D.B. Cooper: Where Are You?! (2022) s01e03 Episode Script

Seeing Jesus in the Toast

We all have this desire to be free,
but there's one force
that keeps us trapped all our lives,
and that's gravity.
D.B. Cooper did something
that all of us sort of yearn to do,
even though we don't know it
and that is to become an individual.
To stand up against gravity,
against the system.
It's the classic American mystery story,
that we're still watching 50 years later.
And yet, there are elements of it
out there that anybody with a laptop
can look into and feel like
they're investigating now.
In that way, it's a great mystery
for the Internet age.
It's beautiful in its purity.
I call it the James Bond component.
The dapper gentleman
who shows up with the suit, the tie,
orders the bourbon seven,
and jumps out of a damn jet
in the middle of the night.
There's something badass about that.
He never hurt anybody.
He let everybody off the plane.
He got the $200,000, and he jumped out.
In a storm.
And he got away with it.
Pretty slick, ain't he?
Cooper satisfied
a lot of people's inner wish
to get $200,000 and disappear.
I think the case will live forever.
This investigation was a difficult period.
We spent a lot of our own money,
and I spent five years tightening it up
and selling it to History Channel.
It was quite a journey
to get to that point.
It was an exciting moment
when Tom finally sold it to History,
because there's just so much money
you can pour into a project
without anything coming back.
The History Channel wanted Tom and I
to be a part of the storytelling.
Come a long way ♪
Okay, convince us.
- Let's go for it.
- All right.
You know, I hope and I pray ♪
That you believe me ♪
We would present this case,
and try to convince Tom Fuentes,
longtime FBI executive,
now retired,
and a crime writer.
You are the best thing ♪
Tom Fuentes gave a phenomenal
description of our case, saying,
"This is fantastic.
It's probably him. It's nine out of ten."
You are the best thing ♪
You're the best thing, ooh ♪
That ever happened to me ♪
But within six months,
everything changed.
I thought all the evidence
that they were uncovering
in the History Channel
was pretty compelling,
but talking to Tom,
I think he was told one thing
about what they were going to do,
and then it went
into a different direction.
We're here to bring you up to date
on some of the latest work
that we've done in this case.
We were bushwhacked.
In the second episode, the FBI arranged
for the key flight attendant
to come and view, on-camera,
a photo array
of potential D.B. Cooper suspects.
I remember going, "This is weird."
This woman had not given
an interview for ever.
Does he look like this could be
the guy you were sitting next to?
No, I don't think so.
I don't think so.
In the end of the episode,
she looks at the photo array
with the FBI and Fuentes there.
And she crushes it.
Crushes the entire theory of the case.
When that happened,
I could feel the deflation to my right.
Eyewitnesses, as we know,
are really unreliable.
And 40-plus years later,
and not seeing him
as she saw him there on the plane,
I never expected her to say yes.
And if she did,
I would have been blown away, frankly.
Trial attorneys will tell you that
when you have an actual witness
they're maybe 50% accurate at best.
You know, four people can see an incident
and every one of them
will describe it differently.
And it's not just their perceptions
that they're reporting.
It's also their biases.
I am convinced Rackstraw is not Cooper.
For the History Channel documentary,
we had 93 pieces of evidence.
We had cracked codes,
we had witnesses,
we even had the perfect skill sets.
We thought they were
all really convincing.
Are one of those 93 pieces
of evidence money or the parachute?
No, Billy, we know that's not in there.
This is circumstantial.
Of the 93 pieces of information,
there's nothing in here
that puts him on the plane.
There's nothing in here that even puts him
in Portland that day.
Regardless of where you want to fall,
"Is Rackstraw D.B. Cooper or not?",
this is a disingenuous, unfair portrayal
of what the evidence is.
And that was just infuriating me
at the time.
And still does.
I'll never forget,
the director said to me,
"Don't you owe
an apology to Rackstraw now?"
I said, "I have nothing to apologize for,
and I stand with my team."
Tom was being set up as one
of the conspiracy nuts that are out there,
instead of the methodical investigator
that he had been his entire life.
I just felt bad for Tom
because he had done years of work
in a legitimate way.
And to be discredited like he was,
wasn't good for his reputation.
Not only that, it was just wrong.
