Earlier this year, the FBI announced that authorities would no longer be investigating the mysterious case of D.B. Cooper, making it the only unsolved air piracy case in U.S. history.
On November 24, 1971, a man bought a ticket to fly from Portland to Seattle under the name Dan Cooper, which was later mistaken for D.B. Cooper—a nickname that still sticks today.
After taking all the passengers onboard the plane hostage, claiming he had a bomb in his briefcase, Cooper traded them for parachutes and a suitcase with $200,000 cash inside.
Once the plane landed, Cooper demanded that the pilot fly him to Mexico, but he jumped off with the parachutes and suitcase just a few minutes after takeoff.
D.B. Cooper was never seen again, and the only trace of evidence that has ever been connected to him was the 1980 discovery of $5,800 of the ransom money found buried along the Columbia River.
Now a filmmaker and his team of 40 experts are suing the FBI to prove that they know exactly who the real D.B. Cooper is—and he’s still alive today.
According to Fox News, filmmaker Thomas Colbert believes “Cooper” is actually Robert Henry Rackstraw, a 72-year-old Vietnam vet living in San Diego.
In a lawsuit filed Thursday in US District Court in Washington, Colbert is demanding that the FBI give him and his team access to the 45 years’ worth of files that the Bureau has on the case.
According to a History Channel documentary, Rackshaw was a military pilot during the Vietnam War, who flourished until officials learned that he’d lied about graduating high school and college.
Not long after being kicked out of the military, Rackshaw reportedly moved to Stockton, California, where his sister lived.
It was there that he was accused of kiting about $75,000 in checks and had a warrant issued for his arrest.
But before police had a chance to bring him in, Rackshaw fled to Iran—where there was no extradition treaty with the U.S.—and taught the Shah’s soldiers how to fly helicopters.
While he was abroad, investigators discovered 14 rifles and 150 pounds of dynamite in Rackshaw’s storage units.
After checking out his mother and stepfather’s home in California, police also found Rackshaw’s stepdad buried in a shallow grave with a bullet hole in his head.
Because Rackshaw’s mother had died earlier of natural causes, Rackshaw was the next in line to inherit everything once his stepfather died.
Once Rackshaw lost his job in Iran and was forced to return home, authorities were finally able to question him about the D.B. Cooper hijacking and his stepfather’s unnatural death.
Rackshaw denied everything, and because the FBI had no concrete evidence against him, they decided not to take him to trial.
Now, 45 years after D.B. Cooper was last seen, Colbert and his team are determined to prove that the FBI had their guy all along.