Nick Abbot 10pm - 1am
Utah monolith: Mysterious metal object disappears
29 November 2020, 16:35
A mysterious metal monolith that was found last week in the Utah desert appears to have vanished, officials have said.
The structure garnered international attention last week after first being discovered by a helicopter crew who were counting big horn sheep in the area from the air.
But on Saturday (local time), Utah's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) said it had received "credible reports" that the 12ft (3.7m) monolith had been removed from its public lands "by an unknown party".
Images shared on social media by people making the pilgrimage to the site appear to show the structure had been replaced by a small pile of rocks and a small piece of the metal.
Its discovery sparked an international guessing game as to how it got there, with some suggesting it was most likely an art installation but others positing the idea it may have been extraterrestrial.
However, so far nobody has come forward to claim responsibility for the monolith.
"We have received credible reports that the illegally installed structure, referred to as the “monolith” has been removed by an unknown party. The BLM did not remove the structure which is considered private property..." More: https://t.co/ZXJDGzxDaD pic.twitter.com/xXHdijk496— BLM Utah (@BLMUtah) November 29, 2020
Dozens of people have made the journey over the past week to feast their eyes on the mysterious, alien object.
And those who ventured to the site without knowing of the monolith's removal were left disappointed upon their arrival.
One Instagram user wrote: "After traveling (sic) four hours in the car, hiking 9 miles with over 2000 feet of elevation, I arrived at the Utah Monolith!
"You can imagine my disappointment when I saw that the aliens had come under the cloak of darkness eight hours earlier to take the Monolith home.
"They must have left in haste, because they left the prism behind, the most important part, the key to its mystical energy."
Another said: "Well, drove all the way to Utah and trudged through the desert with my GPS today to see the #utahmonolith and it disappeared last night. Aliens?"
A statement for BLM said: "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 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.”
A Utah helicopter pilot who visited the site on Friday afternoon with a friend told local TV station KSL that when his mate returned the next day it had vanished.
"Twenty-four hours later, my close friend, who is also a helicopter pilot, flew his family down to see as well and found it taken down," Ryan Bacher said.