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These only come up for auction every few years and very few of these exist. This is an authentic DB COOPER Skyjacking note from the infamous 1971 crime. These are registered from PCGS and guaranteed authentic. 

The DB COOPER hijcking remains one of the most enthralling mysteries in the history of American crime and aviation. Known for its audacious execution and the enigma surrounding the identity and fate of the hijacker, the case has captivated the imagination of the public and law enforcement for decades. This comprehensive account will cover the details of the hijacking, the extensive investigations, and some lesser-known, intriguing facts, particularly focusing on the recovered ransom money. 

The Hijacking 

On the afternoon of November 24, 1971, a man using the alias Dan Cooper boarded Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 305, a Boeing 727 flying from Portland, Oregon, to Seattle, Washington. Cooper was described as a man in his mid-40s, wearing a business suit, a black tie, and a white shirt. He carried a black briefcase. Shortly after takeoff, Cooper handed a note to Florence Schaffner, the flight attendant situated nearest to him, which claimed that he had a bomb in his briefcase and was hijacking the plane. 

Once the plane was airborne, Cooper showed Schaffner the inside of his case, which appeared to be filled with wires and red colored sticks. He then made his demands: $200,000 in twenty-dollar bills (equivalent to about $1.2 million today), four parachutes (two primary and two reserve), and a fuel truck standing by in Seattle to refuel the plane for a getaway. After the plane landed at Seattle-Tacoma Airport, the authorities met Cooper's demands. The passengers were released, and Cooper demanded that the plane be flown towards Mexico City at the minimum possible speed and at a maximum altitude of 10,000 feet. 

Somewhere between Seattle and Reno, Nevada, on the same night, Cooper parachuted out of the plane's aft stairway into the icy darkness, with the ransom money tied to his waist. Despite extensive search efforts, neither Cooper nor his remains were found. The hijacking led to significant changes in aviation security and the eventual installation of "Cooper vanes" on Boeing 727 aircraft, which prevent the aft stairway from being opened in flight. 

The Investigation 

The FBI launched an extensive investigation codenamed "Norjak" (Northwest Hijacking). Despite processing thousands of leads, the true identity of D.B. Cooper remains unknown. Several suspects were considered over the years, ranging from ex-convicts to businessmen, and even airline employees, but no conclusive evidence has ever surfaced to pinpoint the hijacker. 

In 1980, a significant clue emerged when a young boy found a decaying package of $20 bills totaling $5,800 on the banks of the Columbia River, near Vancouver, Washington. The serial numbers matched the ransom money given to Cooper, marking the only evidence ever recovered from the ransom after the hijack. The money was found over an area of the river known as Tena Bar. The discovery fueled various theories about how the money got there, including the possibility that Cooper died during the descent or sometime after landing and the money was carried to the location by natural means. 

Crazy-but-True Facts 

  1. Unspent Ransom: Despite the recovery of some ransom money, none of the remaining bills have ever turned up anywhere in the world. No bank notes from the ransom have been found in circulation, which suggests that Cooper might have lost the money during his jump or never spent it. 

  1. Comic Book Connection: The alias "Dan Cooper" is actually the name of a Canadian comic book hero who was a paratrooper. It's speculated that the hijacker might have been Canadian or had a connection to the comics, which were not sold in the United States. 

  1. Copycat Hijackings: After Cooper's infamous skyjacking, there were at least 15 reported cases of similar attempts using parachutes over the following year. All were apprehended, thanks to changes in airline security measures and policies initiated after Cooper's hijacking. 

  1. The Tie Mystery: The black tie Cooper left on his seat contained rare earth elements like titanium. This discovery has led some to speculate that Cooper could have been an engineer or had some connection to the aerospace industry. 

  1. DNA Puzzle: In 2001, the FBI managed to extract a partial DNA profile from the tie that Cooper left behind, but they have never matched it to any of the numerous suspects. 

The Currency They Found 

The discovery of the ransom money in 1980 is one of the most intriguing aspects of the D.B. Cooper case. The bills were disintegrating, but still bundled in rubber bands, suggesting they hadn't been buried but had been exposed to the elements for several years. The find has led to many speculations about the fate of Cooper and the money. Some theorize that the money was washed down to the riverbank from a higher location, possibly where Cooper landed or died. 


The D.B. Cooper case remains one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in the annals of American crime. The audacious nature of the hijacking, the mystery surrounding the identity and fate of Cooper, and the intriguing clues left behind, such as the partial recovery of the ransom money, continue to fascinate and puzzle professional investigators and amateur sleuths alike. Whether Cooper survived his daring escape or not, his legend continues to thrive, fueling books, movies, and a ceaseless flow of theories and debates. 

The ransom money found from the D.B. Cooper hijacking holds a unique place in both criminal and numismatic history. Its discovery not only added a significant chapter to the ongoing mystery but also turned the bills into highly collectible items. Here’s a detailed look at the history and collectability of the ransom money. 

Discovery of the Ransom Money 

On February 10, 1980, nearly nine years after the hijacking, an eight-year-old boy named Brian Ingram was vacationing with his family on the Columbia River at a place called Tena Bar, near Vancouver, Washington. While building a campfire, Ingram uncovered three packets of the ransom money buried in the sandy riverbank. The deteriorated money still bundled in rubber bands, amounted to $5,800, all in $20 bills. The serial numbers confirmed that these were indeed part of the ransom paid to D.B. Cooper. 

Historical Significance 

The find is the only instance where any part of the ransom money turned up after the hijacking event. The location and condition of the money have fueled extensive speculation and investigation. Some believe the money arrived at Tena Bar through natural water transport processes along the Columbia River, suggesting that Cooper might have landed or died nearby, or that the money was somehow separated from him during or after his parachute descent. 

Others theorize that the money could have been deliberately buried at Tena Bar. However, the general consensus, supported by FBI analysis, leans toward the money having been deposited by natural river actions. Notably, the bundles were still packed in the same sequence as when they were given to Cooper, and no other bills from the ransom have ever been found elsewhere. 

Collectability and Value 

The intrigue surrounding D.B. Cooper's case makes any associated memorabilia highly collectible, and the ransom money is no exception. The money found at Tena Bar holds not just nominal face value but a significant historical and anecdotal premium.

Auction Sales: Portions of the found money have been auctioned several times. For collectors, these bills are attractive not only for their connection to the famous hijacking but also for their rarity and the story they represent. In 2008, some of the deteriorated $20 bills were sold at auction. Each bill, even in poor condition, fetched prices exponentially higher than their face value, emphasizing their status as collectibles.

Cultural Impact: The story of D.B. Cooper has permeated American culture, inspiring episodes of television shows, documentaries, and a fervent community of amateur sleuths and conspiracy theorists. Objects directly linked to the case, like the ransom money, are part of this larger cultural fascination.

Condition and Preservation: The bills from the ransom money are in poor condition due to their exposure to the elements before discovery. However, their state of preservation adds to the narrative of their history and survival, enhancing their value to collectors who value both the story and the artifact.

Legal Considerations: It’s important to note that owning a piece of the ransom money comes with legal considerations. Since these bills are evidence in an unsolved case, their sale and ownership might be subject to scrutiny or regulation, although the FBI returned some of the money to the finder and the insurer, who paid the ransom, indicating they can be legally owned and sold. 


The ransom money from the D.B. Cooper hijacking, particularly the bills found at Tena Bar, represents a fascinating blend of history, mystery, and collectibility. These bills are more than just currency; they are relics of an unresolved narrative that has captured the public's imagination for decades. As such, they hold a unique place in both the numismatic world and the broader realm of Americana, making them highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts of true crime and aviation history alike. 

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