D. B. Cooper is a media epithet popularly used to refer to the hijackerof a Boeing 727 aircraft en route from Portland, Oregon to Seattle, Washington, on November 24, 1971. After a stop-off in Seattle and a second takeoff, he bailed out of the plane with a parachute and $200,000 in cash (over $1,000,000 at current values). A massive search that took place the following spring failed to find any trace of the fugitive. After decades of fruitless inquiries, the lead investigators publicly speculated that Cooper had not survived the jump and all physical evidence had been lost in the wilderness. The FBI nonetheless kept the case open until 2016.
The belief that Cooper did not survive was bolstered by the fact that none of the recorded money was ever identified from circulation. An eight-year-old boy found a portion of the ransom money under riverbank silt of the Columbia River, but the location of the find is not consistent with Cooper dying or losing the ransom in the jump. When this information is combined with the knowledge that law enforcement is involved, a ransom would in effect be 100% bait money. This is a fact that has been known to the public since the Lindbergh kidnappingtrial in 1935. It unlikely that Cooper had any intention of actually spending the ransom money. A small number of people hold the opinion that an American of Cooper's apparent sophistication could hardly have expected to spend or fence currency as hot as the ransom money, and Cooper might have carried out a plan of dumping of the money before he disappeared.
The FBI no longer has agents assigned to the case, but the agency continues to request that any potential physical evidence that might emerge—such as the parachutes or the ransom money—should be submitted for analysis.