A space observatory at the centre of swirling alien conspiracy theories has asked for “patience” as it continues to be locked down.
The Sunspot Observatory in New Mexico caught the attention of the world when it was shut down by FBI agents who reportedly swooped on the facility after arriving in elite Blackhawk helicopters.
It led immediately to suggestions that the advanced technology inside of the facility spotted something it shouldn’t – such as proof of aliens, UFOs or even some baseless speculation that the observatory had spotted that the sun has dying. The fact the Sunspot Observatory is only 200km from the site of the Roswell UFO crash has led only to more speculation.
The FBI and the administrators of the facility have said only that the shutdown happened because of a “security issue”.
In the days since, the sheriff has said it has no idea what is going on. And the lockdown continues with no new information.
Now the observatory itself has spoken out to thank people for their patience. But it didn’t reveal any more about what is actually going on.
The National Solar Observatory, which managed the facility, gave an update on Facebook that was shared on the observatory’s own page.
“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,” the NSO said.
That post was hit by a flurry of comments from followers who asked why the NSO was continuing to keep the facts secret. Many mentioned the alien conspiracy theories, or speculation that observations had shown there was something wrong with the sun.
Another message on the observatory’s website references the intense interest in the closure and says that administrators are working hard to open the facility back up again.
“With the excitement this closure has generated, we hope you will come and visit us when we do reopen, and see for yourself the services we provide for science and public outreach in heliophysics,” it reads.
That message was also posted on the observatory’s Instagram account and was greeted with a flurry of curious messages.
“Why don’t you just tell us what is going on?” wrote on. “This is not cool. FBI needs to be frank.”