A space observatory at the centre of swirling alien conspiracy theories has asked for “patience” as it continues to be locked down.
The Sunspot Solar Observatory in Sunspot, 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 the advanced technology inside of the facility spotted something it shouldn’t – such as proof of extraterrestrials, UFOs or even some baseless speculation that the observatory had spotted that the sun has started dying. The fact the observatory is only about 120 miles from the site of the Roswell UFO incident has only fuelled 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's department 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 manages the facility, gave an update on Facebook that was shared on the observatory’s own page.
“AURA – our management organisation – 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 responded to with a flurry of comments from followers who asked why the NSO was continuing to keep the facts secret. Many mentioned 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 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 page and was greeted with a flurry of curious messages.
“Why don’t you just tell us what is going on?” wrote one. “This is not cool. FBI needs to be frank.”