DB Cooper: The Unbelievable True Crime Story That Inspired 'Loki' Episode 1

After more than two years of waiting, Loki is finally here. There is so much to unpack from the first episode, especially the niche historical reference made to infamous plane hijacker, DB Cooper.

Midway through the first episode, Owen Wilson's Mobius M. Mobius took Loki (played by Tom Hiddleston), through an epic vision quest.

At one point, Mobius stopped at one of his favourite moments in Loki's existence—particularly that one time Loki hijacked a plane and parachuted out the back, before making his way back to Asgard.

The scene mirrored the extraordinary true case of DB Cooper and even ended with Wilson's TVA agent declaring Loki to actually be the real DB Cooper.

He said: "You Were D.B. Cooper! I was young and I lost a bet to Thor. Where was the TVA when I was meddling with these affairs of men?"

Who is DB Cooper?

loki as db cooper
"Loki" Episode 1 sees Tom Hiddleston's character hijack a plane. Disney+

DB Cooper is one of the FBI's most famous unsolved mystery cases to date and remains the only unsolved air piracy in commercial aviation history.

On November 24, 1971, a man by the name of Dan Cooper (later dubbed DB Cooper by U.S. Media), purchased a one-way ticket to Seattle, Washington at Northwest Orient Airlines in Portland, Oregon.

When the Boeing 727 flight was midair, Cooper handed air hostess Florence Schaffner a note and told her he had a bomb inside his briefcase.

After taking a look at what appeared to be a makeshift bomb, Schaffner was instructed to take a note to the flight's captain, William A. Scott.

The neatly typed noted demanded four parachutes and $200,000 ransom in twenty-dollar bills.

Scott was able to land the flight in Seattle where the 35 passengers and some of the crew were able to disembark from the plane. Cooper and four members of the flight's crew, including the captain, stayed on board.

Cooper ordered the pilot towards Mexico City and a few hours later, Cooper put his parachutes to use.

He managed to jump out of the back of the plane using the parachutes and $200,000 in hand, somewhere between Seattle and Reno. At approximately 10.15 p.m. the plane landed at Reno Airport, without Cooper.

More than 45 years later, whether Cooper made a safe landing remains unknown and his whereabouts today are a complete mystery.

Loki and DB Cooper
A police sketch of DB Cooper Getty Images

The idea Cooper may have died following his jump became highly plausible when eight-year-old Brian Ingram on February 10, 1980, came across a package of twenty-dollar bills in the beach town of Tina, near Vancouver, Washington, which matched the ransom money serial numbers.

The FBI later confirmed the money was a portion of the ransom and had been arranged in the order Cooper demanded. However, Cooper's remains have never been discovered nearby.

The FBI set up an investigation, known as NORJACK, and by 1976 had interviewed more than 800 suspects

The FBI homed in on one suspect, Richard Floyd McCoy, who had been arrested for a similar hijacking five months after Cooper's hijack but he was later dismissed as the culprit as he did not match the physical descriptions given by eye witness.

Other suspects included Kenneth Peter Christiansen, Jack Coffelt, Lynn Doyle Cooper, Barbara Dayton, William Gossett, Robert Lepsy, John List, Ted Mayfield, Sheridan Peterson, Robert Rackstraw, Walter R. Reca, William J. Smith and Duane Weber, but they were eventually ruled out.

Despite extensive attempts to find Cooper, the FBI's case was suspended in 2016 and his whereabouts remain unknown.

Loki airs every Wednesday on Disney+.

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