Dr. Lee said he was not certain what to expect in the tactics that teams might use to track down the balloons, which will be visible from public roadways for a single day. Some groups are developing software applications. Dr. Lee said he also expected large teams of spotters and even the possibility that some groups might use subterfuge like disseminating false information.
Other groups may try to pay for information, he said, noting that even during a brief experiment the agency ran with a balloon near its headquarters, information on the location was offered for sale on Craigslist.
It's interesting to think of 'creativity' in not just the narrow terms we've so far offered, but it terms of problem solving. DARPA's mission is to see how collective creativity can help in a large scale search – like, oh, say, for a wanted fugitive. That's DARPA: even when they're doing something really cool, they still manage to make your skin crawl.