By Tim Binnall
A D.B. Cooper researcher who believes that evidence from the legendary skyjacking case might still be hidden somewhere in the wilderness of Washington state conducted a dig this past weekend in search of new clues to the nearly five-decade-old mystery. According to a local media report, crime historian Eric Ullis spent Saturday and Sunday scouring a patch of land on the shore of the Columbia River for materials that may have been left behind by the still-unidentified individual behind the infamous caper. Known as the Tena Bar, this particular spot has long intrigued Cooper researchers as it was where $6,000 from the 1971 heist was discovered by a young boy back in 1980.
At the time of the remarkable find, the FBI purportedly searched the Tena Bar location for any additional evidence from the case, but only recovered a few additional scraps of the ill-gotten loot. However, Ullis believes that their investigation into the location may have been too narrowly focused on the spot where the money was discovered, causing them to miss other nearby areas of interest. To that end, the crime historian suspects that Cooper not only buried some of the money at the Tena Bar, but also stashed his parachutes and the attache case that he carried aboard the plane that fateful day.
As such, Ullis and a team of volunteers ventured to the location this weekend with their eyes on a specific spot on the beach, located approximately 20 to 50 feet away from where the money was found, where he believes the skyjacker may have buried the other materials from the caper. The crime historian postulates that Cooper likely dug three small holes to hide the evidence, rather than one large pit, since the former endeavor would be easier for one man to accomplish, and that the FBI never located those additional buried materials. While it is uncertain, as of now, whether or not this past weekend's dig yielded the elusive clues, one can't help but hope that Ullis' theory might wind up leading to a breakthrough to the case that has perplexed researchers for almost 50 years.