FLAGSTAFF, AZ –
High above the Arizona desert, a western-banded gecko forages for food along the base of a Seguaro cactus. The lizard seems unconcerned that just a few meters away, the giant lens of a 34-inch refracting telescope quietly hums as it adjusts to the changing night sky.
And so the quiet work of science goes on around the clock in the Sheriff Joe Arpaio Observatory near Flagstaff. The 14 million dollar observatory, which came on line this week, continues the work of the irascible former lawman of Maricopa county by using its giant eye to probe the outer reaches of our solar system. Its mission? To identify border infractions, and bring illegal aliens to justice.
The privately-funded observatory was the brain child of Lance Beckwald, former Chief of Astronomy at Invictus College of the Florida panhandle. “The story of the human species is one of searching, and discovery. We are driven to find things, whether those things are keys you misplaced in your house, or illegal aliens on other planets.”
While most astronomers are busy mapping asteroids, or searching for new stars in distant galaxies, the team at the Arpaio Observatory focuses their attention on nearby planets, examining them for the telltale signs of illegal activities by other life forms.
“Whether you’re a slithery beast in a mud pool, or a flying pterodactyl-like creature gliding over mountains, the signs of illegal immigration are universal,” said Mr. Beckwald. “Furtive movements, traveling in the dark, disregard for uniformed alien personnel: these are all indicators that life forms are not respecting the boundaries of their home planet.”
“Living beings need to stay in their rightful place,” said team leader Martin Gollack, who received his doctorate in sky sciences from the Astronomical School of Saint Kitts. “And it’s up to all of us in the cosmos to maintain order, round up offenders, place them in camps, and transport them back across the proper borders when they transgress.”
Don’t Have A Rocket Ship
While the observatory cannot physically reach distant worlds, or alert the authorities there of suspected border crossings, Dr. Beckwald says that compiling the data now will make the work of cosmic immigration enforcement easier for future generations. “When we do travel to these planets, and eventually we will, our database of incidents will be a treasure trove for the alien police,” he said.
“Our vantage point here on earth makes it possible for us to see behind mountains and other land features that the authorities on a given planet may have missed.”
When asked whether Sheriff Arpaio will oversee the search for illegal alien immigration, Dr. Beckwald said that the ex-lawman does not have a formal position at the observatory. “But of course, in the event we do locate cosmic illegal immigration, Sheriff Joe would make the journey to arrest the aliens as soon as a rocket ship could be constructed.”
“Or at least, he would do so assuming that the aliens had darker skin, spoke Spanish, and were stealing all the jobs in this country goddammit.”
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