Mystery skyjacker DB Cooper's tie led to a new suspect

Originally published at: Mystery skyjacker DB Cooper's tie led to a new suspect | Boing Boing


Is there no human detritus on the tie to warrant any DNA testing? What gives? :man_shrugging:


Pittsburgh? I thought we established that he was some Norse guy, right?


I just have a hard time believing he survived parachuting into a blizzard in the Pacific NW wearing just a business suit, so any suspect that was still alive after 1971 I tend to dismiss.


My ties have traveled tens of thousands of miles with me and have never been cleaned, can’t begin to imagine what they’ve picked up over the years.


this time zeroing in on the evidence from a 2017 scientific examination of the tie worn by the well-dressed skyjacker and left behind on the plane.

I am pretty sure he is talking about the analysis my friend did on the tie particles. It has been a long time since I watched his talk on it, but if you are interested, there it is.

ETA - The tie analysis has a lot more on it than a specific type of titanium, and Tom’s theory is that he worked for a company producing high end oscilloscopes (possibly at Tektronix), which would explain the machining particles and the rare elements used in the creation of CRT screens. (He will be the first to say that he could be easily proven wrong with more data.) The talk is kinda long and shows a lot of dead ends in their analysis of the particles, and the conclusion is “there is a lot of data, but nothing conclusive, yet”. It still is pretty neat how they exclude certain things based on small details. But I find it interesting citizen science.

He just went to the Royal Ontario Museum to zap various fossils with lasers to gleam hidden details not visible with regular light.


Another reason to doubt Cooper’s survival is the fact that they found at least some of the money in the woods years later.

Unfortunate for investigators that the eruption of Mount Saint Helens likely wrecked any chance of finding further physical evidence of Cooper’s fate so soon after they finally had a place to focus the search.


If I remember correctly they found bundles of the money buried in a riverbank. There was a theory he buried it and planned to come back later. Plausible I suppose, more likely the river buried it with the spring rains.


He was a red mist as soon as he let go of that plane. All kinds of extreme skydive experts have weighed in over the decades– Navy Seals, Army Airborne, Special Forces, Airborne Rangers, stunt people, skydive performers, etc. All say that jump was not survivable even with extensive gear and training. None of them would have even attempted it.

As for this latest evidence, take it a with a grain of salt. Every few years another reporter or lone wolf investigator runs down some lead and declares victory over the countless trained expert investigators at the time who did all the same things and found it inconclusive. Fifty years later, the standards of evidence are a lot lower because there’s no stakes, so all kinds of people have come out of the woodwork to declare they have finally solved it. It always turns out that whatever lead is being chased was already chased a dozen times before and doesn’t lead where this new person says it does.

Of course they examined his tie for trace elements at the time. It was the only physical evidence they had of who he was. They analyzed the ever living fuck out of that tie.


That doesn’t make much sense though. It was not buried in a place that was especially easy to get to and there’s no clear reason why he wouldn’t keep it with him anyway. It’s not like he was trying to transport gold bricks or something.

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Cooper did defy the odds by making it safely to the ground. Unfortunately for him he was immediately mugged by Bigfoot.


According to Tom at ~5:18 mark above, they didn’t do a particle analysis. While more common today, it just was not in 1971 and they didn’t have the same technology to do it like they do today.


Okay, fine, so Crucible Steel maybe was the only company that made this specific rare titanium alloy at the time.
And then did what with it, stack it all neatly in a warehouse?
Or - sell it to a number of other companies that used it to make whatever product they were making. Which a) means a considerable larger pool of possible DB Coopers and b) makes the deduction that DB Cooper had some sort of connection to Crucible Steel somewhat far fetched.
And that’s not even taking into account other explanations like DB Cooper trying to be clever and getting the clothes for his gig at a second-hand shop, and so on.

Which brings me to the other $0.01:
Some time ago (possibly during the lockdowns, can’t remember) there was yet another DB Cooper post on BB. That and the rabbit hole of tons of stuff on the subject online I fell into left me with the impression that DB Cooper was some some sort of aviation nerd who had some theoretical knowledge about planes and parachutes and stuff - and thought he was really clever - but little to none practical experience.
Bottom line: the guy was probably dead before he hit the ground (or right after that) and quickly ended up as a welcome snack for the local wildlife. End of story.


I get it’s great mystery and all but dude got away with it or dude died trying to get away with it.

Even if they found someone and proved without a shadow of a doubt it was him no will believe it or want to believe it because the mystery is much more fun.

Plus if Leonard Nimoy couldn’t find him no one can.


Now if it was instead particles of steel that could only have come from WW1 warships sunk in the baltics that would really help narrow the pool.


Actually, it makes perfect sense: If you’re hauling a backpack full of cash through the woods, you want to ditch as much of it as possible to conserve your strength. If you want to hide something so you can come back later to retrieve it, you hide it in a place that is not especially easy to get to.

But it would take just as much strength to come back for it later as it would to take it with you the first time, assuming you could even find it on the return trip.

If you were going to hide money so you could come back and find it later you wouldn’t bury it at the edge of a stream bed, you’d stick it inside a hollow log or stack of rocks near an easy-to-identify landmark.

In any case the fact that (at least a portion of) the money was found years later is pretty good evidence that things didn’t work out the way he hoped even if he did survive the descent.


Not if you came back with an ATV. Or simply carried out smaller chunks at a time.

The fact that it took that long for the money to be found is pretty good evidence that it was well hidden, which presumably was the point of putting it there in the first place–if indeed that’s what happened. In any case, I’m not so sure conveniently located stacks of rocks or hollow logs are as easy to come across as you’d like to think.

The fact that he never retrieved it is evidence that his plan never came to fruition, but that doesn’t negate the fact that he found a pretty good hiding place.