Skyjacking: The Landing

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Skyjacking: The Landing

After a dizzying and bone-chilling fall from the plane he had just skyjacked, Walt crash-landed into a dead tree. He immediately felt pain in his leg; likely a broken bone. Walt couldn’t take his shoe off because he knew the swelling would keep him from being able to put it on again, so instead he started limping toward the last sign of civilization he saw during his jump.

Before leaving his landing zone, Walt had removed the parachute, stuffed it back into the backpack, and covered it with branches. He took off his overcoat, in spite of freezing rain and wind, and wrapped it around the bank bag, using his belt to keep it all in a bundle. He must have made a conspicuous sight that night with his limping gait, windburnt face, and overcoat tucked under one arm.

After walking for about a half hour, Walt arrived at a small restaurant known as the Teanaway Junction Cafe. Inside, he took a seat near a man who he referred to as “cowboy.”  Years later, Walt would remember Cowboy as a big guy wearing western garb and holding a guitar. The man drove a dump truck and told Walter he was on his way to a music “gig.”

Walter made a phone call to his friend Don and told Don in as few words as possible that he needed a ride. Walt asked Cowboy if he would be willing to give his friend directions over the phone, because Walt hardly knew where he had ended up. Cowboy obliged, and Walt paid for his coffee as a thank-you. That was the very first thing Walt bought with his new $200,000 in savings, and it wouldn’t be the last.


Ready to dive deeper? Purchase the memoir D.B. Cooper & Me here.
See the evidence for yourself - watch the documentary "D.B. Cooper: The Real Story" here.

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