Wired News: Photographer Seeks Resolution Using his optics expertise, Flint designed and built the camera, but before he could begin, his New Mexico observatory was shut down by health inspectors who discovered rats carrying a lethal virus.

There are two main possible explanations here. The first is to take the explanation at face value. The second is someone did not want high resolution pictures taken of the sky.

Since the second is unusual, we need some justification for doubting the first. A few bits stand out as somewhat improbable in the first story.

  1. The coincidence in time seems odd - just before he was to begin taking pictures?
  2. The event seems odd - virus-carrying rats in an observatory is something I have never heard before. What would the rats live off?
  3. The discovery seems odd - how often are observatories inspected for rats?
  4. The solution seems odd - rather than abandon the observatory, why not just exterminate the rats?

Taken together the above is nothing remotely like proof - but it sure smells funny.