Closure of National Solar Observatory explained

And it isn’t what anyone thought in previous speculations, which included aliens, strange celestial objects, NASA’s recent launch of a solar probe, or a mercury spill from the “float bearing” of the main telescope. No, it’s far worse than any of those things.

From KTSM-TV in El Paso:

By Aaron Bracamontes

A federal search warrant reveals that Sunspot Solar Observatory was shut down as FBI agents conducted computer forensic searches for child pornography.

The source of child pornography was traced to an IP address used at the observatory and a source within the building observed a computer with “not good” images on it, the warrant states.

An investigation by the FBI revealed that a janitor is the main suspect in the search, however he has not been charged with a crime even though his name is on the warrant.

The warrant states the suspect would use the observatory Wifi and a personal laptop to download the child pornography.

A limited number of people have access to the observatory from dusk until dawn, which helped narrow their search.

The observatory in the mountains of southern New Mexico had been closed since Sept. 6 because of an undisclosed security concern, but reopened on Monday.

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Larry in Texas
September 20, 2018 7:37 am

That’s something. It’s also why you always have to keep an eye on the janitor in any operation. Wow.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Larry in Texas
September 20, 2018 8:48 am

Yep. Full access to everywhere (including inside the super-secure room where they have all the monitors for security so they know where the cameras are), usually there when nobody else is.

Don’t ask me how I know this…

Phil.
Reply to  Caligula Jones
September 20, 2018 9:02 am

I recall having a problem with an issue like this, we noticed that one of our lab office computers appeared to have been tampered with overnight. I set up a camera with a motion detector in the room and recorded janitors using the computers at about 2-3am to watch porn. We reported to the supervisor and he came to see us and said that his guys had denied it. We showed him the movie and he went very quiet, didn’t happen again. In those days such camera systems were very rare (mine was used for research in the lab), so the idea that we would have a movie of them was a complete shock.

brians356
Reply to  Phil.
September 21, 2018 11:50 pm

At a company where we made the earliest video disk recorders, our expensive ping pong paddles were being abused. We suspected after hours contract cleaning personnel, so we set up a time-lapse camera (which was standing nearby anyway, unobtrusively) and caught them playing ping pong when they were supposed to be cleaning the building. All fired by their employer.

Greg
Reply to  Caligula Jones
September 20, 2018 9:21 am

Probably just some 50y.o. British diver, who lost his way in a cave ! 😉

Greg
Reply to  Greg
September 20, 2018 9:42 am

Ring Musk to find out how that works.

philsalmon
Reply to  Greg
September 20, 2018 11:26 am

You’ll probably get his lawyer if you phone him.

A fool and his money are soon parted.

Greg
Reply to  philsalmon
September 20, 2018 12:21 pm

Well the “pedo” in question is demanding 75k in damages. On the face of it a poultry sum in view of the offensive nature of the claims and the global reach of Musk’s accusations.

Looks to me a lot like a token claim where he is hoping Musk will just say that’s peanuts, give the guy a cheque, I have other things to take care of.

Out of court settlement with a non disclosure agreement, as usual.

Now, whether the ageing, single white guy in one of the most notorious pedo enclaves in Thailand is up to no good , is anybodies guess. Musk has certainly overstepped the mark with what appears to be totally circumstantial speculation.

If Thailand wanted to shut down sex trade tourism they would have done so decades ago.

The fact that Thais will sell their own children for greenbacks is the disgusting reality of the “land of a thousand smiles”.

John Tillman
Reply to  philsalmon
September 20, 2018 12:27 pm

Thailand is also a cave-diving mecca, so IMO Musk’s reckless accusation was unwarranted.

I agree that the party wronged by the baseless allegation should have asked for more compensation. He could have settled for 75 grand privately.

TSLA is doing the diving now.

Greg
Reply to  philsalmon
September 20, 2018 12:34 pm

yep, half a mil would have been a more credible starting point. If he was more sure of his position. But that may have been enough for Musk to send a private dick out there and dig into to the guys life a bit and see how private his dick really was.

From what I saw of ex-pats in Thailand, most of them are not there for the climate.

Steve Keppel-Jones
Reply to  philsalmon
September 20, 2018 1:26 pm

Greg wrote “75k in damages. On the face of it a poultry sum”

A poultry sum? 75k isn’t chickenfeed, you know!

John Tillman
Reply to  philsalmon
September 20, 2018 1:33 pm

Greg September 20, 2018 at 12:34 pm

You’re right that Musk might have renewed his charge after investigating privately.

John Tillman
Reply to  philsalmon
September 20, 2018 1:36 pm

Steve Keppel-Jones September 20, 2018 at 1:26 pm

A poultry sum for such a fowl allegation!

Khwarizmi
Reply to  philsalmon
September 20, 2018 2:27 pm

Greg,
the guy has a 40 year old partner.
https://metro.co.uk/2018/09/05/girlfriend-of-hero-rescue-diver-elon-musk-dubbed-pedo-guy-reveals-truth-behind-child-bride-slurs-7916854/
You could have learned that with a few keystrokes, but decided to spout defamatory innuendo instead.
You should apply for a job with the MSM!

Ian H
Reply to  philsalmon
September 20, 2018 3:53 pm

Americans think any sum which doesn’t end in “illions” is simply too small to sue over. The rest of the world has a better sense of proportion and indeed a much more functional legal system.

Reply to  philsalmon
September 20, 2018 5:46 pm

This is just ugly and abusive bullying by Musk, it won’t send his popularity through the roof, especially when the climate scan that he is riding craters, he will crater with it.

JIm B
Reply to  philsalmon
September 21, 2018 9:19 am

Greg: I love it…”poultry sum”…just chicken feed.

John Endicott
Reply to  philsalmon
September 21, 2018 10:24 am

Well the “pedo” in question is demanding 75k in damages. On the face of it a poultry sum in view of the offensive nature of the claims and the global reach of Musk’s accusations

a paultry sum to those of us living in the affluent west. In Thailand, 75k is probably a fortune in comparison.