- How are you doing?
- I'm doing fine.
My conclusion was
I believe Tom asked me this on camera.
He said, "So you don't think it's him?"
I said, "No, I don't."
'Cause they have access
and information within the FBI
that we don't.
It's that simple.
Tom and I,
um, we didn't really communicate
after that.
At the very end of the documentary,
they slam the door on him.
They shut the case down.
Following one of the longest
and most exhaustive investigations
in our history,
the FBI will be redirecting resources
allocated to the 45-year-old
D.B. Cooper case.
It was the same week
that the documentary aired,
the FBI closed the case.
So is this case closed?
Administratively, yes.
In my view,
the FBI colluded with the show.
And the day after it broadcast,
there's the FBI at the microphone, saying
Everything that has come in,
we've taken a look at it.
"We looked at Colbert's information
and there was nothing new."
There isn't anything new out there.
Did he get away with it?
Did he die trying?
It's now safe to say
we'll probably never know.
After 45 years,
why did they close the case?
Ha! That's a good question.
I can't give you that answer.
There's clearly something fishy going on.
Yeah, and I don't have
a fishing pole either.
When somebody tells you,
"There's nothing you can do,"
that is just
That's what's motivating
everyone on this team.
I want to talk about the stonewalling,
the disinformation,
the lies that have come out
to stumble this investigation
after seven years.
Colbert's group should start
accepting what the evidence shows,
all of which indicates that Rackstraw
was not D.B. Cooper.
For the one thing,
all the witnesses that saw D.B. Cooper
said he looked in his mid-40s.
But Robert Rackstraw was
only 28 years of age
at the time of the skyjacking,
which is a very big problem.
With Colbert's group,
instead of accepting reality,
it's easier to head down a certain path
which implicates the FBI and others
in some grand conspiracy.
Because there has to be an explanation
for why they haven't been able
to pin it on Rackstraw,
and the explanation
has to be conspiratorial in nature.
We're not here to question those
that keep us safe in the shadows,
but we're here to question ones
that have multiple identities,
various criminal titles,
and when they're arrested,
he has a get-out-of-jail card
because he was a CIA pilot.
The story was that Rackstraw
worked for the CIA.
And because of the things
that he did for the CIA,
they did not want
that information to come out.
So they cut a deal
with the FBI to give him a pass.
That's the rumor I had.
I got nothing for facts on that.
FBI would just pounce
on everybody about things like that.
When I saw that Rackstraw interview,
he talked like a Navy SEAL.
Specialist in underwater explosives,
demolitions, underwater operations.
Air, sea, land.
He'd talk like a ex-military guy.
He didn't talk like a CIA guy.
A CIA guy with those experiences
wouldn't just spill them
out to you anyway.
I mean, we don't spill out stuff.
I said, "If the FBI's turning us down,
I'm gonna call the team."
We're thinking, "Why are you hiding this?"
We didn't know about the CIA.
Stop. Stop. Stop.
The FBI and the CIA
are covering it all up?
Would you stop with this?
If the FBI and the CIA and space aliens
went in together and cover up something,
do you think they'd really cover up
something as fundamentally inconsequential
as a hijacking in the Pacific Northwest
in 1971
that didn't even raise enough money
for you to buy an Arby's franchise?
Bacon, cheddar, curly fries
Bacon, cheddar, curly fries ♪
Bacon, cheddar, curly fries
And only for $2.99 ♪
I got nothing against conspiracy theories.
They're fine for crazy people.
But the idea that these are people
who just deny provable facts
that are right in front of us,
just It drives me crazy.
NBC Sports presents
the 1970 Rose Bowl Game.
I know that people think I could be crazy,
but to understand how I tick,
you have to go back to January of '70.
I was watching the Rose Bowl,
and, suddenly,
something was happening to me.
My eyes are going on and off.
Going in is Mike Oldham.
Third and eight.
Heavy gonging in my head.
And my dad, who's an MD,
psychiatrist, and my mom said,
"We're gonna take you
to St. John's in Santa Monica."
And in the elevator, I fell into a coma.
The doctors gave me a death sentence.
They said, "There's nothing we can do."
Mom went out and got a black dress.
And then suddenly my eyes opened.
They said, "We don't know
why you're here."
