New Mexico’s Sunspot Solar Observatory Closes Under Unusual Circumstances

Posted by on September 14, 2018 ⋰ 1 Comment
New Mexico’s Sunspot Solar Observatory Closes Under Unusual Circumstances

The Sunspot Solar Observatory in New Mexico was evacuated and closed on September 6, and no one knows why.

It’s been over a week now, and details have not been forthcoming. According to an initial report by the Alamogordo Daily News, officials stated the observatory was shut down due to a “security issue,” with the evacuation happening as a “precautionary measure.” But those statements only raised more questions.

Stranger still was the matter of FBI involvement, and how local law enforcement was apparently kept out of the loop. As local sheriff Benny House said: “…for the FBI to get involved that quick and be so secretive about it, there was a lot of stuff going on up there. There was a Black Hawk helicopter, a bunch of people around antennas and work crews on towers but nobody would tell us a thing.”

The Sunspot Solar Observatory is located in Sunspot, New Mexico, at Sacramento Peak. As its name implies, it’s used to study the Sun, housing a number of telescopes, as well as a visitor center, all of which is (according to Wikipedia) open to the public year round.

Well, not counting this week, anyway.

The mysterious nature of the observatory’s closing has naturally led to claims of conspiracy. Perhaps, some say, the observatory discovered a solar anomaly that required the attention of the infamous MIB. On the other hand, a few wonder instead if the observatory is really an observatory at all.

More likely, well — I really don’t know.

There’s also speculation that, because the nearby U.S. Postal Service was evacuated at the same time, the situation may involve a mysterious package, which would naturally require checking things out for safety. But, again, that’s pure speculation.

As is the idea that the observatory has been compromised by a spy. Go ahead and dive down that rabbit hole.

There are many possibilities, but the truth remains elusive.

On September 13, the Alamogordo Daily News reported that private security guards are now “posted at the observatory’s gate” to prevent curious truth-seekers from getting inside. Quite a number have shown up in an attempt to unravel the mystery for themselves.

The official Sunspot Solar Observatory Facebook page, meanwhile, has also shared a post from the National Solar Observatory, with the following statement:

“Thank you all for your patience while the closure at Sunspot Observatory is resolved. Our other facilities remain open and NSO is operating as normal. AURA – our management organization – is addressing a security issue at Sunspot Observatory at Sacramento Peak, New Mexico and has decided to temporarily vacate the facility as a precautionary measure.”

Many in the post’s comments are asking for an explanation. The observatory is still closed.

Well, it’ll be interesting to see what the final explanation entails, if we’re ever given one. Have any ideas?

Update: On Wednesday, September 19, 2018, a federal search warrant was released to the public detailing the Sunspot Solar Observatory incident. According to KRQE, let’s just say the whole thing boiled down to a janitor who was up to some very sordid business.

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Post by Rob Schwarz

Rob Schwarz is a writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. He manages Stranger Dimensions in between changing aquarium filters and reading bad novels about mermaids.

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