New Mexico observatory's mystery closure linked to child porn

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By Euronews  with NBC News U.S. News
National Solar Observatory, Sacramento Peak, New Mexico.
The National Solar Observatory at Sacramento Peak in New Mexico.   -   Copyright  Universal Images Group/Getty Images file

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An observatory in the mountains of southern New Mexico that mysteriously closed earlier this month sparking popular rumors of alien visitors appears to be linked to a child pornography investigation.

A search warrant filed in U.S. District Court in Las Cruces last week shows that the FBI began investigating after a wireless signal at the Sunspot Solar Observatory, located in the Lincoln National Forest, accessed child porn multiple times since January.

The warrant says the observatory's chief observer told agents he found a laptop with child porn in an empty office.

The FBI says an observatory janitor owns the laptop.

The warrant says the National Solar Observatory and the National Science Foundation shut down the facility after the janitor made veiled threats following federal agents' seizure of the computer.

No arrests have been made.