A mysterious steel obelisk out in the middle of the Utah desert has vanished as suddenly as it appeared.
Utah Department of Public Safety officials and biologists were working together to count sheep earlier this month when their helicopter flew over a strange object sticking out of a red rock cove. So they went back to get a closer look at it. And they found a 12-foot shiny, stainless steel obelisk sitting there.
Mysterious Object Draws Pilgrims
“One of the biologists is the one who spotted it and we just happened to fly directly over the top of it,” pilot Bret Hutchings told KSL TV. “He was like, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, turn around, turn around!’ And I was like, ‘what.’ And he’s like, ‘There’s this thing back there – we’ve got to go look at it!’”
The officials were deliberately vague about the obelisk’s location. They hoped to discourage amateur sleuths who might wind up lost trying to find the mysterious object.
But people made the pilgrimage nonetheless. And as the Associated Press reported, recent pilgrims have been disappointed, after finding the object’s GPS coordinates online, to discover it missing. A small metal triangle atop a triangular hole in the rocks was all that remained.
“I was really bummed,” said Spencer Owen, who claimed he saw the object Friday. “It was so pretty and shiny. I wanted to go see it again.”
It Disappeared on Nov. 27
The Salt Lake Tribune further confirmed the object’s disappearance. The paper’s reporters noted many trails and tracks in the ground around the obelisk from all the visitors who have managed to find it since it first turned up.
The Bureau of Land Management told the Tribune they did not move the object, an obelisk or monolith, which they consider private property.
“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,” BLM spokesperson Kimberly Finch said. Moreover, she said, “We received reports that a person or group removed it on the evening of Nov. 27.”
Meanwhile, the news of the obelisk’s existence has gone viral, drawing visitors from multiple states. Courtlan Gordon, a filmmaker from Los Angeles, told the Tribune he and his friends drove through the night Friday to see it.
“I think with the pandemic there wasn’t that much going on,” he said. “Everyone’s been home for the whole year and then you get this weird random news that makes people want to get outside and see it.”