Jim Berkise
Reply to  Caligula Jones
September 20, 2018 12:30 pm

I can guess, I once had the job of maintenance scheduler (for the cleaning contractor, interfacing with PA Operations) at the World Trade Center in NYC; it was quite surprising what I had access to.

commieBob
Reply to  Larry in Texas
September 20, 2018 8:53 am

We had a big problem at my first employer finding janitors who could pass the security clearence.

Back before CCTV was ubiquitos my students were having their stuff go missing from their dedicated lab. They managed to hide a giant camera and caught a janitor in the act.

Janitors face horrible temptation because there’s valuable stuff and nobody around to see what they’re doing.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  commieBob
September 20, 2018 9:13 am

Isn’t a janitor a kind of butler?

The butler did it?

eyesonu
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
September 20, 2018 10:53 am

lol

john
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
September 20, 2018 11:29 am

It really was Professor Plum!

David Suzuki?

John Endicott
Reply to  john
September 20, 2018 12:10 pm

Peter Glick looking to steal and/or manufacture more documents?

Greg
Reply to  john
September 20, 2018 12:25 pm

Please don’t confuse wire fraud with theft. Fraud if far more serious.

BTW, theft involves depriving the rightful owner of his possessions. Making an illicit copy or illegally gaining gaining access to a copy is NOT theft.

Rebranding copyright infringement as “theft” is a hoax by the music industry to promote a civil offence to the importance of a felony.

Theft is a felony, copying is NOT.

John Endicott
Reply to  john
September 20, 2018 1:01 pm

usually those who insist that copyright infringement isn’t “bad” are guilty of doing so themselves. whatever semantic games you need to play to make yourself feel better. It’s still against the law, as is identity theft (which Glick engaged in so as to acquire those ill gotten documents) Defend him all you want, the guy is [insert expletive here as I’m sure the mods wouldn’t like how I’d end that sentence]

MarkW
Reply to  john
September 20, 2018 2:55 pm

If you take something without paying for it, that is theft.

John Endicott
Reply to  john
September 21, 2018 8:58 am

Indeed MarkW, the definition of theft/stealing is “1.take (another person’s property) without permission or legal right” it says nothing of whether or not that other person is then deprived of those possessions. It’s about the taker not about what the person taken from is left with. whether you take my physical property (like a car) or my intellectual property (like a song or a design) you are stealing from me. you are a thief regardless of what apologists for that thievery might wish to think.

One should not mistake how the law classifies various sub-types of a crime (based on the method, motive, severity, and other factors of the crime) as if they are talking about different un-related things. For example: the law classifies killing (the taking of another’s life) with various crime sub-types such as felony murder, manslaughter, justifiable homicide, etc but ultimately they’re all talking about the same thing: the taking of another’s life IE killing. Similarly, copyright infringement is a sub-type of theft, plain and simple – you took something that didn’t belong to you ie you stole ergo you are a thief.

Greg
Reply to  commieBob
September 20, 2018 9:41 am

Janitors face horrible temptation

Poor things , how unfair expecting them to be honest. Isn’t that called entrapment?

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Greg
September 20, 2018 6:10 pm

If I pay for it, but it’s not for sale, is it still theft?

Rocketscientist
Reply to  commieBob
September 20, 2018 10:19 am

I work in secure site where classified projects are conducted. We’ve had a few “janitors” dismissed because these “janitors” had advanced degrees in engineering and physics that were not disclosed on their employment forms. Our security team determined that these ‘janitors’ probably were not janitors and only wanted access to facilities when nobody was around.

dodgy geezer
Reply to  Rocketscientist
September 20, 2018 10:19 pm

So… if you have a good degree but can’t get a job, we would prefer you to beg on the streets rather than earn money cleaning…

TeaPartyGeezer
Reply to  dodgy geezer
September 20, 2018 10:33 pm

I don’t think that’s his point at all.
It wasn’t just that they were overqualified for the job.
It’s that they failed to disclose that point when applying for the job.
Employers react negatively to employees who lie to them.
Especially when it threatens sensitive security issues.

John Endicott
Reply to  dodgy geezer
September 21, 2018 10:18 am

Indeed TeaPartyGreen. working in a classified areas of a facility usually requires getting a clearance of some kind (even for the janitorial staff, unless you are going to have someone escort them around the whole time they are cleaning in the classified area) which requires proper disclosure when filling out the clearance forms. Failure to disclose information can and will be viewed negatively.

John Endicott
Reply to  dodgy geezer
September 21, 2018 10:19 am

TeaPartyGeezer not TeaPartyGreen

Allencic
Reply to  Larry in Texas
September 20, 2018 8:55 am

Back in the good old days before cell phones, when long distance calls were expensive, I was called into my Department Head’s office to talk about why I rang up hundreds of dollars of long distance calls. I had no idea what he was talking about. The calls were to distant states to phone numbers I didn’t know. It turns out that the night time janitor was spending hours sitting at my desk calling everyone he knew.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Allencic
September 20, 2018 1:17 pm

We had a receptionist (from Cuba) who was dismissed because she accepted collect calls from her imprisoned boyfriend…

MarkG
Reply to  Allencic
September 21, 2018 7:51 am

One company I worked for years ago was a bit surprised when a new hire had a $30,000 phone bill. Turned out he’d spent his first month calling phone sex lines.

He was sacked, but I guess he figured it was better than getting paid.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  MarkG
September 21, 2018 2:36 pm

But surely not as good as getting laid?

Philip Franklin
Reply to  Larry in Texas
September 20, 2018 9:12 am

Larry, it’s how the class system has changed: once upon a time the butler did it; now, it’s the janitor!

Rhoda Klapp
Reply to  Philip Franklin
September 20, 2018 9:41 am

And he woulda got away with it, too, if it wasn’t fer those pesky kids. On his hard drive.

