FBI Sky Spies Weekly Update [Aug 18 – 24]

FBI Sky Spies Weekly Update [Aug 18 – 24]

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The FBI flew surveillance aircraft at least 93 times in the seven day period between August 18th and the 24th. Out of the entire fleet of 100 aircraft, 39 were flown above cities of varying size, and on several occasions over nature preserves, college campuses and even amusement parks. The Twin Cities were surveilled, or at least circled by one aircraft which flew a surprisingly large circle around the entire metro that reached all the way to Somerset, Wisconsin.

The Post has been conducting these weekly audits for several weeks now, and this author, after exposing the entire operation on May 26th of this year, has been keeping track of the activity of these aircraft. The numbers fluctuate week by week, and the “late summer lull,” or 75% drop in recent activity, appears to be over.

Speculation was abound about the reason for the drop, including that the data may have been censored by the aircraft operators by requesting data blocks through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This no longer seems to be the case, or if censorship is taking place, it is being done very gradually as to not alert researchers and the public. We will continue to report these audits to raise awareness of this program until it is no longer possible.

As a part of the mission to educate the public, Freedom of Information Act requests about the nature of this surveillance program, private partners of the Government and more information have been submitted. That includes data requests from the FAA seeking instances in which the Administration has received requests to block flight tracking data.

Major, minor, and rural population centers were targeted from the 18th – 24th of August. The usual large cities: Dallas, TX; San Diego (and El Cajon), CA; Trenton, NJ; Seattle, WA; Houston, TX; New York City, NY; Long Beach, CA; San Francisco, CA; Phoenix, AZ; and Atlanta, GA were circled and spied upon by these aircraft.

Smaller targets included the seemingly always surveilled locations outside of Washington D.C. such as Burke, VA; Alexandria, VA; Annandale, VA; and Chantilly, VA, to name a few. Areas outside of Denver, CO have seen much activity lately such as Greeley, CO; and rural areas to the Southeast of Denver.

Tracy, CA; Lansdale outside of Philadelphia; Springboro, south of Dayton, OH; Lowell, MA (home of UMass Lowell Campus); Arcadia, FL; the Reisterstown / Finkburg / Westminster areas outside Baltimore, MD; numerous locations to the west of Chicago, IL were circled and overflown including St. Charles; east of Sycamore; Dupage County Airport; and other more sparsely populated areas.

Some interesting highlights from the last week include: Universal amusement centers in Orlando, FL; just north of the University of South Florida campus outside Tampa and surrounding wilderness areas; locations west of Boca Raton including an Everglades wilderness area; and one giant circle of the Twin Cities metropolitan area in Minnesota.

Check to see the other areas not mentioned above and dive into the trove of flight tracking data yourself by visiting our FBI flight data gallery and by exploring the current tracking information.

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