Tuesday, June 2, 2015

FBI behind mysterious surveillance aircraft over US cities

The FBI is operating a small air force with scores of low-flying planes across the country carrying video and, at times, cellphone surveillance technology - all hidden behind fictitious companies that are fronts for the government, The Associated Press has learned. The planes' surveillance equipment is generally used without a judge's approval, and the FBI said the flights are used for specific, ongoing investigations. In a recent 30-day period, the agency flew above more than 30 cities in 11 states across the country, an AP review found.


Anonymous said...

If you go to http://www.flightaware.com and punch in the tail number of one of these aircraft you can find all sorts of interesting data. That data can be used to determine the most likely performance parameters for the imaging and ELINT systems aboard the aircraft. Most of these aircraft are not capable of flying in bad weather or getting up above it. Their imaging systems performance will severely degraded by the weather as well. The ELINT packages will work in weather extremes much worse than the aircraft will tolerate.

In good weather the imaging sensors can probably take still images with 1 inch or less resolution from 5,000-6,000 feet or more. I have worked with commercial airborne orthoimagery that was that good. It was expensive for me but it's not like the Feds are spending their money. If they have multi spectral cameras aboard they can determine things like soil or vegetation disturbances days and maybe even weeks afterwards. Plant you caches in the deep woods under tree canopies.

http://members.home.nl/7seas/radcalc.htm here is a web page where you can determine the maximum range of the planes sensors by calculating the distance of the radar and visual horizons from the aircraft's altitude. The electronics range will vary from the radars depending on the frequency of the signals being emanated or received. The higher the frequency the shorter the effective range.

I have yet to see what one of the mobile data downlink ground stations for these aircraft look like. I know they must exist because the aircraft lack any bulbish or round planar array antenna on top like the predator/reaper drones have which is a satellite uplink antenna. Such mobile ground stations would probably have several antenna for VHF radio to talk to the aircrew, and UHF or higher antenna's for the high speed air to ground digital down links. Hmmm... maybe a look-see at the FCC records to see if they registered any FCC licenses to the same fake front companies is in order. Then we can see if they actually bothered to encrypt the video feeds. It took them decades to correct that little blunder with the Predator video downlinks.

Joe said...

Slightly dated, but quite relevant.



( Note bogus, sloppy-hand painted, hack N-number )

Joe said...



Keep your eyes peeled for good old N515JW, ( Bell 407 )

Pictured here "working" Bundy Ranch:


Anonymous said...

Hoover, back from the dead.

skybill said...

Hi Mike,
Why bother with all the "Covert Crap!!!" Foomp!Foomp!Foomp!('Chopper noise!)a voice comes on the comm,"Put On PsyWar Ops, Make-It-LOUD!, Romeo Foxtrot, Shall-We-Dance!!!!".......

Got Gunz......OUTLAW!!?,

Anonymous said...


I am glad that you made it back. That is an epic trip. Regarding all those Cessna 182T models that they have under front companies.... If you check the FAA database with the tail numbers, the companies are registered as being in Loudon County. This is odd, as Bristow is in Prince William County.
The airport associated with many of these is Manassas Regional Airport. You can see it at: http://www.manassasairport.aero/
The Bristow post office is adjacent to the airport and can be seen at http://www.uspspostoffices.com/va/bristow/bristow
Of particular note is what is at the intersection of Virginia Rte 234 (just North of said airport) and University Blvd. I would take a guess and say that there are no coincidences.