And moments later,
Dad came back and said,
"You need to find out why you're here."
We're a very spiritual family,
and that was quite a marching order.
I was 11 years old,
and I had to learn to walk and talk
and read all over again.
The thing that saved me was newspapers.
Dad was always at the table,
looking at the headlines.
We all remember that.
It was basically because
of those newspapers every day,
I went into news, I went to CBS,
I went to Paramount.
Ever since that day,
my folks were over me, saying,
"You gotta find out why."
This is why I'm here.
And so on History,
when they came back and told us
There is no possibility
of getting a conviction,
when the best witness says, "Not him."
"it's not him.
We're not gonna look at the case."
"We're moving the file
to the Raiders of the Lost Ark warehouse."
"And it's over."
It made us steadfast that,
"We know who the enemy is now."
So right after the first documentary,
we got an attorney in DC to sue.
A lawsuit that's now being filed in DC
says the D.B. Cooper case is not unsolved.
Tom Colbert, he and his attorney
have made a significant contribution
by suing the FBI.
The lawsuit compels the FBI
to release its entire investigative file.
It took a half year to sue.
The judge agreed with us.
We got the full file.
We've been getting monthly releases
from the FBI
of at least 500 pages of new information
that people have never seen
outside of the FBI.
When Tom Colbert opened up
all that FBI data,
I ended up reading
about 25,000 pages worth
of original FBI files,
with respect to the case,
learned information about the tie,
learned information
about the cigarette butts,
what happened to that stuff.
It's like a document blizzard.
Some of it's newspaper clippings.
Some of it is interoffice memos.
Some of it's letters
to the FBI or from the FBI.
There were a few diamonds in there,
and the diamonds primarily revolved
around the witness testimony
from the flight attendants and others.
And some of the actual analysis
that the FBI had done
in terms of specific suspects and things,
which actually provided
an awful lot of valuable information
and insight and so forth.
That's really kind of how
I got sucked into it,
you know, having it get kicked
to the next level
as far as interest.
The FBI couldn't crack the case,
but now scientists think
they've narrowed
the search for the suspect
with evidence found in his necktie.
A group of scientists
calling themselves amateur sleuths
have identified
more than 100,000 particles
of rare-earth elements
Names like strontium
and yttrium and cerium.
coating D.B. Cooper's tie.
These days, when it comes to D.B. Cooper,
a lot of good research
is being done by private citizens.
There are a handful of people
that are in the orbit and contribute,
you know, applying science to this,
combing through the FBI files,
putting boots on the ground,
actually searching.
You've got me.
You've got Tom Kaye, who's the scientist.
There's a gentleman
who goes by the name "Anonymous,"
who put forward a suspect
called William J. Smith.
There's another gentleman
named Marty Andrade,
who has done some really solid research
on the survivability
of jumping with a parachute.
Probably the most enjoyable place
that the public can go to
for D.B. Cooper
is the Cooper Vortex podcast.
I think about, all the time,
"What was it like
when his boots hit the ground?"
"What did he see?
What were his first thoughts?"
And the idea that I might never
get to know those answers
drives me crazy.
One of the biggest appeals
for the Cooper case to me
is just that unsolved heist.
Like, seeing myself in his shoes.
Like, "I planned this and I executed it,
and I got away with it."
Good morning, everyone. I'm Tom Colbert.
And then you have Thomas Colbert,
who is a strange character
in his own right.
Tom Colbert's one of the heroes,
in the sense
that he opened up all that FBI data,
which is spectacular,
but then there's this other part
where I just think
they've gone a little sideways.
Tom is so convinced
and remains so convinced,
which is something I respect.
A problem with being that convinced
is that there's the possibility
that you turn every shred
of evidence in your favor.
It is a smorgasbord of evidence.
The Colbert story,
I followed it closely,
like everything with D.B. Cooper.
And when it first came out,
I thought it was really interesting.
But Tom, I think, has transitioned more
from proving his theory to selling it.
Most people that I know
think, basically, that Colbert's push
to make the world think
that Robert Rackstraw is D.B. Cooper
is nothing but a Hollywood ploy
for fame and fortune.
But Colbert has become
the underground conduit,
the guy that a lot of things go to.
And then in turn,
he gives them to Cooper people.
