Canadian comic book character Dan Cooper may have inspired hijacker “D.B. Cooper”

dan_cooper_pocket_1A National Post article by Randy Boswell reports that the FBI have revealed that the name and escape method of infamous airline hijacker D.B. Cooper may have been inspired by French Canadian comic hero Dan Cooper of the Royal Canadian Air Force:

An FBI agent probing one of the bureau’s most famous cold cases — the 1971 disappearance of hijacker-parachutist “D.B. Cooper” somewhere over the U.S. Pacific Northwest — has announced a bizarre development in the investigation: a new theory that the mystery man’s name and escape method were inspired by a French comic book’s Canadian hero.

Prompted by Internet chatter about the case, which continues to fascinate legions of amateur sleuths nearly 40 years after Cooper parachuted from a hijacked passenger jet with $200,000 in ransom money, Seattle-based FBI agent Larry Carr laid out the possible Canadian connection this week on the bureau’s website.

Pointing to the 1960s-era French-language comic book character Dan Cooper — a Royal Canadian Air Force test pilot who battles enemies on Earth and in space — Mr. Carr says the mystery hijacker may have adopted the superhero’s name and been inspired by a particular cover showing the Canuck pilot on a parachute jump.

The parachuting issue was “published near the date of the hijacking,” the FBI notes, adding that the hijacker — while popularly known as “D.B. Cooper” because of a news reporter’s error after the crime took place — actually identified himself as “Dan Cooper” when he first boarded the plane at the airport in Portland, Ore.

The rest of the article can be read by clicking the link above.

cooperDan Cooper by Belgian Cartoonist Albert Weinberg (1922-) appeared originally in the weekly TINTIN Magasin. The Cooper strip started in 1954 and the stories have been collected into over 40 Dan Cooper graphic novels by various publishers including Editions du Lombard, Editions Fleurus, Editions Novedi (distributed by Hachette), Dargaud, Editions Loup, and is currently published by Editions Hibou in Europe.