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Win the Audiobook of Skyjack!

Skyjack Audiobook

It’s the unabridged audiobook of Skyjack: The Hunt for D. B. Cooper, by Geoffrey Gray and read by the author. It’s out on CD from Random House Audio. Here’s what they have to say for themselves:

November 24, 1971. A night that changed aviation history. It started in Portland, Oregon, when a man walked up to the flight counter of Northwest Orient Airlines. He was wearing a dark raincoat, dark suit with skinny black tie, and carrying an attaché case. He gave his name, Dan Cooper, and asked for a one-way ticket to Seattle, Flight 305. The ride was a 30-minute puddle jump. He sat in the last row of the plane, 18-C, lit a cigarette, and ordered a bourbon and soda. The plane took off and he passed the stewardess a note. It was printed in felt pen, all capital letters, elegantly formed. “I have a bomb in my briefcase. I want you to sit beside me,” it read. She did as he requested, then asked to see the bomb. She saw a tangle of wires, a battery, and six red sticks. Then he dictated some instructions: “I want $200,000 by 5:00 p.m. In cash. Put in a knapsack. I want two back parachutes and two front parachutes. When we land, I want a fuel truck ready to refuel. No funny stuff or I’ll do the job.” He let her get up to take the notes to the captain. When she got back, the man was wearing dark sunglasses.

The plane landed on the Sea-Tac tarmac. The airline staff then carried his ransom–$200,000 in $20 bills (the bundle weighed 21 pounds) and parachutes–onto the plane as it refueled. The gentleman hijacker started getting anxious. “It shouldn’t take this long,” he said, and told the captain to get the plane back in the air. Where to? “Mexico City,” he said, and delivered more specific flight instructions: Keep the plane under 10,000 feet, with wing flaps at fifteen degrees, which would put the plane’s speed under 200 knots. He strapped the loads of cash to himself and slipped on two chutes–one in front, one in back–and moved toward the aft stairs. The seal of the cabin broke. He climbed down the stairs and hovered on a plank over southwest Washington. The plane was too high to see anything below. Especially where D. B. Cooper jumped. More than thirty years later, and after countless investigations by the FBI, the Cooper file was a morgue of dead leads. Until now. . . . Reopening the investigation of one of the great unsolved crimes of the 20th century, Skyjack will recount the facts and folklore that will lead to the discovery of this legendary culprit.

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