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originally posted by: askbaby
a reply to: ToasterBorst
It's more than interesting - this whole story is just weird.... and note in this article:
"A tent belonging to an employee and resident of the observatory was set up near the gate. The employee is allowed to enter the facility to do routine maintenance but can't stay in his home, Escalante said."
What! They won't allow the maintenance guy to stay in in his house - instead they setup a tent!
originally posted by: wylekat
People are filming themselves wandering what was up till recently, an utterly abandoned facility- wandering around, looking in windows, rattling doorknobs. Literally.
If there's all of these 'eyes' on this place, how come people are (were) wandering it freely, and now, all there is is a couple rent a cops on site for security?
The only thing that would make even a little sense is that the guy is a plant. There to keep an eye on things in case the perp returns to the crime scene?? But even so, there's security there now so the odds of any "perp" doing anything seems slim.
Well, White Sands said there's no testing or anything going on at the missile range to warrant closing the facility and we know the other observatory a half mile away is still open.
originally posted by: wylekat
a reply to: MrBuddy
But even so, there's security there now so the odds of any "perp" doing anything seems slim.
Keep in mind- Rent a Cops. A real sneaky spy or whatever would be able to almost saunter past your basic mall security, and they'd never know. If the guy in the tent is a plant, he'd be the one doing the dirty work, not the security.
I think he's a plant, but I'm starting to think he's there to help build hype for their grand , mysterious re opening.
originally posted by: Weagle
a reply to: riiver
This seems very odd to me too. Why not just throw some BS story out there? Although, what would it be? Given that there is footage showing that they are not on site, not cleaning up some sort of spill, not actively investigating a crime, AND not letting people back in - what would the story be? Maybe they're still trying to work that out.
Also, I'm just curious - does anyone know who would have jurisdiction if this were an alien thing? Not thinking that's what this is, but just wondering who you'd call to come to the scene if we had a visitor land in a national park.
So... it looks like nothing exciting. It was probably something to do with terrorism threats, hacking, or the previously mentioned accidental interception of military transmissions... or something like that?
originally posted by: itswhatev
a reply to: SeaWorthy
I would probably trust their official word more than conjecture on internet forums... Not that I do trust their word 100% but lets be reasonable here lol
National Solar Observatory employee here: We, NSO employees, don't know what the hell is going on either. The higher ups have assured us that nothing weird is going on, that there's nothing to worry about. They just can't tell us about it yet. We are in the process of transferring operational control of the facilities in Sunspot to a consortium led by NMSU (New Mexico State University) in Las Cruces. It's been hinted that all this mess is somehow related to this process. Why is NSO getting rid of the observatory in Sunspot? Consider the age of the observatory (built in the 60s), our limited budget set by the NSF, and the fact that we're about to complete construction of a newer, bigger, badder, better solar telescope in Maui, the DKIST. In a nutshell: no conspiracy here. Everybody chill out.
It is definitely weird, no contest there. Sunspot is on federal land, a permanent lease from the forest service, so the FBI has jurisdiction there. Having the FBI involved is not totally crazy but still a bit weird. The blackhawk helicopter makes no sense. There's an airforce base nearby (Holloman) and they routinely fly things around in the mountains for training. When I lived there in the early 2000s we quite often saw the F117 flying around, and I personally have seen military helicopters hovering around. It could just be coincidental.
The post office is inside the town, so if they evacuate the town it makes sense that the post office has to close. And keep in mind that "town" is a strong word for Sunspot. It's just a group of houses to house the observatory staff. There are no businesses of any kind in there.
The post office is actually inside the town, so when they evacuate the town they have to close the post office too. I wouldn't read too much into this. And to call it a town is really a stretch, there's nothing in Sunspot. No store, no restaurant, no businesses of any kind. It's just a group of houses for the observatory staff to live in. The closest grocery store is 30 miles away down the hill in Alamogordo. A few years ago there were probably 70 people living there. Right now the site is being downsized and transfered to NMSU. Almost nobody left.
( question asked to oniram: why evacuate? why have the fbi move your #? why not just tell everyone “hey you’re being reassigned in 2 weeks” and restructure yourself like government programs normally do? sorry not buying this.)
The FBI is not moving anything anywhere. So far the site has been evacuated and that's all. The official response says the site was evacuated because of a security issue. The decision to evacuate came from AURA (which manages NSO), not from the FBI. From the little they've told us, the evacuation was done for the safety of those involved.
Trust me there's no funny business here. Just overly cautious people following procedure.
originally posted by: Flyingclaydisk
As I noted previously, this is all just one great big giant ruse.
Nothing to see here folks! Just one massive orgy of an Interwebz...
McAteer, who's originally from Belfast, Ireland, is an astronomy professor at NMSU in Las Cruces but holds the observatory close to his heart because its where he conducted his Ph.D. "It became clear that the National Solar Observatory was leaving to Boulder and Hawaii," McAteer said.
"This is an important asset to the state because it does very important science but it's also a tourist sight where people can come and walk around and it also provides well-paying jobs for the local economy. We don't want any of those things to disappear."
The goal became to keep the observatory alive with a new operational system. One way to save the site is for NMSU to run it. "One of the key things is that even when the National Solar Observatory leaves, the National Science Foundation would retain ownership," McAteer said. "All we would do is come in and operate it. We wouldn't own the site, we wouldn't have legal responsibilities because NMSU just can't do that as a state university.
We'd operate it, keep as many buildings as possible, keep as many people as we can here and do the best we can for the research institutes within the state and also nationwide." As NSF pulls out of the site in Oct. 2017, NMSU will become the operating entity. "We want to keep NSF involved," McAteer said. "They're not divorcing us, it's more like a hand-off." NMSU's plan is to operate the site with eight people and putting the focus on what's most important to the site.
"We want to have schools, clubs, veteran's societies and everybody coming up here and seeing what's going on and joining in on our star parties," McAteer said. "We are talking to the state again this year, trying to get funding. Despite state finances being poor, we're still going to ask them because we think it's important to stay on their radar. It's always nice for the legislature to know that this matters to the people in Alamogordo and Cloudcroft." The observatory is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, in the off season on the weekends only and for winter hours call 434-7190.