Story at a glance

  • A metal monolith was found on public lands in Utah just last week.
  • The structure has since been removed and local officials say they don’t know who removed it.
  • Visitors have flocked to the site and the monolith has generated global interest.

It was right there. Ask the Bureau of Land Management, there was a shiny metal monolith planted in the red rock of the desert in Utah. They don’t know where it went though, no one does. 

“That’s been about the strangest thing that I’ve come across out there in all my years of flying,” pilot Bret Hutchings told KSL-TV last week. 


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Jarring a biologist awake as he counted sheep (bighorn sheep), the crew onboard a Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter spotted the structure and took pictures. But they've been vague about its location, reportedly fearing the risk to those who went looking. There aren’t many explanations for its appearance either, just an eerie resemblance to a monolith that appeared in "2001: A Space Odyssey."


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Utah’s highway patrol shared a photograph on Instagram, but it has since been removed. A spokesperson for the Bureau of Land Management said they would not investigate the structure, which is considered private property. The land itself, however, is considered public land and overseen by the local BLM office. 

 

“We recognize the incredible interest the ‘monolith’ has generated world-wide. Many people have been enjoying the mystery and view it as a welcome distraction from the 2020 news cycle,” said Monticello Field Manager Amber Denton Johnson in a statement. “Even so, it was installed without authorization on public lands and the site is in a remote area without services for the large number of people who now want to see it. Whenever you visit public lands please follow Leave No Trace principles and Federal and local laws and guidance.

Aliens? Pranksters? One thing’s for sure, 2020 has been a weird year.


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Published on Nov 30, 2020