Schitzree
Reply to  Rhoda Klapp
September 20, 2018 10:39 am

>¿<

John Endicott
Reply to  Rhoda Klapp
September 20, 2018 12:08 pm

where’s the like button when you want it? that twist on the old Scooby doo line is worth a thumbs up, it certainly brought a smile to my face.

beng135
Reply to  Rhoda Klapp
September 21, 2018 8:08 am

Jinkies!

John Endicott
Reply to  beng135
September 21, 2018 9:40 am

Don’t where, Fred will cobble together an elaborate trap to capture the ghost disguised janitor from a few lengths of rope, a box, and a pair of roller skates.

John Endicott
Reply to  beng135
September 21, 2018 9:43 am

don’t where worry

Where’s that edit button when you need it. between my typos and the auto correct replacing with rather random words, I could really use that edit button.

Greg
Reply to  Larry in Texas
September 20, 2018 9:49 am

OT heads up: ice extent minimum 19/20th Sept 2018.

( if we are still playing that game )

RACookPE1978
Editor
Reply to  Greg
September 20, 2018 9:56 am

Well, yes – That “game” is still fun to play. Near meaningless, but fun to play.
But on other threads. Not this one.
On the other hand, “Less arctic sea ice (over the course of an entire year) = More heat lost to the infinite cold of outer space from the Arctic Ocean. “

Another Paul
Reply to  Greg
September 20, 2018 9:59 am

Abolish ICE?

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Another Paul
September 20, 2018 11:37 am

Fight Plate Tectonics.

(h/t D Middleton)

Greg61
Reply to  Larry in Texas
September 20, 2018 12:15 pm

One place I worked had security cameras in the cafeteria. I guess the male and female cleaners did not know that. I took my lunch back to the office after that, there’s not enough bleach to clean those tables.

gary turner
Reply to  Larry in Texas
September 20, 2018 2:53 pm

The butler did it.

Kenneth Hunter
Reply to  Larry in Texas
September 21, 2018 5:06 pm

Yeah. No higher up would be foolish enough to leave kiddie porn on a company computer, right?

Kenneth Hunter
Reply to  Larry in Texas
September 21, 2018 5:09 pm

Because no higher up would ever do such a thing, right?

Brad
September 20, 2018 7:39 am

Calling possible BS on this one.
Heard a Blackhawk was used to access the site?
And being shut down for 11 days?

Reply to  Brad
September 20, 2018 7:45 am

Gotta use all that cop equipment. Think of Alice’s Restaurant. Cheers –

Tom Halla
Reply to  agimarc
September 20, 2018 7:51 am

Yeah. Send in a SWAT team?

J Mac
Reply to  agimarc
September 20, 2018 7:56 am

One of my all time favorites…
“They was taking plaster tire tracks, foot prints, dog smelling prints, and 27 8×10 color glossy photos, with circles and arrows, and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what it was and how it was to be used as evidence against us in court.”

ripshin
Editor
Reply to  J Mac
September 20, 2018 10:33 am

JMac,

LOL. A favorite line of mine, for various situations, is, “And they all moved away from me on the bench.”

No one ever gets it…which, somehow, makes it even funnier to me.

rip

Taphonomic
Reply to  ripshin
September 20, 2018 10:59 am

You can get anything you want…

E J Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Brad
September 20, 2018 7:49 am

The pron involved aliens, perhaps?

John Endicott
Reply to  E J Zuiderwijk
September 20, 2018 9:26 am

The pron involved “aliens” and the launching of a “probe” resulting in s “spill”. So it was all true 😉

D. Anderson
Reply to  Brad
September 20, 2018 9:02 am

I hope someone follows up to see if this “janitor”, or anyone gets indicted over this.

John Endicott
Reply to  D. Anderson
September 20, 2018 11:44 am

Indeed. considering the serious nature of the crime being claimed, if someone (the janitor?) doesn’t get brought up on charges that would be extremely suspicious. Have you ever heard a new story about someone “caught” with child porn like this and that person not being immediately being arrested and brought up on charges?

colin
Reply to  John Endicott
September 20, 2018 12:21 pm

there was a NM jihadi camp training kids and some dead kids bodies were discovered. prosecutors slept on it until it was declared a mistrial. it happened 8/29/18

John Endicott
Reply to  colin
September 20, 2018 12:49 pm

a mistrial means it went to trial meaning there were charges and arrest(s) made. That the prosecutors bungled it doesn’t negate that.

Editor
Reply to  colin
September 21, 2018 8:38 am

Yes, the local prosecutors AND FBI failed to write the charge papers up in time, the terrorist running that camp for school shooters were let go from police custody because the deadline was missed. Never could come to trial to be declared a mistrial.

Greg Freemyer
Reply to  John Endicott
September 21, 2018 2:07 pm

John,

Do you have any idea how hard it is to prosecute CP?

Step 1: Find at least one victim with 100% certainty and confirm they are under 18.

The victim is the child in the picture.

After that it gets much easier.

The gov’t maintains a database of pictures and videos where the victim has been 100% identified. The FBI agent that made the identification then spends the rest of his career flying from one court case to the next to testify as to who the victim is, etc.

So the process is:

– Image computer
– Process computer to determine the hash of every file on the computer
– compare each of those hashes to a database of CP imagery with 100% known victims

– if no matches, start the arduous task of trying to find out who the victims are in the images

That can take months or years. Without a known victim, I don’t believe there will be a trial.

John Endicott
Reply to  Greg Freemyer
September 24, 2018 6:44 am

Do you have any idea how hard it is to prosecute CP?

Greg, we’re not talking prosecution at this stage, we are talking about arrest. You don’t have to prove all that you talk about in order to make an arrest. The authorities claim it was a case of CP and they claim it was the janitor what done it. that means that have enough evidence to make an arrest, whether that evidence is then sufficient to make a successful prosecution is a complete different story. If every arrest required the level of proof you speak of there would either be fewer arrests and/or no failed prosecutions.

john
Reply to  Brad
September 20, 2018 11:25 am

What agout the post office? Was the janitor a part time postal employee?

