On September 6, a small solar observatory in Sunspot, New Mexico, essentially turned into the set of an X-Files episode after a horde of federal agents and a goddamn Blackhawk helicopter showed up to evacuate everyone and take over, without any explanation why. The conspiracy theories immediately started swirling (Aliens! Impending solar flares! More aliens!) but the FBI refused to give details to anybody—not even to the local sheriff, Benny House.
And House, like most local law enforcement in those X-Files episodes, is still suitably pissed about being kept in the dark. In a new interview with KVIA, the sheriff ripped into the FBI for continually refusing to tell him why it shut the place down.
"Is there a bomb threat? Is there an active shooter? Is it chemical?" House told KVIA. "We need to know so we know what kind of manpower to send up there, and without knowing, it's dangerous for everybody. We have a duty to protect and we can't protect them if we don't know what is going on."
Earlier this week, the Sunspot Solar Observatory announced it would finally reopen, releasing a statement explaining—sort of—what happened, blaming the whole mess on a "threat to the safety of local staff and residents."
“We recognize that the lack of communications while the facility was vacated was concerning and frustrating for some,” the observatory said. "However, our desire to provide additional information had to be balanced against the risk that, if spread at the time, the news would alert the suspect and impede the law enforcement investigation. That was a risk we could not take."
House's anger is pretty understandable, since he was, uh, literally elected to look after Sunspot, and is now being completely iced out.
"I think it's chicken shit the way the FBI handled it," he said in the interview. "I have a responsibility to protect my citizens. I think it's paramount that we know what the threat is so we can provide safety."
For now, it looks like House won't be getting anything more than a weak-ass PR statement for an explanation, just like the rest of us. Luckily, there are plenty of Reddit sleuths online still working tirelessly to solve the mystery—so House can go read up on Chinese spies and how they've been covertly stealing secrets from White Sands Missile Base or whatever until those "chicken shit" feds decide to fill him in on the truth.
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