Back in 1971, a man that called himself “DB Cooper” hijacked a plane, demanded a ransom payment and after receiving said payment, parachuted out to an uncertain fate.

Cooper disappeared, and has never been seen or heard from since. His disappearance is one of the most iconic of all time. One of the main reasons for this is the lack of answers to questions.

In the many years since the hijacking, the only evidence that has appeared in the investigation into the case includes some of the ransom money – which was found and identified by its serial number.

So who found this money, and what happened to it? It adds another element of intrigue into this iconic event.

Who was DB Cooper?

On November 24th 1971, Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 305 departed from Portland, Oregon – bound for Seattle, Washington. A man called DB Cooper was one of the passengers onboard.

Shortly after take-off, Cooper gave an air stewardess a handwritten note. The note stated that he had a bomb, and made a ransom threat. He requested $200,000 in cash.

His random demands were eventually met. Once Cooper had received the money, he then parachuted out of the plane. He was never seen nor heard from again.

An enormous investigation was launched into Cooper, but these investigations proved fruitless. It seemed as if Cooper quite literally disappeared into thin air.

As part of the investigations, the FBI released the serial number of the notes given as part of the ransom money. This led to the only bit of evidence that this case has seen.

Brian Ingram

Brian Ingram was an 8 year-old boy who in 1980 was on vacation near Vancouver, Washington. While on the vacation, when in woodland, he discovered three packets of what turned out to be the ransom cash.

While the cash had weathered over nine years, law enforcement officials were able to confirm that the cash had indeed came from the ransom money.

What happened to the money?

The vast majority of money was never seen again. But the money that had been discovered was looked into closely and held on to for a few years as part of investigations.

But in 1986, the recovered bills were eventually split between Ingram, 14 years-old at the time, and airline Northwest Orient’s insurer. The FBI retained a few notes as evidence.

It was a nice short-term benefit for Ingram, but also long-term too! Ingram sold fifteen of the bills he received at an auction in 2008, which netted him a remarkable $37,000!

The Takeaway

This small number of notes is one of a few areas of evidence from this case. Cooper was never found, but went on to become a cultural phenomenon.

Many state that Cooper died in the fall, but others suggest that he survived, and may still continue to be alive to this day. Many theories have developed.

However, it seems that these questions will never be answered. While this is frustrating, it only adds to the iconic case of DB Cooper.