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Government spy planes over Baltimore

Government spy planes over Baltimore
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

These days, it seems like you can find out nearly anything on the Internet. And even if you can't find it, now you can just ask on social media and chances are pretty good that someone will have your answer. Here is an incredible example.

In the days just after the Baltimore riots, resident Benjamin Shayne was in his backyard and noticed a small plane loitering above his neighborhood. As the sunlight faded, it was difficult to identify the suspicious aircraft. On a whim, he turned to Twitter to ask if any one of his followers knew about the airplane.

Here's his tweet. It reads, "Anyone know who has been flying the light plane in circles above the city for the last few nights?"

Scan Baltimore Tweet

Here was the first surprise. Within minutes, his Twitter feed answered the question with more detail that he could have imagined. He had the exact aircraft model, registration number, owner's name and even a map of the airplane's flight path.

N539MY Cessna Flight Path

Super imposed over a map of his neighborhood was a scribble of green lines tracing the route of the single engine Cessna airplane he had spotted from his back yard. But that was just the beginning of the surprises. It turns out that with the right app or website, anyone can identify nearly any plane either overhead or even anywhere in U.S. airspace. But what this plane was doing over Baltimore is raising a lot of eyebrows.

Next page: The citizen detectives identify the spy flights
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