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It Turns Out the Government Shut Down That Solar Observatory Because of ... Child Porn

Sunspot

Last week I posted the story of Sunspot Solar Observatory in New Mexico being shut down by the FBI for secret reasons they not only refused to share with the public, but with local law enforcement. They barred the county Sheriff from the facility without cause or explanation.

I said then the federal government will come up with something. They always do. Something benign sounding. A terror threat. A nerve gas spill, like they did in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. (Which seemed to be where they were going earlier in the week when there were rumors of a mercury leak from one of the telescopes.) Hacking from some foreign government, maybe. Someone clogged the toilets or reheated fish in the microwave in the break room. Anything other than some observer at the observatory observing something they shouldn’t have observed.

Well, in a manner of speaking, that’s exactly what the government is saying:

The facility re-opened on Monday, and federal court documents filed on Wednesday revealed the sickening truth about the cryptic 11-day closure.

A night janitor was suspected of using the observatory’s WiFi network to send and receive pornographic images of children from his personal laptop, according to a search warrant.

Investigators using a child protection database traced the child porn to an IP address used at the observatory in July, the warrant states.

The FBI also spoke with the chief observer at the facility, who said he’d found a laptop running in empty offices, which had images on it that were ‘not good’ and appeared to be child porn, KRQE reported.

The FBI began monitoring the network to see the time of day that the child porn was being sent and received, and found it only matched the presence of one employee: the overnight janitor. …

The chief observer became concerned for his personal safety after the janitor stated that he ‘believed there was a serial killer in the area’ and that the killer might enter the observatory and execute someone.

At that point the agencies that operate the facility decided to shut it down out of an abundance of caution.

The janitor is the main suspect, although he has yet to be charged in the case.

The observatory has terminated its contract with the cleaning company that employed the janitor, which is owned by the janitor’s parents. …

Secrecy persisted even as local media reported the FBI has showed up to the site, and Blackhawk helicopters were seen circling overhead.

OK. Well that explains that. That’s why the most powerful law enforcement agency in the land shut down an observatory for 11 days. Why they evacuated a facility in the New Mexico mountains. Why they barred local law enforcement from the area. Why they scrambled the Blackhawks. And why it’s all been kept a secret. Because a creepy pedo janitor was using their Wifi to download kiddie porn and said there’s a serial killer on the loose. Got it.

A cynical man might doubt this. Might dismiss this as just a cover story because it seems unlikely the feds would keep the local sheriffs in the dark about something as routine (and tragically common) as a pedophile investigation. Question why they wouldn’t just grab the pedo’s laptop and search his parents’ cleaning business. Perhaps ask why he hasn’t been criminally charged yet. Or say that no one would take seriously the rantings of a crazy custodian about a serial killer threatening an astronomy tower. Like if there’s one place mass murderers like to operate it’s the target rich environment of … the middle of the great southwest desert.

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And I will add that I vaguely remember watching a show one time where the government discredited a conspiracy theorist by planting child porn on his computer. There they kept him from becoming a whistleblower by destroying his life. Was it X-Files? 24 maybe? House of Cards? Honestly I can’t remember. I started to Google it but the last thing I want are those references on my search history. So instead let me just state categorically I am NOT one of those cynics who doubts what the FBI is telling us here. They closed down a tourist destination for astronomy buffs for a week and a half because the guy who cleans the bathrooms was downloading “not good” content and not because of proof of extraterrestrials or anything of the sort. Period. End of discussion. I’m glad everything has been cleared up.

So thank you, agents, for doing your best to keep all of us safe. You’re doing an amazing job and I for one give you my utmost support.