The idea of accomplices on the ground is new to me but would help explain how he escaped. I always wondered if DB Cooper survived the jump how he would have avoided perishing in the woods. It seems a bit strange that someone would hijack a plane, demand money, and skydive out into the night for really no reason at all. The money has never been used, and only a bit has been found - in rather mysterious circumstances that suggest to me it was deliberately planted.
One of the most fascinating cases of all. Up there with Brad Bishop for me.
Tim Wright, the main researcher into this mysterious case suggests in the podcast that he knows there was a third person on the flight and he knows their identity, although he won't divulge it. He suggests they are still alive and that the Congolese national, John Mikel Mutantu, who disappeared with Padilla is currently in a jail in Kinshasa, where Padilla has also been sighted. What the FBI don't seem to have realised is that John Mikel Mutantu was more than just a labourer, he was a competent flight engineer and could ably assisted in this plane disappearing, he was in fact more competent at flying than Padilla was.