Bellingcat, Narcoplanes, and More

A new post and a request for feedback

Greetings, dear followers, from the back offices of Line of Actual Control headquarters. I write today with two brief items for your consideration.

First, if you’ve enjoyed my posts so far, I recommend you also check out my latest publication in Bellingcat, this time with open source investigator par excellence Giancarlo Fiorella. If you like that, also take a look at Giancarlo’s semi-related piece, which examines flight tracking in Venezuela (it can be found here).

The gist of the piece is that Venezuela has been shooting down, destroying on the ground, or seizing numerous US-registered aircraft over the past year or so. They say most of the planes were involved in drug trafficking, although some were also allegedly downed for failing to file a flight plan with the government.

Meanwhile, plenty of US firms have been using, um, creative methods, such as trusts or limited liability companies, to legally register those planes in the US. I won’t go into more detail here, as you can check out the article for more; however, I do plan on sending out another blog post in the next week or so with some additional juicy details that didn’t make it into the main piece. So stay tuned!

My second item is a request for feedback.

Since starting this blog a year and a half ago, my posts have run the gamut. I’ve covered more “traditional” open source stories using satellite images and publicly available information, such as the time an Iron Dome missile misfired and almost blew up a university in Israel. I’ve done more technical posts, such as a recent one using Python to detect volcanoes in Indonesia. I’ve done some how-tos, such as a pair on how to use OpenSky’s API to hone your flight tracking skills. And finally, I’ve done some longform reporting on weird and niche stories like the Chinese armored vehicles that have been showing up in Mozambique.

My humble request to you all is….what would you like to see more of? More technical pieces, traditional open source stories, how-tos, or longform? Or are there other categories, tools, or areas I should explore that I haven’t even considered yet?

Either way, I’d love to hear what you think - I’m always, always, always hungry for feedback and extremely eager to hear what you’d like to read more of. Drop a comment below or respond to this email with any thoughts. Thanks!

Until next time,


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