Fifteen tattered $20 bills recovered from the infamous 1971 D.B. Cooper skyjacking are worth a lot more than that — selling for more than $37,000 at an auction.

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Fifteen tattered $20 bills recovered from the infamous 1971 D.B. Cooper skyjacking are worth a lot more than that — selling for more than $37,000 at an auction.

That figure announced Friday was two to three times higher than expected, according to Heritage Auction Galleries of Dallas.

Winning bidders paid about $6,500 each for two of the $20 bills. The money has the visible handwritten initials of investigators who examined the money when it was found buried in sand nine years after the skyjacking.

Cooper skyjacked a flight from Portland, Ore., to Seattle, claiming he had a bomb. He released the passengers at a Seattle airport for $200,000, four parachutes and a flight to Mexico.

On that flight, he jumped out with a parachute near the Oregon-Washington border and never was found.