Ariel, Oregon -- There’s the same face all over the walls of the Ariel store/bar in Washington state, just near the Oregon border, on the wild Columbia River. Drawings, photofits, but no photos. Man, mid-40s maybe, clean-shaven, receding hair. It is strangely unremarkable, something many people remark upon. It simply slides off the mind. Many, many people knew this face at one time, but today it’s largely forgotten. Save for here, where the man remains a hero, and dozens gather every year in the stranger’s garb -- trenchcoat, dark suit, white shirt, black tie, mother-of-pearl tie clip -- to celebrate his life. For the Ariel bar is hallowed ground, just about the closest place to the last place on earth that D.B. Cooper was seen, 43 years ago, in another time.
Rundle: the legend of D.B. Cooper
As he bids farewell to the States again, our correspondent-at-large offers the tale of one of a Thanksgiving mystery which changed the experience of being a plane passenger forever.