It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


D.B. Cooper Mystery

page: 1

log in

+6 more 
posted on Mar, 3 2013 @ 12:17 PM
Project Level (1)


First, I would like thank Beezzer for allowing me to accompany him on this Dan Cooper ( D.B. Cooper) journey into the known, and unknown. D.B. Cooper is a man of mystery. Even his name is shrouded in a Mystery, of who coined it.Was it the media or the FBI? Some may say he was and is the first domestic airline terrorist. Some may say he was a Thief. Some may have given him that status of folk hero. We don't know who D.B. Cooper is, but we do know he was part of the 70's storyline, and has his assumed name entrenched in modern history.


We will be focusing on:

1. His Plane ride.
2. His Jump.
3. Is he alive.
4. Who he might have been.

Research Participants




First, I would like thank Beezzer for allowing me to accompany him on this Dan Cooper ( D.B. Cooper) journey into the known, and unknown. I will be focusing on Mr.Cooper's plane ride, and subsequent jump into history.

Portland International Airport~ Portland, Oregon, Nov. 24, 1971

Around 2:00 PM PST, Ticket Agent Hal Williams assigned Mr. Cooper to an aisle seat, 18C in coach aboard Northwest Flight No. 305. The 20 dollar plane ride,(which cost $18.52 + $1.48 tax) was a one way ticket to Seattle-Tacoma Airport, and without any delays, should have taken approximately a half an hour to complete the journey. (The plane was delayed from taking off for a half a hour).


Actual Plane


( * Unique stair design)

* After the Hijacking, all Boeing 727's with this design, were equipped with the Cooper vane so no one could open the stairs, during a flight.

Boeing 727-051

This particular Boeing 727-051 could carry 94 passengers. In all, it carried just 36 customers and six crew members, the night of the Hijacking.

The flight had originated in Washington, D.C., and stopped at Minneapolis, Minnesota: Great Falls. Montana; Missoula, Montana; Spokane, Washington, and Portland.

The flight's pilot, Captain William Scott, 51, had been flying for Northwest for 20 years. Also abroad was First Officer Robert "Bob" Rataczak; Flight Engineer Harold E. Anderson, and three flight attendants, Alice Hancock, Tina Mucklow, 22, and Florence Schaffner, 23.

The Skyjacking of Northwest Flight 305

(The crew of a Northwest Airlines jet, hijacked Nov. 24, 1971, is seen in this Nov. 25, 1971 file photo as they appear at a news conferences at the Reno International Airport, about two and one-half hours after the jet landed in Reno. From left are Capt. William Scott, First Officer Robert Rataczak, stewardess Tina Mucklow and Second Officer Harold Anderson. ~ AP Photo, File)


The plane departed at 3:07 PM PST. As soon as the plane was airborne, Cooper handed a note to Florence Schaffner. Thinking he was just a salesman “hitting on her,” she put the note in her uniform pocket and continued about her business. The next time she passed he motioned for her to come closer and whispered to her, “You'd better read that. I have a bomb." He nodded toward the briefcase in his lap. Schaffner went to the galley, read the note and shared it with fellow attendant Tina Mucklow.

The exact wording of the note Cooper handed Schaffner is lost because he asked for it back and took it with him. He made her dictate the demands and take them to the cockpit. (Therefore, all notes were in the stewardess’ hand). In subsequent FBI debriefs, it was agreed that these are Cooper’s exact words as spoken to Schaffner, "Take this down. I want $200,000 by 5:00 PM in cash. Put it in a knapsack. I want two back parachutes and two front parachutes. When we land, I want a fuel truck ready to refuel. No funny stuff, or I'll do the job."

We can see a cool, and calm Mr. Cooper dictating his demands, as he calmly smokes his cigarettes and sips his drinks.


edit on 11-3-2013 by Rising Against because: Edited per user request.

posted on Mar, 3 2013 @ 12:18 PM

(A hijacked Northwest Airlines jetliner is seen in this Nov. 25, 1971 file photo as it sits on a runway for refueling at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Nov. 25, 1971)

