Monday, September 17, 2018 by Tracey Watson
Every now and then, the government does something that really adds fuel to the many conspiracy theories swirling around about aliens and life on other planets. The most recent example of this was when a Black Hawk helicopter and armed federal agents suddenly swarmed all over a remote area in New Mexico that happens to be home to an important solar observatory.
Agents quickly closed down and evacuated the tiny town of Sunspot along with the observatory itself. CNet reported that even the post office was shut down.
That was on the 12th of September; almost a week later, the government is refusing to explain its actions, which in alien-conspiracy-terms is like throwing gasoline on a simmering fire. The Twitterverse has gone absolutely wild with theories about a Men in Black type alien cover up. (Related: Why intelligent life in the universe is likely to be hostile.)
The observatory’s website has confirmed that the facility – which was built by the military during World War II, when it was realized that the sun could interfere with radio communication — has been evacuated and closed to both staff and visitors alike until further notice. The site offers no explanation, however, as to the reasons for the closure or when the observatory may be reopened.
“The FBI is refusing to tell us what’s going on,” Otero County Sheriff Benny House told the Alamogordo Daily News. “We’ve got people up there (at Sunspot) that requested us to standby 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.
“There was a Blackhawk helicopter, a bunch of people around antennas and work crews on towers, but nobody would tell us anything,” he added. “I don’t know why the FBI would get involved so quick and not tell us anything.”
You know it’s bad when even law enforcement isn’t told what’s going on.
The only information or explanation being offered by AURA – the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, which manages the facility – is that they are addressing an unspecified security issue, that the closure is temporary, and that the facility will reopen as soon as is possible.
FBI field offices in both El Paso, Texas, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, were approached for comment by the media but did not respond.
Of course, this failure to communicate has sent conspiracy theorists into overdrive, all eager to offer different explanations for what they think might have happened. (Related: Scientist believes advanced alien civilization inhabited our solar system long before humans came along.)
Some say the evacuation could be part of a government effort to cover up a discovery involving aliens, an impending solar flare or something else extra-planetary. Others on Reddit and elsewhere think the security issue may involve a foreign power attempting to use the observatory’s antennas to spy on nearby White Sands Missile Range.
The most interesting theories, of course, revolve around the idea that someone at that observatory saw something in space that they weren’t supposed to see and that the government doesn’t want us to know about.
It will be interesting to see what explanation – if any – the government eventually offers for their apparently random actions. Watch this space to see how the story unfolds.
Sources for this article include: