Has DB Cooper's fortune been found at last? 'Parachute strap' may reveal where daring criminal buried his ransom cash 46 years after he leaped from a plane and vanished over Pacific Northwest woodland
- A man calling himself Dan Cooper held a plane hostage with a bomb in 1971
- Once he got the money, he had the plane take off then parachuted out
- He's believed to have died of exposure in Oregon or Washington woods
- Although some money was found in a river, he - and most of his cash - vanished
- Now an amateur team believe they have found a parachute strap in the woods
- And they say a 'credible source' said money was buried right in that area
- They're giving the strap and secretive location to the FBI to investigate
- Cooper's $200,000 haul would be worth $1.2 million in today's money¬†
A team of volunteer investigators may have found the lost fortune stolen by one of the 20th century's most compelling criminal masterminds.
In 1971 a man calling himself Dan Cooper hijacked a Boeing 727 at Seattle-Tacoma airport and held its crew and passengers hostage with a bomb in exchange for $200,000 in cash - the equivalent of¬†$1,213,226 today.
Once the money was transferred onto the plane he had the crew take off - before parachuting out over the dense Pacific Northwest woods and disappearing.
Just a few packs of money were found but nobody had any idea where the rest of his fortune went - until now, the investigators told Fox News.
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Found at last? The fortune stolen by DB Cooper (left, in police sketch) in a daring heist in 1971 may finally have been found according to amateur investigator Thomas Colbert (right)
Evidence? Colbert (right) is seen holding what he believes is a strap from Cooper's parachute, which was found somewhere in Pacific Northwest woods. Colbert is revealing the exact location to the FBI next week
It's widely believed that Cooper - whose real identity remains unknown and who was never seen again after the heist - died of exposure in the woods between Oregon and Washington.
He parachuted from the plane wearing just a suit in late November - hardly ideal conditions for surviving in the thick, chilly vegetation.
And until now, the only convincing evidence of his crime that has been found were three packets of $20 bills totaling $4,900. They were found by a river on the states' borders in 1980, and confirmed to be from the hijacking.
Now a team headed by TV and film executive Thomas Colbert and his wife Dawna, say that they have found what they believe to be a parachute strap from the heist.¬†
Importantly, Colbert said, the strap was found 'right where a credible source claimed the chute and remaining money are buried.'
Colbert isn't revealing the location of the find to the media, but says the strap will be sent to the FBI for analysis.
He also says he's willing to offer up the dig site to the Bureau on Monday.
Hijacking: Cooper got the money threatening to blow up this plane in Seattle-Tacoma airport. Colbert says a 'credible source' told him the money was buried near where the strap was found
Vanished: Cooper told the plane's crew to fly after the money came in, then parachuted out over woodland. It was November and he was wearing only a suit, so many believe he died. Some $5,800 of the money was found in a river by a young boy in 1980
Colbert said an unnamed couple led him to the site, which was corroborated by reports he had obtained from the FBI.
The amateur investigator sued the Bureau for the documents after they announced they would no longer be investigating the case in July 2016.¬†
He has spent several years conducting his own investigation into the mysterious crime, writing a book and producing a documentary series on it in the process.
'DB Cooper' is believed to have merely been a pseudonym used by the hijacker, and not his real name.¬†
Last September Colbert announced that he believed Cooper's real identity was Vietnam veteran Robert Rackstraw, a highly decorated pilot who faked his death in 1978 to avoid a fraud trial.
Rackstraw, who is now 73 and lives on a yacht named 'Poverty Sucks' in San Diego, denied Colbert's claims.
His lawyer called the accusation 'the stupidest thing I ever heard.'¬†
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