Despite almost defaulting on its debt, a brazen U.S Government is persevering with costly endeavours that delve deep into the unknown.
As just this week, NASA sent a solar powered space craft to Jupiter, while the FBI reopened a very cold case involving the only unsolved hijacking in American aviation history.
For on the day before Thanksgiving in 1971, a stylish and unsuspecting passenger calling himself Dan Cooper boarded a flight from Portland to Seattle dressed in a black suit.
Shortly after takeoff, he ordered himself a whisky before passing the stewardess 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”.
He showed her the bomb before demanding $200,000 in cash and four parachutes to be waiting for him in Seattle, as well as a truck on standby to refuel. He then asked the stewardess to convey this message to the cockpit. When she returned, he was wearing dark sunglasses.
The plane then circled for two hours before demands were made. Meanwhile Cooper was described as very relaxed and polite. He ordered himself a second bourbon, payed his drink tab, and even requested meals for the crew during their stop in Seattle.
Upon landing, all passengers disembarked and Cooper’s demands were met. He then told the flight crew to take off and head towards Mexico City. Somewhere over Washington State, during a heavy rainstorm, he vanished into the night sky, carrying $200,000 and two parachutes.
Police sent out a search party for Cooper, although it was difficult to pinpoint an exact location. He was never seen again.
Now, however, the FBI believe they have a “significant” lead into the case many are saying has become too cold for a polar bear, as the fingerprints and DNA of someone with alleged “strong” connections to Cooper are being tested. Although after nearly 40 years, there is still no conviction.
Some say Cooper never made it past the swamps of Oregon, becoming the region’s infamous hermit after the fall knocked him senseless. Others say he made it to Cuba, where he opened up his own bar, offering clandestine advice to hijackers.
Another more likely rumour is that the case was reopened through Republican persuasion, simply to annoy the Democrats. In any case, the editors at The Fox Gazette hope Cooper enjoyed his descent through the stormy night air, and that the money was spent on considerably warmer activities.