FBI Evacuates New Mexico Sunspot Observatory; Exercise for Predictors

The aura of exotic mystery makes this a good exercise for aspiring predictors. It might drag you in and keep you engaged. A most informative article is Mysterious Evacuation Of Solar Observatory Overlooking White Sands Smells Like Espionage.

Authors Rogoway and Treveithick could be dead on, or close. But as Sherlock Holmes would say to Dr. Watson, the most evident possibility is not necessarily the probability.  It helps to devise  alternative theories for comparison of relative strengths. Holmes’ method of logical deduction emphasized the exposure of contradictions hidden by superficial attraction.

Two theories without evident support are:

  • Something to do with space aliens.
  • Something to do with weapons of mass destruction.

These are examples of conspiracy theories, attractive to emotional disorder, but without any basis in fact. Noting that FBI agents swarmed over the antenna towers on the site, Rogoway and Treveithick find espionage a good fit.   There could have been eavesdropping devices on the towers, which overlook the White Sands Missile Range.

(CNN) Mysterious ‘security issue’ forces a solar observatory to be evacuated quotes a nearby resident: “We were told we had a credible threat through the FBI and to leave,” evacuee Sean Williams told the station. The on site postmaster was required to leave, but Apache Point Observatory, 0.5 miles south, remains open.

“Credible threat” could have literal meaning, or use as a term understood by the general public. This provokes one of the conundrums that would have intrigued Holmes. As a reason, it does not explain why:

  • There is no ground security perimeter.
  • The area under threat is geographically defined with precision.
  • Apache Point Observatory was allowed to remain open.
  • The site is closed “for a week.” Threats are not usually resolved on a timetable.
  • The extensive use of helicopters is not by itself curious, but with the lack of a security perimeter, it is.

So Rogoway and Treveithick are doing pretty good, though Holmes would not be satisfied with the dangling threads. But the above list contains all the information required for a complete solution.

A crucial question, which the news sites are particularly bad at figuring out, is who to consult. They like to cite authorities, meaning, people with badges. We don’t need no stinkin’ badges. Try an electrical engineer, preferably one with experience in RF (radio frequency).

I could give you an informed opinion, but it might seem authoritative, and it would deprive you of legwork. Go run down the electrical engineer. A local ham radio club might suffice. Print this out and bring it along. You’ll have an informed opinion, with a significant possibility of correctness.