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Sunspot Solar Observatory Closed, FBI responds to "security threat"


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https://www.yahoo.com/tech/few-details-fuel-speculation-us-observatorys-closure-175248686.html This story has my interest piqued. Why would the FBI evacuate the nearby post office and town of Sunspot? Not even the local authorities have been told why. 

 

The only reason i can think of for this to happen is a terrorist threat made on the facility, since "security issues" are the reason cited. But why target a solar observatory? Doesn't make sense.  

 

Any ideas? 

 

 

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Same story from CBS

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/sunspot-solar-observatory-closed-new-mexico-ongoing-security-concern/

 

 

 

And CNN

http://Mysterious 'security issue' forces a solar observatory to be evacuated https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/15/us/national-solar-observatory-closed-evacuated-trnd/index.html

 

 

CNN) - The sudden closure of the Sunspot Solar Observatory in New Mexico has everyone talking -- everyone but authorities. 

 

The facility focuses on solar research, and its telescope is one of the best ground-based solar observatories in the world. But on September 6, the observatory was evacuated because of a "security issue," and it remains closed and under FBI investigation.

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AURA released an official statement on the matter. 

 

Quote
AURA Statement about the Status of the Sunspot Solar Observatory at Sacramento Peak, New Mexico


September 16, 2018


Sunspot Solar Observatory is transitioning back to regular operations as of September 17th 

On September 6th, the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) made the decision to temporarily vacate the Sunspot Solar Observatory at Sacramento Peak, New Mexico as a precautionary measure while addressing a security issue. The facility closed down in an orderly fashion and is now re-opening. The residents that vacated their homes will be returning to the site, and all employees will return to work this week. 

AURA has been cooperating with an on-going law enforcement investigation of criminal activity that occurred at Sacramento Peak. During this time, we became concerned that a suspect in the investigation potentially posed a threat to the safety of local staff and residents. For this reason, AURA temporarily vacated the facility and ceased science activities at this location. 

The decision to vacate was based on the logistical challenges associated with protecting personnel at such a remote location, and the need for expeditious response to the potential threat. AURA determined that moving the small number of on-site staff and residents off the mountain was the most prudent and effective action to ensure their safety. 

In light of recent developments in the investigation, we have determined there is no risk to staff, and Sunspot Solar Observatory is transitioning back to regular operations as of September 17th. Given the significant amount of publicity the temporary closure has generated, and the consequent expectation of an unusual number of visitors to the site, we are temporarily engaging a security service while the facility returns to a normal working environment. 

We recognize that the lack of communications while the facility was vacated was concerning and frustrating for some. However, our desire to provide additional information had to be balanced against the risk that, if spread at the time, the news would alert the suspect and impede the law enforcement investigation. That was a risk we could not take. 

http://www.aura-astronomy.org/news/news.asp?newsID=389

 

Ok, than why keep local law enforcement in the dark?  And why the black hawk helicopters? Sounds like a cover story. 

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