D.B. Cooper, Escapist From the Sky: Chapter 3 – Part 3: Pieces

D.B. Cooper, Escapist From the Sky: Chapter 3 - Part 3: Pieces

Spencer Smith

A motive regarding the airline of which Cooper hijacked remained to be at pure random, specifically saying that, “It’s not because I have a grudge towards your airline, it’s just because I have a grudge.” Upon further questioning from Mucklow, Cooper also revealed that Flight 305 simply just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Despite these claims, it is quite evident that Cooper did his homework whenever it comes to having extensive knowledge upon the topic of aviation as well as aircraft. Specifically, Cooper was distinctively able to recognize the city of Tacoma from the air, as well as maintained a low profile on the plane during his reveal of the hijacking to the flight crew to keep potential panic among the passengers at a minimum. He also used a pair of sunglasses to conceal his identity as well as left very minimal amounts of potential incriminating evidence behind. 

Despite all of this knowledge, the one point in particular that Cooper seemed to be unmindful of was his eventual escape. His failure to disclose a flight path paired with the last-minute decision to change the destination from Mexico City to Reno shows that Cooper seemingly gave more thought to the initial events of the hijacking than the rest. Dan also could have worn more appropriate attire when it came to his eventual escape from the aircraft such as a helmet, a pair of boots, or even a jumpsuit. Even assuming that Cooper safely made it to the ground, he would’ve potentially had to have made his way through a densely snow-covered forest in nothing but loafers and a trench coat in late November. Given all of this information, it seems Dan’s efforts towards his escape were more focused around the notion of it being a simple leap of faith much rather than a calculated and cunning plan of events.

Authorities have carefully gathered every piece of evidence over the course of even decades regarding Cooper’s hijacking and escape, although it has seemingly led them to dead ends around every turn. Cooper’s attention to detail in certain cases also makes for great quantities of questioning, as it seems that he spent more amounts of time fixated upon certain points of events than others. His motives also remain a question mark stained on the front cover of the case files, as the attack seemingly came at random and for no real rhyme or reason according to Dan and his indirect at best statements. Then, the question of whether or not Cooper even survived his departure from Flight 305 is something that is still being asked today, as authorities have still not pointed a definitive finger at a potential suspect. It seems that for every step forward in the case of Dan Cooper, there are three steps back.