National Solar Observatory and U.S. Post Office remain under FBI quarantine

A New Mexico observatory and post office were evacuated by federal authorities last week and nobody knows why

Townsfolk and the Sheriff of Sunspot, New Mexico, are furious after special agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation forcefully evacuated employees, visitors, and residents from the National Solar Observatory and nearby U.S. Post Office at Sacramento Peak on Friday following a national security threat which federal officials are keeping tight-lipped.

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The Otero County Sheriff’s Office was put on standby on Friday the day of the takeover but was not informed by the FBI as to why the facilities were being quarantined. To top it all off federal radio traffic has been silent, adding to concerns.

No one is going in or out and residents at nearby homes have also been evacuated as a precautionary measure due to the threat.

Several Black Hawk helicopters were spotted overflying the area on Friday raising concerns among locals.

sacramento peak
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Otero County Sheriff Benny House said: “The FBI is refusing to tell us what’s going on. We’ve got people up there [at the observatory] 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.”

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“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,” the sheriff explained. “There was a Blackhawk helicopter, a bunch of people around antennas and work crews on towers but nobody would tell us anything.”

black hawk helicopter
Kārlis Dambrāns/Flickr

“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.”

Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) spokeswoman Shari Lifson told reporters on Friday that the agency decided to vacate the facility “as a precautionary measure” but did not say why.

“We are working with the proper authorities on this issues,” she said. “The local authorities do know and are aware of the situation. I don’t know when the facility was vacated but it was within the last day. It’s a temporary evacuation of the facility. We open it up as soon as possible.”

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Additionally, it may be important to note that agents were spotted looking at the facility’s antenna array and other electronic equipment.

All of this comes after the recent announcement that artificial intelligence (AI) systems used by scientists captured 72 fast radio bursts from the same sector of space, as reported by The Independent.

Andrew Griffin reports:

The FRBs are coming from the only known source that has sent out repeating messages, with the rest of the blasts only ever being detected once. That makes it an especially interesting source for scientists, who can watch the spot in the hope of learning more about the signals.

The bursts emanating from 121102 are thought to be coming out of a galaxy three billion light years from Earth. But it is still unclear what is actually causing them: suggestions have included everything from highly magnetized neutron stars to messages being created by alien technology.

It has now been 4 days since the FBI takeover of the two facilities and still, there are no answers.

Is the FBI takeover and quarantine of the National Solar Observatory and post office in New Mexico space related, terror-related, or Ebola or Disease X related? That’s the question. Moreover, why was a U.S. military Black Hawk helicopter spotted on site?

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