FBI redirects focus from D.B. Cooper case to focus on other priorities

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a press release Tuesday that as of July 8, it has “redirected resources allocated to the D.B. Cooper case to focus on other investigative priorities.”

The case, the FBI said, is one of the longest and most exhaustive investigations in the department’s history.

After 45-years of investigation, the FBI said it has reviewed all credible leads that were coordinated between multiple field offices to conduct searches, collected all available evidence and interviewed all identified witnesses in the case. Throughout that time, the agency said it applied new and innovative investigative techniques and examined countless items at its laboratory.

The agency said that any evidence obtained during the course of the investigation will now be preserved for historical purposes at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The mystery surrounding the hijacking of a Northwest Orient Airlines flight in November 1971, by a still-unknown individual, known as D.B. Cooper, resulted in significant international attention and a decades-long manhunt.

The FBI said while it appreciates the immense number of tips from the public, none to date have resulted in a definitive identification of the hijacker. The tips have conveyed plausible theories, descriptive information about individuals potentially matching the hijacker and anecdotes— including accounts of sudden, unexplained wealth.

To be able to solve a case, the FBI said it has to prove culpability beyond a reasonable doubt, and, unfortunately, none of the well-meaning tips or applications of new investigative technology have yielded the necessary proof.

“Every time the FBI assesses additional tips for the NORJAK case, investigative resources and manpower are diverted from programs that more urgently need attention.” the release said.

Although the FBI will no longer actively investigate this case, should specific physical evidence emerge—related specifically to the parachutes or the money taken by the hijacker—individuals with those materials are asked to contact their local FBI field office.