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FBI Has New DB Cooper Suspect 40 Years After Hijacking

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Jul. 31 2011, Updated 1:15 p.m. ET

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By Radar Staff

Investigators at the FBI have revealed that they are possibly very close to solving the U.S.'s  only unsolved hijacking – forty years after it was committed.

Elusive fugitive Dan Cooper, also known as DB Cooper, commandeered a Northwest flight from Portland to Seattle on November 24 1971 by claiming he was carrying dynamite, but disappeared after jumping from the plane somewhere over Washington.

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He was never seen again but his story has been the subject of countless books, movies, TV shows and even a song or two.

But now agents have revealed that they are testing the fingerprints of a new suspect who they are hoping to link to a tie and cigarette butts left on the plane four decades ago.

FBI spokesperson Ayn Dietrich described the lead as “looking like our most promising one to date.

“It comes from a credible lead who came to our attention recently via a law enforcement colleague,” she told UK’s The Telegraph.

A man listed on the flight manifest as Dan Cooper boarded the plane, ordered a whiskey and lit a cigarette before handing a flight attendant a note which read: “I have a bomb in my briefcase. I will use it if necessary. I want you to sit next to me. You are being hijacked.”

The man then told the plane’s captain that he wanted $200,000 and four parachutes in return for 36 passengers who would be allowed to disembark in Seattle.

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The FBI authorized the exchange and the flight went airborne again heading for Mexico.

Cooper then jumped from the plane with the money and two parachutes somewhere over the Cascade mountains, Washington.

The unnamed suspect is one of thousands investigated over the years and the FBI are not saying if the person is even still alive.

"Generally the large majority of subjects we look into now are already deceased based on the timing," Dietrich said.

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