4Chan sleuths use ‘flight patterns’ to track down & capture Shia Labeouf’s anti-Trump flag
Marshalled by Hollywood actor Shia Labeouf, the “He Will Not Divide Us” project is a response to Donald Trump’s election as the 45th president of the United States.
The project has become famous for its troubled livestreams, where followers turn out at different locations to chant “He Will Not Divide Us” into a camera.
The crew’s February stream outside the El Rey Theater, Albuquerque, was abandoned after shots were fired in the area. LaBeouf was also arrested at one exhibition for punching a man who made a comment about Hitler into the live feed.
On March 8, the decision was made to livestream a flag emblazoned with the group’s message in an “unknown location” for the duration of Trump’s presidency.
For the duration of the 4 years a #HEWILLNOTDIVIDEUS flag will be flown at an unknown location.— HeWillNotDivideUs (@HWNDU_livetweet) March 8, 2017
But in a matter of hours, saboteurs figured out Labeouf’s flag hideaway was in a Tennessee field, despite only having views of the sky to go on.
Footage shows how the flag was replaced by a Trump T-shirt and a “Make America Great Again” hat.
Comments on Reddit, 4Chan and Twitter suggest the flag’s capture was aided by online sleuths studying “plane contrails” and even star patterns.
Shia LaBeouf set up a He Will Not Divide us pole at an undisclosed location and Channers found it by studying plane contrails pic.twitter.com/AxDluBUa6Z— Date Outside Subrace (@wokieleaks1) March 10, 2017
4chan used flight trackers and contrails to steal Shia LaBeouf's flag.— Chris Trimble (@christrimble) March 11, 2017
That's just... pretty genius.https://t.co/t6EcTwAVpr
The only thing visible on his live feed was the flag + sky and yet 4Chan tracked down the location by studying flight contrails pic.twitter.com/o3YFWfvLL8— Turlough (@Turlough7) March 10, 2017
Screengrabs from a 4Chan message board also suggest weather forecasts were also monitored.
Another, and perhaps the most telling giveaway of the flag’s location, was a recent picture of LaBeouf in a Greeneville, Tennessee cafe.
While social media has gone wild over the bizarre game of “capture the flag,” not everyone is convinced of the investigative methods.
I'm sorry but the idea of 8 years of playing capture the flag with Shia Labeouf is just hilarious to me— punished inspector (@GenericMisaka) March 9, 2017
“The feat is impressive enough without having to pretend that stars and contrails contributed,” wrote one Reddit user, adding: “In the end it was good old-fashioned luck and manpower that accomplished the capture.”
Another claimed: “The planes may have helped a little, but the stars and sh*t are bulls*t”.