As mysteriously as it appeared, the metal monolith in Utah has vanished, and officials have no idea where it went.
The structure was removed by an unknown party on Friday evening, November 27, Utah’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced in a statement yesterday.
‘The BLM did not remove the structure which is considered private property,’ it said, adding that it would not be investigating the disappearance and has handed the matter over to the local sheriff’s office.
Officials first announced the finding of the monolith deep in the Red Rock desert on November 23, however they declined to give away its location over fears of people getting stuck while out searching for it.
But through the clever use of Google Earth to analyse the terrain, cross-referenced from the videos taken at the site, the first visitors arrived at the monolith within 48 hours.
One of the first people to find the monolith was former US army infantry officer David Surber, who drove for six hours through the night to get to the Utah desert.
‘I decided to go there first because I was drawn to the fact that this object had been there for five years, hidden in nature,’ he told the BBC, explaining that he had seen a Reddit post claiming to know the exact location.
The Reddit post was written by Tim Slane, who scanned the terrain of the desert of Google Earth, before finding the metal object on satellite imagery that was taken in October 2016.
‘I knew that once the location became public knowledge that people would visit the area. I have received some angry messages for my revealing of the location. If I had not found it, someone else would likely have found it soon enough,’ Slane said.
Since its discovery, a number of different theories have emerged as to where the large metal block came from. Many compared it to the monoliths seen in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyessy.
One professor, I.Q. Hunter from De Montfort University, suggested that we shouldn’t find out the purpose and cause of the unusual piece of art, because it would spoil the mystery that surrounds it.
‘The Utah work is a slice of the future set in a prehistoric past, absolutely alien and incomprehensible in the landscape,’ he told CNN. ‘It would be a pity if we discovered what the Utah sculpture was, as that would lessen its mystery.’
The Utah Department of Public Safety and Utah Division of Wildlife Resource made the unusual discovery while they were counting sheep from a helicopter on November 18.
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