Mystery of Utah Silver Monolith

On November 18, 2020, while performing a helicopter survey of bighorn sheep in a portion of southeastern Utah, a group of wildlife biologists researchers spotted a mysterious metal monument in the middle of the desert. Lt. Nick Street, a spokesman for the Department of Public Safety, said that the monolith had been planted in the ground between red rock. It was a mystery how the monolith had been installed in the first place. 

State wildlife officials are scratching their heads after discovering a bizarre 10-foot-tall (3 meters) installation in Red Rock Country in southeastern Utah. The shiny silver rectangle sits in the center of the dead end of one of the many shallow rock ravines that scour this desert region. Its discovery had wildlife officials feeling as if they'd been dropped into an episode of "Ancient Aliens." 

Image credit: BBC.com

"It is illegal to install structures or art without authorisation on federally managed public lands, no matter what planet you're from," The Utah Department of Public Safety Aero Bureau said.

The department has not disclosed the exact location of the monolith, fearing explorers may try to seek it out and "become stranded". 

As yet, no one has claimed responsibility for installing the structure.

Looking for answers, Utah's highway patrol turned to social media, writing in a post on Instagram: "Inquiring minds want to know, what the heck is it? Anyone?"

Most observers presumed it was an installation left by a sculptor, with some saying it resembled the work of late minimalist artist John McCracken.

However, less than 10 days after it was spotted, the mysterious silver monolith has disappeared.

As mysteriously as it arrived, a metal monolith that was discovered on Nov. 18 by Utah public safety workers is now gone, officials said on Saturday (28 November)

The three-sided metal structure was removed on Friday (27 November) evening “by an unknown party” from the public land it was found on, the federal Bureau of Land Management’s Utah office said in a statement.

Reporters with The Salt Lake Tribune hiked to the spot on Saturday and confirmed that it was gone.

Spencer Owen of Salt Lake City said he saw the monolith Friday afternoon and camped in the region overnight, but as he hiked to the area again on Saturday people passing him on the trail warned him it was gone, the Tribune reported. When he arrived at the spot, all that was left was a triangular piece of metal covering a triangular-shaped hole in the rocks.

“I was really bummed,” said Owen, who posted a video on his Instagram. “It was so pretty and shiny. I wanted to go see it again.”

The Bureau of Land Management said it would not be investigating the disappearance because “crimes involving private property” are managed by the local sheriff’s office. The San Juan and Grand County Sheriff’s Offices did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Sources:

https://www.livescience.com/mysterious-monolith-in-utah-desert.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-55056570

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/28/us/monolith-utah-disappeared.html

https://www.oregonlive.com/nation/2020/11/mysterious-metal-monolith-disappears-from-remote-utah-desert.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/11/29/utah-desert-monolith-gone/

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