After baffling internet spectators last week, the structure known as the ‘Utah monolith’ has vanished, leaving few clues about its disappearance.
The 3.7 metre-long metallic statue was found by government officials flying over the Utah desert on November 19. The area it was found in was quite remote and it was noted the structure appeared planted in place on purpose, with screws and other worldly objects used to secure it.
The Utah monolith strongly resembled a similar structure from Stanley Kubrick’s iconic sci-fi flick 2001: A Space Odyssey so naturally, speculation about its origins went wild online.
Aliens were the most talked-about candidate due to the remote placement of the structure and its shiny, trapezoidal nature — but given traditional screws and fastenings were used to hold the structure together, it’s more likely the Utah monolith was (disappointingly) man-made. As David Surber pointed on out Instagram, the monolith was made of three separate aluminium panels drilled together, and was not magnetic.
The structure actually appeared in 2016 according to Redditors, and was placed in an area frequented by sci-fi and fantasy film and TV productions. Westworld, John Carter and 127 Hours were fingered as some of the likely productions responsible for the monolith’s creation, but its exact origins have not yet been explained. It could have been a structure left behind after filming, but no production house has claimed responsibility just yet.
With its disappearance, the mystery behind the monolith has deepened.
On November 28, monolith hunters discovered the structure had been removed, with only a triangular metal plate left in its place.
In a statement posted on Facebook, the Utah Bureau of Land Management stated it hadn’t removed the structure (which had originally been placed illegally on its land) and it believed the structure was taken away on the evening of November 27, local time.
The legality of the situation is currently a mystery given the monolith’s unknown origins, but the theft has been identified as a crime and is with the local sheriff’s office for investigation.
Since news of the Utah monolith went viral, multiple hikers have visited the area in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the structure. While some parties were able to catch a glimpse before it departed, many who visited over the weekend were disappointed to note it was gone.
The "monolith" obelisk met a swift fate before we arrived. Only the triangular top remained as well as parts of the below-ground base. If I ventured a guess, it was probably dismantled by someone determined to prevent careless curiosity that tends to ruin alluring sites. pic.twitter.com/kXP5KypmlS
— Jack Waters ???????????? (@h2oetry) November 29, 2020
The prevailing theory is it was dismantled and taken away by one of these groups, but the exact nature of the disappearance (including its legal status) is unknown. It’s likely the sudden nature of its vanishing will only spark further speculation about its nature as an extra-terrestrial object. For now, all we can do is await official word on the sudden appearance and disappearance of the structure.
Farewell, Utah monolith. You sparked joy in the short moments you were around.
We wish you all the best on your journey to realms unknown.