DB Cooper letter reveals hijacker’s true identity, sleuths claim



D. B. Cooper mystery solved?

A group of cold case detectives in the Pacific Northwest have reportedly been discovered D. B. Cooper’s parachute band, and the possible location of the missing money

A team of private investigators who spent years trying to crack the D. B. Cooper case, alleged Thursday that they have decoded a letter from the hijacker, the reveal of his identity.

The team, under the guidance of documentary filmmaker Thomas Colbert, claims that a letter addressed to “The Portland Oregonian Newspaper,” contains a confession of the Army veteran Robert Rackstraw.

The letter was sent months after a man only identified as Cooper hijacked a Seattle-bound flight and parachute out of a plane with $200,000 and never to be heard or seen of it again.

FBI sketch of DB Cooper along the side of Robert Rackstraw.


“This letter is to [sic] let you know that I am not dead but really alive, just got back from the Bahamas, so your silly troopers can stop watching for me. That is just how stupid this government is. I find your articles about me, but you can stop them now. D. B. Cooper is not real,” the letter reads. “I want out of the system and saw a way through good ole Unk. Now Uncle turn to cry and the pay of one of ‘ s [sic] own money for a change. (And tell the servant to the police D. B. Cooper is not my real name),” the letter continued.

Colbert told The New York Daily News that he received the letter after suing the FBI for the files. He said that he saw that the letter was written in a similar manner as a separate letter and he called a codebreaker to decipher.

Rick Sherwood, a former Army Security Agency, told the newspaper that he spotted similarities with the words “D. B. Cooper is not real,” “Unk” or “Uncle,” “the system” and “lackey police.” Sherwood decoded “by means of good ole Unk” means “by skyjacking a jet-plane, using a system of letters and numbers.

Colbert said the words “And tell the servant to the cops” meant “I am 1st LT Robert Rackstraw.”

“I want out of the system and saw a way through good ole Unk. Now Uncle turn to cry and the pay of one of ‘ s [sic] own money for a change.”

– DB Cooper

“I read it two or three times and said: ‘This is Rackstraw, this is what he is doing,'” Sherwood told The New York Daily News, adding that the writer challenge the authorities, as he normally does. “I was really shocked by the name. That is what I was looking for and everything added up to that,” Sherwood said.

Colbert claimed in February that he believed that Cooper was a CIA agent whose identity had been covered up by the federal agents. He told the Seattle PI that his team, the connection of the work with a code breaker discovered in five letters allegedly sent by Cooper.

He claimed that he in a January interview that Cooper was Rackstraw. Colbert said at the time that several people who knew Rackstraw have come forward to claim that he had possible connections to the CIA and other covert operations.

The researcher told Seattle PI, the man who sent the letter may have the codes in a letter to the signal to possible co-conspirators, that he lives.

Rackstraw, 74, of San Diego, served in Vietnam. Colbert said in a press release Thursday that Rackstraw served in two of the Sherwood units, Special Forces parachute training, is an explosives expert and is a pilot with nearly two dozen aliases. Colbert said that the FBI cleared Rackstraw in 1979.

In May, Michigan publisher said the hijacker was a former military parachutist and intelligence operative Walter R. Reca. The publisher cited audio recordings that claimed to Reca, was to speak about the robbery.

In 1971, on the eve of Thanksgiving, a man calling himself Dan Cooper, wearing a black tie and a suit, on board a Seattle-bound Boeing 727 in Oregon and told a flight attendant he had a bomb in a suitcase. He gave her a note demanding money. After the plane landed, he released the 36 passengers in exchange for $200,000 in ransom and parachutes. The ransom was paid in $20 bills.

The hijacker then ordered the plane to fly to Mexico, but near the Washington-Oregon border, he jumped and was never seen or heard of again.

The DB Cooper mystery

  • DB Cooper identified? Publisher says mystery hijacker was an ex-paratrooper from Michigan

  • DB Cooper sleuth claims hijacker was CIA agent, FBI is ‘downright lying’ about the case

  • DB Cooper sleuth calls letter written by mysterious hijackers linked to San Diego man

Despite the claims of the publishing house, the FBI has never excluded the possibility that the hijacker was killed in the jump, which took place during a rainstorm in the night, over rough, wooded terrain. The hijacker clothing and footwear were unsuitable for a rough landing.

Fox News’ Travis Fedschun, Robert Gearty and Paulina Dedaj contributed to this report.


Ryan Gaydos is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @RyanGaydos.

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