Guys, this observatory is funded, operating, and if anything doing more than it used to. Look at the new twitter feed from sunspotsolarobs twitter
feed. Its not going away.
Two new pieces from local news here in El Paso.
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State University's director of the Sunspot Solar Observatory said the evacuation of the facility last week was
"I picked up the phone, called our people, and asked them to lock up everything and leave quietly and sensibly," said Dr. James McAteer, who also
teaches astronomy at NMSU. "It was extremely calm. They locked everything up and they left."
Last week, ABC-7 broke the news that the FBI evacuated the National Solar Observatory and the USPS office in Sunspot for "security reasons." New
Mexico State has four employees at the observatory and the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) has around five employees,
"They are telecommuting," McAteer said. "There is plenty of work for them."
There are also two to three employees at the post office. The director told ABC-7 he was not told why they were to evacuate, but he doesn't believe it
has anything to do with the telescope, used by NMSU astronomy students to research the sun.
"There is no issue with the telescope," McAteer said. "The telescope has never been better."
"I was surprised," said Dr. Jacson Jackiewicz, another professor at NMSU. "I was curious as to what might be happening. I still don't know and I hope
it can reopen soon because we have projects going on up there, difference experiments that we're doing."
Residents of nearby Cloudcroft, New Mexico, also had no idea what was going on this week.
However, Dr. McAteer said he welcomes the public's curiosity about the project.
"Public interest in science is always good," the director said. "I hope every single person in the state wants to go to Sunspot to visit after this.
That would be amazing. It is a public resource. It's open to the public. It's paid for by the public."
And from www.kob.com...
SUNSPOT, NEW MEXICO – The mystery surrounding the evacuation of a small mountainous area in Southern New Mexico has led to a lot of conspiracy
The Sunspot Solar Observatory is blocked by a line of caution tape. Officials with the observatory say they are investigating a security incident.
Local law enforcement said the FBI is the agency investigating, but they remain in the dark.
'Telescope did not see aliens,' but Sunspot mystery continues
“The FBI has not contacted us. We don't know what they took, what their reason for being there was. We have no information on it," said Sgt. Jon
Emery of the Otero County Sheriff’s Office.
Residents who have been evacuated said they haven’t gotten many answers either.
“It is very frustrating being out of our home. I will say that and I can't wait until this is over," Sean Williams said.
He’s heard about the conspiracy theories flooding the internet.
“Boy, people come up with some outlandish stuff," he said. “An alien landed here."
However, James McAteer, a New Mexico State University professor who is also the director of the Sunspot Solar Observatory said the “telescope did
not see aliens. All data will be made public in its unaltered form. Nothing is hidden or kept secret."
The FBI has not commented on the investigation.
Evacuees said they have not been told when they could possibly return home.
"My feeling is it’s going to be something stupid and small and minuscule when it’s all said and done but we will see,” Williams said.
Also, looks like one of the bad ass residents is now camping at the gate.