It’s impossible to talk about this mysterious Cessna over the skies of America’s cities without sounding like a soldier in the tinfoil-hat brigade — it’s a subject that tends to attract an “interesting” (in a Minnesota way) crowd. But the mystery does defy a logical explanation.

The plane has been circling locations in the Twin Cities often late at night.

But yesterday it circled Brooklyn Park in the afternoon, its route certainly distinguishes it from a flight for fun.

The Star Tribune suggests the planes are outfitted with surveillance gear, but the FBI won’t comment.

“The fact is there are several very powerful surveillance technologies that are deployed by fixed-wing aircraft circling over cities,” Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst with the ACLU, tells the Star Tribune. “These are powerful surveillance technologies that we think the public ought to have a role in discussing and debating.”

The newspaper says the airplanes have been “flying low,” over the cities, but the Flight24 data shows they’ve actually been flying quite high — over 6,000 feet above sea level — over the cities. That’s significant because it puts it in the protected airspace — known as Class B — surrounding the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. No planes are allowed in the airspace without permission.

The plane is one of several owned by a Virginia firm, at an airport where many other planes are registered to firms with similar acronym-filled names.

Curiously, nobody seems to have photographed the plane, which last Friday circled downtown and Powderhorn Park at rush hour.

Its route was so precise that it suggests the plane may have been on autopilot.

But when the plane was circling the area south of Boston after the Boston Marathon bombing, someone got this picture of it, showing a piece of equipment mounted on it that isn’t standard for a Cessna Skylane.

Photo via ‘Let’s Roll’ community website

In an accompanying discussion, members of a forum discussing the plane linked it to the Bridgewater Triangle, an area of southeast Massachusetts which Wikipedia says is “claimed to be a site of alleged paranormal phenomena, ranging from UFOs to poltergeists and orbs, balls of fire and other spectral phenomena, various ‘bigfoot’ sightings, giant snakes and ‘thunderbirds’, as well as the mutilation of cattle and other livestock.”

Well, then. What are you hiding, Brooklyn Center?

The Boston Globe said the FAA confirmed the plane was a “sanctioned” flight but wouldn’t say any more, which certainly suggests it was operated at the behest of the U.S. government.

Residents there were upset at the noise the plane was making. One resident said he’d feel better if officials would just confirm it was being flown by the government.

In its statement to the Star Tribune, the FBI said the flights “were not there to monitor lawfully protected first amendment activity, and any FBI aviation support to a local law enforcement agency must receive high-level approvals.”

Though it would’ve been in the airspace for the big airport, no communication with the the plane appears on the archived recordings for Minneapolis “Approach” FAA frequency during the time it patrolled the skies over Minneapolis.

Perhaps, that’s not surprising. A few weeks ago I was at a seminar with officials from the FAA locally in which the speaker, a manager of the facility based in Farmington, talked about what happens when President Obama visits the area.

He said he sits next to an official from the Secret Service when Air Force One enters the airspace, suggesting the existence of an air monitoring system apart from the FAA. “And he gets things (on his radar) long before I do,” he said.

Adrian Peterson, who has refused to attend optional Minnesota Vikings practices in an ongoing contract dispute, is again using Twitter to pour gas on a fire.

This afternoon, Peterson took his case for guaranteed money to the social network.

Peterson has three years and $44.25 million left on his current contract. But in the NFL, money isn’t guaranteed.

Which is pretty much how NFL contracts have worked for years, and how Peterson undoubtedly knew it worked when he signed his contract.

Peterson signed his contract in 2011, calling for an initial salary of over $8 million. But the Vikings paid him $13 million as a “signing bonus,” essentially giving him money up front. A total of $36 million of the $86 million deal was guaranteed.

By the end of his deal in 2017, Peterson was to be making $16,750,000. But nobody expected that a then-33-year-old running back in a passing league would actually get that money.

Peterson told a reporter last night he’s not asking to be traded. But one of his tweets suggested that he wants out.

Yesterday, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer sent Peterson a 140-character message the old-fashioned way.

“He can either play for us or he can not play. He’s not going to play for anybody else, and that’s just the way it’s going to be,” he told reporters

While waiting for the World Series (with the Twins) to get underway, there’s not much for sports fans in the Twin Cities to do today — an off day for the local entry in the American League.

And so we’ve been smitten with this — a video that NESN — the Red Sox cable TV station — showed yesterday of the implosion of the Metrodome.

Deadspin is all over the obvious fakery.

But that’s not really true. The Metrodome was imploded, sort of, but that’s not the video of it.

First, the roof was imploded on February 2, 2014.

A few weeks after that, down came the rest of it.

Neither of those videos, however, was what NESN showed.

It was actually the 2000 explosion of the Kingdome in Seattle, with the Metrodome’s roof superimposed over the Kingdome.

Who did it? Ken Harrelson. The video was actually a bit the White Sox broadcaster put together to show his distaste for the Metrodome.

(h/t: Tim Nelson)