Man's Quest for DB Cooper's Parachute Almost Kills Him

Former Navy SEAL Matt L'Hommedieu found himself in a 'dire situation'
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 11, 2015 11:22 AM CDT
Man's Quest for DB Cooper's Parachute Almost Kills Him
This undated artist's sketch provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows a rendering of the skyjacker known as 'Dan Cooper' and 'D.B. Cooper.'   (AP Photo/FBI, File)

DB Cooper infamously parachuted out of a plane and into legend in 1971. He hijacked a Boeing 727 en route to Seattle from Portland, was handed $200,000 in cash after its arrival there, took off with just the crew on a path toward Mexico, and vanished, most likely while the plane was over Washington State. KGW last year noted most believe he couldn't have survived the jump (the plane was traveling in air that was −70° F); yesterday KGW reported that a man on a quest to find the hijacker's parachute almost didn't make it either. Former Navy SEAL Matt L'Hommedieu set off for the Columbia River Gorge one week ago, intending to meet up with a friend and hunt for the clue in the Cooper mystery.

But while headed toward the designated search area, he lost control of his motorbike on a "blind corner" and was hurled into a creek—40 feet below the remote road he had been traversing. The Washington state man frames it as a "dire situation." Though he was able to get out of the water, he was riddled with injuries: broken leg, arm, ribs, and a collapsed lung. The 46-year-old MacGyvered a splint out of sticks, shoelaces, and his iPhone charging cord; the Oregonian reports he tried to ward off the cold by building a fire, but failed to get one going. He spent 24 hours stranded until a pair of hikers on Friday afternoon noticed the bike they previously saw on the side of the road hadn't moved, and decided to investigate, leading to his ultimate rescue. As of yesterday L'Hommedieu was still in the hospital. (More DB Cooper stories.)

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