What happened to DB Cooper? Was he ever found? Loki has answers

Bruno Cooke June 9, 2021


What happened to mystery air pirate DB Cooper in 1971? Loki’s first episode gave audiences a startling Easter egg revelation – that Loki is, in fact (or in fiction), hijacker DB Cooper. As a result, viewers are curious: was the DB Cooper case ever solved, and was he ever found?

What’s the story behind Loki’s DB Cooper Easter egg?

DB Cooper, whose actual pseudonym Dan Cooper fell foul of media miscommunication, hijacked a Boeing 727 on 24 November, 1971.

He bought, with cash, a one-way ticket from Portland International Airport to Seattle, 30 minutes north.

The man identified himself as “Dan Cooper”. He boarded the plane, took his seat, drank a bourbon and soda, and then handed a note to to Florence Shaffner, the air hostess nearest to him.

  • TV: Bo Burnham’s Inside: The timestamps you’re all looking for
Original Caption

At first, she took no notice, assuming it to be a phone number. When he said to her, “Miss, you’d better look at that note – I have a bomb”, she read it.

What happened to DB Cooper?

Cooper demanded a ransom of $200,000, plus four parachutes. 

After he received the cash, during a fuel stopover at Seattle-Tacoma Airport, he allowed passengers to disembark.

He instructed the cockpit crew to make a course towards Mexico City, and leapt from the plane shortly after 8pm.

Was DB Cooper ever found?

The short answer is no. 

Despite a four decade-long FBI investigation, and an extensive manhunt, and the proliferation of theories from amateur sleuths, DB Cooper’s actual identity remains a mystery.

  • CELEBRITY: Who is Courtney Roker’s mother, Alice Bell?

Experts reckon he is unlikely to have survived the jump; the evidence suggests that he was “no expert skydiver”, according to the FBI’s redux on the case

Given the unfavourable conditions (night time, heavy rain, a 200mph wind in his face), he “probably never even got his chute open”, argues Seattle case agent Larry Carr.

Solved/unsolved: The case of Dan Cooper

Between 1971 and 2016, when the FBI officially dropped the case, the Bureau processed “more than 800 suspects”.

Suspects included Richard McCoy, who had carried out a similar air piracy scheme five months earlier.

He received a sentence of 45 years for the crime, but escaped from prison using “a fake gun made from plaster of Paris”.

So Loki, apparently, is/was DB Cooper

Viewers of Loki might have missed the reference, but Loki is, apparently, Dan “DB” Cooper.

  • CELEBRITY: The story behind Owen Wilson’s iconic crooked nose
Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures UK

A projection shows him sitting in a business suit – similar to the one DB Cooper is supposed to have worn – handing a note to a flight attendant.

He jumps out of the plane but Asgard summons him before he reaches the ground.

“You were DB Cooper!” says Mobius M Mobius (Owen Wilson), startled.

Loki explains: “I was young and I lost a bet to Thor.”

Bruno is a postgraduate student studying global journalism, with research interests in the intersection of the media, storytelling, culture and politics. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Packs Light and Forge Press, and most are readable on Medium or onurbicycle.com. He is a Student Ambassador for Tortoise Media, a big fan of Freddie Mercury and a novelist – his debut novel, Reveries, is available on Amazon.