his intelligence and they went back home, certain that their valuable bell was safe.

The war moved on, it never touched Schilda and after a while they felt safe enough to retrieve their bell. They rowed out onto the lake and sure enough they cried “the bell must be here! I can see the notch!”
But there was no bell and soon it dawned on them that the plan had not been thought through. Frustrated they returned to shore. The baker was especially angry with the blacksmith and his cursed notch. So at night he went out to the boat shed and got his revenge. He took his own knife and cut the offending notch out of the boat’s side. Only the next morning did he realise that all he had done was carve an even bigger hole into the vessel.


The best theory to fit the evidence, IMHO, is that Cooper died on the way down. That parachute jump he attempted at that speed and altitude is basically unsurvivable. The money scattered to the wind over a 500 mile area, people found it and quietly kept what they found over the years, and Cooper landed in the form of fertilizer somewhere in Washington. There’s no evidence that points to any other outcome. Occam’s Razor and all that.