DonK31
Reply to  john
September 20, 2018 12:40 pm

I’ve been to Sunspot. The Post Office serves only those who live there and the only ones who live there work at the observatory. If there is no one at the observatory, no need for a PO to be open. Sunspot is not a town, it’s a company camp.

Greg
Reply to  Brad
September 20, 2018 12:43 pm

What do you think is BS ?

The place was shut down and totally evacuated. A ghost down.

Why they may have needed to do that because of the alleged presence of some dodgy photos, is less clear. A dawn ride, an arrest and custody of a few desktop computers would seem more logical.

No dawn raid would be complete without a Blackhawn and a SWAT team. Why they shut the place down like they had discovered a Novichok factory is another question.

John Endicott
Reply to  Greg
September 21, 2018 10:11 am

What do you think is BS ?

I think you answered your own question with:

Why they shut the place down like they had discovered a Novichok factory is another question

That’s why someone would call BS. As you pointed out a “dawn raid, an arrest and custody of a few desktop computers would seem more logical”. But that’s not what happened, instead we got an 11-day shut down with no arrest (so far) seems rather excessive (and inept, if an arrest doesn’t get made) for what has been claimed to be a case of a janitor downloading/distributing kiddie pron. Seems there must be more to the story than we are being told. I’m not saying it’s aliens, but I don’t think it’s just a pervert janitor either.

ozspeaksup
Reply to  Brad
September 21, 2018 4:03 am

yeah, woulda been far easier to tap the lines and then quietly go nab him or hidden cams
someone saw a screen “not good”
so that sounds off as well- as if janatorial staff would risk using their own device OR staff ones while anyone at all was around?

what an utter load of coverup applied by trowel
and if it was coming from their IT then why close the local PO?
and remove everyone?
this reks of misdirection…look!! squirrels!

Greg Freemyer
Reply to  Brad
September 21, 2018 1:59 pm

I have to at least partially disagree. I called in a CP matter at major gov’t site recently. The FBI came and did their thing, and as you suggest it was handled in one visit. “Bag and Tag” doesn’t take very long, several hours at most typically.

But they took every computer in the vicinity of the known CP activity.

I can see it taking days and even 11 days replace all the hardware / software get the place operational again.

And every FBI Special Agent has a top secret clearance as well as their support staff. It might have taken a couple days to organize the logistics, but the actual downtim

Jim G
Reply to  Brad
September 21, 2018 11:00 pm

FBI has about 8 Blackhawks for their tactical teams.
My guess is they secured the guy, then searched the premises.
The only field offices are in Albuquerque and El Paso.

I have been to Sunspot.
It’s a bit of a drive.
Very cool place.

Not much for solar observing at night though.
Thank goodness for dumb criminals.

Robert W Turner
September 20, 2018 7:43 am

Wow, they evacuated the entire area for over a week for that and no one has even been charged with a crime. Sounds reeeal believable.

Harry Passfield
Reply to  Robert W Turner
September 20, 2018 9:20 am

Was the absence of the observatory noticed?

marque2
Reply to  Harry Passfield
September 20, 2018 10:53 am

That actually is a very good question.

beng135
Reply to  Robert W Turner
September 21, 2018 10:48 am

They had solid evidence that Russian collusion was taking place.

dmacleo
September 20, 2018 7:45 am

why shutdown the post office then?

Craig
Reply to  dmacleo
September 20, 2018 8:01 am

Why take two weeks to give people the reason cover story if it was just a pervert janitor?

Robertvd
Reply to  Craig
September 20, 2018 1:57 pm

Maybe he was a russian pervert janitor or a climate change denier pervert janitor.

John Endicott
Reply to  Robertvd
September 21, 2018 10:04 am

or a climate change denier pervert janitor.

the worst kind of pervert janitor /sarc

Myron Mesecke
Reply to  dmacleo
September 20, 2018 8:44 am

That is the first thing I thought of too.

John Endicott
Reply to  dmacleo
September 20, 2018 11:38 am

and why not let the County Sheriff department know what’s going on so that they can help in the capture of the offending janitor? And what was the black hawk helicopter needed for? What was the “bunch of people running around antennas and work crews on towers” all about? And why was it referred to as a “security issue”. Since when is some pervert janitor downloading/watching and/or uploading naughty videos a security issue? I’m seriously not saying it’s aliens, but there are lots of questions which the “official” story doesn’t answer.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Endicott
September 20, 2018 12:17 pm

John,

It could just be that the FBI didn’t want to drive all the way up to ~9300 feet, the approximate elevation of the observatory.

They’ve got to use their travel budget or lose it.

Greg F
Reply to  John Endicott
September 20, 2018 12:25 pm

Since when is some pervert janitor downloading/watching and/or uploading naughty videos a security issue?

Delivery of malware.

John Endicott
Reply to  Greg F
September 21, 2018 10:03 am

Since it’s a solar observatory and not the Pentagon, I highly doubt there’s any national security data that could be compromised by a malware infection there. So more an IT issue than a security issue.

John Tillman
Reply to  Greg F
September 21, 2018 2:19 pm

Maybe the observatory observed more than just the sun.

J Mac
September 20, 2018 7:46 am

From Fox News today:
“Officials on Monday said the observatory did not communicate with the public during the investigation because they didn’t want the suspect to be tipped off. “[O]ur 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,” officials said.

Investigators determined the observatory’s janitor had used his laptop to connect to the facility’s wireless internet system, an FBI affidavit said. Federal authorities obtained a warrant to the search the suspect’s residence, Reuters reported, citing FBI records.

On Sept. 14, FBI agents removed three cell phones, five laptops, one iPad, an external hard drive, and other electronic devices, from the suspect’s home, FBI records showed. An FBI spokesman said the case is still under investigation. According to the FBI, the suspect has not been arrested or charged.”

