Just as quickly as it appeared, the mysterious monolith recently discovered in a Utah desert has completely vanished. Earlier this month, the monolith was found in a very remote area in the southeastern part of the state on land managed by the federal Bureau of Land Management. No one knew where it came from or how it got there, but the discovery was reminiscent of the Stanley Kubrick classic 2001: A Space Odyssey, prompting a lot of media coverage and social media discussion.
Now, the monolith has reportedly disappeared, and state officials are similarly baffled. A statement released by Utah officials reports that the structure was removed sometime on Friday evening, but they still don't know who removed it. It's also unclear if the monolith was taken by the same person or group who installed it in the first place, or if a third party managed to locate and remove the structure after it was reported on by the press. Upon its discovery, the Bureau of Land Management didn't reveal the exact location of the monolith, but some people were able to locate its coordinates on Google Earth.
"We have received credible reports that the illegally installed structure, referred to as the 'monolith' has been removed from Bureau of Land Management (BLM) public lands by an unknown party," the statement reads. "The BLM did not remove the structure which is considered private property. We do not investigate crimes involving private property which are handled by the local sheriff's office. The structure has received international and national attention and we received reports that a person or group removed it on the evening of Nov. 27."
Reportedly, it appears as if someone used a concrete-cutting tool to remove the monolith, which had been buried deep in the ground. Because the BLM is not investigating the matter any further and it will be up to the local sheriff to pursue a criminal investigation, it doesn't seem probable that we'll get an explanation behind the installation and sudden removal of the structure. There's only so much a local police department can do about a strange object vanishing from the desert with no leads as to where it came from.
The discovery of the 10-foot monolith prompted a variety of theories from people offering both rational and outlandish explanations. Many assume it to be an art installation piece planted there by an unknown Kubrick fan, perhaps as an homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey. If true, those responsible could face criminal charges if identified, as the installation of the structure was illegal. That may also explain why the monolith was removed, as the people involved might have grown fearful of the potential legal consequences. Others believed it may have UFO and alien connections.
It's just as possible the media attention led to someone else stealing the monolith. Tourist Riccardo Marino posted on Instagram that he and Sierra Van Meter were traveling to the monolith to take some photos and had witnessed a pickup truck with a large object in its bed driving away from the spot. According to Marino, they then discovered that the structure was missing, and that someone had appeared to have urinated on the ground and wrote "Bye b****!" in the sand.
Time will tell if the mystery of the Utah monolith is ever solved. This news comes to us from Fox.