Utah Department of Public Safety via ASSOCIATED PRESS
SALT LAKE CITY – A mysterious silver monolith that was placed in the Utah desert vanished less than 10 days after it was discovered by wildlife biologists in a helicopter observing bighorn sheep, federal officials and witnesses have said .
“We have received credible reports that the illegally installed structure, dubbed the monolith, has been removed from Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands by unknown people,” BLM spokeswoman Kimberly Finch said in a press release issued on November 24. The government body did not remove the structure, she added.
The Utah Department of Public Safety had announced that biologists sighted the monolith on November 18. It was about 3.4 meters and its facades were made of stainless steel.
While Utah government officials did not specify where the monolith was located precisely, people found it on satellite images from 2016 and determined its coordinates, encouraging hikers to head to that location.
Journalists from Salt Lake Tribune headed there on Saturday and confirmed his disappearance.
Originally from Salt Lake City, Spencer Owen had told The Tribune that he had seen the monolith on Friday afternoon and had camped in the area overnight, but people had warned him that he was missing the next day. When he got to the place, all that was left was a triangular piece of metal that covered a hole of the same shape in the rocks.
Riccardo Marino and his girlfriend Sierra Van Meter were traveling from Colorado to California on Friday and had decided to stop to view the object after finding its contact details online.
On the way, they passed a flatbed truck that was carrying a large object and Mr. Marino had joked that it was the Utah Monolith.
When they got to the place, the tower was no longer there.
Steve Adams said he left the town of Helper in central Utah around 7:00 a.m. on Saturday to go to the same location. When he arrived and asked a stranger for directions, he was told that the monolith was no longer there.
“It was rather disappointing,” he told The Tribune. We were very excited to go on an adventure to see it. It was like he belonged to everyone, and now to no one. ”