The FBI issued a plea this week in hopes of solving the mystery of D.B. Cooper. You may remember him: He jumped out of an airplane in late November 1971 with $200,000 and four parachutes. He vanished over southwest Washington State with the money and two parachutes. Calling sasquatch!
While there has been no sign of Cooper since then, $5,800 in tattered 20s from the stolen money turned up on the banks of the Columbia River in 1980. Back in the "Me Generation" '70s, Cooper became a folk hero of sorts to rebellious young people, but his name is fading from memory.
Yet, like the Mounties, the FBI hopes to get their man and they haven't forgotten him or the missing
loot. The reasonable assumption has been Cooper didn't survive the free fall and if, as many believe, his chute never opened he would quickly have become one with the forest floor. But the FBI would like to know for sure.
To kick off the new year, the bureau has, in its words, "reignited'' the case and is asking the public's help, posting on its Web site artist's renderings of Cooper and photos of the money, a map of the area where he might have landed and some items he left behind on the plane --- a backup parachute, its canvas bag and a tie, a black
clip-on, judging from the picture --- in hopes they might jog somebody's memory. It seems like a long
odds proposition. The flight attendants estimated he was in his mid-40s, which would put him in his mid- to late 70s today.
You can play amateur sleuth at www.fbi.gov/page2/dec07/dbcooper123107.html. Just don't expect D.B. to phone home.