Man arrested for taking pictures - MIA

I know this will stir the pot with the aircraft spotter crowd. … 73374.html

‘Spotters’ only take pictures of airplanes, not buildings, infrastructure or other security-related subjects.

But this will give more ammunition to the ‘photographers are terrorists’ crowd. :unamused:

Cops later found out he had overstayed his work visa and was wanted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.


This is a fine example of common sense applied to observing suspicious activity. This guy was definitely up to no-good. Sounds like something was thwarted in the early stages of planning.

Police said the man was “very evasive” when they asked him who he was and what he was doing. That prompted cops to put the 'cuffs on Aboyade, who did not have an airline ticket or give a reason for being at the airport.

Good job by the PD, hope INS ships his ass back to Nigeria!

I want the money that he promised me before he goes!!!

This was the point I was trying to make in the last discussion on this topic. By being evasive and confrontational when law enforcement or airport authorities, you make yourself suspicious. Being friendly and honest will save you a lot of time and hassle.

Not true.


Yep, spotters take pictures of airplanes, not surveillance cameras. Nor do spotters act suspicious when they take legitimate pictures of aircraft. And, many are named John and Robert and Charles, not Oluwole.

Now you wouldn’t be suggesting we profile… 8)

How about someone named Ashi? gonna lump him in with Oluwole?

discussion regarding photography at San Diegos airport, … 452976176/

and a picture…

Then we have differing definitions of a spotter.

Not trying to be argumentative, but “spotters” will normally take pics of interesting terminals (think JFK or LAX!), interesting or unusual airport vehicles (tankers, fire trucks, etc.), runways with aircraft arriving and departing, Jetways with aircraft parked at them, runway and taxiway signage, approach lights, etc., etc.

One could argue that these images are “by-catch” caught while photographing the REAL object, the aircraft, but that doesn’t change the fact that spotters DO NOT solely photograph aircraft, nor are they their sole interest at airports.

Stating that taking a picture of anything other than an aircraft is somehow security related is specious.

Or at least that has been my experience while taking transportation related photos for more than 50 years.

I would agree, if that had actually been what I said.

I’m friendly with the spotters at our airport and I have never known any of them to take photos of, or be the least bit interested in anything other than the airplanes. I don’t know what I’d call the people you seem to be describing but if you don’t expect that kind of activity to draw attention you’re living in the past. I agree it’s unfortunate but it’s not going to change (for the better) any time soon.

As a spotter for over 35 years, I’ve never had an interest in photographing anything but airplanes. I have the feeling that most spotters are like this - photographing airplanes, not terminal buildings (unless they are behind an aircraft), and especially not the location of security camera.

We’ll have to agree to disagree Pat.



Have said what I just said, there are people who are interested in taking pictures of buildings, including airport terminals, because they are interested in architecture. However, taking pictures of security cameras does not indicate to me that this dude had an interest in architecutre.

Never said he did. Based on reports, the guy acted suspiciously and gave less than forthcoming responses when questioned, the police acted correctly.

However, the discussion, at least on my end, pertained to the blanket statement that “spotters” only photograph aircraft, nothing to do with the Nigerian gentleman who had been arrested.

I think the misunderstanding (or whatever) stems from what people mean by spotter. I’m applying the term quite narrowly to those enthusiasts who collect airplane registrations (tail numbers) and sometimes take photographs. This I believe is the traditional definition which originated in the UK.

In the US and elsewhere the same term is used for photographers who have only a passing interest or none at all in the identification or logging of the subject airplane. To my mind these are not spotters.

It’s all academic anyway; the security types and associated wannabees don’t make any distinction between the two groups, although the activities and behaviour of each aren’t the same. I can tell a spotter (my definition) from 100 yards away simply by his actions. I’m not always sure what someone snapping away inside or outside the terminal or parking lot is up to, although ‘surveillance’ is certainly not the first thought that occurs to me. But then I haven’t been brainwashed. Yet. Empty, why don’t you share some them with us?

Spotter, not poster.