Often at Mind Over Mystery we encounter a tantalizing story that’s just popped in the news. But will the supposed “mystery” be solved the next day, will the ghost in the closet turn out to be just a mouse, so to speak?

But the “Mystery of the Evacuated Observatory” just has to be an interesting story, no matter what more we learn about it. We thank the Washington Post for calling it to our attention.

SUNSPOT, N.M. — At a small solar observatory tucked away in the woods of a national forest here, scientists and other personnel were commanded last week to leave at once. A week later, the facility remains vacant, and no one is willing to say why…

Did the researchers spot something extraterrestrial? Was the solar telescope hacked by a foreign power and deployed to spy on, say, the state’s missile testing range? Or is there an innocuous explanation, suppressed only because of corporate and government resistance to transparency?

Robert Moore, Washington Post, September 14, 2018

Note the able journalists, Moore and company, hit the important themes.

Yes, it’s conceivable some “national security” issue justified the FBI sweeping though the place, closing it down, and imposing strict secrecy. But if so, a delicate security issue flowing from a small astronomy outpost…what in the world could it be?

That story, should it ever emerge, would have more eye-watering layers than any onion.

And as the Post journalists intimate, sometimes “mysteries” turn out to be little more than human stumbling and bumbling, followed by a lot of awkward covering of bureaucratic rear ends. But even that would have some kind of damned interesting backstory. The coverup more interesting than the crime, and all that.

This probably has nothing to do with Roswell, and its myths, hours away.

New Mexico is full of responsible, utterly sane people. And from time to time, odd happenings like a little solar observatory in the middle of absolutely nowhere, shut down as if nuclear weapons were about to detonate.

We’d all like to know why.