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New Mexico Observatory Closure Stemmed from FBI Child Porn Probe

Published: September 20, 2018
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Source: cryptogon.com

<i>National Solar Observatory, Sacramento Peak, New Mexico by <a href='https://www.flickr.com/people/angel_malachite/'>Jöshua Barnett</a> on <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/angel_malachite/3566196652/'>flickr</a></i>
National Solar Observatory, Sacramento Peak, New Mexico by Jöshua Barnett on flickr

Via: Reuters:

The mysterious 11-day closure of a New Mexico solar observatory stemmed from an FBI investigation of a janitor suspected of using the facility’s wireless internet service to send and receive child pornography, federal court documents showed on Wednesday.

The National Solar Observatory in Sunspot, New Mexico, was evacuated without public explanation on Sept. 6, leading to a swirl of social media speculation and rumors driven by its proximity to two U.S. military installations and the town of Roswell.

The FBI affidavit identified the suspect as a janitor under contract to clean the facility, whose laptop was found to have been used to connect to the observatory’s wireless system.

According to the affidavit, observatory officials made the decision to close and evacuate the site out of concern that the suspect might pose a danger to other personnel.

The observatory was reopened on Monday.

The person has not been arrested or charged, and no arrest warrant has been issued, according to the FBI.

Related Articles:

FBI Finally Release Reason for Evacuating New Mexico Solar Observatory, It was Over Child Porn [thefreethoughtproject.com]

Sunspot National Solar Observatory resumed normal operations Monday after an FBI quarantine and investigation of the site, a nearby post office, and several area residences came to an end. Little to no details are known about the ‘security threat’ which prompted the deployment of military Black Hawk helicopters and numerous local, state, and federal law enforcement officials on Sept 6 to seize the site and surrounding area making it off limits.

The Sunspot Observatory is temporarily closed due to a security issue at the facility that’s located 17 miles south of Cloudcroft in the Sacramento Mountains Friday, an Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) spokeswoman Shari Lifson said. “The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy who manages the facility is addressing a security issue at this time,” Lifson said. “We have decided to vacate the facility at this time as precautionary measure. It was our decision to evacuate the facility.”

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