Actual FBI Documents & Transcription of handwritten (cursive) notes 5/13/08

page 1
Nov. 24/71 Flight #305
From Portland – Seattle
Man with briefcase with
a bomb – request $200,000 by 1700
As I went sat down the stewardess pat. handed me a note
and wrote down his request.
2340 – Tina he doesn’t want to wait – brought
money as far as to the stairs
one more request he
wants the notes back
he will let everybody
off as soon as
he get his request
& a fuel

page 2
Note says:
miss –
I have a bomb in
my briefcase + want
you to sit by me.
He told me to
write it in a
piece of paper upon
his requests
[Ed. notes written upside down here]
He requested
like money first
then pasegr. can go.

page 3
He’s got black hair
wearing black raincoat
He is in his 50’s
black suit
around 175 lbs.
Seating – row 18 in
the middle seat very
back of the aircraft
page 4
2259 – T. called plane
being hijacked
no joke.
2202 [sic. really 2302?] – Flo in cockpit with
2305 – 2nd call from
Tina concerning
?prser.? has bomb
with a
2310 – wants money in
negotiable currency
to be passed ?+? a
crew member
2320 – wants everything
ready before

page 5
2325 – wants to hold out
without passenger
knowing if possible
2326z - people can leave
A/C after complete
2330z – holding NW sea
6000 18,00. ?+? fuel remaining
2343 – call from company
standing by
2345 –sit ?hap? to msp
Tina called would like
let the people other girl stay
back with him he said
page 6
his first concern was
people going back of the
aircraft – he think its
sky marshall
0000 – PA. to passengers
telling them we have
mechanical trouble
he will reassure not
trying anything – did
not want to scare her
if their was attempt
he will disconnect the
he requested fuel truck
$200, 000 2 chest pack

page 7
Tina – Bill talking –
telling her the
money secured
available for him
by 5
He wants tina to
go down stairs and
get the money – people
seated until Tina
return. Have a
Truck in stairs.
extra car – with money.
money brought it by
truck. He doesn’t care
when many trucks
get there – All he cares
page 8
1) money first
2) Passenger off
3) then Chutes
4) fueling commence
upon landing
An hour 18 min.
Capt. Bill
Co-pilot – Bill Raticheck
2nd officer –

page 9
(Tina called) – He said.
areas w??ed all fine.
fine – redstick
?large? battery and
a wire
getting anxious –
looking two chutes
chest types
– 10 min.
everything at airport.
Row 15
Flo set in fr. Seat
of T.C/ ?section? – [ed. First Class section?]
reve??e – [ed. revise?]
People to sit down until they are ?free? the
advise to get seated
Tell him to sit down
until Capt. to advise
then to
get out of their seats [ed. this written vertically on edge of paper]
page 10
Tina – wants to know
(“Hijacker”) why climbing –
-still waiting –
for 2 parachutes
money + gas on the
“He” said why it took
money + chutes long time
-Chutes came from
McCord air force base.
He does wants to
wait for the chutes
before we land.
5 to 10 min.

page 11
Hurry up the chutes
Hijacker advises Tina.
getting very impatient
of the chutes
2 bag packs
have money
money first
Tina – asking again
heard of a chute
one suggestion
to land.
He doesn’t
to wait
at all. In order to
fuel aircraft. 10 to 20
page 12
no funny stuffs happening
Name –
Tina called as soon
as we completely
stop – refueling as
soon as possible
Al – tan trench coat
PDX – man prescription
P.A. – 0045 advicing
was not g???e
mechanical problem
exist and to ??? reasured
passenger fuel burn off will
???? landing 13 to 18 minutes

page 13
no action
Tina nobody in
the aisle
money at control
go out in field
with money –
Tina – people stay on
board while the
plane is being
fueled – After
being fuel – people
can get off –
Tina get the

page 14
Bill – n??k approach
advise him going
to airport
money – available
want to keep the
aircraft from the
ramp + find an
area that is lighted
area partially lighted
1) making approach
2) mone request available
Hijacker – says fine.

page 15
If sac? stop refueling
If the case waiting
for one
chute go
ahead + go down

Crew Notes


posted on Mar, 3 2013 @ 12:37 PM
Who was D.B. Cooper?
One night in November, a man jumped from the back of a Boeing 727-051 with 200,000 dollars. He landed near Woodland, Washington and disappeared into the fog of legend. Though the F.B.I. had investigated over 200 suspects, no one has ever been positively identified as the infamous D.B. Cooper.

