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AMBOY, Wash. - There could be a major break in the biggest crime mystery in Northwest history.The FBI in Seattle is beginning analysis of a long-buried parachute - the same type used by skyjacker D.B. Cooper when he jumped from an Northwest Orient Airlines 727 with a 25 pound money bag containing 200-thousand dollars ransom on Thanksgiving eve 1971.
The children of a Clark County contractor found the parachute buried in a field that their father has recently plowed for a road. The chute is white and conical shaped, dirty and deteriorated. Seattle Agent Larry Carr will clean it and search for a label, which could match the chute to a companion reserve chute left behind by Cooper in the plane.
Carr, who's now in charge of the Cooper case, says the parachute was found near the center of the original jump zone identified by searchers in November 1971, between the towns of Ariel and Amboy, Washington. In 1980, a family on a picnic found 58-hundred dollars of the loot on a Columbia River beach, near Vancouver. How it got there is another mystery. Some scientists believed the money bag traveled down the Washougal River, which is upstream from the beach, miles from where this parachute was recently found.