The D.B. Cooper Saga

The D.B. Cooper Saga

The D.B. Cooper Saga is our working title for a series of contemporary radio dramas by Dan Wyatt, Jr. concerning a man known only as "D.B. Cooper" who is, simply put, a legend here in the Pacific Northwest, right up there with UFOs, Sasquatch, and Mount St. Helens.

The story begins Thanksgiving Eve, 1971. Drama aboard Northwest Orient #305, a passenger airliner outbound from Portland, Oregon, heading for Seattle, Washington. An unremarkable man, wearing business attire, a black overcoat, dark sunglasses, and carrying a briefcase tells one of the flight attendants he has a bomb. He demands $200,000 and four parachutes for the thirty six passengers and six crew personnel he holds hostage when the airplane lands in Seattle.

His demands met, the man, now identified as "D.B. Cooper," releases the passengers and some of the crew. He instructs the airplane to fly low and slow toward Mexico. Somewhere over Southwest Washington, Cooper allegedly jumped from the airplane's rear staircase, with his briefcase, and the money. A few bundles of eroded twenty dollar bills were found years later. Otherwise, nothing. Cooper disappeared that Thanksgiving eve, and has never been found or properly identified. His exploit is legendary. The only unsolved case of air piracy in American aviation history.

This unsolved history has haunted Dan Wyatt, Jr. for years. You might say it is in his DNA. While Cooper sat aboard the hijacked jet airliner on the Seattle tarmac, waiting for his money and parachutes, a young woman sat in the terminal, her flight grounded by the evolving drama. She was bound for Texas to see her fiance. The couple eventually married and moved to Vancouver, Washington. Dan was their first male child.

Wyatt, the owner and general manager of the historic Kiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver, Washington, used historical research, interviews, creativity, and imagination in crafting three (counting) contemporary radio dramas, each focusing on a different but overlapping look at D.B. Cooper who emerges as a real person, with apparent motives, certainly a lot of conviction. The authenticity of the facts revealed and the event portrayed in our look at Cooper's exploit was verified by a former FBI clerk with connections to the Cooper case.

The Skyjacker

The Skyjacker poster 2020
25 November 2020

Re-Imagined Radio presented a radio performance of The Skyjacker by community actors and volunteers. Broadcast and streamed by KXRW.FM (Vancouver, Washington), KXRY.FM (XRAY.FM, Portland, Oregon), and AM 1310 (Portland, Oregon).

The Skyjacker is the third radio drama by Dan Wyatt, Jr. focusing on D. B. Cooper, the mysterious man who parachuted from a hijacked passenger jet airliner over Southwest Washington with $200,000 in cash. His first, Skyjacker '71: The D.B. Cooper Transmissions, 21 November 2018, focused on the radio communications surrounding the unfolding hijacking. The second, In Flight with D.B. Cooper, 27 November 2019, considered what D.B. and flight attendant Tina Mucklow might have talked about before Cooper parachuted into legend. The Skyjacker features highlights from both these earlier performances.

Listen

This performance was recorded for radio broadcast.

Credits

Cast
Rob Bertrand = DB Cooper and J Edgar Hoover
Arianna Dorenbosch = Tina Mucklow, Janis Beslow, and Rose Ann Coffey
John Barber = Agent Ralph Himmelsbach
Laine Keniston = Florence Schaffner, Perry (Chief), Drive up waitress
Ryan McWayne = Al Lee, Billy Mitchell, Scotty, Dennis Lysne
Alex Lowe = Agent Milnes, Agent Campbell, Julius, and Announcer
Mark Barry = Frank Faist and Mr. Pallert
Dan Wyatt = assorted passengers
Greg Shilling = Captain William A. Scott
Anne McEnerny-Ogle = Vi Beslow
Barbara Richardson = TV reporter

Writer and Director
Dan Wyatt, Jr.

Audio Recording
Wager Audio

Sound Design
John Barber

Post Production
Martin John Gallagher

Broadcast Services
KXRW, Vancouver, Washington

Social Media and Graphic Design
Holly Slocum

Producer
John Barber

Press & Feedback
The Skyjacker 2020

Re-Imagined Radio, The Skyjacker. KXRY Radio archival webpage. Provides opportunity to listen to broadcast.

