D.B. Cooper expert says he’s discovered new suspect in decades-old mystery

Published: Nov. 11, 2022 at 5:28 PM PST
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VANCOUVER Wash. (KPTV) - A sought-after researcher and historian believes he may have finally cracked the mysterious case of D.B. Cooper. The infamous man threatened to have a bomb when he hijacked a Portland flight and secured a $200,000 ransom before parachuting to an unknown fate back in 1971.

The FBI spent nearly a half-century investigating before giving up in 2016, but the lore of the Pacific Norwest mystery lives on, with amateur sleuths determined to solve the crime.

One of those investigators, Eric Ulis, – known for his History and Discovery Channel features on the subject – says he’s made a breakthrough in the case.

“The tie has actually given us three very important particles that I would consider very significant,” Ulis said in a press conference Friday.

The smoking gun: the tie D.B. Cooper left behind on the plane.

Ulis said he discovered new evidence that points to just one suspect.

“It appears to be something that can amount to commercial DNA that points to a very specific company and a very specific division within the company at a very specific time,” Ulis said.

Ulis said he analyzed 2017 lab reports where an abundance of unique metal particles were found on the tie.

From there, he discovered there was just one Pennsylvania metal manufacturing company at the time with special patents on the specific chemicals.

And stunningly, Ulis found there were only eight researchers at then-called ‘Rem-Cru Titanium’ working on those projects at the time.

Ulis said it was a retired company manager who recently told him an employee named Vince Petersen fit the bill for D.B. Cooper’s description – and was someone who regularly traveled to the Pacific Northwest on business for the company during that time period.

Ulis said Petersen died back in 2002 and he has since spoken to his son.

“I asked his son, ‘Do you think it’s at all possible that your father could have been D.B. Cooper, based upon what I’m bringing here,’ and he said he can’t see it. He can’t see his father being D.B. Cooper, to the best of his knowledge, his father was always an honest person.”

“My hope is that maybe somebody comes out of the woodwork who knew Petersen or can provide some additional information with respect to that,” Ulis added.

Meanwhile, the fourth annual “CooperCon” is coming to Vancouver next week. The three-day event features speakers, presentations and comradery for all those fascinated by the case.

More information can be found here.