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DB Cooper sleuth claims hijacker was CIA operative,FBI is 'flat-out lying' about case
The leader of the private investigative team who has spent years
trying to crack the D.B. Cooper hijacking case claimed Thursday
he believes the mysterious criminal was a CIA operative whose
identity has been covered up by federal agents.
Thomas Colbert, a documentary filmmaker who helped put together
the 40-member team, told the Seattle PI his team made the
connection from work a code breaker uncovered in each of the
five letters allegedly sent by Cooper.
Last month, he insisted in an interview with the PI that a nine-
digit number found at the bottom of a letter believed to be sent
by the mysterious plane hijacker came from a San Diego man who
is still alive -- Robert Rackstraw, an Army veteran.
"The new decryptions include a dare to agents, directives to
apparent partners, and a startling claim that is followed by
Rackstraw's own initials: If captured, he expects a get-out-of-
jail card from a federal spy agency," Colbert said in a news
The code in question was discovered on the bottom of a fifth
letter allegedly sent by Cooper after he hijacked a Northwest
Orient Boeing 727 on Nov. 24, 1971.
Colbert said several people who knew Rackstraw have come forward
to claim he had possible connections to the CIA and other top-
The investigator told the newspaper the man who sent the letter
may have put the code into the letter to signal to possible co-
conspirators that he was alive.
The FBI released the fifth letter in November in response to a
Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, which featured the typed
number “717171684” opposite the name “Wash Post” in the bottom
left corner. Colbert’s team appeared to have linked the number
An investigator with Colbert's team claims that in the four
other previously released documents, the letters "SWS" appear in
one letter, which is short for "Special Warfare School." He also
said Cooper claimed to be working for the CIA in another
document where the letters "RWR," standing for Robert W.
Other evidence he complied shows the FBI tried keep the case
“As we suspected, records show the Bureau has been stonewalling,
covering up evidence and flat-out lying for decades,” he told
Since last January, the FBI has released more than 3,000
documents to Colbert's team investigating the hijacking. The FBI
said in court papers that it has more than 71,000 documents that
may be responsive to Colbert’s lawsuit.
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