The Alamogordo Daily News reports [alamogordonews.com]:
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.”
She said she cannot comment on the specifics of the security issue.
[...] Otero County Sheriff Benny House said the Otero County Sheriff’s Office was asked to standby.
“The FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation] is refusing to tell us what’s going on,” House said. “We’ve got people up there (at Sunspot) that requested us to standby while they evacuate it. Nobody would really elaborate on any of the circumstances as to why. The FBI were up there. What their purpose was nobody will say.”
He said he has a lot of unanswered question about what occurred at Sunspot.
“But for the FBI to get involved that quick and be so secretive about it, there was a lot of stuff going on up there,” House said. “There was a Blackhawk helicopter, a bunch of people around antennas and work crews on towers but nobody would tell us anything.”
Why would the FBI order a sunspot research facility closed, but be unable (or unwilling) to give a reason?