The Utah Department of Public Safety has put itself to the fullest possible use by not only counting bighorn sheep roaming the region but also discovering an unusual fixture jutting out from the rocky landscape. Last week, state employees stumbled upon a nearly 12-foot-tall silver monolith while flying overhead. Mimicking the inexplicable structure in the opening scene of Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, the lustrous object appears to be made of metal and is located in an undisclosed area.
In a statement about the discovery, the department offered a reminder to the mysterious entity responsible for the monolith: “It is illegal to install structures or art without authorization on federally managed public lands, no matter what planet you’re from.”
As of Tuesday morning, it’s still unknown who created the structure, although internet sleuths who located the object on Google Earth suggest it may have been in existence for more than five years. The department is urging folks not to attempt to locate the monolith following a California woman’s disappearance for nearly two weeks at Zion National Park.
Update: The object was reported stolen on Nov. 27, an incident that photographer Ross Bernards chronicles in this post.
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