Is Robert Henry Rackstraw really plane hijacker DB Cooper? ...

For 45 years legendary hijacker DB Cooper has been a thorn in the side of the FBI.

His daring heist - which saw him parachuting out of a plane with the equivalent of $1.2million before vanishing - remains the only unsolved air piracy case in US history

But a group of amateur investigators believe 'Cooper' is actually Robert Henry Rackstraw, a 72-year-old Vietnam vet living in San Diego - and they're suing the FBI in order to prove it, Fox News reported. 

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Suspect: Could Robert Rackstraw (pictured in 1978, arrested for forgery, check-kiting and having illegal explosives) be legendary plane hijacker DB Cooper? Some believe so

Suspect: Could Robert Rackstraw (pictured in 1978, arrested for forgery, check-kiting and having illegal explosives) be legendary plane hijacker DB Cooper? Some believe so

Heist: Cooper (seen left in a police sketch) hijacked a plane in 1971, exchanged the passengers for $200,000, told the crew to fly to Mexico then parachuted out over Washington

Aged: Cooper was never found; right is how the FBI say he might look now. A team of investigators is now suing the FBI for its files on Cooper, hoping to prove he is Rackstraw

Aged: Cooper was never found; right is how the FBI say he might look now. A team of investigators is now suing the FBI for its files on Cooper, hoping to prove he is Rackstraw

The complaint, filed Thursday in US District Court in Washington by filmmaker Thomas Colbert, demands access to the Bureau's 45 years of files on DB Cooper. 

If he wins, Colbert his team of 40 sleuths - who include former FBI agents, criminologists, journalists and attorneys - may finally have what they need to prove their suspicions are correct. 

They say it was Rackstraw who stepped onto a Portland-Seattle flight on November 24, claiming to have a bomb, eventually exchanging the passengers for $200,000 and parachutes.

And it was Rackstraw, they claim, who ordered the crew to take off towards Mexico City, sent them into the front of the plane, and then opened the rear door and leaped out, clutching the money. 

'Dan Cooper' - identified in the press as 'DB Cooper,' the name that stuck for the next 45 years - was never seen again after diving into 200mph winds at 10,000 feet.

Nor was most of the money - although in 1979, $5,800 of it was found by a boy in the Washington woods that Cooper parachuted into. Whether the rest was lost to the elements is unknown.

It's an extraordinary crime to be accused of - but Rackstraw is no stranger to the extraordinary.

Vet: Rackstraw (seen in jail in 1979) fled to Iran in 1972 to avoid arrest for kiting checks; he taught the Shah's men how to fly choppers but was caught by the FBI on his return

Vet: Rackstraw (seen in jail in 1979) fled to Iran in 1972 to avoid arrest for kiting checks; he taught the Shah's men how to fly choppers but was caught by the FBI on his return

According to a History Channel documentary on the case, Rackstraw had an illustrious military career in Vietnam, being a pilot in the 1st Cavalry Division, one of the first major American air assault divisions.

It was there that Rackstraw learned to parachute, and was given two Distinguished Flying Crosses for his performance while in the air.

But he was kicked out after making Lieutenant when the army learned he was a high-school dropout, not the college graduate he'd claimed to be, and kicked him out. 

That, Colbert claims, gave Rackstraw the necessary skills and the rebellious motive to hit back at authority in the most spectacular way.

But Rackstraw's story doesn't end there. Not by a long shot. 

Stolen: This is the jet that Cooper hijacked. Rackstraw jumped bail in 1972 and faked his own death in a 'plane crash.' He was caught, and the FBI suspected he might be Cooper

Stolen: This is the jet that Cooper hijacked. Rackstraw jumped bail in 1972 and faked his own death in a 'plane crash.' He was caught, and the FBI suspected he might be Cooper

In 1972, one year after DB Cooper's spectacular heist, Rackstraw turned up in Stockton, California, where his sister lived, Recordnet.com reported. 

His mom and

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