During the past several weeks aircraft have been flying low and slow circling over Quincy, Massachusetts. However, no one knows why. No one except the federal government, that is, and they are not divulging any details about the recent aerial activity.
However, the recent activity has local residents concerned if their safety is at risk. Has the government heightened its domestic aerial surveillance and if so, why over Quincy, MA specifically? Unfortunately, the few facts derived from eyewitness accounts leave more questions than answers.
The aircraft have been flying nearly every night for the past few weeks except on nights when it has been extremely cloudy or rainy. It has been reported by witnesses that the aircraft begin their flights around dusk and continue throughout the night until dawn.
All the while the aircraft steadily loop from one end of the area to the other. However, no one is saying why.
Local officials, such as the City Councilman and the Mayor, are in the dark as to what is going. Both men state when they posed their questions to the FAA the only answers they received in return was, “I can’t tell you that.” (1) So it seems the FAA is well aware, but is being tight-lipped.
Just What Is Flying Overhead?
There have been some theories that have been proposed and rejected since the flying began.
It has been questioned whether the aircraft were drones being flown over the city. However, an unnamed source confided to the local CBS affiliate that the aircraft were not unmanned drones. Furthermore, FAA spokesman Jim Peters stated:
“It’s not a drone. It’s an authorized flight and we are aware of it. (3)
Also, later eyewitness accounts describe the aircraft as Cessna single-engine airplanes. These sightings somewhat quelled fears that drones were being used, but still raised a number of other questions; two of which are who is flying the planes and why?
The use of the Cessna gives a few more details about the covert operation. One plane does not carry enough fuel to be able to fly all night. Therefore, there is apparently more than one plane and they are flying over the area in shifts.
Eyewitnesses have seen at least two different planes so far. Jennifer Azevedo-Andre told Boston.com:
“There’s definitely more than one plane. The one we could get a picture of. The other one has a dark blue belly.” (2)
Also, these types of planes cannot carry many passengers or much equipment. Lightly (but technically) equipped and lightly manned are earmarks of some sort of surveillance.
Not only that, Cessna is quite boastful about the effectiveness of the plane’s surveillance capabilities.
“Law enforcement customers all over the world use the Cessna ISR for accurate aerial surveillance, intelligence gathering, and discrete communication. Cessna can install a range of special equipment to fit the requirements of your intended mission.” (4)
Also circling over cities in Cessna’s is a favored method of the FBI. Wired.com describes a Cessna flying circles over Lodi, CA, Indianapolis, IN and another over Arlington, VA. (5) All of which appeared to have been involved in FBI surveillance.
Monitoring Illegal Activity
Though the planes are a concern for the people of Quincy, MA, it would appear that the FBI has gotten wind of some sort of illegal activity in the area and is monitoring the situation through the use of these equipped Cessna’s.
What that illegal activity entails or its location remains a mystery.
However, one would think that the FBI could find a less conspicuous method of surveillance and intelligence gathering than loud Cessnas that gain the attention of media and local residents.