Below is a continuation of the message from Griffin in the above quote
G. Edward Griffin said:So, what is the difference between a transponder signal and an ADS-B plane feed, and why are there two systems? As far as I can tell (I trust I will be soundly corrected if I am wrong, in which case I will pass along the correction), there are three differences.” (1) Transponders send out signals only when they are contacted by a radio request, while ADS-B is constantly broadcasting; (2) Transponders have a wide range of responses available depending on the nature of the request, while ADS-B transmits only one set of information; and (3) transponders are used in larger planes and commercial flights, not available to everyone, while ADS-B is a kind of poor-man’s system, available to anyone who wants to have the safety benefits of being electronically visible to other aircraft.
According to Commercial Aviation Safety, 4th Edition, “ADS-B uses satellite navigation and datalink to enable an aircraft to broadcast its identification, position, altitude, velocity, and intent to every other aircraft in the vicinity as well as to the ground tracking system. This broadcast information may be received and processed by other aircraft or ground systems for use in improved situational awareness….”
That is the source of flight data used by Plane Finder. Data used by Flight Explorer and Flight Aware apparently are derived from a composite of other sources. Flight Aware says: “FlightAware compiles, aggregates, and processes data from a variety of government sources, airlines, commercial data providers, as well as FlightAware proprietary tracking network.” It is possible that this aggregate includes ADS-B feeds, but I have not been able to find any mention of it.
The primary reason to be aware of this is that it takes some of the mystery out of the technology and makes the process less intimidating. The important thing to remember is that all three systems are locked into data that comes from conventional sources that exclude military or classified flight missions. Therefore, if there are such things as chemical tankers whose sole mission is to implement geo-engineering, they will not be tracked by any of these programs. Plane Finder has the advantage of being able to point an iPhone or Android camera at a specific aircraft and quickly identify it if it is in the system, whereas Flight Explorer and Flight Aware have the current advantage of being able to identify more planes. All of this leads to several challenges:
(1) If you look at the tracking screen of any of these programs and then try to locate them in the sky, you will never spot anything but a flight that is acknowledged by the system. In that event, do not be surprised if all of them show up as normal commercial flights.
(2) If you first spot planes in the sky and then try to locate them on the tracking screen (the preferred method for our purposes), they may not show up on the screen for up to five minutes or, possibly, not at all.
(3a) If not at all, and you are using Plane Finder, you have to determine if they are missing because they are private planes without ADS-B transmitters, your tracking program is not receiving ADS-B flight data in your area, or because the flight is blocked from the system. OR
(3b) If not at all, and you are using Flight Explorer or Flight Aware, you have to determine if they are missing because they are small, private planes without flight plans filed with the FAA, or because the flight is blocked from the system.
This may not be as difficult as it may seem at first. Knowing in advance that Plane Finder has areas with no coverage, the first step is to determine if your location is one of those. That can be done simply by looking at the tracking map and watching for a while. It soon will be evident that planes either are being tracked in your area or not. If any planes are being tracked in and out of your nearest major airport, probably all of them are, in which case you are set to go. If no planes are being tracked, simply choose another tracking program until you find one that shows the flights.
We have other issues that also need to be clarified in this project, but I want to get out this notice right away for the benefit of those who have been having trouble with Plane Finder. Another update will be sent in the near future.
To all of you helping in this investigation, I send my deepest gratitude.
G. Edward Griffin