5 December 1956 – A Northrop XSM-62 Snark, 53-8172, N-69D test model, fitted with a new 24-hour stellar inertial guidance system, launches from Cape Canaveral Missile Test Annex, Florida. It wanders off-course, ignores destruct command, disappears over Brazil. It is found by a farmer in January 1983. The Day They Lost the Snark By J.
Norman C. Battaglia
Norman Battaglia was flying a T-33 on the night of November 24, 1971, when Flight 305 was hijacked by D.B Cooper. In the book “Skyjack: The Hunt for D.B. Cooper” by Geoffrey Gray, he discusses Battaglia’s role. “To the west, Norman Battaglia, a National Guard flight instructor is on a night training mission in a T-33 reconnaissance fighter plane. The training mission is canceled.
“We want you to tail and aircraft,” an Air Traffic Controller said.
“The one that’s hijacked?”
“That’s the one.””
Norman stayed three-quarters of a mile behind it. Tailing the plane was difficult as Flight 305 was flying at a reduced airspeed and changed course frequently. Due to frequency differences, Battaglia was unable to communicate with Flight 305. He tailed the plane until he ran low on fuel and needed to land.
D.B. Cooper parachuted from Flight 305 with $200,000 of ransom money and parachutes that he had demanded and was never heard from again. Some of the money was found near the Columbia River in 1980.
Sources: Skyjack: The Hunt for D.B. Cooper” by Geoffrey Gray; Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D._B._Cooper