Wednesday marks 50 years since D.B. Cooper hijacking

Fifty years ago, a man known only as D.B. Cooper hijacked a Boeing 727.

On Nov. 24, 1971, a middle-aged man wearing a business suit with a black tie and a white shirt took control of a Northwest Orient Airlines flight from Portland to Seattle carrying 36 passengers.

According to the FBI, shortly after 3 p.m. the man handed a note to a flight attendant that said he had a bomb in his briefcase and wanted her to sit with him. He then opened the briefcase and showed her a glimpse of wires and red sticks inside.

After writing down what Cooper said, she then took a note to the pilot that demanded $200,000 in 20-dollar bills and four parachutes in exchange for releasing the passengers.

The jet circled Seattle while authorities worked to collect the money and parachutes.

When the plane landed at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the ransom money and parachutes were brought on board and the passengers disembarked.

After the jet refueled, it departed again with only a handful of crew members and Cooper on board.

They were told to fly to Mexico.

Around 8 p.m., when the jet was over the southern Washington border near the city of Woodland, Cooper put on a parachute, lowered the rear stairs, and jumped from the plane clutching the bag of stolen cash.

In 1980, $5,800 of the ransom money was discovered by a boy playing on the banks of the Columbia River near Vancouver, Washington.

The case is the only unsolved hijacking in U.S. history.

The man’s identity and what happened to him are still unknown.

The FBI officially closed the case in 2016 after exhausting all leads in the 45-year investigation.