On the day before Thanksgiving, November 24, 1971, an unremarkable middle-aged man bought a plane ticket under the name Dan Cooper, paid with cash, and boarded the Boeing 727 for a short afternoon flight from Portland to Seattle.
He sat by himself in the back row of Northwest Orient Flight 305.
He ordered a bourbon and soda, and slipped a note to flight attendant Florence Schaffner shortly after takeoff.
Schaffner assumed it was just another passenger slipping her his phone number and slipped it into her pocket. Cooper urged her to read it.
On the note, Cooper had written, “Miss, I have a bomb here. I want you to sit by me.”