D. B. Cooper in popular culture

D. B. Cooper (aka Dan Cooper) is an alias of an aircraft hijacker who, on November 24, 1971, after receiving a ransom payout of US$200,000, jumped from the back of a Boeing 727 as it was flying over the Pacific Northwest of the United States somewhere over the Cascade Mountains, possibly over Woodland, Washington. His body was never found, and only $5,880 of the ransom has been recovered.


  • J.D. Reed's 1980 novel "Free Fall", which was used as a basis for the 1981 film The Pursuit of D. B. Cooper
  • Elwood Reid's 2004 novel D.B. is a fictionalized account of what supposedly happened to the real Cooper in the years following the hijacking, as a pair of FBI agents attempt to pick up his trail and arrest him.
  • The 1998 novel Sasquatch by Roland Smith features a character named Buckley Johnson, who eventually admits that he is D. B. Cooper to the novel's protagonist, a boy named Dylan Hickock. In this story, Johnson says he committed the hijacking to pay for cancer treatments for his son.
  • Chuck Palahniuk's novel Survivor contains elements that resemble and satirize the Cooper case.

Film, TV, and radio

  • In the 1973 made for television movie Deliver Us from Evil starring George Kennedy, Jan-Michael Vincent, Bradford Dillman, Charles Aidman, Jim Davis, Jack Weston, and Allen Pinson the "injured man." A group of six hikers discover an injured man who parachuted from a plane and had $600,000.
  • In 1979 the TV series In Search Of, hosted by Leonard Nimoy, ran a story about the D.B. Cooper case.
  • An episode of the Quincy, ME TV series featured a skyjacker called R. W. Williams that was clearly based on the D.B.Cooper case.
  • In 1981 an adventure movie titled The Pursuit of D. B. Cooper was released starring Treat Williams as Cooper and Robert Duvall as an insurance investigator pursuing him. It was directed by Roger Spottiswoode.
  • The British anthology drama series Tales of the Unexpected featured an episode called Hijack starring Simon Cadell, which was first broadcast on ITV on 26 December 1981 (Season 4, Episode 17) This features the hijacking of a European passenger airline in a way similar to Cooper's: the plane is hijacked by a man who claims to have a bomb, a ransom is paid, the passengers released, the plane takes off again and the hijacker apparently parachutes out. But then it is revealed that the whole thing is a con perpetrated by the crew of the plane, including the pilots and air stewards.
  • The television series NewsRadio featured a story arc (season 5, episodes "Jail", "The Lam", and "Clash of the Titans", first broadcast in 1998) in which station owner Jimmy James is believed to be Cooper. James was arrested after a green duffel bag believed to have been Cooper's was found. At the trial, Adam West confesses he is Cooper and that James had covered up for him.
  • An episode of the television show Renegade entitled "The Ballad of D.B Cooper" details how D.B Cooper hijacks a plane, steals $200,000 and lands in a small town where he uses the money to reopen an old factory.
  • The television show Prison Break featured a character who, after initially denying accusations, eventually admitted that he was D. B. Cooper. The character, played by Muse Watson, went by the name of Charles Westmoreland. According to the show, the amount of money he buried underneath a silo totaled approximately $5,000,000.
  • Cooper is the subject of episodes of In Search of... and Unsolved History.
  • A fictional character named Dylan McCleen jumps out of airplane with a parachute and a suitcase full of money in the episode of the NBC TV series Journeyman entitled The Legend of Dylan McCleen (October 2007).
  • In Sam & Max, Dan B. Cooper is one of the famous missing persons found on Easter Island by way of the Bermuda Triangle.
  • Unsolved Mysteries aired a segment on DB Cooper in 1988.
  • The character of FBI Agent Dale Bartholomew Cooper from the television series "Twin Peaks" receives both his namesake and his appearance from D. B. Cooper.
  • An "E!" special included the story on D.B Cooper in 2007.
  • Without a Paddle is a 2004 film about three men going on a camping trip. The movie stars Matthew Lillard, Seth Green and Dax Shepard. Following a friend's death, a group of three old friends go on an adventure, a search for the treasure of D. B. Cooper, which their dead buddy Billy planned for them years prior. They do find it, but it had been burned by Cooper himself to keep him warm.
  • A March 2000 segment of the comedy talk radio program The Phil Hendrie Show featured an interview with a former commercial airline pilot, Art Griego, who claimed to be a good friend of D.B. Cooper. In a January 2008 segment, Phil Hendrie and his guest, Dr. Jim Sadler, postulated that presidential candidate Ron Paul is actually D.B. Cooper.


  • Within two weeks of the 1971 skyjacking, local Washington songstress Judy Sword produced a song, "D.B. Cooper: Where Are You?
  • In 1980, a California-based rock band called D.B. Cooper self-released their debut EP, Every Man A King. That same year, the group was signed to Warner Bros. Records and issued their debut album, Buy American. A second album, Dangerous Curves, followed in 1981.
  • Oregon-native singer-songwriter Todd Snider wrote and performed a song about the famous mystery titled "D. B. Cooper."
  • Singer-songwriter Chuck Brodsky has a song titled "The Ballad of D. B. Cooper" on his 2006 CD, Tulips for Lunch.
  • Roger McGuinn's self-titled 1973 solo album contains the song "Bag Full of Money" referring to Cooper's hijacking
  • Rapper MF DOOM makes reference to Cooper in his song "Hoe Cakes" on his 2004 album MM..Food
  • Indie rockers Everything is Fine feature two songs about Cooper, "Vapor Trails and Light" and "D.B. Cooper" on their 2005 album Ghosts Are Knocking on Walls on Ohio-based Tract Records
  • Rock-rapper Kid Rock mentions Cooper in his hit song "Bawitdaba" off his 1998 album Devil Without a Cause.
  • Rock band Senses Fail's CD, Life Is Not a Waiting Room features a song called DB Cooper.


  • The Far Side for May 3, 1988, featured a comic with the caption "The untold ending of D. B. Cooper", where he is shown landing on a rottweiler farm.
  • A Dilbert strip features Dogbert showing visitors around his museum where he claims an exhibits, feet protruding from a tree stump with an umbrella and a back pack nearby, are the remains of D. B. Cooper.
  • The community of Ariel in Cowlitz County, Washington, commemorates the incident with a celebration, held annually on the Saturday following Thanksgiving Day, called "D. B. Cooper Days.
  • "D.B. Cooper's Mansion" is a gentleman's club in Spring, TX.


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