A Brief History of Airplane Hijackings, From the Cold War to D.B. Cooper

Though many Americans may associate airport security with 9/11, it was a wave of hijackings in the late 1960s and early 1970s that laid the foundation for today’s airport security protocols.

During that period, a hijacking occurred, on average, once every five days globally. The United States dealt with its own spate of mile-high crimes, convincing reluctant government officials and airport executives to adopt the first important airport security protocols.

Hijacker D.B. Cooper—the subject of the new Netflix docuseries “D.B. Cooper: Where Are You?!”—emerged as something of a folk hero during this era. While other more violent hijackings might have played a bigger role in prompting early airport security measures, it was the saga of Cooper that captured the imagination of the American public—and helped transform the perception of the overall threat hijackings posed to U.S. air travel and national security.

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Author: HP McLovincraft

Seeker of rabbit holes. Pessimist. Libertine. Contrarian. Your huckleberry. Possibly true tales of sanity-blasting horror also known as abject reality. Prepare yourself. Veteran of a thousand psychic wars. I have seen the fnords. Deplatformed on Tumblr and Twitter.

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