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Editorial: Another UFO mystery for New Mexico?

Did the National Solar Observatory, near Alamogordo, capture proof of UFOs, extraterrestrials, or maybe some end-of the-world catastrophe heading our way?

Or perhaps Russian or Chinese hackers have compromised the computers and video devices at the observatory? Or there’s been some kind of U.S. Embassy Cuban sonic attack?

There’s no shortage of speculation about the cause of the bizarre evacuation of the observatory and a nearby post office on Sept. 6.

The facilities are scheduled to open today, but it hasn’t stopped the wild rumors.

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, which manages the observatory, would only say it “is addressing a security issue” and “has decided to temporarily vacate the facility as a precautionary measure.” The situation, whatever it is, was serious enough to draw the FBI there. Others report seeing unknown authorities hovering in helicopters and driving up in vehicles. Shades of “The X-Files?”

The FBI says no, actually issuing a short statement that the closure was not due to “extraterrestrials.” A U.S. Postal Service spokesman called the situation “strange” after authorities walked into the nearby post office without warning and told the clerk to evacuate.

Otero County Sheriff Benny House, meanwhile, says he’s in the dark about the whole thing. All of the secrecy surrounding this incident – whatever it might be – is only stoking fears and conspiracy theories. Let’s hope that AURA and the FBI let the public know sooner rather than later what’s happening at the site. In the meantime, we ask nearby residents to let us know if agents Mulder and Scully show up.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.