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-   -   Could D.B. Cooper be Howard Hughes, the aviator? (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=798321)

Michael Varn 07-13-2016 11:47 AM

Could D.B. Cooper be Howard Hughes, the aviator?
 
I believe D.B. Cooper is Howard Hughes, the aviator. First of all he had a very eccentric personality. Wouldn't put it past him. Also, at the time of the hijacking he was in hideing, and for a time his whereabouts were unknown. His last known whereabouts before the hijacking were in Las Vegas, Nevada. Now this is not far from Oregon where the hijacking began. And if he survived the jump over Washington state, he wouldn't have had to travel far to get back to Las Vegas. Now the question is why? One plausible reason would be that he had suffered from post traumatic stress due to his surviving a number of airplane crashes. This would also explain the mental illness he acquired later in life at the time of the hijacking in 1971. The flight attendant who actually had close contact with Cooper said he was middle aged. This ruled out a lot of other suspects. Howard Hughes was 64 at time of the hijacking, and fits the middle aged discription. Howard Hughes was familiar with everything related to air travel, including sky diving! Not sure how many jumps he took though. And finally, I believe Howard Hughes actually owned an airline that was in direct competition with the airline Cooper chose. With all of this being said, I would like to hear from someone who knows for a fact if Hughes was ever a person of interest to FBI, and any details as to how the FBI ruled him out as a suspect.

Leo Krupe 07-13-2016 12:01 PM

By all descriptions, D.B. Cooper looked nothing like Hughes. Hughes was pretty well feeble and nearly bedridden by the time of the skyjacking. Even though Hughes was officially out of the public eye, his whereabouts and physical condition are well known, so there's the connection is not possible.

Check any biography on Hughes. Here's one cite:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard...ysical_decline
Quote:

On November 24, 1966 (Thanksgiving Day),[65] Hughes arrived in Las Vegas by railroad car and moved into the Desert Inn. Because he refused to leave the hotel, and to avoid further conflicts with the owners, Hughes bought the Desert Inn in early 1967. The hotel's eighth floor became the nerve center of Hughes' empire and the ninth-floor penthouse became his personal residence. Between 1966 and 1968, he bought several other hotel-casinos—including the Castaways, New Frontier, the Landmark Hotel and Casino, and the Sands.[66] He bought the small Silver Slipper casino just so he could have its trademark neon silver slipper moved. Visible from Hughes' bedroom, it apparently had kept him up at night.

After Hughes left the Desert Inn, hotel employees discovered his drapes had not been opened in the nine years he lived there, and had rotted through.[67]
That doesn't sound like a man who would hijack a plane and skydive (presumably to his death).

TriPolar 07-13-2016 12:05 PM

Yeah, he was a mess at that time by all accounts. I seriously doubt the 'middle aged' description given by a stewardess at the time would have matched him. You might think it's the kind of thing a crazy aviator like Hughes would do, but this is a guy who set air speed records, built an aircraft company, built the Spruce Goose and an airline. The skyjacking would be a low-grade antic for a rich eccentric like him.

watchwolf49 07-13-2016 12:31 PM

I'm not finding any column specifically about D.B. Cooper in the archives, just a couple of mentions about jumping out of commercial airliner with a parachute.

I'm going ahead and reporting this thread for a forum change, and I apologize if there is an article after all ... but I'm just not finding it.

ETA: Welcome to the SDMB, Michael Varn ... I mean no offense but you'll get far better replies to your statements in other forums. Is there a specific article that The Master wrote that spawned this thread? If so, it is customary to post a link to that article so all of us can be on the same page.

Deeg 07-14-2016 05:21 PM

I think D.B. Cooper was really Amelia Earhart. It all fits.

Xema 07-14-2016 06:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Deeg (Post 19477916)
I think D.B. Cooper was really Amelia Earhart.

I think you're glossing over a rather obvious Elvis Presley connection. It's just the sort of caper "The King" would have enjoyed.

running coach 07-14-2016 06:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Leo Krupe (Post 19474215)
By all descriptions, D.B. Cooper looked nothing like Hughes. Hughes was pretty well feeble and nearly bedridden by the time of the skyjacking. Even though Hughes was officially out of the public eye, his whereabouts and physical condition are well known, so there's the connection is not possible.

Check any biography on Hughes. Here's one cite:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard...ysical_decline


That doesn't sound like a man who would hijack a plane and skydive (presumably to his death).

Wow. Great disguise.
I hear Rick Baker was involved.

Siam Sam 07-14-2016 06:30 PM

Which of Cecil's columns is this in regard to? I can't find one on him, but he is mentioned in this one.

The FBI has officially dropped the case now. I also read the perp named himself as Dan Cooper when buying his plane ticket, and the FBI claims the "DB" moniker was a media invention.