I never was a Cooperite.
I've never engaged the blogs.
They're on there arguing with each other.
"It's my guy, your guy, this guy."
They're obsessed.
In the Cooper case,
the perfect storm was the Internet.
A fragmented group of people had a means
to communicate with each other.
And like anything else,
you're full of facts being misrepresented,
crazy theories.
Inside job, black op situation.
I don't know, D.B. Cooper was from Mars
and he got zapped up by a UFO.
That's the direction it goes.
We are in such
a conspiracy-driven modality right now.
Trying to discern truth
is now a major occupation
of the American public.
And the Cooper case is
a tiny piece of that dynamic.
On many of the Cooper forums,
as one hunter wrote to another,
"You're seeing Jesus in the toast."
Linda Lowe says
she's looking at an image of Jesus
in melted cheese.
It just There's a sweetness
on this particular image
that just makes me
want to smile when I look at it.
In a way, everyone in this story
is seeing Jesus in the toast.
We all see what we want to see.
We're projecting our selves.
As humans, we look to make
connections between different things.
And sometimes when things align,
we declare those connections truth.
So whether it's Jesus in the toast,
or your brother in Bing Crosby's face,
that's what Cooper does.
In the gaps and alleys
between information,
the mind comes in and puts belief systems
onto this information
and onto the suspects we want.
In the online Cooper research community,
most people have strongly held opinions.
The environment online
can be a little toxic,
and not particularly inviting
for new people to enter.
You're getting hundreds of comments a day,
and it got mean and angry real quick.
I've been subjected to cyberattacks.
I had files stolen.
It affected my computer.
Everything had to be cleaned out.
And they were quite vicious.
Some of them came, apparently,
from other D.B. Cooper investigators.
I had someone post
on a picture of my family
that my wife and kids were ugly.
I mean, it just got wild,
people trying to defend
the information that they had.
My name is Tim Evans.
I'm an investigative reporter
at the Indianapolis Star.
In 2018, the newspaper got a call
from Tom Colbert pitching a story.
And somebody said,
"Well, that'd be a good story for Tim."
And I got on the phone,
and Tom was very eager
to get his story out.
He was very confident
that he had a great story.
He had a smooth demeanor,
complimenting me on my prior work.
He'd done at least a little homework
and knew something I'd written before.
Kind of schmoozing me a little bit,
drawing me in.
Tom said, "You're the guy
I want to share the story with."
Um, I know he went to other papers,
so I'm not sure how sincere that was,
but he was active
in following up regularly.
"Are you making progress?
Have you talked to so-and-so?"
Much more aggressive and persistent
than the typical source
that I would deal with.
Most of the people I talk to,
I have to pry things out of them,
and he was kind of like
drinking from a fire hose.
Tom has a lot of energy toward the case,
and he's got a lot invested.
And he needs for it to turn out well.
Tom wanted to drive as much as he could
how the story was going to be done,
who I would talk to,
but that's not the way I work.
You know, I appreciated his help
and in pointing me to sources,
but I need to research and get my facts,
and find out if Rackstraw
actually was Cooper or not.
This is Bob.
Yeah, Mr. Rackstraw,
my name is Tim Evans.
I'm a reporter
with the Indianapolis Star newspaper.
I'm sorry to call you
out of the blue like this,
but I've been contacted
by a guy named Colbert.
He's alleging that you are, uh,
the guy who did
the D.B. Cooper hijacking and
I have no idea.
But Colbert has been attacking me
for a number of years,
resulting in a big massive lawsuit.
So now what he's doing is
he's sending out six pages of information
to a whole bunch of small-town newspapers,
and then we'll do the old Nazi Blitzkrieg
and hammer Rackstraw once again.
So that's where it is.
And have you filed
a lawsuit against him?
- It's coming.
- It's coming? Okay.
Do not print anything about me.
- I will sue the crap out of you.
- Mm-hmm.
So are you, are you not
Are you denying that you're
what he's saying is true?
Don't get to the bottom line.
That's a $40 million question.
- Let him answer it. What did he say?
- He says you are,
and that's why I'm trying to give you
an opportunity to say you're not.
Well, opportunity to dig
into whether he's telling the truth.
