Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Southwest Airlines at the check-in counter at Dallas airport, Texas, on November 24,
A tall, middle-aged man with brown hair wearing a blue suit walked up to the counter
and smiled at the receptionist. “Hello, my name is Dan Cooper. I have ordered a one-
way ticket on flight 305 to Los Angeles.”
The receptionist looked at the man and noticed that he was carrying a large suitcase.
The man paid and collected the ticket.
After getting his ticket, Dan Cooper checked the time, lugged his suitcase through
airport security and boarded the plane following the instructions.
The plane did not take off in time because the team was waiting for a batch of gold
transported from the bank of Dallas. The total weight of the gold was 120 kg, and it was
to be sent to California to stabilize the foreign trade market in Los Angeles.
The gold convoy arrived late as it was involved in a traffic accident. Fearing that the
supposed accident was a deliberate attempt to steal the gold, the convoy changed its
As it turned out, the concern had been valid. On either side of the convoy was a group
of south Dallas cowboys, guns in their hands, aiming for the gold.
Many passengers were so upset at the delay that the flight attendants sent them drinks
and food to appease them.
Dan Cooper, by contrast, was nonchalant. He ordered a bourbon and soda and tipped
the flight attendant $20.
At that time, twenty dollars was a big tip. The attendant was very happy and thanked
him with a smile.
At three o’clock in the afternoon, while the plane was in the air, Cooper took out his
suitcase and began to assemble something.
Given that the US aviation industry was so developed and many flights were not
crowded with passengers, Dan Cooper easily found a secret corner with no people
around, so no one could see what he was doing in time.
Cooper finished his drink as he worked. Then he waved to the flight attendant.
Because of the previous tip, the flight attendant was very friendly to the handsome
middle-aged man, so she came over with a smile and asked, “What can I do for you.
Cooper also smiled pleasantly. “May I have a post-it note, please?”
She quickly tore off a post-it note and handed it to him. He wrote something on the
paper. The pretty, curvy flight attendant was half-expecting a declaration of love.
She wondered if she should give a chance to this new admirer.
While the flight attendant was daydreaming, Cooper finished writing the note and
handed it to her.
Stretching out he hand, the stewardess took the note and, as she read it, the sweet
smile on her face faltered. There were only five short words written on the piece of
paper: I have a bomb here.
“Is that a joke, sir?”
With a laugh, Cooper slammed down his glass, unbuttoned his outer clothes, and a
strapped bomb, complete with intricate wires, appeared in front of the flight attendant.
The flight attendant was shocked and almost screamed. Cooper stood up quickly, put
his finger to her lips to silence her, and chuckled. “Go, tell the captain I want something
With the note in her hand, the flight attendant hurried off.
Soon, the captain arrived. He asked calmly and warily, “Sir, may I help you? Let’s talk,
don’t get upset, I will help you…”
“I am not upset. I want those two boxes in your cab. Bring them to me and prepare four
parachutes. Don’t pull any tricks, or we’ll all fall into the Rio Grande,” said Copper,
Cooper didn’t give him a chance to do anything. He pulled out the bomb and said,
“Don’t waste your time. It is ticking away.”
Finally, two heavy boxes appeared beside him. Cooper checked the contents and
nodded. “Contact an airport. We will land now.”
The plane landed at Suffolk airport and its passengers were quickly evacuated, while
the crew was forced to stay behind.
A few hours later, at Cooper’s demand, the plane quickly took off again and continued
flying toward Los Angeles, but no higher than 10,000 feet.
After 8 P.M., Cooper locked the crew in the cockpit.
Then, nobody knew exactly when, he took the two boxes of gold bars, opened the
parachute and jumped out of the plane, disappearing into the darkness.
This was the D.B Cooper heist that shocked the nation for decades. The FBI quickly
stepped in to investigate because of the big impact caused by the audacious robbery.
The case was so influential and became so legendary that a decade later, in 1981,
Hollywood brought it to the big screen with the great airplane robbery movie The
Over the past decade, books about the case have appeared on the market, from
Rainbow End to Skyhawk.
Legend had it that Cooper landed in Ariel, Arizona, so every year Cooper fans gathered
outside the local pub for a party.
To them, Cooper, who challenged the authority of the government and won, was a hero.
A D.B Cooper festival was born, held every November 26.
A few years ago, the FBI announced it was suspending its investigation of the hijacking,
but people interested in D.B Cooper continued to follow the probably false evidence and
Private investigators continued to report finding clues about Cooper.
Because there had been no major gold transactions in the market for several years, the
FBI and police believed the gold had not been disposed of.
The 120 kilograms of gold became a hidden treasure, and many Americans who
dreamed of making a fortune attempted to find it. The value of the gold also helped add
mystery and appeal to the case.
Li Du listened to the vivid tale of the treasure hunters. He was dumbfounded. The
storytellers were incredibly dramatic. One by one, they continued to add to the story,
like it was a stage play presented in front of Li Du.
He thought it was funny because he was sure it wasn’t true.
“Did the FBI ever think about how Cooper got on the plane with explosives avoiding
security? And didn’t they suspect the crew? Their word was the only evidence, after all,”
said Li Du.
Hans said, “Yes, the crew members were investigated and they got in a lot of trouble.
But there was no evidence that they were involved, and since then the FBI has
monitored their bank accounts and never found anything suspicious.”