Editor's note: The following is the first of a multi-part Coin World series about the 1971 D.B. Cooper skyjacking prepared by Michele Orzano for the August 2014 monthly edition of Coin World.
Read other posts in the series:
Through the years Coin World has reported on many coin hoards that have been discovered around the world. However, money treasures are not always limited to coins.
Reports of people finding cash stuffed behind plaster walls or tucked away under the eaves in an old building or even buried in the ground come along on a seemingly regular basis.
But one story of “found” cash so captured the public’s excitement that it has become part of the shared American experience.
This paper money “treasure” story involves a ransom paid in connection with a skyjacking more than 40 years ago.
The name “D.B. Cooper” entered the American vocabulary shortly after a skyjacking (hijacking of an aircraft) on Nov. 24, 1971.
That day, a man carrying a black attaché case approached the Northwest Orient Airlines ticket counter at Portland International Airport in Portland, Ore., and bought a one-way ticket to Seattle.
He purchased his ticket using the alias Dan Cooper, but through miscommunication in the resulting media tidal wave, he became known as D.B. Cooper.
Eyewitnesses on board the plane recalled a man in his mid-40s, between 5 feet 10 inches and 6 feet tall, weighing 170 to 180 pounds.