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/09/20/new-mexico-observatory-shut-down-amid-fbi-child-porn-investigation-documents.html

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  J Mac
September 20, 2018 9:01 am

How was he not tipped-off? Even if he didn”t think he was the target of the shutdown, he had to worry it could uncover what he’d been up to.

Greg
Reply to  Michael Jankowski
September 20, 2018 1:05 pm

If he turned up at work , found the place was like the Marie Celeste and his pedo PC was missing, even the dumbest of the dumb would think OH S-H-I_T , they’re onto me.

Much more likely that they have finally worked out how Trump campaign was communicating with Poot’un.

Muller is going to invoke art. 25 on the grounds that Trump’s wang is “below average size” and looks like a mushroom, thus making him legally unfit for office.

John Endicott
Reply to  Greg
September 21, 2018 10:00 am

Muller is going to invoke art. 25 on the grounds that Trump’s wang is “below average size” and looks like a mushroom, thus making him legally unfit for office.

well he does have small hands and you know what they say about small hands

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  John Endicott
September 21, 2018 2:54 pm

Small hands = radio announcers.

(“Wee paws for station identification”)

John Endicott
Reply to  J Mac
September 20, 2018 11:47 am

And how does “not tipping him off” mean they had to keep the local Sheriff’s department in the dark as well?

Caligula Jones
Reply to  J Mac
September 20, 2018 1:25 pm

“other electronic devices”

Gee, I hope some of those involve monitors, keyboards and mice (seriously, ever watch one of these raids where they take everything?)*

*ok, I know, they can dust for prints and swab for, um, fluids and stuff, but back in the old days, it was hilarious when you’d see some poor SOB trying to haul one of those yuge monitors the size of Buicks.

noaaprogrammer
September 20, 2018 7:48 am

… they were looking to manufacture another scandalous story implicating Brett Kavanaugh.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  noaaprogrammer
September 20, 2018 9:20 am

NOAAprogrammer

There are similarities: in both cases the evidence was recovered from memory with the help of an expert. Recovered memories are often used as evidence these days.

eyesonu
September 20, 2018 7:51 am

I am certainly relieved to find out that the observatory wasn’t being used to smuggle plastic straws or plastic grocery bags to California. Or even worse, a picture or illustration of some scary looking BB or water gun.

And the Black Hawk helicopters …. well the precautionary principle always applies, even to cows on Forest Service land, peacefully protesting cowboys, or even a non-permited pond.

But use the FBI and DOJ resources to spy on your neighbor, well ….. what’s wrong with that?

J Mac
Reply to  eyesonu
September 20, 2018 8:03 am

Absolutely nothing wrong with that, if you are a card carrying socialist defender of the corrupt Obama regime.

OK S.
Reply to  eyesonu
September 20, 2018 8:45 am

Too bad for him he didn’t think to leak classified doucuments, too. All his files would have dissappeared into the black hole with Hillary’s stuff.

nw sage
Reply to  eyesonu
September 20, 2018 5:16 pm

The way I heard it, the major security breach occurred when the FBI leaked info about illegal plastic straws being used to intercept the mercury (Hg) in the telescope. If they had gotten away with it, major international feelings would have been hurt – perhaps even affected. The impact on N Korea is still unknown.

dodgy geezer
September 20, 2018 7:51 am

So… if you’re doing something dodgy on a computer – do it on a computer that absolutely, positively CAN’T be shut down or interfered with in any way?

Air Traffic Control? Nuclear Power station controls? FBI main database of informers….

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  dodgy geezer
September 20, 2018 8:39 am

It seems that every image you download can be tracked by the FBI. They must have software that allows them to pinpoint child pornography.

whiten
Reply to  dodgy geezer
September 20, 2018 9:32 am

dodgy

You have a reasonable enough point there, generally speaking.

But these days, the risk of being shot first and then after investigated
is very high, if one clearly identified as a perpetrator of such intended acts, specifically speaking.

Easer to deal with such a dreaded act, no need of search or arresting warrants
needed on the suspect during the investigation, no lawyers involved either.

A very high risk act to play with around.

D. Anderson
September 20, 2018 8:03 am

I’m not say’n it’s pervert aliens but…

It’s perverts.

Lee
September 20, 2018 8:11 am

My guess is there was a threat against the facility. Likely barely credible, but of such a serious nature that no chances could be taken. Sort of like a bomb scare at school – the school has to be evacuated and searched even though odds of a bomb really being there are tiny. The child porn must have had something to do with it, but probably is not why the facility was evacuated.

DJ Meredith
September 20, 2018 8:13 am

So it’s true, Eric Cartman’s anal probe…. The janitor found the pictures and the gov’t went after him…
….. Expect a Nicholas Cage movie to follow…

Caligula Jones
Reply to  DJ Meredith
September 20, 2018 1:23 pm

“….. Expect a Nicholas Cage movie to follow…”

And I’m sure they’re already working on the sequel, the sequel to the sequel, the reboot of the original, the re-imaging of the reboot, the sequel(s) to THAT, and the inevitable Netflix TV series.

DJ Meredith
Reply to  Caligula Jones
September 20, 2018 2:02 pm

Would not be surprised to learn that the REAL reason for the closing was to get stock shots for the movie… Those weren’t Blackhawk gunships, they were doing flyovers with Cineflexs on Tyler Mounts…. They didn’t want actual employees in the shots so they could avoid paying for extras…
And we all know that actual scientists look nothing like actual scientists (you know, the ones in the movies).

