The abrupt closure of a solar observatory in New Mexico last week due to an undisclosed "security problem" has prompted innumerable conspiracy theories on the Internet, most of which focus on extraterrestrial activity.
And, the continuous silence has only fueled the fire.
The National Solar Observatory in Sunspot has been closed since last Thursday, along with the nearby post office, but officials remain closed as to what is happening.
The secret persists even when local media reports that the FBI has shown up at the scene, and Blackhawk helicopters have been seen circling overhead.
Now, the observatory finally issued a statement on its website and on social networks, but little has been done to calm the emotion, without offering any explanation as to why the installation was closed.
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The National Solar Observatory in Sunspot, NM has been closed since last Thursday, along with the nearby post office, and the affected employees have no idea why. The mysterious activity coincides with a solar storm, which hit the Earth this week
Sunspot Solar Observatory tweeted a link to its statement on Thursday, September 13, exactly one week after the initial closure.
"On Thursday, September 6, AURA made the decision to temporarily shut down Sunspot," the observatory said in a statement shared on social media.
& # 39; The Sunspot Solar Observatory continues to work closely with AURA to allow us to reopen as soon as possible.
"With the excitement that this closure has generated, we hope you will visit us when we reopen, and see for yourself the services we provide to science and public reach in heliophysics."
Although several days have passed since the evacuation, no details have been disclosed.
The installation is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) and has been vacant since September 6.
Last week, an AURA spokesperson told the Alamogordo Daily News that they evacuated as a "precautionary measure."
Otero County Sheriff Benny House revealed that even the local security forces have remained in the dark, despite being told to remain vigilant.
"The FBI refuses to tell us what's going on," House told Alamogordo Daily News.
The observatory finally issued a statement on its website and social media, but did not do much to calm the emotion, and offered no explanation as to why the installation was closed.
"We have people up there who asked us to stand by while they evacuated." No one would really explain in any of the circumstances as to why.
& # 39; The FBI was up there. What was his purpose nobody would say. But for the FBI to get involved so quickly and be so reserved about it, many things were happening up there.
"There was a Blackhawk helicopter, a group of people around the antennas and work teams in the towers, but nobody told us anything."
As of September 11, officials confirmed that the facilities were still closed, and that they would not be reopened until they were given a green light.
"On September 6 they told us they were going to evacuate us along with the surrounding area, they did not tell us why," USPS spokesman Rod Sturgeon told ABC 7 KVIA.
"They told us we were out of the area, we are still suspended until we are allowed to return."
The mysterious activity has provoked conspiracy theories on the Internet given its alignment with the solar storm this week. It is expected that a solar storm that could damage the power supply, affect the satellites and trigger auroras hit the Earth's atmosphere on September 11.
BELIEVE IN THEORY OF CONSPIRACY? YOU ARE PROBABLY A NARCISIS, THE INVESTIGATORS SAY
People who doubt moon landings are more likely to be selfish and seek attention, according to a recent study.
In the course of three online studies, researchers at the University of Kent showed strong links between belief in conspiracy theories and negative psychological traits.
Writing in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, the team explained: "Previous research linked the backing of conspiracy theories to low self-esteem."
In the first study, a total of 202 participants completed questionnaires about conspiracy beliefs, and asked how much they agreed with the specific statements, as if governments carried out acts of terrorism in their own territory.
Along with this, they were asked to complete a narcissistic scale and an assessment of self-esteem.
The results showed that people who scored high on the narcissistic scale and had low self-esteem were more likely to be conspiracy believers.
The conspiracies were fueled by the mysterious alignment of the incident with a geomagnetic storm, which sent charged solar particles flowing into Earth's atmosphere earlier this week.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a storm alert for a G2 solar storm that is considered "moderate" on the 5-level scale (5 is the highest).
In addition to possible GPS disturbances and interruptions in satellites, the event of this scale would have little effect on the day to day business.