WE BECOME FRIENDS
Ron and Pat Forman met Barbara Dayton in 1977 at Thun Field in Puyallup, WA. She was in her early 50's at the time and we were in our early 30's. We purchased the Cessna 140 that was parked in front of her Cessna 140, and we flew with Barb weekly.
After we had known her for about a year, she revealed to us that she had been born a man. Her name was Robert (Bobby) Dayton. She had the first gender reassignment surgery performed in Washington State in 1969,
Barb remained our close friend for over 20 years. For most of those years we flew our Cessna 140's side by side almost every weekend.
As a man Bobby had over 150 jobs, losing most for fighting. He was in the army and spent time in the merchant marines during the war.
Barb told us many amazing stories, including confessing that she was the infamous skyjacker, DB Cooper. At the time we had trouble believing all the fantastic stories, but after her death we've been able to find proof of all except one..Though we have compelling circumstantial evidence, we have not been able to prove conclusively that Barb was D B Cooper.
At the age of 4, Bobby began to feel that he was trapped in the wrong body. For his entire life as a male, he tried to suppress his feelings by becoming "the meanest man" alive. Yet people who knew him well recognized a tenderness that is more common to a female.
Trying to fit into society he married twice and had two children. He gave up the family he loved by succumbing to his inner feelings and having gender reassignment surgery in 1969. Little did he know that, given the chance, his family would have accepted him as Barbara.
The skyjacking was not done for the money. The reasons she gave for the skyjacking were losing a house because of back taxes, not being able to become a commercial pilot due to FAA rules, and not being able to fit into society even after going through the pain and suffering of the gender reassignment.
Bobby / Barbara spent her last years in self imposed seclusion in a sparsely furnished trailer in the deserts near Carson City, NV, She passed away due to natural causes at the age of 76.
To this day, the private pilots at Thun Field in Puyallup, WA discuss every article on D B Cooper that appears in the news. In the late 70s, Ron Forman and Barbara Dayton began flying together on weekends and were soon joined by a small group of other pilots. The group often flew together to airport restaurants for lunch. Usually Barb was rather quiet in these gatherings. She never seemed comfortable around even small groups of people. But when the subject of the skyjacking would come up, Barb would become quite animated, jumping to the defense of the skyjacker if a derogatory comment was made. After one of these tirades, Ron jokingly said. "I know. Barb is D B Cooper". If looks could kill, Ron would not be here today.
A few weeks later a young couple and Barb joined us at our house for coffee.The subject once again went to Cooper and Barb once again began defending the skyjacker. She started giving details of the jump that had not been reported in the news and correcting some that had been reported. We all sat in silence. Barb was talking with the passion and authorty of someone who had actually been there.
Barb finally noticed she was the only one talking and that everyone was staring at her in amazement. She flatly stated, "Ron guessed it a few weeks ago. I am D B Cooper."
We combed Barb's hair back, put sun glasses on her, and took a picture with our Poloroid camera. We placed the picture next to the sketch from the newspaper and watched it develop. We were all shocked to see the remarkable resemblance.
For years after, Barb continued to give us details about the jump. Many of these details were not reported in the news until after 2006 when a new investigation was instigated by FBI Special Agent Larry Carr.
We had taken Barb's story to the FBI shortly before and we were requested to submit items that had belonged to Barb so Barb's DNA could be compared with the DNA from the Raleigh cigarettes. We submitted a large folder of information and notes we had taken. The agent we spoke with in Tacoma seemed very interested and was going to send our information to Seattle. We never heard from the FBI again.
When the new investigation started up, we tried to contact the FBI again but they did not want to talk to us. According to eye witness accounts, Cooper was 5'10" to 6' tall with possibly brown eyes. Barb could not be considered a suspect because she was 5'8" with bluish-gray eyes.
A friend of ours was finally able to speak briefly with Larry Carr. He stated the FBI had no information from nor has ever spoken to the Formans. Apparently in the eyes of the FBI, we do not exist.
We have amassed a compelling amount of circumstantial evidence to prove Barbara Dayton was D B Cooper. It is reported in our book, The Legend of D B Cooper - Death By Natural Causes. Over time we will also add much of our proof to this web site. Please continue to check back occasionally.
Copyright 2013 Legend of D B Cooper - Death by Natural Causes. All rights reserved.