RIMcMT
September 20, 2018 8:18 am

FBI ?
One of the few people/organizations with less credibility than Dr Mann.
My modeling indicates 3.003183749908675309 nanoMann

Alan the Brit
September 20, 2018 8:33 am

Rather sad that it’s tied to the lowest (no insult intended – Janitors/caretakers do great work) employee in the building! I mean to say, one has never heard of “intellectuals”, or TV personalities, or even “professionals”, having proclivities in inappropriate directions, is it?
Our most “famous” UK one, was Sir Jimmy Saville, who the BBC (taxpayer funded Green obsessed) knew was a pervert & sexual deviant, yet totally ignored it due to his ratings! What a great world famous organisation………….NOT! Green slime is unbelieveable at times!

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Alan the Brit
September 20, 2018 8:52 am

When it comes to being caught, sh*t rolls downhill.

john
Reply to  Tom in Florida
September 20, 2018 11:28 am

Hillary’s janitor (butler)?

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Alan the Brit
September 20, 2018 6:21 pm

Oliver Manuel comes to mind.

September 20, 2018 8:38 am

There something more to it, while por…phy ‘discovered’ was already known of, or possibly byproduct of telescope images searches.

Tom in Florida
September 20, 2018 8:51 am

Perhaps a lousy coverup excuse. My all time favorite is the Roswell incident. It probably went something like this:

Air Force Officer:” Washington, we have a crash of our top secret plane near Roswell and some civilians have discovered it. Please advise.”
Pentagon: “Put together a good cover story.”
Air Force Officer:”Roger”
Pentagon: “What did you come up with?”
Air Force Officer: ” We told them it was an alien spacecraft.”
Pentagon: ‘You told them WHAT? Are you freakin’ kidding me?”

September 20, 2018 8:55 am

What a crock. Note there’s no mention of the other “solar installations” that we were told were also shut down at the same time. This is such a transparent cover-up lie, which is in itself revealing of how the “authorities” feel about “appropriate response.” “Boys with toys” is one lesson; another is their projection of what they think we will believe…

But then if it’s not a lie, that may be even more frightening. Is this the neo-Fascist State flexing its twitchy muscles, like a so-called “health department” shutting down a young girl’s lemonade stand because the drink wasn’t prepared in a licensed commercial kitchen?

Mat
September 20, 2018 8:59 am

“Child Porn”, the go to charge of every unethical DA. It’s one of those charges that can be applied to anyone who’s done a google search. And also one of those few charges in American law where the accused must prove their innocence. DUI being the other..

Taphonomic
Reply to  Mat
September 20, 2018 11:03 am

Bret Kavanaugh might suggest that sexual harassment is another

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Mat
September 20, 2018 6:23 pm

Just like the guy who was selling the files for a 3d printed handgun. Suddenly he’s up on child rape charges.

Peter Gøthgen
Reply to  Mat
September 20, 2018 7:21 pm

It was actually a plot point in the X-Files movie that the group which was conspiring to hide aliens took out one of their enemies by placing child porn on his computer.

Ack
September 20, 2018 9:00 am

Hilliary Clinton responsible for internet security at this facility?

MarkW
Reply to  Ack
September 20, 2018 12:06 pm

What’s been amusing is the number of prominent Democrat women who have been proclaiming how we must believe the woman in this situation. Hillary came out a few days ago declaring that she deserves the benefit of a doubt at a minimum.

John Tillman
Reply to  MarkW
September 20, 2018 12:11 pm

Hillary’s shameful hypocrisy and double standards know no bounds.

John Endicott
Reply to  John Tillman
September 21, 2018 9:46 am

If Hillary didn’t have double standards, she’d have none.

Another Ian
Reply to  MarkW
September 20, 2018 1:55 pm

” Hillary came out a few days ago declaring that she deserves the benefit of a doubt at a minimum.”

In her case “the doubt of the benefit”?

littlepeaks
September 20, 2018 9:01 am

About 15 years ago, when I worked for the USGS, we had a digital scale stolen. The theft was traced to a member of a janitorial team that worked evenings. Digital scales are of value to those selling illegal drugs. On the flip side of that, a theft of over $100,000 of platinum crucibles was reported from our lab. When the authorities were doing their investigation, one of our scientists asked the investigator if they were looking for the crucibles. The scientist said, “Oh — they’re over here”, and opened a cabinet drawer to reveal the crucibles. The investigator asked him, “Don’t you think those should be locked up somewhere?” Our lab no longer needed the crucibles, and sold them to finance a new loading dock for our warehouse.

dayhay
September 20, 2018 9:04 am

The telescope found ET pleasuring himself….

Psion
Reply to  dayhay
September 20, 2018 1:22 pm

“El-Li-Ot … !”

Okay, that’s bad. If I ever work for Disney, they’re so gonna James Gunn me.

September 20, 2018 9:15 am

Why would you close down an observatory because of suspected child porn being observed there?

Why wouldn’t you just set up a sting to try to catch the person in the act, and deal with it directly?

Close down the whole place, though? I’m having trouble with that too. What is the security threat? How is a suspected janitor’s viewing child porn a security threat?

Here’s a thought: Given what janitors are paid, and given the likely candidates one might attract for a janitorial job, why not forget about hiring janitors, and have part of the job of the researchers be to clean up after themselves? Yeah, it takes time away from the research, but, if part of the reality of life is cleaning up after oneself and maintaining one’s surroundings, then THAT’s the job too — you go in knowing this and facing this reality in a setting where a high level of trust is required.

Who better to clean and maintain a research area than the researchers? — they have deep vested interests.

Silly, you say? Sillier than following the same old pattern of low pay, low skill, expecting loyalty and honesty, and being surprised when somebody with zero vested interest goes out of your expectation zone?

Steve O
September 20, 2018 9:17 am

The explanation doesn’t make any sense, given the circumstances of the length of the shutdown, the helicopters, etc. But if it’s not the truth, who the heck came up with “the janitor was watching porn” as a cover story? So, it’s too nonsensical to be the truth and too dumb to not be the truth.

I got nuthin.

Robert of Ottawa
Reply to  Steve O
September 20, 2018 2:47 pm

Perhaps the FBI heard that the janitor was a “lone shooter”.

