The federal government is doing their best X-Files impersonation after shutting down and evacuating a solar observatory and local post office in New Mexico "due to unforeseen circumstances." The weird part? No one's talking about WHY the observatory was suddenly shut down.
“We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you; however, due to unforeseen circumstances, the Sunspot Solar Observatory, including the site, is temporarily closed, until further notice,” according to a message on the observatory’s website. “Thank you for your understanding.”
Local police say they're just as mystified about the closure as everyone else. Otero County Sheriff Benny House told a local newspaper that his department is in the dark about what's going on and that they've been asked to remain on standby during the facility's evacuation.
“The FBI is refusing to tell us what’s going on,” House said. “We’ve got people up there that requested us to stand by while they evacuate it. Nobody would really elaborate on any of the circumstances as to why. The FBI were up there. What their purpose was, nobody will say.”
House also noted the presence of a Blackhawk helicopter circling the area around the observatory.
“But for the FBI to get involved that quick and be so secretive about it, there was a lot of stuff going on up there,” he said. “There was a Blackhawk helicopter, a bunch of people around antennas, and work crews on towers, but nobody would tell us anything.”
House said officers were asked to go to the facility and assist with the evacuation, but were left in the dark as to the why, saying they didn't see a threat.
“They wanted us up there to help evacuate, but nobody would tell us anything,” he said. “We went up there and everything was good. There was no threat. Nobody would identify any specific threat. We hung out for a little while, then we left. No reason for us to be there. Nobody would tell us what we’re supposed to be watching out for.”
Theories as to what's going on range from the outlandish (the aliens are here, the aliens are here!) to the mundane (gas leak). It's worth noting that Sunspot is located only a few miles away from the White Sands Missile Range, making it a prime target for foreign agents who might want to hack into the antenna array to monitor the U.S. military at their base there.
Meanwhile, the federal government and the observatory will remain closed until the security situation is resolved.