posted on Sep, 1 2008 @ 03:14 PM
Read this a couple of weeks ago
he Canadian Press
VANCOUVER -- In 1971, infamous fugitive D.B. Cooper hijacked a plane in Seattle, demanded US$200,000 in ransom and four parachutes.
With the cash in hand, he later jumped out of the plane over the U.S. Pacific Northwest and was never heard from again.
Theories about Cooper's true identity and his ultimate fate have run rampant since and now a Washington lawyer says he believes the notorious
hijacker ended up in British Columbia, where he stashed his cash in a Vancouver bank before he disappeared for good.
And Galen Cook believes that money is still locked in the a bank safety deposit box in the British Columbia city.
Cooper entered modern lore with the hijacking of the 727 en route from Portland, Ore., to Seattle in November 1971.
Mid-air, he handed the flight attendant a note, claiming to have a bomb and demanding the cash and parachutes be waiting when the plane touched
After receiving the cash and parachutes, the hijacker allowed passengers off the plane but demanded the crew take-off for Mexico City. Somewhere in
the skies above Washington state, Cooper jumped from the plane.
Despite hundreds of leads, no conclusive evidence of the man's true identity has ever been found.
Now Cook, a lawyer in Spokane, Wash., says evidence he's collected suggests Cooper was actually William Gossett, a college instructor from Ogden,
And if stories he told his sons are true, the loot is locked in a Vancouver bank.
Many of Gossett's friends and relatives believe he is the fugitive. Cook says he became a believer after seeing an FBI composite sketch of Cooper
alongside a 1971 photo of Gossett; the two were nearly identical.
"He certainly had the abilities and the training to pull off a D.B. Cooper-like stunt," Cook says. "He had the temperament to do that, and maybe
had the motive."
He says Gossett had military experience and wilderness survival training.
"He boasted of hijacking the plane and then leaping from its rear stairway, to his sons and two attorneys," Cook says.
The only evidence ever found was the discovery of $5,880 in decaying bills on the banks of the Columbia River near Vancouver, Wash., in 1980.
Two decades ago Gossett showed his son, Greg, two gold keys that could unlock the mystery -- if anyone knew where they were.
Greg, who lives in Utah, told Cook his father showed him the keys, and told him he had hijacked the plane and hidden the money in Vancouver, B.C.
"(Gossett) told Greg to keep still and not tell anybody because it could result in his dad going to prison for the rest of his life," Cook says.
He says he's currently working with the bank to find documentation surrounding the safety deposit box. He says he's visited the bank, met with the
manager, and requested the necessary records.
However, he says the bank has been reluctant to identify anyone who holds a safety deposit box.
In August 1973, Cook says Gossett invited his other son Kirk on what was supposed to be a seven-day father-son trip to Vancouver. But the trip was cut
short after an hours-long bank visit by Gossett.
He says he was told Gossett visited Vancouver as recently as the fall of 1996, tagging along during his attorney's family vacation.
Cook has been following the D.B. Cooper case for more than two decades, but only stumbled across the Bill Gossett link in the last year.
He says he's submitted the man's fingerprints to the FBI and plans to send an independently tested DNA sample soon.
FBI investigators say they doubt Cooper survived the parachute jump, but that hasn't stopped the agency from maintaining an open file.
Like the dozens of other stories that have circulated about the heist, this one may have no way of being proved one way or the other.
Gossett died in 2003 at the age of 73.