ALL NEWS

The mystery of the Utah monolith found in the desert

Nov 25, 2020, 8:22 PM

Utah Monolith missing...

Monolith found in Utah desert. (Photo Credit: CNN)

(Photo Credit: CNN)

SALT LAKE CITY — The mystery of the silver monolith found in the Utah desert has everyone screaming “extraterrestrial.” However, the mystery still remains of how or why it appeared there. 

The tall, eerily symmetrical monolith was found in Utah’s famous Red Rock Country. A team of researchers with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources was observing bighorn sheep by helicopter when they spotted something out of the blue. 

When they landed to take a closer look, the team did not find sheep. Instead, they found a three-sided metal monolith, about 10 to 12 feet tall, planted firmly in the ground. Where it came from or why? They could not say.

Investigating the Utah monolith

The Utah Department of Public Safety revealed its existence to the public on Monday.

“While on this mission, they spotted an unusual object and landed nearby to investigate further,” the department said in a statement. “The crew said there was no obvious indication of who might have put the monolith there.”

As strange as it may be, we still do not know who made it. No one has publicly claimed it as their art and when Utah officials found the monolith, it was unmarked. 

Extraterrestrial or of this world?

At least we can assume the artist was not an extraterrestrial being. Jason Wright, a professor of astrophysics at Pennsylvania State University and the director of the university’s Extraterrestrial Intelligence Center, said, “humans are clearly capable of building rectangular pieces of art.”

“This monolith is clearly the sort of thing humans can (and do!) make, in a place where humans go,” Wright told CNN. “Indeed, desert art is common in the American Southwest, so I don’t see any reason to think it’s anything other than that.”

A Hollywood theory

Still, the possible art’s secret desert locale raises even more questions. 

I.Q. Hunter, a film scholar and De Montfort University professor, told CNN he has a theory. Crews filmed parts of ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ in Monument Valley, along the Arizona-Utah border, he said; it’s possible the artist wanted to honor the film and place the real life monolith in a similar locale.

Wright agrees with Hunter’s theory because the monolith was also out of place in the films. Additionally, this monolith strongly resembles the fictional one.

Like all great art, this piece is up for interpretation. Since no one has claimed it, people are dreaming up their own explanations for how and why it got there. 

Location hidden for your safety

Though, if you are planning on trying to find this work of art, don’t. The Utah Department of Public Safety said in a statement it would not disclose the exact location; “if individuals were to attempt to visit the area, there is a significant possibility they may become stranded and require rescue.”

The Bureau of Land Management will determine whether to investigate further or remove the monolith –for instance, if it affects wildlife.

In a news release issued on Monday, the state’s public safety department said it is illegal to place works of art on federally managed public lands. So, that means they could remove the monolith no matter what. 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

All News

Valley Fever in Washington County...

Britt Johnson

Valley Fever cases increase in southern Utah

Valley Fever cases in southern Utah are ticking up. Professor of Epidemiology, Katharine Walter gives advice on how to spot it.

41 minutes ago

An old, white house sits in front of a blue sky....

Mariah Maynes

LIVE: Instances of squatting are becoming more common

Realtor.com reported squatting rates are on the rise. What are your rights are if you're faced with a squatter situation?

2 hours ago

Colin Chandler flips...

Mitch Harper, KSL Sports

Collin Chandler Flips Commitment From BYU To Kentucky

BYU basketball recruit Colin Chandler flips his BYU commitment to follow Mark Pope to Kentucky.

3 hours ago

Vehicles travel on I-15 in northern Utah County. New Mountain View Corridor construction is set to ...

Tammy Kikuchi

Construction on Mountain View Corridor project to begin this week

The Utah Department of Transportation will start construction Wednesday on a segment of the Mountain View Corridor.

4 hours ago

Sam Snyder, ski technician, uses mountainFLOW Eco-Wax, a biodegradable, plant-based, fluoro-free wa...

Eric Cabrera and Derrick Jones

PFAS chemicals found in Park City water, ski wax to blame

A potentially dangerous chemical (PFAS) was found in three Park City water wells. All signs point to the slopes and ski wax.

4 hours ago

People working past retirement age...

Nicole Goodkind, CNN

More people are working well past retirement age. It’s not easy

Americans over 75 are the fastest-growing age group in the workforce, more than quadrupling in size since 1964.

4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

Artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

The mystery of the Utah monolith found in the desert