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New Evidence Suggests D.B. Cooper's Tie May Help Solve a 45-Year Mystery

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The unidentified hijacker known as D.B. Cooper leapt from a commercial flight in November 1971 with a parachute and $200,000 in ransom money after threatening passengers and crew with a bomb. He was never located, although that’s not quite the same as having disappeared: Cooper became a folk hero, with both the FBI and curious amateur investigators sifting through scarce evidence for well over 45 years.

Last July, the FBI officially closed the case, citing a lack of promising leads, but continued to solicit public information if that information was compelling. The invitation appears to be paying off: A team of scientists in Seattle has recently extracted some intriguing new clues from the clip-on tie Cooper left behind.

Tom Kaye, spokesperson for a group called Citizen Sleuths, told King5 News that an electron microscope has identified several rare earth materials on the tie, including Cerium, Strontium Sulfide, and pure titanium, a cluster of particles that individuals would only have been exposed to in 1971 in very specific lines of work.

One of those lines of work is aerospace, a major industry in the Northwest. Kaye believes it’s possible the elements would have been found at Boeing during work on a Super Sonic Transport plane in the 1960s and 1970s. If the man who became known as Cooper was employed at Boeing, his tie could have been collecting debris from the workplace.

“The tie went with him into these manufacturing environments, for sure,” Kaye told King5.com. “He was either an engineer or a manager in one of the plants.”

Kaye and his team have been working on the case since 2009. Various hypotheses have been put forward about Cooper’s identity, including one surprisingly sound argument that he (or she) was a woman in disguise. Kaye is inviting anyone familiar with Boeing in that time period, or familiar with the materials found on the tie, to come forward with any information that could further aid in the famed hijacker's identification.

[h/t King5.com]

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This Just In
Flights Grounded After World War II Bomb Discovered Near London City Airport
Dan Kitwood, Getty Images
Dan Kitwood, Getty Images

London City Airport grounded all flights on the night of February 11, after a World War II bomb was found in the neighboring River Thames, The Guardian reports.

The half-ton bomb was revealed Sunday morning by development work taking place at the King George V Dock. Following its discovery, police set up a 702-foot exclusion zone around the area, closing local roads and shutting down the London City Airport until further notice. According to the BBC, 261 trips were scheduled to fly in and out of London City Airport on Monday. Some flights are being rerouted to nearby airports, while others have been canceled altogether.

The airport will reopen as soon as the explosive device has been safely removed. For that to happen, the Met police must first wait for the river's tide to recede. Then, once the bomb is exposed, they can dislodge it from the riverbed and tow it to a controlled explosion site.

The docks of London’s East End were some of the most heavily bombed points in the city during World War II. Germany’s Blitz lasted 76 nights, and as the latest unexpected discovery shows, bombs that never detonated are still being cleaned up from parks and rivers more than 75 years later.

[h/t The Guardian]

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History
Why Amelia Earhart Is Remembered as One of History's Most Famous Female Pilots
Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Amelia Earhart was a legend even before she mysteriously disappeared in 1937 while flying around the world. But the aviator's fame wasn't entirely based on skill alone. As Vox explains, Earhart's reputation eclipsed that of several contemporaries who were equally—if not more—talented than “Lady Lindy." So why did Earhart's name go down in history books instead of theirs?

In addition to her talent and courage, Earhart’s international fame could be chalked up to ceaseless self-promotion and a strategic marriage. It all started in 1928, when socialite Amy Phipps Guest and publishing juggernaut George Putnam handpicked the then-amateur pilot to become the first woman to be flown in a plane across the Atlantic Ocean. Earhart wasn't involved with the actual flight process, but the trip still established her as the new female face of aviation (and introduced her to Putnam, her future husband).

After completing the transatlantic journey, Earhart’s profile rose sky-high as she gave public lectures, wrote an aviation column for Cosmopolitan magazine, performed stunts like flying solo across the Atlantic (a feat that was first achieved by Charles Lindbergh in 1927), and endorsed everything from cigarettes to designer luggage. Her celebrity was ultimately cemented with her marriage to Putnam, who orchestrated savvy promotional opportunities to keep his wife’s name in the paper.

Learn more about Earhart’s rise to fame by watching Vox’s video below.

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