During my interview with Rackstraw,
I gave him at least four opportunities
to say, "I'm not D.B. Cooper."
"I'm not the person responsible for that."
And he continued
kind of teasing people
that maybe he is,
"Maybe I know more than I'm telling."
And I felt like he liked
being considered Cooper,
keeping that mystery alive,
being a part of it.
And he knew, certainly,
what Colbert was doing.
He knew the schedule
Colbert was working on.
That also was intriguing.
You know, how did he know that much?
Were they part of a team,
or were they really adversaries?
Or what was really going on?
Were they involved together
in selling the story?
You know, if they could have
put something together,
I think Rackstraw would've
definitely been into that.
I think the only thing holding him back
was, you know, confessing to the crime.
But I've heard rumors
that Colbert offered him some money to
to confess to it.
We're here to tell you
that there's good news.
And it starts
with a $20,000 cashier's check
to get you to tell your true story.
It was an interesting relationship,
I can tell you that.
Rackstraw was a narcissistic sociopath.
He really was.
He tried to engage us,
but we never responded after the ambush.
I never spoke to Rackstraw again.
I stayed focused on gathering
the evidence for the investigation.
Do you know anything about the guy
in Indiana that he had supposedly
decoded the messages, or?
Yeah. His name is Sherwood, is that it?
Yeah, I think. Yeah, yeah.
It was a hurrah moment,
I guess, eureka moment for Colbert,
grasping at the last straw.
It was December of 2017
when I was on the Internet,
and I actually seen a letter
that D.B. Cooper wrote
to newspapers.
In the aftermath of the skyjacking,
an individual purporting to be D.B. Cooper
was sending letters,
essentially taunting the FBI.
"Ha, ha."
"You can't catch me."
And whoever the person was,
was providing information
that only the skyjacker
conceivably would have known.
Some of these letters
were made known contemporaneously.
But we found out there had been
other letters that had been received,
and intentionally not released.
So we got access to these letters
that had been unpublished
through the FOIA lawsuit,
the Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.
So I called Tom.
I said, "What's this about the numbers
that nobody could ever figure out?"
He goes,
"Yeah, the FBI couldn't break her."
I used to work with codes,
so I said, "Send me the letter."
I said, "Humor me."
So he sent it to me, and I spent,
I don't know, eight, ten hours a day,
seven days a week, about two weeks.
I used everything I could think of,
threw all the codes
and everything that I was trained on.
I got to the point where I said
"If this is Rackstraw,"
I said, "I have to know,
'What does he think like?'"
"'What makes him tick?'"
I kept looking
at that one set of numbers we had.
"Why'd he put 71 three times on there?"
Wait a minute.
371? I said,
"Man, that was my unit in Vietnam."
And Rackstraw wanted
to be with the unit back then.
So, I wrote down everything
that we did in 'Nam,
and started putting numbers to everything.
And at the top of that letter
has seven Cs.
Seven Cs, that's 21.
Army Security Agency,
which all our units were a part of.
ASA, 21.
I'm going, "Whoa, there it is."
Rick Sherwood used a technique
that could be called
simple English gematria.
Taking the letters
and converting them to numbers.
A equals one, B equals two, and so forth.
What you do in gematria
is you add them up.
If two phrases add up to the same value,
then somehow
they're supposed to be related.
For example, George W. Bush
and John F. Kerry,
these, of course, are the candidates
in the 2004 US presidential election.
Do they have some sort
of mystical connection?
Uh, I think it's just a coincidence.
Because Dennis Rodman,
if you add up the letters, also 130.
I'm not a conspiracy theorist
or anything like that.
You know, for me to be the one
that broke it
that's only because I was in that unit.
371st, which was Radio Research Unit,
Army Security Agency,
which we were part of,
and our top secret helicopters
flew out of 11th GS.
So us, in entirety,
was top secret.
All four of them things would add up,
and they all were my unit,
that he wanted to be in.
That he was, temporarily, for six weeks.
What's the odds of that?
There was a correlation between
what he used in Southeast Asia
and then what was found
and decrypted
from the D.B. Cooper letters.
That's a pretty strong correlation.
D.B. Cooper is the case
where people want the idea
to fit this kind of preconceived notion,
and they will discard
the parts of it that don't fit.