John Endicott
Reply to  Robert of Ottawa
September 21, 2018 9:48 am

Robert, that was bad.

David L Hagen
September 20, 2018 9:20 am
eyesonu
September 20, 2018 9:26 am

Perhaps the janitor and night watchman were having a slow night and decided to take a peek at WUWT and Google reported them and the powers that be reacted swiftly. Internal surveillance revealed they were laughing at the alarmist’s latest claims.

SWAT team and Black Hawks needed in case one of them was “FOIA” !!!

cardo
Reply to  eyesonu
September 21, 2018 12:15 pm

Your theory is the best one in this convoluted world.
That makes the most sense over all the other hypotheses.
No other malfeasance would require a more rapid SWAT and a Blackhawk raid in the logic of the Mann cultists.
This started out in lieu of a simple up vote.

B.A.
September 20, 2018 9:26 am

watch out for pedo-aliens

Earthling2
September 20, 2018 9:41 am

My theory is that the solar observatory now has incontrovertible truth that the Sun is actually responsible for Climate Change and Global Warming, but this will upset the status quo so much that the entire CAGW movement will be thrown into disarray immediately, endangering the world as we know it. So the FBI has cooked up this excuse under the direction of Mueller et al, so as not to hurt the fortunes of the democrats and the marxists. And the academics and media rent seekers. Ha!

Greg
September 20, 2018 9:50 am

OT , ice extent min. 19/20 Sept 2018

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Greg
September 20, 2018 10:38 am

And while we’re off topic on this slow day, check out what the equatorial trade winds have been up to this week.

comment image

John Tillman
Reply to  Greg
September 20, 2018 11:03 am

Greg,

Probably.

If so, then 2018 will just pip out 2008 for sixth highest of the past 12 years. There have been three low years, 2007, 2012 and 2016, and three high years, 2009, 2013 and 2014, with six in the middle, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2015, 2017 and 2018.

http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/charctic-interactive-sea-ice-graph/

In order from highest to lowest: 2009, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2010, 2018, 2008, 2015, 2011, 2016, 2007 and 2012. The three low years all suffered August cyclones, two in 2016. Arctic sea ice summer minimum extent has stopped falling. Its trend has been flat since 2007 and rising since the record low year of 2012. Which is what one would expect, given a trough to trough cycle of around 60 years.

Conveniently for alarmists, the dedicated satellite record began in 1979, near the Arctic sea ice high for the century. By contrast, Antarctic sea ice grew from 1979 to 2014, making it improbably that CO2 had anything to do with Arctic decline. OTOH, the PDO flipped to its warm mode in 1977.

Greg
September 20, 2018 9:52 am

Apparently the persion in question has not been arrested . Curious.

simple-touriste
September 20, 2018 10:40 am

What about the LV mass killing?

Robert of Ottawa
Reply to  simple-touriste
September 20, 2018 2:43 pm

You mean the lone gunman. What’s up? Don’t you believe the FBI 🙂 a totally incredible organization?

simple-touriste
Reply to  Robert of Ottawa
September 20, 2018 8:26 pm

I totally get that he killed that many people because of his teeth problem.

Travelling with a computer without a hard disk probably has the same explanation.

What I don’t get, is how that’s connected to his brother’s pedo problem. Or maybe it isn’t.

BillP
September 20, 2018 10:51 am

They say “The source of child pornography” then they say “to download the child pornography.”

If he was downloading he was not a source; do they mean upload?

whiten
Reply to  BillP
September 20, 2018 11:34 am

Upload…. interesting…

cheers

John Endicott
Reply to  BillP
September 21, 2018 9:50 am

if he was torrenting it, he could be both downloading and uploading at the same time.

Ivor Ward
September 20, 2018 10:58 am

The cover story needs a cover story.

knr
September 20, 2018 11:20 am

Often sub-contracted to the sub-contractor poorly paid and treated like dirt, one set of people can be found in the most secure of facilities with access to all areas .
The cleaners , everyone needs to go to the toilet and everyone has bins , FBI, CIA MI6 the lot
and these people push around trolleys full of cleaning stuff , bags etc and are there when no one else is there and who even knows what their cleaner looks like ?
it is perfect cover .

Mike Smith
September 20, 2018 11:22 am

Wow, the FBI response to catch a janitor downloading porn might have been just a little over-the-top don’t you think?

u.k.(us)
Reply to  Mike Smith
September 20, 2018 11:49 am

What might be the appropriate response ??
Just dig a hole in the desert ?

Steven Fraser
Reply to  Mike Smith
September 20, 2018 11:59 am

I thought the Blackhawk added a nice touch.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Mike Smith
September 20, 2018 6:28 pm

Downloading porn, and downloading child porn would certainly provoke different responses.

ozspeaksup
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
September 21, 2018 4:14 am

well when military chaps got busted it provoked cover up response.
and they have their own choppers etc and like to use them for any reason they can
but they didnt
and I doubt your congresscritters would be pure n angelic either, theres always chatter
but they never get busted do they?
this got used as a publically accepted easy fob off.
everyone hates kidd*e p*rn and p*do so its a winner winner chicken dinner!

u.k.(us)
Reply to  ozspeaksup
September 21, 2018 8:11 am

They come down really hard on child porn, might even bring one of their black helicopters.
It ain’t nuthin compared to the treatment they’ll get in prison.

September 20, 2018 11:52 am

Couple of decades one of engineers did something (we never found what) which was highly embarrassing for him and for the company. His employment contact was terminated when apparently security on way out found in his bag a roll or two of company’s luxurious toilet paper used in the tower block housing the management offices. Everyone knew it was a cover-up story for something far more serious.

Mike-SYR
September 20, 2018 12:00 pm

I say BS to the pron story. This has the earmarks of something more nefarious. Just like the Columbia Gas explosions in the northeast – no one is talking about it. I believe Columbia Gas was hacked.