Galen Cook, an attorney who has been investigating the case for years and plans to write a book, has released the name of the latest suspect: William "Wolfgang" Gossett. Information concerning Gossett as the elusive skyjacker was released in the Depoe Bay Beacon, an Oregon newspaper, May 28, 2008. Cook is investigating a possible witness to the parachute jump from the jet, the possibility that D.B. Cooper sent letters to newspapers, and the analysis of found Cooper money. The FBI has shown increasing interest in Cook's work and suspect Gossett. Cook was told in August 2011 by the FBI that Gossett is still a viable suspect along with another unnamed suspect.

Now this is still speculative, but also the clearest picture that has been gathered in quite some time.

Below is a photograph of William Gossett along with 2 artist sketches of Mr. Cooper.

edit on 3-3-2013 by beezzer because: plane type

posted on Mar, 3 2013 @ 12:42 PM

William Pratt Gos­sett was born in San Diego in 1930. He served with the U.S. Marines, Army Air Force, and then the U.S. Army, served tours and was decorated for action in Korea and Vietnam. He was a survivalist and experienced parachutist. He was an ROTC instructor and retired from the Army at Ft. Lewis, Washington in 1973, two years after the skyjacking.

Gossett died in Oregon on September 1, 2003 of natural causes at age 73.

The FBI has not eliminated him as a potential suspect in the case, and he is the only major suspect that has not been eliminated though the FBI has known of him for years.

He certainly had the background, the training, the skills to accomplish the daring hijacking.

As for his own explanation?

He often spoke of the D.B. Cooper skyjacking. He told one of his wives that he could "write the epitaph for D.B. Cooper." William Gossett told his cousin Charles Gossett that he knew all about D.B. Cooper but could not talk to Charles about it. According to Gossett's son Greg, William Gossett told three of his sons he was the skyjacker. Cook says he confessed that he was the skyjacker to a retired Salt Lake City judge and a close friend he worked with in the Salt Lake City public defender's office.

People can state anything. Make any claim. I'll attempt to provide evidence that supports Mr. Gossett's claim.

posted on Apr, 13 2013 @ 08:34 PM

Northwest Airlines decided to cooperate with the hijacker, and contacted the FBI for assistance. The airline handled gathering the parachutes, while the FBI gathered the ransom cash.

All of the ten-thousand $20 bills were photographed with a high-speed Recordak machine to create a microfilm later to be used to prepare a list of serial numbers. Two of the parachutes, both chest-mounted reserve chutes, were from Issaquah Skyport, which was owned by Linn Emirch, and the two main backpack parachutes were provided by Earl Cossey, an FAA Master Parachute Rigger and parachuting instructor, from his home.

At 5:39, the Jet finally landed in Seattle. The only people allowed near the plane were those who were allowed to fuel it, and those handling the cash and parachutes from Seattle's First National Bank. Ironically Earl Cossey, who rigged the parachutes said this. “He jumped with the parachute I packed, but he obviously didn’t know what he was doing.

After the money and parachutes were brought aboard, the 35 other passengers, along with 2 of the stewardesses - Schaffner and Hancock - were released. The man in 18E instructed the plane to take off again. He directed that the plane's route pass over Portland and Medford in Oregon, and Red Bluff, California, before landing in Reno, Nevada, to refuel. Then, on to Yuma, Arizona, to refuel again, and then head to Mexico. He also instructed the pilots that the aircraft was to remain below 10,000 feet, maintain minimal airspeed, and keep flaps and landing gear lowered.

Researcher Geoffrey Grays book SkyJack had an interesting tidbit that contradicts Earl Cossey statement that DB Cooper "didn't know what he was doing." In his book, Ralph Himmelsbach the case agent figured:

Himmelsbach also considers another detail. The request to have the plane flown at the altitude of 10,000 feet was telling. At 10,000 feet, the cabin would not be pressurized. If Cooper cracked the rear door of the jet, he would not get sucked out. Clearly, the man the agents were after knew airplanes.

Sometime during the Hijacking, Northwest contacted Boeing to see if it was even possible to jump out of the plane, at that altitude, with the back open.

Engineers there inform them that the Boeing 727 was used by Air America, the CIA cutout, in Vietnam. “The plane has been flown this way. There’s been large boxes of two to three thousand pounds dropped through the door in this configuration.”

There was also fuel concerns.

