Amateur Sleuth Sues FBI Over DB Cooper's Clip-On Tie

Eric Ulis wants to find DNA, then enter it in ancestry databases
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2023 7:05 PM CST
Amateur Sleuth Sues FBI Over DB Cooper's Clip-On Tie
This undated artist's sketch provided by the FBI was made with the help of witnesses on the airliner hijacked by DB Cooper.   (AP Photo/FBI, File)

Eric Ulis said last fall that he thinks he knows the identity of DB Cooper, as the man who jumped out of a plane with $200,000 after a 1971 skyjacking is known, but he needs the FBI's cooperation to prove it. Ulis sued the FBI on Wednesday in federal court for access to the black clip-on tie that Cooper left behind on the airliner so he can take a DNA sample from it, KING reports. In 2009, scientists found patented particles on the tie that Ulis said suggest it was owned by Vince Petersen, an employee of a Pittsburgh company at the time who traveled to the Pacific Northwest, where Cooper jumped, for his job. The FBI, Ulis said, has declined his request to test the tie for DNA.

The Phoenix sleuth said a tie identical to Cooper's has a spindle sticking up from it that could contain DNA, per KOIN, which he would then put through an ancestry database. "That gives us the ability to take DB Cooper's DNA and sort of reverse engineer this and identify his family, nephews, nieces, people of that nature," Ulis said before filing the Freedom of Information suit. Although he lacks evidence implicating Petersen, amateurs like Ulis are the best hope to solve the mystery; the FBI closed its investigation in 2016. The agency would not comment on the lawsuit. (More DB Cooper stories.)

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