Who is [SPOIILER]? Loki's historical alter ego is based on a real-life mystery

Tom Hiddleston as Loki
(Image credit: Disney/Marvel)

Warning: spoilers for Loki episode 1 ahead. Turn back now if you haven't seen the latest Marvel Phase 4 adventure!

The Loki premier lays a lot of groundwork for what's to come in the series, but it also gives us a glimpse into the past – specifically, the God of Mischief's past. 

At one point, we see a past version of Loki aboard a passenger plane with a bomb in his briefcase – Loki hijacks the plane before parachuting away with a large sum of money. But did you know that this scene references a real-life mystery that remains, to this day, one of the FBI's biggest unsolved cases?

Who is D.B. Cooper?

Tom Hiddleston in Loki

(Image credit: Disney)

In November 1971, a man who called himself Dan Cooper bought a one-way ticket and boarded a flight to Seattle, Washington from Portland, Oregon. So far, so normal, right? Well, if you've seen the first episode of Loki, you already know the answer is no.

After the plane took off, Cooper handed a note to one of the air stewards, saying that he had a bomb in his briefcase and he wanted her to sit with him. After showing her a mess of wires inside the case, he made her take a note to the plane's pilot demanding four parachutes and $200,000 in $20 bills. 

When the flight landed in Seattle, Cooper exchanged the plane's passengers for the money and parachutes and, keeping some of the crew on board, ordered the pilot to set a course to Mexico City. Then, somewhere between Seattle and Reno, Nevada, Cooper jumped out the back of the plane with a parachute and the money. He was never seen or heard from again, and his identity remains a mystery to this day.

And that's where the real-world mystery ends – though, maybe it really was Loki all along?

The Marvel show sees Tom Hiddleston reprise his role from the movies – after stealing the Tesseract in Avengers: Endgame, Loki is reprimanded by the Time Variance Authority, an organization tasked with monitoring the timeline of the universe and making sure nothing goes awry. Except, of course, "things going awry" is sort of Loki's specialty. 

Loki is now streaming on Disney Plus, with new episodes arriving weekly – check out our Loki release schedule to make sure you never miss an episode. 

Entertainment Writer

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections. I help bring you all the latest news and also the occasional feature too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.