They will just find
the pieces that fit in the box
and then
And it's hard to argue with,
because those pieces do fit in the box.
But all the stuff
that's left on the floor,
never really gets addressed again.
Codes are made not to be broken.
That's why they're codes.
But if you're going to have
any chance at all of breaking a code,
you have to know the one that wrote it.
I had a pretty good grasp on Rackstraw.
He was just showing
he was smarter than everybody.
It was depicted in everything he wrote.
But the last letter,
that was the key.
That's the one
where Rackstraw's name is in it.
Tom says, "I don't think it's him.
He's talking about his uncle."
I said, "Tom, he's not talking
about his uncle."
I said, "He's talking about Uncle Sam."
I read this thing twice.
I said, "That's Rackstraw's MO."
I said, "That's D.B. Cooper."
And that last line there,
"Please tell the lackey cops
D.B. Cooper's not my real name."
I said, "I wonder if he actually put
his full name in there."
So, I just took that section out
and it come up 269.
Robert W. Rackstraw,
he had it all written down.
I said, "He was a lieutenant, right?"
He said, "Yep." There's "LT."
And "I'm."
From your letters to numbers
So, he actually put his name
in there.
That was pretty much
an "aha" moment there.
When you look at something, you say,
"There's got to be some sort
of cryptic message in here,"
you have an infinite number
of possibilities.
You can make these documents
say anything you want them to say.
It's really a form of confirmation bias.
So in my opinion,
the letters are not in any way
material evidence showing
that Rackstraw was Cooper.
I worked out that,
"I am SpongeBob SquarePants"
has the magic sum.
I don't think that means
that D.B. Cooper is SpongeBob SquarePants.
I have never felt so free ♪
High in the sky
Is the place for me ♪
You can come up with SquarePants,
SpongeBob, whatever?
Yeah, but is it relevant to it?
Is it foolproof?
No, I wouldn't say it's foolproof.
You can come up
with different interpretations,
but this is the way Rackstraw
communicates and does things.
You know, it's interpretive coding.
Just the way he goes
about things in writing,
and knowing about him,
that's how I come up with the solutions.
Mistaking ideal connections
for real connections.
That is a real danger
when you are trying to do
any sort of scientific investigation.
You're not actually getting information
out of the data,
you're getting information
out of your own mind
based on your preconceived notions.
We believe that decoding process
was accurate,
and accurately describes
what Rackstraw said himself that he did.
Rackstraw's name is in coded letters.
And these are codes
that go all the way back to World War I.
The translations were not only done
by a three-time NSA code buster,
but the lieutenant-colonel
of Robert Rackstraw.
He also looked at the codes
and said, "Those are bona fide."
So I'm not going to argue
with a hundred-year-old codebook,
or a lieutenant-colonel,
or a three-time NSA man.
When they say the codes matched,
they matched.
Is it Rackstraw? Yep, it's him.
It's confirmed.
But don't take it any farther.
Get him as the hijacker, that's it.
So this is CIA. I mean, come on.
Was he involved in other things? Yes.
But I'm not at liberty to say.
How disappointed are you
if you can't prove what your case is,
or gain the recognition
or acknowledgment of it?
It takes a certain type
of person to keep pushing.
We are here today
because of Russ and Kristy.
They have new information
dealing with his loot and the parachute.
Kristy and Russ came to us
right after the first documentary.
Their last name is Cooper. No relations.
So, Kristy told us, "My husband and I
mapped the escape route."
"We also know where the parachute
may be buried." Really?
When he told me the story
and everything was connecting,
I said, "You know, we need to share this."
This was all told at the table,
at this small-plane airport.
And according to our source, Russ Cooper,
who was at the table and heard the story,
Wally is the name of the man
telling the story,
and he's one of the four
that were involved
in the escape of Cooper.
According to Wally,
on the night of the skyjacking,
Cooper had landed roughly
1,300 feet from Goheen's airstrip.
There was three gentlemen waiting for him.
And they loaded into a small aircraft,
along with $50,000 of the money
and the bomb.
They flew over Vancouver Lake,
where they dumped the money and the bomb,
in order to leave a false trail
that he had fallen into the lake
and drowned.