Under the configurations the hijacker wants—flaps at fifteen degrees, landing gear down—the jet will be moving extremely slowly. The fuel burn will be tremendous. The Northwest pilots will need to land several times to make it to the Mexican border.

Obviously, DB Cooper was a man who prepared for this Hijacking. Even if he didn't jump, which I believe was his plan all along, he had enough knowledge to know he would have to land and refuel many times due to the speed and altitude.

As Captain Scott gets final clearances, DB Cooper calls from the rear of the plane. "Let’s get the show on the road.” Ms Tina Mucklow, Stewardess, is forced to help DB Cooper as the rest of the folks left on board are hurried into the cabin. The plane was airborne at 7:34 PM. Tina showed DB Cooper how to operate the aft stairs. DB Coopers last instructions were to close the curtains between coach and first class, and head to the Cockpit. Her last glimpse of Cooper was him tying the money bag around his waist.

posted on Apr, 13 2013 @ 08:34 PM
Weather Conditions?

The rain is light. The wind speed is ten knots, from the southeast. Clouds are scattered at 2,500 feet. Visibility is seven miles. The night is black.

At 7:42, when the plane was about 14 nautical miles (NM) south of SEA, the pilots got an indicator light indication the aft door was open.

At 8:12 PM, the pilots noticed the plane was oscillating as if Cooper was on the aft stairs. The oscillations were not felt after 8:13 PM. At this time, the plane was over Clark County, Washington about 25 miles north of the Columbia River, near Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR......

The Cabin temperature dropped to seven below zero, as the on-board warning light indicated that the rear cargo door had been opened. DB Cooper was gone.

A pair of Air Force F-106A, assigned to the 318th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at McChord AFB, Washington, were flying about two miles behind the 727, keeping it within sight. The pilots never saw anything drop from the 727

The History of the Skyjacking
Codename: Norjak The Skyjacking of Northwest Flight 305
FBI checking ‘most promising’ lead in D.B. Cooper case

posted on Jul, 23 2013 @ 07:49 PM
Apologies all for the delay.

I want to discuss anecdotal evidence a little bit.

non-scientific observations or studies, which do not provide proof but may assist research efforts

Almost everything surrounding this case comes down to anecdotal evidence. Those that believe only need the slightest hint of conformation to conclude something.
With others, you could wrap anecdotal evidence around a baseball bat and beat them over the head with it and it still wouldn't be enough.

Is William Gossett D.B. Cooper? Anecdotal evidence suggests that he was/is.


Gossett died in Oregon on September 1, 2003 of natural causes at age 73. According to Gossett's son Greg, Gossett told three of his sons he was the skyjacker. Cook says he confessed that he was the skyjacker to a retired Salt Lake City judge and a close friend he worked with in the Salt Lake City public defender's office.

Another source, drawing on similar evidence

We can only rely on anecdotal evidence at this point. Yet I want to point out that history is written based on less evidence.

There comes a time when speculation becomes tiresome. Repeating the same "what if" over and over again.

As a conspiracy theorist, I enjoy the speculation that any given subject might provide, but at the end of the day, I still want answers.

I hope that this may have provided some of you with answers. I hope that some of you will take what I (and awesomely done by Sonny) have provided and take it to heart. We tried to address the mystery with the evidence provided, yet at the end of the day, belief in some of the anecdotal evidence requires a step on your part.

I hope you all have enjoyed this. Thank you ATS and Mods for providing the forum for us to (perhaps) end some speculation.

posted on Aug, 4 2013 @ 11:29 AM

D.B. Cooper will always remain an American Mystery. With all the data collected on this man, the stories, the impossibilities of a jump, its no wonder he has remained this man of mystery for all these years.

No one will ever know who the man was, unless current scientific processes from evidence collected can shine the proof many want to know. We might have to wait years, or we may never know. That being said I would like to thank Beezzer for taking the journey in time with me, to ATS for giving us a forum to expound the many aspects of it all, and for the Moderators who have helped us along the way.

A criminal Maverick. An Underdog. A man willing to tip those who went along with the ride. A thief, and some might call our first real air terror suspect.

For the man who strapped 21 pounds in 20 dollar bills and jumped out of a perfectly good airplane, I salute you.

Not as a hero, but as a man who will go down in History as one of the biggest mysteries in our modern era.

new topics

top topics


log in