“We have received credible reports that the illegally installed structure, referred to as the ‘monolith,’ has been removed” from BLM public lands, the post said.
The monolith was first discovered November 18 by officers from the Utah Department of Public Safety’s Aero Bureau.
They were flying by helicopter, helping the Division of Wildlife Resources count bighorn sheep in southeastern Utah, when they spotted something that seemed right out of “2001: A Space Odyssey.”
And there it was — in the middle of the red rock was a shiny, silver metal monolith sticking out of the ground. Hutchings guessed it was “between 10 and 12 feet high.” It didn’t look like it was randomly dropped to the ground, he told KSL, but rather it looked like it had been planted.
“I’m assuming it’s some new wave artist or something or, you know, somebody that was a big (“2001: A Space Odyssey”) fan,” he said, referencing a scene in the 1968 film where a black monolith appears.
Where is it?
The trek involved driving in the darkness over rocky terrain and verifying GPS coordinates, according to three people who went to see it. At least one explorer got lost at first. But the trip was worth it, they said, even if the monolith wasn’t the work of aliens.
David Surber may have been among the very first to view the monolith in person. The coordinates to the monolith were circulating on Reddit, but none of the users could confirm they were correct. Surber volunteered to find out.
“At the end of the day, extraterrestrial or made through artistic expression; the monolith provided an opportunity for thousands of people to rally behind something positive again,” he told CNN in an email. “It was a good escape from all the negativity we’ve experienced in 2020.”
CNN’s Scottie Andrew and Leah Asmelash contributed to this report.