One of America's greatest unsolved mysteries is explored in a new exhibit at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma. On August 24, 2013 the COOPER exhibit opened and will run through January 5, 2014. It incorporates never seen before artifacts, first-person accounts and FBI documents. They all help to recreate that day on November 24, 1971 when passenger "Dan Cooper" boarded Northwest Orient Flight 305 at Portland International Airport bound for Seattle and jumped into infamy. It also explores how Cooper's skyjacking of the plane changed the course of aviation design and passenger safety.
The exhibit, sponsored in part by The Oregonian in Portland, gives visitors the experience of air travel in the 1970s via a recreated Boeing 727 cabin and cockpit. It also incorporates the science of skydiving, forensics and commercial aircraft design. Along with interactive simulations and storyboards, the exhibit includes marked dollars from the $200,000 ransom payment; an ID plate from the original plane; and a 1957 Pioneer Parachute Company parachute -- one of four that was delivered as part of Cooper's demands.
Along with the exhibit, the museum will host an ongoing educational series on forensic science and history mysteries; interactive shows with a professional Cooper impersonator; and be a part of the fall symposium featuring Geoffrey Gray, bestselling author of Skyjack: The Hunt for D.B. Cooper. Dates will be released soon on those activities.
Jennifer Kilmer, director of the Washington State Historical Society, hopes the exhibit will give people a 360-degree view of the event and its enduring mystery and ramifications. "The story of Cooper is a complex and fascinating one," said Kilmer. "One with many political and cultural factors that played into the infamous skyjacking."
Getaway With COOPER Package | Hotel Murano | Tacoma
Hotel Murano, just a 12-minute walk from the Washington State History Museum, is offering a special package throughout the run of the COOPER exhibit. It includes:
- Overnight accommodations
- Complimentary parking and WiFi
- $40 hotel dining credit
- Two tickets to the COOPER exhibit
- Copy of Skyjack: The Hunt for D.B. Cooper by Geoffrey Gray
Hotel Murano's Getaway With Cooper package starts at $179 per night, plus tax, and may be booked online through January 5, 2014. To elevate the adventure, Hotel Murano is offering an optional indoor skydiving upgrade at iFly Indoor Skydiving, located 20 minutes from the hotel. Rates start at $130 for two for the simulated skydiving experience. The upgrade must be booked in advance by calling the hotel at 253.591.4142.