"On Wednesday, November 24, 1971, the day before Thanksgiving, a man traveling under the name Dan Cooper boarded a Boeing 727-100, Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 305 (FAA Reg. N467US), flying from Portland International Airport in Portland, Oregon to Seattle, Washington.
Cooper was described as being in his mid-forties, and between 5 feet 10 inches and 6 feet tall. He wore a black raincoat, loafers, a dark suit, a neatly pressed white collared shirt, a black necktie, black sunglasses and a mother-of-pearl tie pin. Cooper sat in the back of the plane in seat 18C.
After the jet had taken off from Portland, he handed a note to a young flight attendant named Florence Schaffner, who was seated in a jumpseat attached to the aft stair door, situated directly behind and to the left of Cooper's seat. She thought he was giving her his phone number, so she slipped it, unopened, into her pocket. Cooper leaned closer and said, "Miss, you'd better look at that note. I have a bomb." In the envelope was a note that read: "I have a bomb in my briefcase. I will use it if necessary. I want you to sit next to me. You are being hijacked."
The note also provided demands for $200,000, in unmarked $20 bills, and two sets of parachutes—two main back chutes and two emergency chest chutes. The note carried instructions ordering the items to be delivered to the plane when it landed at Seattle-Tacoma airport; if the demands were not met, he would blow up the plane..."
So begins the unusually well expressed Wikipedia entry on D.B. Cooper, the man famous for pulling off the world's only unsolved skyjacking. He's still a local legend here in the Pacific Northwest but his story has continued to fascinate people all over the globe in the 36 years since he jumped and either got away with it or died trying.
If you are new to the story, you owe it to yourself to read the rest of this Wiki entry to read all about the theories, investigations and clues, plus the aftermath of the hijacking (hello, metal detectors at airports!).
Why bring this up now? Perhaps a break in the case just this month. It's potentially the most significant new development since 1980 when a family on a picnic near the Columbia River found $5,880 of Cooper's money in a bag on the beach.
A few days ago a man was plowing part of his rural property near Amboy, Washington and uncovered what might be the NB6 parachute that was on Cooper's back as he jumped from a plane going nearly 200 miles per hour and 10,000 feet up in the night sky.
The FBI is still investigating and is seeking people with expert knowledge of this type of chute as well as with any new information about the Cooper case, through the Bureau website.