Dan “DB” Cooper - $200,000 US – Only Unsolved Crime in US Aviation History
He's the world's most famous fugitive. On the night before Thanksgiving, November 24, 1971, a passenger by the name of Dan Cooper boarded a plane in Portland, OR bound for Seattle. Clad in a suit and raincoat, wearing dark glasses and carrying a briefcase, he sat silently in the back of the plane. After calmly lighting a cigarette, he ordered a whiskey from the stewardess and then handed her a note. It 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.'
He demanded $200,000 and four parachutes delivered to him in Seattle. When the plane landed, he released all the passengers, save for the pilot, co-pilot, and stewardess. Once the money was delivered in the middle of the brightly-lit tarmac, Cooper demanded the pilot take off for Mexico, flying at an altitude of 10,000 feet. Shortly after takeoff, over the mountains northwest of Portland, the six-foot-tall Cooper strapped on a parachute and jumped. He was never heard from again. Did he survive? In 1980, roughly $6000 was found of the money in bundles on a beach, but no signs of a body. The case remains open and is the only unsolved crime in US aviation history.