London Daily

Focus on the big picture.
Sunday, Feb 05, 2023

Student who tracks celebs’ flights will stop publishing Elon Musk’s whereabouts — for a price

Student who tracks celebs’ flights will stop publishing Elon Musk’s whereabouts — for a price

Elon Musk drew wrath this week for a nine-minute, 35-mile flight from San Jose to San Francisco — but it didn’t have to be this way.

The trip was tracked and exposed by @ElonJet, a Twitter account run by Jack Sweeney, a 20-year-old IT major at University of Central Florida in Orlando.

“If he let me fly with him on his jet, record it and talk about it — and maybe not even pay me the $50,000 [previously asked for] — I would take it down,” Sweeney said of Musk. “That is still up for discussion.”

Sweeney’s high-profile hobby uses public information snagged from the Internet to track the movements of private planes flying the likes of Tom Cruise and assorted Kardashians, a brace of Russian oligarchs and tech titans such as Bill Gates and Musk. He regularly posts their high-flying whereabouts to a series of Twitter accounts. In July his @CelebJets account busted Kylie Jenner for a 17-minute flight, which led to her being called a “climate criminal.”

But he has a particular soft-spot for Musk — even when the inventor makes life difficult for him.

Elon Musk offered @ElonJet creator Jack Sweeney $5,000 to remove the Twitter account — which tracks the billionaire’s private jet — but Sweeney said he wouldn’t do it for less than $50,000.

Sweeney started by following Musk’s jet, then expanded to another 30 accounts tracking the planes of billionaires and celebrities.


“His plane was in San Francisco for less than a day,” Sweeney told The Post of this week’s brief flight. “But it was hard to figure out because this was one of the flights where he had PIA [Privacy ICAO Address, which masks the plane owner’s identity]. It’s like having a license plate on your car that is registered to another name. It takes extra work to know where the jet is going.”

He hesitated for a beat and joked, “PIA is a Pain In the Ass.”

Since launching @ElonJet in 2020 — it has some 500,000 followers — Sweeney has become a pain in the posterior for the private jet crowd: He now has 30 bot accounts that follow hundreds of bold-faced names.

“The first interesting [tracked] flight of his was to Germany, in 2021, when they were doing the Gigafactory in Berlin,” Sweeney said of Musk. “When he went to Brazil, for something Starlink related, I was the first to know about it.

“When he went to Greece this summer, I saw when the flight took off. I figured he would be on a boat somewhere. It was funny to see him without a shirt on,” Sweeney said, referencing much-mocked photos of a pasty Musk on vacation. “I was glad to see Elon relaxing”

Last November, Musk offered Sweeney $5,000 to take down the account.

Musk direct messaged Sweeney to ask him to take down the Twitter account.


“It was pretty crazy,” said Sweeney. “You don’t expect to get a private message from Elon Musk. The first thing was him asking me to take it down because it was a security risk. Then he started asking how I got the information. It was cool to be explaining something to Elon. He offered to buy the account for $5,000” — in an effort to shut it down — “but I told him that if it’s not enough money to change my life I don’t want to sell it.”

Communication dropped off soon after Sweeney asked for $50,000.

Even if Musk did not want to part with the dough, others were willing to step up for him. “There’s a guy from a smart air-conditioning company who said he would give me $50,000 and some other stuff to take down the account,” Sweeney said. “Elon said he had an interest in making Tesla air conditioners. This guy hoped that Elon would notice and buy his company. But the offer did not come come from Elon, so it wasn’t the same thing. I turned it down.”

Sweeney tracked Kylie Jenner taking a 17-minute flight on his @CelebJets account.


“It would have been cool to work things out with Elon,” Sweeney said. “But our conflict made [my accounts] blow up more on Twitter.”

While Sweeney has answered his followers’ request and installed a feature that tracks the carbon footprints of private aviation flights, he admitted he is not in this game to expose abusers of the environment. In fact, Sweeney said: “If I had the money, I would fly in my own jet. I’ve not yet flown private but I would love to.”

His motivation is more personal than environmental — or some statement admonishing billionaires — and he does not care what people think about that.

Even Musk has admitted that what Sweeney is sharing is public data.


