A student who follows ‘Putin’s jets’ has warned that life is in danger but thinks he is ‘pretty safe’


A teenager who has become a thorn in the side of many in the global elite by stalking their private jets says he won’t be deleting his Twitter accounts anytime soon.

Jack Sweeney, a 19-year-old computer science student at the University of Central Florida, made a name for himself earlier this year by creating a Twitter thread that monitored the location of Elon Musk’s private jet.

Unhappy with the transparency, Musk offered Jack $5,000 (£3,700) to remove the tracker, saying: “Can you remove that? It’s a security risk. I don’t like the idea of ​​being shot by a crackpot.

However, Jack refused and demanded a higher sum of $50,000 (£37,000), saying: “Any chance of increasing that to $50,000? It would be great support for college and maybe get me a car, maybe even a Model 3.”

Instead, he was blocked by Musk before moving on to other targets.

Jack Sweeney is the 19-year-old college student who made a name for himself stalking billionaires’ private jets

In an exclusive interview with the Daily Star, Jack says the reason he turned down Musk’s offer was that it wasn’t enough from the richest man in the world. “I asked for more money and after a while he said it didn’t seem right for him to pay to withdraw it. Once it all came to the news he blocked me.”

To delete Musk’s tracker, Jack says why he wanted more: “I’m not going to delete something I really like for nothing, you know?”

Although he started out tracking only Musk, Jack now manages a whole range of automated air trackers, including US Air Force VIPs, celebrities like Floyd Mayweather and Tiger Woods, and tech billionaires like Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos.

Musk offered Sweeney $5,000 to remove the <a class=flight tracker but the teenager refused” content=”https://i2-prod.dailystar.co.uk/incoming/article26460041.ece/ALTERNATES/s615b/0_TIME-Person-of-the-Year.jpg”/>
Musk offered Sweeney $5,000 to remove the flight tracker but the teenager refused

Chief among them, however, is probably public enemy #1 for many people in the world today: Vladimir Putin.

This month, Jack created a new Twitter account called PoutineJet to keep tabs on private jets belonging to the Russian President following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. While it’s hard to say exactly which one is being used by the man himself at any given time, the jet fleet is used by Russian government figures, including Putin.

At the time of launch, Jack wrote in a tweet: “So yeah [Putin Jet Twitter] is live now :), don’t expect it to be too accurate although there are a dozen Russian VIP planes, and ADS-B coverage is not great in Russia”, referring to flight tracking technology used around the world.

Putin uses a number of Russian VIP private jets
Putin uses a number of Russian VIP private jets

He also began tracking the flight patterns of Russian oligarchs using a Jets of Russian oligarchs twitter, as well as several other accounts for A-listers around the world.

When Jack announced PutinJet, some Twitter users feared he would face repercussions from the Russian president.

One user warned: “There’s a saying in my local language that translates to ‘if you want to die, keep going’. It’s not child’s play anymore and there [are] forces at work that you have no idea about. Who is stalking Putin and telling everyone? Bro, your life is much more important, [advise] yourself.”

Another said: “Enjoy the work but be careful. Putin will be furious to hear you are taller than him.”

Twitter user Toril Jorunn said: “Be careful with this dear. Musk was not happy with this program at all. I don’t know how a war-hungry Putin will react.”

But Jack says he’s not worried. “Being here in the United States, you know, it’s quite a distance and it’s a good country here. So I think I’m pretty safe.”

Part of what drives Jack is the belief that billionaires shouldn’t be left out of public scrutiny.

“There are people who think billionaires shouldn’t be allowed to have their private jets and all that. […] So I’m sort of helping them find these people. »

He argued that while billionaires have a right to privacy, he thinks that if they’re not doing any good, people should keep an eye on them.

“They tracked all of Jeffrey Epstein’s thefts and everything, and he was a bad person. It was after the fact, not before or during.”

At this time, Jack has no plans to add any new jets to his watchlist, but private jet owners should beware: he says that if someone interesting shows up, he’ll add more. “probably” others.


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