D.B. Cooper 50 Years Ago?

FBI Handiwork

DATELINE: Another Investigation

When History Channel boosts a new series, hosted not by the ponderous tones of Robert Clotworthy, but by the ponderous tones of Laurence Fishburne, you know they have bet the reward money on a hit.

History’s’ Greatest Mysteries is ambitious, if nothing else, offering to solve the grand case of the only successful and unsolved hijacking in American aviation. Someone using the fake name D.B. Cooper took the country for a ride.

We were left, however, thinking, this is not the first show on History to claim resolution and more. Back a few years ago when we can barely remember, another series on History called Decoded did the same thing. So now History is plagiarizing from itself.

Eric Ulis is the main investigator whose man credential seems to be his obsession and telegenic detective skills. He must use various experts to gain permission to look at lands the FBI never searched.

Air controller and pilot from 1971 admit that the jump occurred far west of where police searched. Within protected lands, Ulis thinks evidence may still be there, like parachutes. A flood in 1996 may have swept much away, and buried money found in 1979 by a boy was not far from this search area..

Conditions are wet and cold—and a man in a suit and loafers jumping here in thick brush would not have an easy time. The case points to a coy octogenarian who seems to revel in the infamy of being a suspect. It is dubious at best.

The most interesting finding in an inconclusive episode is the titanium elements on Cooper’s clip-on tie. That stuff was found in few places in 1971—but prominently at the Boeing company where jet engines were made.