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Mysterious observatory evacuation stirs alien conspiracy theories

• https://www.cnet.com by Eric Mack

Corners of the internet are atwitter about a possible alien coverup after reports that a Blackhawk helicopter and federal agents swooped in and inexplicably evacuated a remote part of New Mexico, including a prominent solar observatory. 

FBI agents showed up at the Sunspot solar observatory in tiny Sunspot, New Mexico, on Friday and shut down the facility, evacuating the local area, including the town post office. 

"There was a Blackhawk helicopter, a bunch of people around antennas and work crews on towers, but nobody would tell us anything," Otero County Sheriff Benny House told the Alamogordo Daily News. "I don't know why the FBI would get involved so quick and not tell us anything."

Five days later, the observatory's website confirms the entire facility is closed to both staff and the public until further notice. 

"The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) who manages the facility is addressing a security issue at this time," AURA spokesperson Shari Lifson said in an emailed statement. "It's a temporary evacuation of the facility. We will open it up as soon as possible."

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