While the trailer for Loki, more or less, confirmed what we already knew- that the events in Avengers: Endgame resulted in multiple alternate timelines, it will surprisingly also take a stab at solving yet another renowned enigma. But this one is a rather real-life riddle- the only unsolved case of air piracy in US history that happened back in 1971, carried out by a single man, D.B. Cooper who mysteriously disappeared mid-air during the heist. And according to the recently released trailer of Loki, the answer to this puzzle is the God of Mischief himself.
In case, the above paragraph induced a major "Whaaat?" laced with surprise as you may have missed out on the connection, then our advice would be to re-watch the trailer. And if it was more of a confused head-scratching exclamation, scroll down for a brief introduction to the infamous D.B. Cooper- a true mystery that has spawned an excessive manhunt and widespread FBI investigation for 45 years and still continues to be a fascinating puzzle for generations, no matter whether one is a crime fan or not.
Who is D.B. Cooper?
On November 24th, 1971, a man calling himself Dan Cooper, boarded the Northwest Orient Airlines flight 305 for a short journey from Portland to Seattle. But halfway through the flight, he quietly let a flight attendant know that he has a bomb in his black briefcase and hijacked the plane. In return for safely returning the passengers and crew members of the plane, he demanded $200,000 and some parachutes.
When the authorities managed to collect the ransom as per Cooper's demand, he made the pilot land the plane at the Seattle-Tacoma airport and allowed the passengers, along with two flight attendants to disembark. After he got what he demanded and the plane was refueled, he instructed the pilot to take off again, with a southeast course to Mexico City.
He made all the crew members barricade themselves in the cockpit and then jumped from the plane. But the five planes, including two fighter aircrafts, discreetly tailing the plane never saw him jump nor detected any other aircraft in the vicinity that he could have aided in his quick getaway. Thus, the bigger question that has remained till date is how did he manage to literally disappear into thin air and where is he.
The serial numbers on the bills given to Cooper as the ransom money were shared by the FBI with businesses that carry out big cash transactions, like racetracks, casinos, banks etc. They also distributed the information to law enforcement agencies worldwide but apparently Cooper never used the money.
In 1980, three packets of the ransom cash were discovered in the sandy riverbank of Columbia rivers. Even though the FBI had nagging doubts that Cooper didn't survive his miscalculated jump in the stormy, cloudy darkness that night, the discovery sparked new speculations that perhaps he did manage to safely land. It was theorized that maybe he lost the discovered cash during his mid-air journey or could have dumped the entire amount in the river after he realized that as the FBI has the serial numbers of the bill, he will never be able to use it. But the larger portion of the ransom money has not been found to date and neither has any trace of Cooper, or whatever his real name was, has turned up.
Though the FBI closed the unsolved case in 2016, it continues to be a sensation that has branched off into multiple conspiracy theories and is a favourite in pop culture depictions, namely the recently released HBO Max documentary The Mystery of D.B. Cooper.
How is the case connected to Loki?
You see, in this alternate timeline, Loki never reformed himself like he did in the original reality. He was never apprehended by the Avengers and taken back to Asgard. In their attempts to get all the Infinity Stones, the Avengers unknowingly let Loki get his hands on the Tesseract, following which he wasted no time to escape. By the looks of the Loki trailer for the Disney+ series, in the alternate timline, he continued causing mayhem with his notorious schemes and also kept up his plans to exact revenge on his brother Thor.
In the latter half of the trailer, we see a glimpse of an empty Boeing aeroplane with Loki sitting in it with a smug smile on his face. What tips us from the get-go that the series is adding the real-life case of D.B. Cooper to its story is the Asgardian Prince's appearance itself. He has got the same slick-backed hair, the black shades with his all-black business suit attire, and above all the mother-of-pearl tie clip worn by Cooper, the few pieces of evidence the FBI had that connected to the mysterious hijacker.
There is also a brief scene wherein two lone figures are seen, through the window's plane which is parked on a runway, holding a bag while being flanked by police cars in front of them. That bag is obviously carrying the ransom amount of $200,000 and the parachutes.
After the plane is airborne again, Loki takes the much-debated mid-air dive, with nefarious plans on how to use his newfound wealth to wreak havoc on his brother. But just as he is making his victorious journey back to the ground, after successfully duping the humans he detests so much, Bifrost (probably used by Heimdall) suddenly whisks him away, leaving behind a few notes floating through the air. This is Marvel's way of answering how Cooper was never detected by the aircrafts and also probably an explanation of the bills found in the river years after the hijacking.
Well, at least in the fictional version of the heist, we will know what happened to the elusive D.B Cooper. If we weren't already on our toes for the Disney+ series Loki, we are so there now! You can check out the trailer of Disney+ series, Loki, here.