“There are a fair amount of haters. They say I should stop tracking Elon since he wanted me to. They ask why I’m still doing it,” he said. “I do it because it is something I enjoy. I am not going to take it down for a minimal amount of money. I like seeing all the moving parts coming together and putting it out there for people to see. Plus it helps me to learn a lot about programming.”

Sweeney, who grew up in Clermont, Fla., and is the son of a kindergarten teacher and an airline maintenance controller, has also received an education in the dynamics of power.

“Elon has all these resources. So much money and control over so many things — he can put rockets and satellites into outer space — but he can’t stop me from tracking his plane,” said Sweeney. “It feels cool. He is one of the richest people on Earth and I am annoying him.”

“It feels cool. He is one of the richest people on Earth and I am annoying him,” Sweeney said of Musk.


And it doesn’t hurt to have a little bit of notoriety. “I had a professor contact me on LinkedIn and invite me to the college’s hacking club. I have not yet gotten around to it,” said Sweeney, who is single. “Yesterday I was checking in for my apartment on campus and a girl there recognized me. They all know the story. It’s crazy.”

If Sweeney has a white whale in the sky, it is Apple CEO Tim Cook. “I wish Tim Cook was possible, but he is on a shared agreement with [charter jet pool] NetJets. When you have that, you use any of the planes that NetJets flies. I can’t track the one plane.

“If Elon was smart enough, he would have better hidden his plane. I guess Tim Cook is smart about that. If he gets his own jet, I’ll track him.”

Sweeney struck a deal with Mavericks owner Mark Cuban to stop tracking his flights — if Cuban takes him to a game.


But if you make a deal with Sweeney to get eyes off your jet travel, you better keep it.

This past February, NBA team owner Mark Cuban asked Sweeney to take down his page for security reasons — and they struck an agreement.

“I asked to go to a Mavericks game with Cuban,” Sweeney recalled. “He said, ‘Next season.’ If he re-negs, we’ll see what happens. I’ll bring his page back up. But, honestly, he had only 100 followers.”