And then Cooper changed clothes,
changed aircraft at Scappoose Airport,
and he was flown back
into Portland International,
where he boarded a flight for Las Vegas.
The other $150,000 and the parachute
was loaded into a pickup
that went to a certain location,
and when Wally described it,
I knew this spot.
We made a few trips up there.
Got together 13 team members.
We're here to answer questions
that thousands of people
have been digging
and trying to find the truth on.
- What do you think so far?
- I think we're gonna find it.
If it was a buckle or a clip or something,
even within five or six inches,
it'd be ringing up.
Look at what she's got.
Whoa! What is this?
- We don't know.
- Fabric.
- Damn, that looks like nylon.
- A gunnysack.
Uh, or a potato sack.
It could be many things,
including a parachute.
It was laying right here.
- On the surface?
- Yeah.
We'll have to kind of keep looking here.
Yeah, see what else we got here, huh?
- Here we go.
- There it is.
There it is.
Piece of pipe or something.
Not part of a parachute.
- Pipe.
- You're gonna keep that, right?
- Oh yeah, absolutely.
- See what that is.
I mean,
that could be part of the outer bag.
Oh, it's hard to tell.
Could be a harness.
I still think we're on the right spot.
It's hard to find nylon
with a metal detector.
That's what I have to say about it.
And we may have.
And we may have.
We find what we believe
to be pieces of the parachute.
A strap.
We brought it to the FBI.
We were tipped
the location of the parachute,
we found the parachute,
we brought them five materials.
We haven't heard from the FBI since.
Tom sometimes fell into the trap
of, "I wouldn't have seen it
if I hadn't believed it."
They found a piece of nylon strap,
and there are statements made
like, "We found the strap,
showing that this was the area
they buried the parachute."
What? That's a leap.
And things like that disturb me.
That area was a logging area
in which a lot of activity
had taken place over the years.
I don't know that the analysis
of those items
were conclusive that it was a parachute.
I don't think it was.
Maybe it turned out to be nothing.
Maybe it turned out to
Who knows what it turned out to be?
Uh, but I would dare say,
and wager and willing to bet,
that the FBI never did
a damn thing with that parachute.
They have no interest in solving
the D.B. Cooper skyjacking.
None whatsoever.
This case is one
of the most interesting things
that I participated in in the FBI,
just because it endures.
It's been 50 years.
We're no closer
to knowing Cooper's identity.
I mean, we have suspects.
There are new suspects all the time.
Suspects fade away.
But really, there's no direct link
to any of them.
Now, where we are,
at the 50th anniversary of the case,
I cannot say with any certainty
who Dan Cooper is or was.
I don't think anybody can,
and to do so is just irresponsible.
What I can say is,
I feel like I know a lot more
about who he is and was
than last year and the year before.
Every year we know a little bit more,
new information comes out,
new clues are analyzed in different ways.
And I don't have a crush
on a suspect right now.
But I do have a point of my compass.
And the point of my compass
heads north to Canada.
I feel that there are
so many clues in Canada
that have never truly
been vetted all the way.
The FBI never truly investigated
the significant meaning of Dan Cooper.
Dan Cooper was the name
of a French comic book hero
who flew airplanes and jumped out of them
in conical-shaped parachutes.
If the FBI says something,
people truly believe it.
But the real truth is,
the FBI are made up of human agents,
and the best work in the case
has been done recently by citizen sleuths.
People who have a passion,
who have chased down these leads,
who have found French comic books,
who have googled their way to the truth.
I would go north.
I wouldn't waste any time in the States.
I would go straight to Canada.
Look out, California ♪
Ooh ooh, I gotta warn ya ♪
Here comes Canada ♪
Canada ♪
You got an open door ♪
You got so many things
I swear I never saw them before ♪
So much more ♪
You got a world in store ♪
You got a home from home
Got a hold so strong ♪
Can't seem to ignore ♪
These things I do
I do for nobody else but me ♪
Look out, California ♪
Ooh ooh, I gotta warn ya ♪
Here comes Canada ♪
Canada ♪
You've proved your worth ♪
You got snow-peaked mountains
Tumbling down ♪
You've had them from birth ♪
Say it clear so the world can hear ♪
I swear I never left you
Without shedding a tear ♪
These things I do, I do for ♪
Previous EpisodeNext Episode