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Cooper's Parachute Enhances Note Values
March 26, 2008

Coincidences make news a fascinating business. In the March Bank Note Reporter and elsewhere we reported that PCGS Currency had certified two dozen $20 Federal Reserve Notes that had been part of the $200,000 ransom money given to D.B. Cooper in 1971.

Cooper was a plane hijacker who parachuted out of 727 in the Pacific Northwest and was never heard from again.

Did he get away? Did he die from trying to parachute from such a high altitude? These questions have been festering for nearly 40 years.

Now look at the news this morning. The Cooper parachute may have been found in Washington State. It is a coincidence, but what an extraordinary one it is.

Slab ransom money. Discover parachute a few short weeks later. The two events make a fascinating coincidence. The coincidence undoubtedly enhances the value of the notes. By how much, I will be curious to discover.

I also expect we will learn more as time goes on about the hijacking itself and whether the parachute really was Cooper's, but PCGS Currency certainly was very lucky in its timing. Congratulations on a PR coup.

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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