John Wiseman is a planespotter. He spends his days tracking radio data from planes across the country, logging them and mapping their movements.
He’s noticed lots of weird things over the years, like military contractor planes dropping sterile fruit flies over LA as part of a fruit fly eradication program. When he heard rumours that planes circling over mass protests and riots in Baltimore were related to FBI surveillance, he began an intense research mission, collating seven billion raw aircraft transponder pings.
He found that certain transponder codes were being used by aircraft registered to front companies, many of which used PO boxes also used by the US Department of Justice. He put together a list of hundreds of suspected FBI planes, which the FBI eventually admitted were them. A massive FBI surveillance program was revealed – the planes circle locations all over the United States, spying on the people below and, in certain circumstances, mimicking cell phone towers to get digital data from the people below.