On the evening of November 24, 1971, an enigmatic individual known as D.B. Cooper boarded a commercial flight from Portland to Seattle, executed a daring mid-air heist, and vanished after parachuting from the plane with $200,000 in ransom. Despite the extensive FBI investigation, the case remains the only unsolved airplane hijacking in U.S. history, captivating amateur detectives for over five decades.
One such sleuth, Eric Ulis, has taken his obsession to a new level by filing a lawsuit against the FBI, aiming to unearth clues which might reveal Cooper’s true identity.
Ulis, an aviation enthusiast and crime historian, believes a clip-on necktie abandoned by Cooper holds the key to the mysterious hijacker’s identity. According to him, while the FBI conducted DNA testing on the tie, they might have missed evidence on the tie’s metal spindle, which could still harbor traces of Cooper’s DNA.
This year, Ulis legally challenged the FBI to grant him and a DNA expert access to the tie, which is allegedly stored at the FBI headquarters in Washington, DC. His aim is to swab the tie spindle for DNA, which would then be matched against genealogy databases in hopes of identifying any potential relatives of Cooper.
Although the FBI has yet to officially respond to Ulis’ request, Larry Carr, a former FBI agent who previously worked on the Cooper case, voiced skepticism about the validity of any DNA found. Carr points out that the tie, collected in 1971, was not handled with modern evidence collection standards, potentially compromising any DNA traces.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the tie, Ulis remains resolute. He has been relentless in his pursuit of Cooper’s identity, hosting events dedicated to the hijacker, collaborating on television documentaries, and writing an e-book on the subject.
As the legend of D.B. Cooper continues to intrigue the public, Ulis’ legal battle against the FBI signifies the enduring fascination and determination of many to finally solve the mystery. With advancements in technology and relentless pursuit by enthusiasts like Ulis, the final chapter of this enigmatic tale might just be written soon.