Anything people see online should be met with a healthy dose of speculation these days, but apparently the mysterious tale of a monolith that appeared out of nowhere just got even weirder. The three-sided reflective metal object that popped up in the Utah desert last week has apparently disappeared, and people who were already fascinated with how and why the object appeared are just as interested in where it went.
Utah’s Bureau of Land Management shared the news about the monolith it discovered last week, along with some pictures of the giant metallic sculpture of unknown origin.
Official statement: "Although we can't comment on active investigations, we would like to remind public land visitors that using, occupying, or developing the public lands or their resources without a required authorization is illegal, no matter what planet you are from."
— BLM Utah (@BLMUtah) November 24, 2020
The Twitter account and its report on the monolith quickly went viral, and images of the monolith created quite a stir among art fans and those who are extremely interested in mysteries and aliens, all of which could be responsible for the structure. News of the monolith actually made the government body ask people not attempt to visit the monolith in person, instead enjoying all the images and videos of the tower that they provided to the world.
Please don't try and visit the site as the road is not suitable for most earth-based vehicles.
— BLM Utah (@BLMUtah) November 24, 2020
But that apparently is no longer a problem, as the Bureau of Land Management said on Saturday that the structure was now missing.
"We have received credible reports that the illegally installed structure, referred to as the “monolith” has been removed by an unknown party. The BLM did not remove the structure which is considered private property…" More: https://t.co/ZXJDGzxDaD pic.twitter.com/xXHdijk496
— BLM Utah (@BLMUtah) November 29, 2020
As the New York Times reported on Sunday, a now-deleted post on Instagram saw Utah’s Department of Public Safety share news that the monolith that delighted many earlier in the week as a curiosity had disappeared and jokingly blamed aliens.
The Utah Department of Public Safety said on Monday that it had found the object while surveying for bighorn sheep.
“IT’S GONE!” the Department of Public Safety said, reacting to the news in an Instagram post. “Almost as quickly as it appeared it has now disappeared,” the department said, adding, “I can only speculate” that aliens took it back, using the emoji for extraterrestrials.
“Maybe it will stop by and visit us in Canada!!” one person commented.
The paper of record had previously speculated that the mysterious, shiny tower may be the work of artist John McCracken, a sculptor who died in 2011 but had apparently told his son that he wanted to leave behind works in remote places to be found by others. That isn’t confirmed, though, nor does it explain where the object, which according to the Times had been embedded deep into rock, went.
It was a mystery how the monolith had been installed in the first place. Lt. Nick Street, a spokesman for the Department of Public Safety, said this week that the monolith had been embedded into the rock.
“Somebody took the time to use some type of concrete-cutting tool or something to really dig down, almost in the exact shape of the object, and embed it really well,” he said. “It’s odd. There are roads close by, but to haul the materials to cut into the rock, and haul the metal, which is taller than 12 feet in sections — to do all that in that remote spot is definitely interesting.”
All that mystery, of course, has led to wild speculation online about aliens, vast art-based conspiracy theories and even just some jokes about the Utah desert.
Where did it come from
Where did it go
The Utah monolith,
— James (@pageofabook) November 29, 2020
the silver monolith in utah is a gender reveal and the gender is mystery
— nicole boyce (@nicolewboyce) November 29, 2020
a little embarrassing but have you guys seen my giant silver monolith anywhere?
— kc green (@kcgreenn) November 29, 2020
You know in the horror movie where the big scary thing that's about to happen is just playing in the background on the news for the first 15 minutes? That's how I feel about the Utah desert monolith.
— Jesse McLaren (@McJesse) November 29, 2020
this utah monolith story just got crazier pic.twitter.com/H582P0hrNM
— Kum & Go (@kumandgo) November 29, 2020
We may never know who put the monolith there, or even who removed it. But the Utah BLM says it didn’t do either, it just found it while checking out some sheep. Maybe they are the key to unraveling this mystery, don’t you think? What do the sheep know? What are they hiding?