It is very difficult to disappear.
Once more the public is being teased with a “possible D.B. Cooper sighting” this time by the FBI. We are not being told anything definitive, only that information will be forth coming shortly.
Let us review what we do know about this 40 year old incident. As you will recall, a man jumps out of a 727 over a heavily wooded area of Oregon or Washington in November with $200,000. No one knows what happened to him.
Experienced skydivers tell us that you can’t expect to survive a jump under the circumstances as was presented under the conditions which this man faced. The plane was traveling too fast; he jumped at a higher altitude than would have been safe even for an experienced professional. The area where he was to land was very remote and a total wilderness. It was November and the temperature was cold. He would have been on foot and would have to try and escape from an extremely difficult environment.
Many find it strange that some of the money was found strongly suggesting that he became separated from the ransom.
For the sake of argument, let’s say that he did land safely and found his way back to civilization. Where would he go and what would do? If even one other person knew about the plan or where he was, human nature being what it is, word would get out. This suggests that he was totally on his own and had to do what needed to be done all by himself.
We may be able to assume that he had a car. Where could he go? You need a registration, insurance and a driver’s license. Oh, no problem, one says, his name was not really D.B.Cooper , so he could manage with his true identity. He could hide in plain sight. He is an insurance salesman with a wife and family. This defies logic in so far as the type of person who would endeavor to commit this crime would need to have many very pathological personality characteristics, not being very well in touch with reality being one of them.
So what might be another scenario? He has a car so he could drive to Mexico or South America. He could use his valid passport and fly any place in the world. He would have to either settle in one place or spend his time traveling. If he went to a major city or a small town somewhere, he would be a stranger and would arouse curiosity. If he spent his entire life traveling from one place to another this would be very difficult and filled with constant apprehension. (After the end of the second world war, many Germans wanting to escape capture, traveled to South America, for example. They had a sophisticated network of support and were able to manage for many years before finally getting caught.)
If he elected to remain in the USA, this would also present similar problems. Where could he fit in without notice? Even using his true identity, he would need to renew his car insurance, driver’s license and have to manage without a bank account or anything that would put him well within the social radar structure of society. He could trust no one or expect help from anyone.
One can argue that he was a very clever man and he had everything figured out down to the last detail for the rest of his life. Somehow I doubt this. I see him as a really blind person who could not plan ahead with any degree of intelligence.
He would be 70 or 80 today and it might be that his genius plan for his life after the fact began to come apart due to his incapacity resulting from his age. We don’t know what the FBI has found. My belief is that if they have not been able to come up with anything during the past 40 years, what they are going to tell the public now is going to be highly speculative. Short of finding a “smoking gun” so to speak, I am going to cling to my belief that disappearing is very difficult.