D.B. Cooper, Escapist From the Sky: Chapter 3 – Part 1: Freefallin’


Spencer Smith

Although the potential solutions regarding the place of discovery of the money seem few and far between, the probability of Cooper’s escape from the aircraft is another mystery within itself. From the beginning, it was commonly assumed that Dan didn’t survive the dive from the aircraft. And although it wouldn’t make for a very thrilling end to the story, it unfortunately seems to be the most probable explanation regarding his escape. Though it stands that there isn’t sufficient evidence towards whether Cooper survived the fall or not, the assumption that he fell to his death is not just a simple front. Preexisting conditions already throw the probability of Cooper surviving the fall from the aircraft into serious jeopardy.

As Cooper was going to dive from Flight 305, the flight was experiencing difficulties with weather as a frigid rainstorm had just set in. Not only did weather pose a threat to Cooper’s chances, but Cooper also obviously didn’t choose the best area to abandon ship either. At approximately 10,000 feet above southern Washington, travelling at approximately 196 MPH, the wind alone was so violent that it actually ripped a placard out from the aft-stairway as Cooper was planning to depart. It was recovered in 1978, located almost directly below the designated flight path. Cooper’s attire also proved to be quite insufficient for the occasion as well, alongside the dark blanket of the night. It would seem that everything was working against Cooper’s favor that night.

Given the amount of unfortunate circumstances, the chance of Cooper’s survival is very minimal at best. From attire choices, to timing of events, and even the situation itself makes it very difficult for authorities to believe that Dan Cooper actually survived his departure from Flight 305. Given the amount of evidence collected, the case remains a thorn in the side of authorities such as the FBI even to this day. And as it was, every road they tried to turn down in discovering a potential lead in the case turned into a dead end. Alongside this, even if Cooper somehow miraculously survived, the process of tracking him down is probably going to be an even more difficult process than figuring out if he survived.