TriPolar 07-14-2016 06:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Siam Sam (Post 19478098)
I also read the perp named himself as Dan Cooper when buying his plane ticket, and the FBI claims the "DB" moniker was a media invention.

So the media was in on it. Maybe his name is Kenneth and he knew what the frequency was.

drewder 07-15-2016 08:33 PM

I'd like to point out that nobody is sure of where the OP was when the skyjacking happened. Could he be trying to throw us off the trail?

Siam Sam 07-17-2016 12:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drewder (Post 19481020)
I'd like to point out that nobody is sure of where the OP was when the skyjacking happened. Could he be trying to throw us off the trail?

Where were you? Maybe you're trying to avert suspicion.

Musicat 07-17-2016 12:21 AM

Now that the FBI has closed the case, I can safely reveal that I was D.B. Cooper.

Siam Sam 07-17-2016 12:24 AM

No, I'm DB Cooper!

Go_Arachnid_Laser 07-17-2016 01:20 AM

You know, funny thing, D.B. Cooper's identity is not a mystery at all. It was (probably) some petty criminal named Richard McCoy Jr.

Couldn't be proven, but he's s very, very strong suspect.

It's not a sexy answer- reality is so much more boring than a good mystery, but it is what it is.

wolfpup 07-17-2016 02:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Xema (Post 19478059)
I think you're glossing over a rather obvious Elvis Presley connection. It's just the sort of caper "The King" would have enjoyed.

He would have appreciated it lending a whole new meaning to "Elvis has left the building".

aldiboronti 07-17-2016 04:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Musicat (Post 19483321)
Now that the FBI has closed the case, I can safely reveal that I was D.B. Cooper.

The case is closed but the FBI have also stated that they will re-open it should any compelling new evidence arise.

You're bust! :)

Johnny L.A. 07-17-2016 09:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Musicat (Post 19483321)
Now that the FBI has closed the case, I can safely reveal that I was D.B. Cooper.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Siam Sam (Post 19483325)
No, I'm DB Cooper!

I'm D.B. Cooper, and so is my wife!

Amateur Barbarian 07-17-2016 10:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Go_Arachnid_Laser (Post 19483374)
You know, funny thing, D.B. Cooper's identity is not a mystery at all. It was (probably) some petty criminal named Richard McCoy Jr.

It's not in the WP entry and I can't find it in my DBC archives, but there was one very strong piece of counter-evidence against McCoy being Cooper. It might have been that he was placed somewhere else during the original skyjacking. IIRC, there were several attempted copycats in the years immediately after Cooper, and many had the same "everyman" look as the original.

running coach 07-17-2016 10:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Musicat (Post 19483321)
Now that the FBI has closed the case, I can safely reveal that I was D.B. Cooper.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Siam Sam (Post 19483325)
No, I'm DB Cooper!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. (Post 19483760)
I'm D.B. Cooper, and so is my wife!

I was going to join in but it's gone on too long so I'm just going to bail.

Irishman 07-17-2016 02:15 PM

Amateur Barbarian, the wikipedia page on D.B.Cooper discusses him along with several other suspects that were dismissed.

Quote:

While there is no reasonable doubt that McCoy committed the Denver hijacking, the FBI does not consider him a suspect in the Cooper case because of significant mismatches in his age (29) and description; a level of skydiving skill well above that thought to be possessed by the hijacker; and credible evidence that McCoy was in Las Vegas on the day of the Portland hijacking, and at home in Utah the day after, having Thanksgiving dinner with his family.
There were several copycat hijacks, a couple of them successful in jumping but were caught within days. The FBI considers McCoy a copycat.

There are stronger candidates, including William Gossett, who looked a lot more like the sketches, and claimed to be D.B. Cooper. But the FBI has found no direct evidence to connect him, and can't reliably place him in the Pacific Northwest. However, that doesn't list any evidence to actually dismiss him, although his experience with parachuting seems higher than evident by D.B. Cooper.

Duane Weber made a deathbed confession to his wife, "I am Dan Cooper." She had to research to learn what that meant. The FBI didn't match his fingerprints to any found in the plane. Also, his DNA didn't match DNA found on D.B. Cooper's tie, but the FBI can't say with certainty the samples from the tie were the hijackers'.

Lynn Doyle (L. D. Cooper) has a lot of circumstantial evidence. His DNA didn't match the tie samples, either.

Amateur Barbarian 07-17-2016 03:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Irishman (Post 19484215)
Amateur Barbarian, the wikipedia page on D.B.Cooper discusses him along with several other suspects that were dismissed.

Ah, was only looking at his individual page.

That quote is the gist of what I recalled - he was seen in places too far from the Northwest in the time frame of the hijacking.


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