At 2:58pm, PST, on Wednesday, November 24, 1971, the day before Thanksgiving in the United States, a man traveling under the name Dan Cooper hijacked a Boeing 727-051, Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 305, flying from Portland International Airport (PDX) in Portland, Oregon to Seattle, Washington, with the threat of a bomb (he had a briefcase containing wires, a large battery and “red sticks”).
Cooper boarded the plane of only 36 passengers and 6 crew. He wore a black raincoat and loafers, a dark suit, a neatly pressed white shirt, a black necktie, and a mother-of-pearl tie pin. He also had black sunglasses.
Cooper slipped a flight attendant a note explaining that he had a bomb and demanded money and parachutes to be ready at the Seattle-Tacoma airport. The plane landed at 5:45p.m. After a few minutes, he released the passengers in exchange for the $200,000 and the four parachutes.
Immediately upon takeoff, Cooper, who had kept one of the stewardesses with him as a hostage, asked how to lower the aft stairs and then ordered the young hostage into the cockpit. That was the last time any person has knowingly laid eyes on D.B. Cooper. At some point during the journey, he jumped from the aft stairway of the aircraft with the money and two of the parachutes. The FBI believed his descent was at 8:13 p.m. over the southwestern portion of the state of Washington, because the aft stairway “bumped” at this time, which was most likely due to the weight of Cooper being released from the aft stairs. It is widely believed that his landing area put him 25 minutes north of Portland, Oregon in Woodland, Washington.
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