Trouble With Sunspots

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Trouble With Sunspots

Postby toucana on September 15th, 2018, 5:26 am 

Sunspot.jpg
Coelostat Tower - Solar Observatory at Sunspot NM

For over a week, a curious story has been unfolding about the abrupt and unexplained closure of the National Solar Telescope facility at the aptly named Sunspot Solar Observatory located high in the Sacremento mountains of New Mexico.

The Gizmodo website probably has the best precis of events:
This is how it happens when extraterrestrials make contact with Earth.
It starts with a newspaper report about suspicious activity at a space research facility—government agents and military vehicles. The local sheriff gets angry and confused. Then the TV news reports feature interviews with locals saying things like, “Nothing really happens here very much. And since nobody knows, it could be almost anything.”

All that has happened over the last week at the National Solar Observatory in Sunspot, New Mexico, 130 miles southwest of Roswell—and the situation is still a mystery.

It seems to have started last Friday when the observatory was temporarily closed because of an undisclosed security issue. Shari Lifson, a spokesperson for the group that manages the facility—Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA)—told the Alamogordo Daily News: “We have decided to vacate the facility at this time as a precautionary measure. It was our decision to evacuate the facility.”

Otero County Sheriff Benny House told the Daily News that FBI agents told his officers to “standby,” and would not explain the security threat to him or why the federal law enforcement agency was involved. “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,” House said to the Daily News. “There was a Blackhawk helicopter, a bunch of people around antennas and work crews on towers, but nobody would tell us anything.”

House seemed especially confused since the staff at the observatory aren’t federal employees, as far as he knows. “These guys are regular workers that work for this company. I don’t know why the FBI would get involved so quick and not tell us anything,” he told the Daily News.

Frank Fisher, a public affairs officer at FBI’s Albuquerque Division, told Gizmodo that it was referring all inquiries to AURA. Lifson of AURA told Gizmodo today that the facility is still closed because the research group is still “addressing a security issue” and “is working with the proper authorities on this issue,” but has no further comment about the nature of the security issue.

A dispatcher at the Otero County Sheriff’s office told Gizmodo that the matter is still a complete mystery to their office. “We don’t know what is going on. We haven’t had any updates. We haven’t gotten any information at all,” he said. “There’s not much we can do about it. We’ve decided to respect their wishes. We’re not going to make any inquiries and they’re not telling us.”

[Alamogordo Daily News]

https://gizmodo.com/this-is-how-it-starts-fbi-suspiciously-locks-down-eva-1829012554


“Telescope Did Not See Aliens” was the title of a follow-up story published by Gizmodo based on an interview with the director of the National Solar Observatory:
James McAteer, a professor at New Mexico State University, clarified to Gizmodo that we probably wouldn’t even find extraterrestrials with a telescope. “Any aliens in our vicinity of the Universe are very likely microbial,” McAteer told Gizmodo. He also dispelled other theories. “There was no killer solar storm. Solar storms happen all the time. No observations of an imaginary planet.”

But he said he does not know why the FBI were involved. New Mexico State University runs the telescope, but the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) operates the property. “AURA closed the site. It was their decision,” McAteer said. “Neither AURA or local police have confirmed why, but I suggest approaching them as primary sources.”

Shari Lifson, a spokesperson for AURA told Gizmodo that “nothing has changed, the facility remains closed.”

https://gizmodo.com/telescope-did-not-see-aliens-director-of-mysteriously-1829058158
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Re: Trouble With Sunspots

Postby Braininvat on September 15th, 2018, 11:08 am 

Speaking to reporters, FBI agents Dana Scully and Fox Mulder presented opposing viewpoints on the mystery.

Said Mulder, pointing at the sky, "The truth is out there , but a creepy chain-smoking man doesn't want you to know about it. "

Scully countered, "I'm guessing a rodent infestation - and bubonic plague has been found in the tissues of rodents in the Southwest. Not every weird thing that happens around Roswell has to involve extraterrestrials."
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Re: Trouble With Sunspots

Postby toucana on September 16th, 2018, 7:15 am 

Mulder looked thoughtful, “Yes I guess that must be why they’ve got all those agents climbing up towers and radio antennae. They’re chasing the little critters around and whacking them over the head to contain the outbreak of plague”

“All right smart-ass” said Scully giving him a cool look, “Have you got a better idea, preferably one that doesn’t involve the Nephilim conducting a mass exodus from planet Nbiru in a mother ship with a giant armada of UFOs parked in a near solar orbit ?”

“Not this week” replied Mulder, “But I would draw your attention to the fact that the coelostat tower has a grandstand view of Holloman AFB which runs the nearby White Sands missile testing and proving grounds. It’s the largest single military installation in the whole of the USA".

