The metal monolith was discovered in mid-November by Utah state officials from their helicopter.
Utah DPS / Cover-Images.com / SIPA
It is a metallic monolith that never ceases to intrigue.
Its discovery, in mid-November, in the desert, in the south of the state of Utah (western United States) had already fueled all kinds of speculation inspired by science fiction.
Local officials, who flew over the area to identify the bighorn sheep, had spotted this sparkling triangular prism, which protruded more than 3.5 meters from the reddish soil of southern Utah.
Who could have put it there?
By putting down their helicopter to investigate, these officials had found "no clear indication" on the spot.
Utah officers, on a routine helicopter flyover stumbled upon a mysterious, shiny, metal monolith in the middle of the desert - leaving everyone baffled ...
“Who would do this?”
- Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) November 24, 2020
Very quickly located by Internet users
Local authorities had refused to reveal the exact location of the monolith, fearing it would be immediately stolen.
Despite everything, a race quickly started online to determine its location based on the surrounding geological formations.
And it did not fail.
The mysterious metallic monolith has apparently evaporated, they said on Saturday.
The Utah State Planning Bureau said on Saturday it received "credible testimony" that the object was removed "by an unknown third party" on Friday evening.
"The office has not removed the structure, which is considered private property," he said in a statement.
"We do not investigate crimes involving private property, which are the responsibility of the local sheriff's office," he adds.
This disappearance should fuel speculation even more, the discovery of this monolith having already very quickly become viral on the internet.
Many have noted similarities to the strange alien monoliths greatly accelerating the progress of humanity in the science fiction classic "2001: A Space Odyssey," a Stanley Kubrick film and an Arthur C novel. Clarke.
The monolith from “2001, A Space Odyssey”.
- MARY EVANS / SIPA
Still a lot of questions ...
Others pointed out that the discovery came during a year in the news at least upset by the Covid-19 pandemic, hopefully hoping that the object could perhaps improve the situation.
“It's the + Restart + button for 2020. Can someone press it quickly?” One Instagram user joked.
“Someone spent time using some rock-cutting tool or something like that to dig down, pretty much into the exact shape of the object, and put it in really well,” said Nick Street, a spokesperson for the Utah Department of Public Safety, with the New York Times daily.
“It's strange,” he added.
"There are roads nearby, but bringing back the material to cut the rock, bringing back the metal, which is over 12 feet (3.70 meters) long - doing it all in this remote place, it's really exciting. ".
The work of John McCracken?
Some observers have noted a resemblance to the avant-garde works of John McCracken, an American sculptor who lived for a time in the neighboring state of New Mexico and died in 2011.
His son, Patrick McCracken, recently told The Times that his father told him in 2002 that he would "like to leave his works in lost places for later discovery."
Earlier this week, David Zwirner, John McCracken's legal representative, considered it possible that the mysterious monolith was the work of the artist.
"The gallery is divided on the subject," he said, saying to himself "convinced" that the monolith was indeed in the hand of Mr. McCracken and that it would not have been discovered for nearly ten years.
“Who would have suspected that 2020 would bring us another surprise?
Just when we thought we had seen it all.
Let's go see what it is, ”he added.
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