A team of investigators committed to solving a decades-old cold case think they have identified the infamous skyjacker known as D.B. Cooper.
The mysterious air bandit took over a Boeing passenger plane in 1971 and jumped out over Portland with a parachute, never to be seen again.
A 40-member cold case team led by documentary filmmaker Tom Colbert and his wife, Dawna, believe they’ve cracked a code that reveals the bandit’s true identity.
The FBI abandoned the case last year citing a lack of credible leads.
But a letter believed to have been written by Cooper and sent to news outlets after the skyjacking has led Colbert’s team back to a likely suspect — Vietnam War veteran Robert W. Rackstraw, who was investigated by the FBI in the late 1970s.
Colbert insists that the FBI refuses to pursue Rackstraw again because it would have to admit that amateur sleuths had cracked a case the bureau couldn’t, Oregon Live reported.
“It’s not that they’re concerned about a circumstantial case,” Colbert told Oregon Live. “This is obviously about embarrassment and shame.”
Colbert believes that the key to the case lies in a Dec. 11, 1971, letter that his team obtained last year through a Freedom of Information Act request.
The letter, which went to The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Seattle Times and The Washington Post, contains strings of letters and numbers at the bottom of the page.
Rick Sherwood, a former member of the Army Security Agency — which deciphers signals — and a member of Colbert’s team, has linked the codes to three “masked” Army units Rackstraw was a part of during his service.
“Since these correlate with identifiers in Rackstraw’s (Army) life, I’m convinced this letter was written by D.B. Cooper,” Sherwood told Colbert in an email, Oregon Live reported.
“This is it,” Colbert told the New York Daily News on Thursday.
Colbert is working on his second documentary about his investigation into D.B. Cooper.