Say half in earnest, half in wondert, I reposted on Twitter the article introducing the Willem de Kooning stolen painting and the mystery of its discovery in the possession of a humble small town Arizona couple’s bedroom, provoking people to consider the picture of the couple (photographed therein) and the remarkable resemblance of the man to D.B. Cooper.
The 160M dollar painting “Woman in Ochre” was stolen on Thanksgiving 1985 by a couple who committed a genuinely high-risk heist in an art museum. The woman waylaid the guard with questions while the man went into the display room and cut the painting out. They sped off in a red sportscar.
The man was said to be about 54 years old. The woman was younger.
Go back in time to Thanksgiving (Eve) 1971. D.B. Cooper, said to be about 40 years old, makes the high risk heist of skyjacking Northwest Orient’s local milk run flight from Portland to Seattle. He extorts 200K from Northwest, takes off with the crew as the sole passenger and somewhere before Portland, as the airliner flew back south, jumps out of the plane and is never seen again.
Rumors persisted that at La Center, Washington, a small plane was seen days before the skyjacking to make landings in a field, answering the signals of the headlights of a car. Was this a rehearsal for escape? Did Cooper have an accomplice?
D. B. Cooper planned the skyjacking meticulously. He told the captain how to fly the plane with its flaps down at the right angle, and knew that of all airliners this one in particular had a rear door that could be opened in flight. From there he bailed out never to be seen again.
The couple who had the 160M de Kooning, Jerry Alter and Rita Alter, kept meticulous records. On their public school pay they had traveled around the world to 140 countries, and had about 1 million bucks in their bank account. They lived a quiet, private life, and never spoke much with the other residence of the small town.
Jerry Alter also looked remarkably like D.B. Cooper.
So what do you think? Do you think the link should at least be looked into?
* * *
Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.