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Plane Over Arizona Was Not Spying On the Arizona Recount

Maxim Sorokopud Maxim Sorokopud
11th May 2021
Plane Over Arizona Was Not Spying On the Arizona Recount
The police plane was investigating two stolen vehicles (Getty Images).

The Claim

The deep state is trying to alter the findings of the Arizona 2020 election recount by hovering up data in a spy plane.

Emerging story

On May 2nd, the conspiracy theory website Creative Destruction Media reported that multiple sources had informed them of government surveillance in Phoenix. Specifically, they stated that an aircraft had been circling over the location of the Arizona 2020 election recount audit in late April. This initial article has since gained over 63,000 views, according to the website’s own metrics. 

The following day other articles began appearing on conspiracy theory-oriented websites, with the sites claiming that the plane was using surveillance tools on behalf of the “deep state.” Other articles claimed that the plane that orbited the site of the election recount could, “vacuum up cell phone transmissions.” 

Social media posts of these claims then started spreading, with the posts gaining hundreds of interactions. 

A supporting image within the article body
A supporting image within the article body
A supporting image within the article body

Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar’s investigation has concluded that the activities of the plane under suspicion were unrelated to the Arizona election recount and that it could not have interfered with the recount. 

Most of the articles that post the flight paths of the plane show images of a flight over Phoenix on April 30th. The articles also claim that the plane in question is owned by the Phoenix Police Department. We spoke with Phoenix PD’s Public Information Sergeant Maggie Cox, who confirmed that the plane belongs to the department. She said that it was involved in two police investigations on the day in question, which were unrelated to the recount:

“The mission of the Phoenix Police Department Air Support Unit which includes the PC-12 plane [is] to support patrol and enable officers on the street [to] do their job more effectively,” she said. “The flight patterns of our PC12 on April 30th were related [to] two different police investigations. The first was a stolen vehicle call for service in the area of 4300 West Glendale Avenue IR#2021-669553 and the 2nd was a stolen vehicle and fugitive apprehension investigation in the area of 4800 West Thomas Road IR# 2021-668572.”

Cox also confirmed that a flight that took place on April 29th, which some sources have claimed was government spy activity, had no connection to the election audit. 

As for the claim that the plane could “vacuum up” cell phone transmissions, the sources link to a report in the U.S. military news source Stars and Stripes as evidence. However, the article that the sources link to does not state that the type of plane that flew over Phoenix, the PC-12, could intercept and steal cell phone transmissions. In fact, the article does not mention cellular phones or the surveillance of cellular data whatsoever. We also could find no evidence that the PC-12 can interfere with cell phone calls. 

Overall, the sources cannot provide any evidence that the plane that circled Phoenix was spying on the election recount taking place in the city. Additionally, the Phoenix Police Department has explained the true activities taking place. Lastly, there is no evidence that the plane could interfere with the audit. Therefore, we rate this claim as false. 

Misbar’s Classification


Misbar’s Sources

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