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The infamous skyjacker known as D.B. Cooper revealed his real identity through a hidden message in a letter to The Oregonian in March 1972, just a few months after he parachuted from Northwest Orient Flight 305 and disappeared. The popular myth presents D.B. is robert rackstraw alive, robert rackstraw today, db cooper robert rackstraw
The reason for the FBI giving him the high-hat, Colbert says: The bureau doesn’t want to admit that a group of volunteer investigators solved a high-profile case that its G-men couldn’t.
It also included a series of seemingly random numbers on it. The FBI never made sense of them. is robert rackstraw alive, robert rackstraw today, db cooper robert rackstraw
That’s because the bureau’s agents didn’t know what they were looking for, Sherwood told The Oregonian in January.
Sherwood admitted it’s conceivable that he’s simply seeing what he wants to see in the numbers.
“It’s not impossible,” he said. “But what are the odds that these digits would add up to this? Astronomical. A million to one.
Rackstraw, who’s retired and living in the San Diego area, was an FBI suspect in the skyjacking until he was “ruled out” in 1979. The former paratrooper made teasing comments to the media in the late ’70s hinting that he could be the hijacker, but in recent years he’s insisted he is not D.B. Cooper. is robert rackstraw alive, robert rackstraw today, db cooper robert rackstraw
(Rackstraw has not responded to phone calls from The Oregonian seeking comment.)
Now Colbert has received another letter via the Freedom of Information Act. This one was sent in March 1972 from Jacksonville, Florida, to The Oregonian, which turned it over to the FBI.
That is just how dumb this government is. Cooper is not real.”
The writer also offers a motive of sorts for why he pulled off the high-risk crime: “I had to do something with the experience Uncle [Sam] taught me, so here I am, a very rich man.”
The letter adds: “And please tell the lackey cops D.B. Cooper is not my real name.”
Sherwood says the rather basic code in the March 1972 dispatch to The Oregonian is all about “converting letters to numbers and back to letters.” He noticed the author had repeated key words and phrases in the missive. “I knew that is where the writer had hidden messages,” he says. Soon enough, he discovered that the letter-writer, in “code-speak,” was identifying himself as “1st LT Robert Rackstraw.” is robert rackstraw alive, robert rackstraw today, db cooper robert rackstraw
Colbert calls it Rackstraw’s “confession.”
The D.B. Cooper skyjacking continues to fascinate the public all these years after it occurred — and suspects continue to surface. In May, a small publisher released a book claiming that a man named Walter Reca was the skyjacker. The evidence offered in support of the late Michigan man being Cooper isn’t especially compelling.
Colbert’s case against Rackstraw is much stronger, but it still has holes. The TV journalist has been accused by some fellow Cooper chasers of fitting facts to his theory and making assumptions. is robert rackstraw alive, robert rackstraw today, db cooper robert rackstraw
One example of the latter: Passengers and crew described the skyjacker as middle-aged, but Rackstraw was 28 in November 1971. Colbert says Rackstraw was wearing a toupee and heavy makeup to make himself look older, though he doesn’t have solid evidence to back up this assertion.
But with the possible letter ciphers in hand, Colbert is now convinced he not only has unmistakable evidence that Rackstraw is the skyjacker but proof that the former paratrooper has effectively admitted it. Of course, unless Colbert can snare a straightforward confession — or the FBI gets off the sidelines and offers its own conclusion — the debate over the D.B. Cooper case is certain to continue. is robert rackstraw alive, robert rackstraw today, db cooper robert rackstraw