After a mysterious metal monolith recently appeared in Utah and was promptly disassembled, another was spotted in Romania. Now, a third such obelisk has popped up — this time on a mountain in Southern California.
The new monolith was found atop Pine Mountain in Atascadero early Wednesday and drew a crowd of hikers throughout the day.
Unlike the Utah structure, this equally mysterious monolith was not secured to the ground, allowing it to be removed by vandals on Thursday, despite that it reportedly stood at 10-feet tall and 18-inches wide, and weighed about 200 pounds. The offenders dubbed the structure an "alien obelisk" and replaced it with a wooden cross, The Atascadero News reports.
In an email to the local news outlet, Deputy City Manager Terrie Banish wrote, “The Monolith disappeared this morning. We did not remove it. There was rebar found in the ground, so we are planning to remove that as it’s a safety hazard. At this time, the City does not have any plans to investigate this further."
It remains unknown who initially installed the stainless steel structure.
The mysterious monoliths previously discovered in Utah and Romania, which have drawn comparisons to "2001: A Space Odyssey," have also been dismantled.
The Utah removal team cited desecration of the land and fear of safety as their reasons for removing the structure, as people unfamiliar with the challenging terrain would try to come snap photos it.