"Chuck and I both enjoyed listening to the DB Cooper show tonight. It reminded me of my childhood when Mom listened to old radio serials (The Shadow, Lone Ranger, etc.) as she got dinner ready and I kept her company in the kitchen. THE SKYJACKER was quite creative—I loved all the great sound effects. The story was pretty good too. It got me thinking that DB might've gotten sucked out quickly when the escape door opened and perhaps he bonked his head fatally on the way out of the low-flying jet. . . . At any rate, kudos to you and the rest of the folks who provided a nice and entertaining diversion this Thanksgiving Eve. I am sure a lot of hard work was involved, yet your team made it seem easy."
— Sue Q., Portland, Oregon

"Thank you and your cast so much for putting this together! Re-Imagined Radio is always such a treat."
— Kathlen Z., Vancouver, Washington

"I listened to the entire performance. It is fantastic! I am so excited to share this with the community on Wednesday. You and Marty did a fantastic job of pulling all of the pieces together. I know the level of work that went into what you coordinated and it is no less a miracle of activity. Nice job! The actors were fantastic and listening, I really felt like I was on the plane with DB and the stewardess. I submitted the file for broadcast to XRAY this afternoon and my wife Sara and I are looking forward to listening in our living room on Wednesday evening."
— Joe C., Vancouver, Washington

The Skyjacker poster 2020

In Flight, D.B. Cooper

In Flight with D.B. Cooper 2019 poster
27 November 2019

Re-Imagined Radio presented a live performance of In Flight with D.B. Cooper by Metropolitan Performing Arts actors and other community volunteers at Kiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver, Washington. Audience count: 150. Streamed live on KXRW-FM, Vancouver's community radio.

Before he parachuted from the back of the low-flying passenger jet into a dark and story night and history over Southwest Washington with $200,000 strapped to his body, D. B. Cooper was alone in the economy section. The only person he talked with was Tina Mucklow, a flight attendant aboard Northwest Orient flight 305. Mucklow was twenty-something. Cooper was a middle-aged man with a bomb in a briefcase. What did they talk about?

This contemporary radio drama, written by Dan Wyatt, Jr., imagined conversations between Cooper and Mucklow while while aboard the hijacked jet airliner, Thanksgiving eve, 1971. We also speculated about one of the many mysteries still lingering around the only unsolved case of air piracy in American aviation history.

Listen

This performance was recorded live.

Credits

Cast
Announcer = John Barber
Captain William Scott = Greg Shilling
Florence Schaffner = Meliss Matteo
Seat Stealing Passenger = John Barber
Unruly Passenger = Greg Schilling
Billy Mitchell = Greg Schilling
D. B. Cooper = Dan Wyatt, Jr.
Tina Mucklow = Arianna Dorenbosch

Writer and Director
Dan Wyatt, Jr.

Foley Artist
Dean Lyon

Promotional Graphics
Laura Evancich
Dan Wyatt, Jr.

Press & Feedback

Hewitt, Scott. Kiggins To Host A CooperCon, New Radio Play about the Historic Crime. The Columbian, 21 Nov. 2019.
D. B. Cooper Story Returns to Vancouver. Clark County Today.com, 19 Nov. 2019.

Skyjacker '71

Skyjacker '71: The D.B. Cooper Transmissions
21 November 2018

Re-Imagined Radio presented a live performance of Skyjacker '71: The D.B. Cooper Transmissions by Metropolitan Performing Arts actors and other community volunteers at Kiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver, Washington. Audience count: 298. Streamed live on KXRW-FM, Vancouver's community radio.

D. B. Cooper's legendary status in Southwestern Washington has broad reach. His hijacking of Flight 305, enroute from Portland to Seattle, is the only unsolved air piracy case in America. His exploit is celebrated in movies, television, song, and now, radio. Neither endorsing or condemning Cooper, we explored the many communications between multiple agencies and individuals as they attempted to resolve a tense situation, keep citizens safe and informed, and uphold the law.

Listen

This performance was recorded live.

Credits

Cast
Anne McErney-Ogle = Drive Up Server, Vi Beslow, and Tina Mucklow
John Barber = Ralph Himmelsbach
John Oberg = Radio Dispatch, Al Lee, Dennis, Gordon Embree, and Earl Cosley
Mark Martin = Lou and J. Edgar Hoover
Larry Taylor = Scotty, Reporter One, Flight Operator, and Agent Campbell
Barbara Richardson = TV Reporter, Minneapolis Agent, and Interviewer
Nick D’Ettore = Julius, Richard Nixon, Boeing Official, and D.B. Cooper
Greg Shilling = Captain WIilliam A. Scott, Professor Otto Larsen, and Frank Faist
Arianna Dorenbosch = Florence, Janis Beslow, and Reeporter Two
Steve Becker = Agent, Seattle Attorney, and Sheriff Gene Cotton
Joey Yourcheck = Boeing Engineer and Bystander

Promotional Graphics
Dan Wyatt, Jr.

Press & Feedback
Skyjacker '71: The D.B. Cooper Transmissions

Hewitt, Scott. "Riddle on the Radio." The Columbian, 17 Nov. 2018, pp. D1, D2.
Hewitt, Scott. Unsolved mystery of D.B. Cooper comes to the Kiggins stage. The Columbian, 17 Nov. 2018.
Vondersmith, Jason. D.B. Cooper Radio. Bits & Pieces. Portland Tribune, 20 Nov. 2018.