(Los Angeles) A mysterious “metal monolith” of unknown origin, the recent discovery of which in a desert in the western United States had fueled all manner of science fiction speculation, has appeared it evaporated, local officials said on Saturday.
The Utah State Planning Bureau said it received “credible testimony” that the object was removed “by an unknown third party” on Friday night.
“The office has not removed the structure, which is considered private property,” he said in a statement.
“We do not investigate crimes involving private property, which are the responsibility of the local sheriff’s office,” he adds.
The gleaming triangular boulder, which protruded more than 3.5 meters from the reddish soil of southern Utah, was discovered in mid-November by astonished local officials who were flying over the area to count specimens of mouflons.
After landing, these employees of the Utah Department of Public Safety were able to examine the “metal monolith” but could not find “any clear indication of who might have placed it there.”
News of the discovery quickly went viral on the internet, with many noting similarities to the bizarre alien monoliths in Stanley Kubrick’s film, “2001: A Space Odyssey.”
Although the authorities refused to reveal the location of the “monolith” so as not to attract hordes of curious people, a race quickly started online to determine its location based on the geological formations around and some have managed to locate it.
Some observers have also noted a resemblance to the avant-garde works of John McCracken, an American sculptor who lived for a time in the neighboring state of New Mexico and died in 2011.