The day of the most mysterious hijacking – level 2
On November 24, 1971, a man in a dark suit and a briefcase in his hand came to the lobby of the international airport in Portland, USA. He said that he was Dan Cooper. He bought a one-way ticket for a short half-hour flight to Seattle and boarded the plane.
The plane carried 37 passengers and 6 crew members. Shortly after the take-off, Cooper spoke to a flight attendant. He gave her a piece of paper which said, “I have a bomb in my briefcase. I will use it if necessary. I want you to sit next to me. This is a hijacking!“
The flight attendant sat next to him and he showed her the bomb. The flight attendant sent this information into the cockpit with the Cooper’s demands. Cooper wanted $200,000 and four parachutes.
Then the plane landed in Seattle. When Cooper got the money and parachutes at the Seattle airport, he let all the passengers go. He kept only 2 pilots, a flight engineer, and one flight attendant on board. He ordered them to fly to Reno, Nevada. He told all the crew members to stay in the cockpit.
It was a dark night with low clouds and strong winds. At one point, the pilots felt that the plane shook. This could be the moment when Cooper opened the back door of the plane for his jump.
When the plane landed in Reno, people saw that the plane was empty. Soon after the landing, many people from the FBI and the army began looking for Cooper. Many people also thought that he couldn’t survive the jump because the weather was bad. Cooper also used an instructional parachute which didn’t work correctly.
Cooper and his dead body were never found.
Difficult words: hijack (to take control of a plane by using force), crew (people who work on a plane), flight attendant (someone who serves food and drinks to passenger on a plane), cockpit (the area in a plane where the pilot sits), demand (the need for something), parachute (a thing which people use when they jump out of a plane).
What assumptions can be made about the fate of Dan Cooper?
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