So that is why those guys got cagey and went dark for a while. The European stat-track group went semi-dark for a while then got active again about 4-5 years ago which fits into the timeline of the article. There are whole groups of amateur astronomers tracking satellites so they can compile tables of what is going to cross your FOV while doing photography. The Orion Nebula, for example, crosses the celestial equator and has dozens of these satellites in various orbits that are accounted for in long exposure photographs. There are online groups dedicated to tracking the X-37B, the Chinese stations, "interesting" polar satellites and there are people dedicated to photographing space debris.
I like to laugh at people that think NASA is hiding a killer asteroid, NIburu etc; there are too many retired old ass astronomers and photographers taking images of the sky for anything to hide anymore.
Neat article, thanks!