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#32 Vietnam veteran claims he cracked a code to unmask DB Cooper

An Army veteran from Indiana has told how he used his code-breaking skills to decipher two letters and reveal what he claims is the real identity of infamous 1971 airplane hijacker DB Cooper.

Cooper became one of the 20th century's most compelling masterminds after he took over a Boeing 727 at Seattle-Tacoma airport in 1971 and held its crew and passengers hostage with a bomb.

Once his demand of $200,000 cash - the equivalent of $1.2 million today - was reached and transferred onto the plane, he had the crew take off before he parachuted over the dense Pacific Northwest woods and disappeared.

Rick Sherwood, 70, of Wheatfield, believes the hijacker was an ex-military pilot called Robert Rackstraw, who lives in California. He worked this out by cracking a series of code, he explained to the Indianapolis Star on Friday.

 The identity of DB Cooper (seen left in a FBI mock-up) has always been a mystery. But Army veteran Rick Sherwood believes he is a former military pilot from California named Robert Rackstraw (right, after being arrested for fraud and murder). He was cleared of the charges

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