On the night of November 24, 1971, a middle-aged man known only as "D. B. Cooper" hijacked a Boeing 727 class jet, enroute between Portland, Ore. and Seattle Tacoma International Airport. Saying he had an explosive device in his briefcase, this mysterious man held hostage the fate of the craft, its 36 passengers and six crew personnel. After ransoming the passengers and some of the crew for $200,000, four parachutes, and meals for everyone still aboard, Cooper ordered Northwest Orient flight #305 to fly low and slow to Mexico. Somewhere over Southwest Washington, he allegedly jumped from the airplane's rear staircase, with his briefcase and the money. A few bundles of eroded 20-dollar bills were found years later. Otherwise, nothing. Cooper disappeared into the blackness that Thanksgiving eve, and has never been found or heard from since. He lives on as a local legend.
The performance of “The Skyjacker” is written by Dan Wyatt, Jr., who brings a personal connection to the story. His mother was delayed in the Seattle airport by Cooper's hijacking. She was on her way to visit Wyatt 's future father, her fiance. By his own admission, Wyatt has been swirling in the Cooper story ever since.
This will be Wyatt's third attempt to make sense of the Cooper story. His first, “Skyjacker '71: The D.B. Cooper Transmissions,” November 2018, focused on all the radio communications surrounding the unfolding hijacking. The second, “In Flight with D.B. Cooper,” November 2019, considered what D.B. and flight attendant Tina Mucklow might have talked about before Cooper parachuted into legend.
With each performance we considered Cooper's exploit with research, creativity and historical imagination, not to mention audacity, conflict, frustration and fearlessness. Join us as we go once more into the vortex and mark a point in time where we can say, "Right here. This is where everything changed."