As we noted earlier in the week, The National Solar Observatory in Sunspot, New Mexico reopened on Monday after it was shut down September 6 following a mysterious FBI raid, according to the group which manages the facility.
And despite federal agents swooping in on a Blackhawk helicopter, and a “bunch of people around antennas and work crews on towers” before the site was completely evacuated – the official explanation has left people scratching their heads; According to officials, they had been cooperating with an existing law enforcement investigation, when “a suspect in the investigation potentially posed a threat to the safety of local staff and residents,” so “moving the small number of on-site staff and residents off the mountain was the most prudent and effective action to ensure their safety.”
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. –AURA
No word on why the FBI was involved, or urgently needed to fly in on a loud, suspect-spooking helicopter instead of simply driving to the facility, or why they couldn’t just arrest the guy and keep the place open. Also no explanation for the work crew climbing all over the towers, or why they shut down the post office.
A federal search warrant reveals that Sunspot Solar Observatory was shut down as FBI agents conducted computer forensic searches for child pornography.