"Do you know it’s also the place where they detonated Trinity, the first ever atom bomb on 16 July 1945 ?" he added. "Right up at the north end of the range there, at 5.29 am in the morning.”
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Re: Trouble With Sunspots

Postby Braininvat on September 16th, 2018, 12:04 pm 

Interesting theory, Agent Mulder. Perhaps an astronomer pointed his instruments in the wrong direction.
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Re: Trouble With Sunspots

Postby Braininvat on September 16th, 2018, 12:24 pm 

The Dunn observatory's website is pretty opaque on what's going on, but there's an email address there I might try...

https://sunspot.solar

The Wikipedia article is fascinating. The optical system extends deep underground and is suspended from a mercury float bearing (could there be a leak?).

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard ... _Telescope
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Re: Trouble With Sunspots

Postby toucana on September 17th, 2018, 9:35 am 

AURA have released a statement about the closure of the Sunspot solar observatory according to this report in UK newspaper Independent.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/alien-conspiracy-space-observatory-sunspot-new-mexico-fbi-aura-a8541021.html
AURA has been cooperating with an on-going law enforcement investigation of criminal activity that occurred at Sacramento Peak. During this time, we became concerned that a suspect in the investigation potentially posed a threat to the safety of local staff and residents. For this reason, AURA temporarily vacated the facility and ceased science activities at this location.

The decision to vacate was based on the logistical challenges associated with protecting personnel at such a remote location, and the need for expeditious response to the potential threat. AURA determined that moving the small number of on-site staff and residents off the mountain was the most prudent and effective action to ensure their safety.

Given the significant amount of publicity the temporary closure has generated, and the consequent expectation of an unusual number of visitors to the site, we are temporarily engaging a security service while the facility returns to a normal working environment.

We recognise that the lack of communications while the facility was vacated was concerning and frustrating for some. However, our desire to provide additional information had to be balanced against the risk that, if spread at the time, the news would alert the suspect and impede the law enforcement investigation. That was a risk we could not take.
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Re: Trouble With Sunspots

Postby zetreque on September 17th, 2018, 12:23 pm 

lol
and widespread news of FBI lurking around wouldn't alert the suspect.

I wonder how many UFO crazies were stalking the facility.
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Re: Trouble With Sunspots

Postby Braininvat on September 17th, 2018, 12:30 pm 

...and widespread news of FBI lurking around wouldn't alert the suspect.


Indeed.
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Re: Trouble With Sunspots

Postby Braininvat on September 21st, 2018, 1:34 pm 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/mor ... c5fdc51a5a

So, the janitor is acting weird and possibly was downloading porn. Am I missing something? I mean, does porn make you homicidal or a national security threat? Could they not take him in for questioning and then let him know he's suspended until further notice, and take his keycard? Did this really require interrupting the work of a group of scientists for a couple weeks and completely shutting the place down? I wonder if staff there are asking the same question.
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Re: Trouble With Sunspots

Postby toucana on September 21st, 2018, 4:01 pm 

You have the makings of a rather good film here, a sort of mash-up between Jodie Foster in Contact and Jack Nicholson in The Shining.

A remote and largely deserted facility located high up in the mountains along a frequently impassable road with a somewhat deranged janitor left in sole charge of affairs; who begins to act in an increasingly manic way, dashing from room to room with a large axe. - “Here’s Johnny !”

His psychosis is triggered by strange messages beaming down over the WiFi into his laptop, his only link with the outside world. Messages which superficially appear to be porn downloads, but in reality are coded attempts by aliens from outer space to establish first contact with the human race.

Why would aliens be sending us porn ? Well just think about it for a moment.

What else would aliens who have been sampling the expanding sphere of human electronic telecommunications output for the last 80 years as it propagates through space assume to be most likely to be of all consuming interest to us ? What else could aliens safely assume would dependably arouse the curiosity of a human audience and allow them to make contact with us?
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Re: Trouble With Sunspots

Postby toucana on September 21st, 2018, 4:13 pm 

Forget about sending us lengthy decimal expansions of Pi, the Fibonacci series, or the Periodic Table. No one will ever bother looking at that - least of all our scientists.

Just send us some freaky alien octopus porn and all the instalments of the Vegan version of Fifty Shades of Grey, and all will be well ;-)
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Re: Trouble With Sunspots

Postby kudayta on September 21st, 2018, 4:30 pm 

toucana » Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:13 pm wrote:the instalments of the Vegan version of Fifty Shades of Grey, and all will be well ;-)


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Re: Trouble With Sunspots

Postby Braininvat on September 23rd, 2018, 11:59 pm 

I get the Vegan/vegan thing but not sure I follow the comic.

It's some sort of humorous analogy, I guess?
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Re: Trouble With Sunspots

Postby toucana on September 26th, 2018, 3:41 am 

Think it's a riff on the theme of 'first contact' with inhabitants from the Vegan planetary system across untold #s of AU (astronomical urinals) of interplanetary space ;-)
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