Peta of Newark
September 20, 2018 12:13 pm

paranoia, obsessive-compulsive behaviour and political correctness gone mad

and where was the IT manager/network control?
Letting that sort of shizzle *in* is little different from letting all your secrets *out* – internet pron being just a slight variation on the age-old Honey-Trap
……Look look lookee here, click here to see a raunchy vid of Hillary removing her raincoat and, before you know, everyone in your contacts list has an email peddling fake Viagra

Back with “paranoia” and correctness – did we see the report of Mr Trump visiting Florence’s devastation and admiring a lovely ‘thing of substance’ and unknown provenance that Florence had dumped, perfectly intact, in someone’s back-yard (after she’d trashed their house, hence the POTUS’ visit)
A very lovely yacht in fact.

Old Trumpo apparently commented:
“At least you got a nice new boat out of the deal”

And NOBODY can work out whether he was joking or not.
Nobody ‘gets it’ anymore.

Understand now why your wife, after enduring endless ‘headaches’ & superglued knickers, uses a lawyer to trash you – THEN goes off to put an ad in the Lonely Hearts asking for someone with a GSOH?

There is the thing propelling Global Warming, plastic, ozone, saturated fat, carbonoxide, acid this that & the other etc etc etc etc

paranoia

Dale S
September 20, 2018 12:40 pm

“A limited number of people have access to the observatory from dusk until dawn, which helped narrow their search.”

This surprises me. I would’ve thought an observatory would be most useful from dusk until dawn, and you’d have janitorial work done during daylight when only one star (Sol) is visible. Anyone know why an observatory would be busier in daylight?

Tom Halla
Reply to  Dale S
September 20, 2018 12:48 pm

It’s the SOLAR observatory!

Dale S
Reply to  Tom Halla
September 20, 2018 12:52 pm

Yeah, I noticed the word solar just after I published. Doh!

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Dale S
September 20, 2018 3:26 pm

Don’t you hate when that happens! 🙂

EternalOptimist
September 20, 2018 1:41 pm

*Trigger Warning*
I don’t want to alarrum you (because my name is not Greg)

but think of all the CO2 this story and investigation has generated

Robert of Ottawa
September 20, 2018 2:38 pm

Good grief. And here I thought it was a hunt for an escaped Denialist running around naked, hair on fire yelling “It’s the Sun stupid”.

u.k.(us)
Reply to  Robert of Ottawa
September 20, 2018 3:01 pm

I get that all the time.

Donald Kasper
September 20, 2018 4:30 pm

Now we see that the aliens came for our porn? Whoa.

Rich Davis
September 20, 2018 5:01 pm

ShanghaiDan
September 20, 2018 5:09 pm

Has anyone heard where Pachauri has been for the last several weeks? Just sayin’…

TeaPartyGeezer
September 20, 2018 6:02 pm

This story makes no sense.

They shut down the observatory for almost 2 weeks, utilized a Blackhawk helicopter, a swat team, and invoked a security threat … in order to find a janitor with child porn on his laptop????

That’s ABSURD.

I’m not saying aliens or anything like that. Just saying there’s something wrong with this story and, if it’s true, then there’s something wrong with our over-sized government and law enforcement agencies.

Patrick MJD
September 20, 2018 6:16 pm

The cleaner/janitor who dunnit?

LOL When I worked for a large, well known computer company in the 80’s, it was often said that if we workers wanted to know what “Management” were planning we’d just ask the janitor.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Patrick MJD
September 21, 2018 6:18 am

Good goddess, I thought I was the only person still alive who has that album!

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Caligula Jones
September 21, 2018 6:20 am

Sorry, this comment is for:

Brian September 21, 2018 at 4:38 am
The Billy Thorpe explanation: Children of the Sun

My comment here is: yes, janitors, and the mail room. Seriously, they go to every floor, every day. They KNOW.

u.k.(us)
September 20, 2018 6:20 pm

They (the FBI) aren’t playing around here.

Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia
September 20, 2018 8:10 pm

CIA training exercise gone wrong. Janitor was being prepared to infiltrate the White House.

otropogo
September 20, 2018 8:15 pm

Would the FBI shut down the Pentagon if they detected such activity there? I think America’s enemies have just been been offered a much more effective hacking target than the electoral system.

simple-touriste
Reply to  otropogo
September 21, 2018 1:41 pm

Too complicated. Just accuse random top military persons of ignoring random sex abuses 15 years ago or groping 35 years ago.

Brian
September 21, 2018 4:38 am

The Billy Thorpe explanation: Children of the Sun

Lee Osburn
September 21, 2018 6:49 am

What about the computer that had the IP address. Was it a server? Maybe it was being used to hold some porn email. Maybe 3000 of them..

Michael 2
September 21, 2018 9:48 am

I hear a dog not barking.

September 21, 2018 10:25 am

It looks as there is 98% consensus from the comments contributors that the BIF story is a FIB /sarc

Jim in Perth
September 21, 2018 11:08 am

“An investigation by the FBI revealed that a janitor is the main suspect in the search, however he has not been charged with a crime even though his name is on the warrant.”

Isn’t there always an investigation before a person is charged? Terrible writing by Mr. Bracamontes due to a lack of understanding of how a criminal investigation proceeds.

Dr. Strangelove
September 21, 2018 7:43 pm

It’s a cover up. She’s not a child. She’s an alien!

http://images3.imagebam.com/9c/7d/69/654439512826185.jpg

Dr. Strangelove
September 21, 2018 7:55 pm

It’s not porn. She’s an alien. Dan Aykroyd works there

comment image

stock
September 22, 2018 1:01 pm

Still odd. I mean, just arrest the guy.
Why the closure?
Why the black helicopters….sheesh, just drive up.

skeptic1
September 23, 2018 2:59 am

Really? Does anyone actually believe this?

beng135
September 24, 2018 11:11 am

I know this post is past expiration date, but this event (the closure of the observatory) is far more complicated than janitor-porn — in fact that story now seems to be only a cover story.

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