Netflix’s ‘D.B. Cooper: Where Are You?!’ provides insight into the case of the skyjacking that, to this day, remains the only unsolved case in airline history. The fact that even fifty years or so later, no official charges have been pressed against anyone has made people more interested in solving the mystery. While a number of suspects have been considered for it, none of them has been confirmed to be Cooper without a doubt. The problem is that the money and the parachutes, which would directly link a suspect to the case, haven’t been recovered. While some of the money was found, the search for the parachutes remains incomplete. Here’s what you should know about D.B. Cooper’s parachute.
Was D.B. Cooper’s Parachute Found?
There is no official confirmation from the FBI about any finding regarding D.B. Cooper’s parachute. They have theorized that the dangerous conditions of that night were not ideal for skydiving and most probably led to Cooper falling to his death due to the lack of proper equipment. However, the same fact is used by other investigators to conclude that Cooper survived the jump and hid the parachute someplace so that it could never be found.
During the hijacking, Cooper had demanded four parachutes, along with $200,00 in $20 bills. This is considered a clever move on his part. If he’d asked for only one parachute, the officials might have had the opportunity to tamper with it. However, because he asked for three more, it led them to believe that Cooper was planning on taking hostages. They couldn’t give him a dummy chute because that would risk the life of civilians. When Cooper escaped, he left one parachute behind and didn’t take any hostages.
In 2008, the Feds received a tip about the remains of the parachute found in Southwest Washington by a couple of kids who were playing near their homes. The chute was confirmed to be the same color that was used by Cooper: white. The area also seemed to fall in line with Cooper’s probable landing zone. However, the further investigation confirmed that it wasn’t the chute they’d been looking for. It was of different material and design.
Later, investigative journalist Tom Colbert received a tip about a possible finding of the parachute. Russ and Kristy Cooper (no relation to D.B. Cooper) mapped the escape route. Based on what they’d heard from a man named Wally, who claimed to be one of the people who helped Cooper escape, they pinpointed a location where the parachute was potentially buried. They took their findings to Colbert, who then got his team to search the 200-acre tree farm.
The search led to the discovery of a piece of strap that Colbert thinks could be from Cooper’s parachute. They also found two pieces of foam which, they believe, could also be from the same parachute. Colbert handed over the finding to the FBI for further investigation. About the search, he said, “The odds of finding that in a forest that had no homes in 40 miles in any direction is a really good sign to us.” However, the FBI hasn’t revealed whether those pieces really belonged to Cooper’s parachute. There hasn’t been any word about any other tip for the possible location of the parachute since.