Newsletter

Related Articles

London Daily
Close
0:00
0:00
Turkish photographer Ugur Gallenkus portrays two different worlds within a single image. Brilliant work
You're Beautiful - James Blunt (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
Tennessee Bill Would Imprison People for 3 Years If They 'Lie' About Rape to Get an Abortion.
You Are So Beautiful
Charlie Munger, calls for a ban on cryptocurrencies in the US, following China's lead
Postmodern Jukebox European Tour Version
Shell reports highest profits in 115 years
An old French tune (by Georges Brassens) Pomplamoose ft. John Schroeder
EU found a way to use frozen Russian funds
Sattahip Motor Show 20
First generation unopened iPhone set to fetch more than $50,000 at auction.
SONATE AU CLAIR DE LUNE - Moonlight sonata
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - US Memphis Police murdering innocent Tyre Nichols
A kiss to build a dream on
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
Wiz Khalifa - See You Again ft. Charlie Puth, Furious
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
What is ChatGPT?
Mean Blues
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
La Chansonnette
China is opening up for foreign investors.
Pattaya Addicts
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Franz Liszt - Liebestraum - Love Dream
Germany confirms it will provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks
Dream a little dream of me
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Tu Vuo' Fa' L'Americano - Hetty & the Jazzato Band
Opinion | Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Democracy
Unchained Melody sung like you've NEVER heard!
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Dave Brubeck - Take Five
Who’s Threatening Israeli Democracy?
Édith Piaf - Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (Sofie)
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
Rondo Alla Turca
China's first population drop in six decades
Kiss of fire
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
Ed Sheeran - Perfect (Amadeus violin cover instrumental)
Israelis rally in three cities against Netanyahu legal reforms
Tom Jones - I´ll Never Fall In Love Again 1967, 1989, 2001
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
Israel Cachao López - Guajira Clásica
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
Edward Maya - Stereo Love (feat. Vika Jigulina) (Extended Mix)
Japan prosecutors indict man for ex-PM Shinzo Abe murder
Strauss - Radetzky March - Karajan
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
La vie en rose
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Despacito (Piano Cover) - Peter Bence
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
The Temptations - My Girl (Smokey Robinson Tribute) 2006 Kennedy Cent
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Orlando Cachaito Lopez Redencion
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Edith Piaf - NON, JE NE REGRETTE RIEN
Dirty bomb fears as URANIUM is found in cargo at Heathrow
RADETZKY MARCH-2008-Wien, New Year Concert
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
Only you (And you alone)
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
Beautiful in White x Canon in D (Piano Cover by Riyandi Kusuma)
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
Strangers In The Night
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
Charles Aznavour - La Boheme
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
Summer time
UK chaos: Hong Kong emigrants duped by false prospectus
Sting and Stevie Wonder - Fragile (from Sting's 60th birthday concert)
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Aux Champs Elysees
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Stand By Me - Ben E. King (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
Saudi Arabia’s female ambassadors: Who are the five women representing the Kingdom?
La Mer (Beyond the Sea) – Avalon Jazz Band
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
She
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
Nathalie Song by Enzo Petrachi Stjepan Hauser Cello
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Shape of My Heart - Sting (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Radiohead - Creep
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
Quizás,Quizás,Quizás - Andrea Bocelli - Jennifer Lopez
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps - Multi-Couples
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Pentatonix Havana
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Paula Cole - Autumn Leaves
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules
Oscar Benton Bensonhurst Blues
EU calls screening of travellers from China unjustified
OH NANANA vs ABUSADAMENTE
Nina Simone - ”I Put A Spell On You”. Vezi aici cum cântă Jeremy Ragsd
NIGHTWISH - The Phantom Of The Opera
Motorshow 2016 Tanjay Negros Oriental
Monica Bellucci - Ti Amo
Michael Jackson - Billie Jean Milena The Voice France 2018
Michael Buble (Help Me Make It Through The Night) feat Loren Allred
Memories Canon In D - Maroon 5 (Boyce Avenue piano acoustic cover)
Matteo Simoni - Marina
Maroon 5 - One More Night
Maroon 5 - Memories
Mark Knopfler - Brothers In Arms (Berlin 2007 Live)
Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris - Romeo And Juliet (Real Live Roadrunni
