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.
Watch more from this series:
The Hackers Searching for Missing Children
Solving a 30-Year-Old Murder Mystery Using the Internet
The Gamer Who Flew “Killer Drones” for the US Army
Click here to subscribe to VICE:bit.ly/Subscribe-to-VICE
The Definitive Guide To Enlightening Information. From every corner of the planet, our immersive, caustic, ground-breaking and often bizarre stories have changed the way people think about culture, crime, art, parties, fashion, protest, the internet and other subjects that don’t even have names yet. Browse the growing library and discover corners of the world you never knew existed. Welcome to VICE.
Connect with VICE:
Check out our full video catalog:
Videos, daily editorial and more: vice.com
More videos from the VICE network: www.fb.com/vicevideo
Click here to get the best of VICE daily: bit.ly/1SquZ6v
Like VICE on Facebook: fb.com/vice
Follow VICE on Twitter: twitter.com/vice
Follow us on Instagram: instagram.com/vice
The VICE YouTube Network:
VICE News: www.youtube.com/VICENews
VICE Sports: www.youtube.com/NOC