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Alien art? Mysterious metal monolith found in Utah desert
Workers with Utah’s Department of Public Safety discovered a giant hunk of metal in the Utah desert. They don’t know where it came from.
As the developments of the bizarre 10-foot, three-sided metal structure have unfolded in the past few days, conspiracy theories are forming.
People have taken to social media to share their theories, which range from a tourism ploy to – of course – aliens.
Here are some of the theories (and jokes) being shared around social media.
“My latest conspiracy theory is that the Utah monolith was placed in its current location by the Utah Office of Tourism. But the elites, of course, don’t want you to know!” user @KDannyTaylor tweeted.
USA TODAY has reached out to the tourism agency.
‘Hollow, riveted, not magnetic’: Hikers discover location of Utah’s mysterious monolith
“Secretly hoping it’s some kind of alien clearance device for the human race. Let the dolphins have a go,” user @Cut_Thumb wrote.
“Does match my college conspiracy theory that there is some power out there responsible for all the many many unnecessary poles randomly placed in inappropriate locations though. Look out for them… they’re everywhere,” user @EllePersisted said.
“My working conspiracy theory is all the American media organizations pooled their money and put a monolith in Utah and then removed it, thus creating two clickbait pieces in one week,” user @SeamusHughes wrote.
Others weren’t convinced that the monolith disappearing was by extraterrestrial force.
“I love a conspiracy, BUT… it was probably a state decision to take the monolith. That’s an extremely isolated area of wilderness and the state had already expressed concerns about people trying to go there on their own, even limiting public disclosure of the location,” user @ItMe_Ryan tweeted.
The exact location of the structure was not disclosed by the Utah Department of Public Safety in an effort to stop individuals from attempting to locate it, for fear visitors could potentially become stranded in a remote area.
But despite authorities’ warnings, tourists and hikers still attempted to locate it before it eventually disappeared. One of those people was David Surber, who started sharing video and images of the monolith to an unverified Instagram account Wednesday.
In a video tagged in Moab, Surber tested if the structure was magnetic and solid. “Hollow, riveted, not magnetic,” he said in the clip.
Others, including celebrities, took part in the discussion surrounding the monolith with some joking tweets.
“It’s a shame the monolith in the Utah desert vanished. I heard that Q’s most recent message was on the back, written with a sharpie,” “Star Trek” star GeorgeTakei wrote, referencing one of the show’s characters.
Musician Tom DeLonge wrote, “I took the monolith.”
The Utah Department of Public Safety first discovered the object embedded into the rock on Nov. 18 during an expedition counting bighorn sheep in the barren region of southeastern Utah. The Bureau of Land Management reported the disappearance Saturday, making it clear that it was not the work of the federal agency that overseas public land.
“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 agency said in its Facebook statement. “The BLM did not remove the structure which is considered private property.”
The case has been passed on to the local sheriff’s office.
Contributing: Bryan Alexander, Erin Jensen