Marina, Marina - The LUCKY DUCKIES intimist live concert at Guimarães
Major Lazer & DJ Snake – Lean On Mauranne The Voice France 2016
Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet - Joslin - Henri Mancini, Nino Rota
LoLa & Hauser - Love Story
Linkin Park Jay-Z - Numb Encore (Live 8 2005)
Hallelujah Mennel Ibtissem, The Voice France Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen - Dance Me to the End of Love
Leonard Cohen & Natasha Rostova - Dance me to the end of love
La casa de papel - Bella Ciao
La Camisa Negra
L'italiano (Toto Cutugno) - The Gypsy Queens
Juanes - La Camisa Negra
Jonathan and Charlotte - Britain's Got Talent 2012 Live Semi Final - U
John Powell - Assassin's Tango
Joe Cocker - You Can Leave Your Hat On (LIVE in Dortmund)
Joe Cocker - Unchain My Heart 2002 Live
Joe Cocker - A Whiter Shade Of Pale
Jay Z & Alicia Keys - Empire State of Mind LIVE
Jason Mraz - Im Yours (live)
Jarrod Radnich - Bohemian Rhapsody - Virtuosic Piano Solo
James Blunt - You're Beautiful
James Blunt - You're Beautiful & Bonfire Heart (Live at The Nobel Peac)
If You Go Away - Helen Merrill & Stan Getz (Tribute to Virna Lisi)
I'LL BE MISSING YOU
I Say a Little Prayer
Hotel California ( Eagles ) 1994 Live
Historia de un amor - Luz Casal. Vezi interpretarea Biancăi Sumanariu
Here Comes The Sun - The Beatles (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover) on Spot
Heart - Stairway to Heaven Led Zeppelin - Kennedy Center Honors
HAVANA by Camila Cabello Zumba Pre Cooldown TML Crew Kramer Pastra
HAUSER and Señorita - I Will Always Love You
HAUSER - Waka Waka
HAUSER - Sway
HAUSER - Lambada
HAUSER - Historia de un Amor
HAUSER - Despacito
Great Pretender
Georgia May Foote & Giovanni Pernice Samba to 'Volare' - Strictly Come
Gary Moore - Still Got The Blues
GIPSY KINGS VOLARE Penelope Cruz
Fugees - Killing Me Softly With His Song
French Latino - Historia de un Amor
For A Few Dollars More The Danish National Symphony Orchestra (Live)
Flashdance • What a Feeling • Irene Cara
Filip Rudan - “Someone You Loved” Audicija 4 The Voice Hrvatska Sez
Eric Clapton - Wonderful Tonight
Enya - Only Time
Enrique Iglesias - Bailando (English Version) ft. Sean Paul
Enrique Iglesias - Bailamos
Elena Yerevan Historia de un amor
Ed Sheeran - Shape of You (Official Music Video)
Ed Sheeran - Perfect Symphony [with Andrea Bocelli]
Ed Sheeran - Perfect (Official Music Video)
Easy On Me - Adele (Boyce Avenue 90’s style piano acoustic cover) on S
ERA - Ameno
ELENA YEREVAN- Cancion Del Mariachi-IN STUDIO-2017 DPR
Dust In The Wind - Kansas (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
Despacito x Shape Of You - Pentatonix
Deep Purple - Child In Time - Live (1970)
David Foster When A Man Loves A WomanIt's A Mans World (SealMichael Bo
Dance me to the end of Love ( Pi-Air Design )
Coolio - Gangsta's Paradise (feat. L.V.) [Official Music Video]
Conquest Of Paradise (Vangelis), played on Böhm Emporio organ
Cielito Lindo
Chico & The Gypsies - Bamboleo
Canción Del Mariachi - Antonio Banderas, Los Lobos • Desperado
Camila Cabello - Havana (Audio) ft. Young Thug
Camila Cabello - Havana ( cover by J.Fla )
California Dreamin' - The Mamas & The Papas José Feliciano (Boyce Ave
Buster Benton - Money Is The Name of The Game
Hallelujah Pentatonix
Bobby McFerrin - Don't Worry Be Happy (Official Music Video)
Bob Dylan - Knockin' On Heaven's Door Emilia The Voice Kids France
Besame Mucho - Cesaria Evora
Ben E. King - Stand by Me Sax Cover Alexandra Ilieva Thomann
Bella Ciao
Bella Ciao - INSTRUMENTAL
Beautiful in White x Canon in D (Piano Cover by Riyandi Kusuma)
Bad Romance - Vintage 1920's Gatsby Style Lady Gaga Cover ft. Ariana Savalas & Sarah Reich(1)
BELLA CIAO 2020 - KARAOKE ITALIANO
BAMBOLEO - Gipsy Kings • Antonio Banderas, Katya Virshilas
BAILANDO (original)
Awesome Ukrainian yodeler - SOFIA SHKIDCHENKO (with English subtitles)
Avicii - The Nights
Atom - The Great Gig in the Sky
Aretha Franklin - (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman (Official Ly
Antonio Banderas - Cancion del Mariachi (Desperado)
André Rieu - Zorba's Dance (Sirtaki)
André Rieu - Can't Help Falling In Love
André Rieu & Mirusia - Ave Maria
Andrew Reyes Elton John - Don't Let The Sun Go Down The Voice 2020 (
Andreas Kümmert Whiter Shade Of Pale The Voice of Germany 2013 Showd
And I Love You So
All About That Bass - Postmodern Jukebox European Tour Version
Alan Walker - Faded (Piano Cover)
Ain't No Sunshine -- Bill Withers (cover by Canen 12 y.o.)
African music
Adriana Vidović - “Creep” Audicija 4 The Voice Hrvatska Sezona 3
Adriana Vidović - “Believer” Nokaut 3 The Voice Hrvatska Sezona 3
A Fistful of Dollars - The Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Tuva
4 Beautiful Soundtracks Relaxing Piano [10min]
2CELLOS - Whole Lotta Love vs. Beethoven 5th Symphony [OFFICIAL VIDEO]
2CELLOS - Smooth Criminal (Live at Suntory Hall, Tokyo)
2CELLOS - Smells Like Teen Spirit [Live at Sydney Opera House]
2CELLOS - Despacito [OFFICIAL VIDEO]
13 Year Old Girl Playing Il Silenzio (The Silence) - André Rieu
094.All About That Bass
00 - SADNESS PART 1
(Ghost) Riders In the Sky (American Outlaws Live at Nassau Coliseum, 1
(Everything I Do) I Do It For You - Bryan Adams (Boyce Avenue ft. Conn
What a wonderful world
Moon river
×