It was there … but now it's gone.
Aero Bureau of the Department of Public Safety in Utah
The internet went wild when. Later would be devoted Reddit sniffer dogs .
But now, according to officials from the Bureau of Land Management in Utah, the strange metal object is gone.
"We have received credible reports that the illegally installed structure known as the 'Monolith' has been removed from the public land of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) by an unknown party," the statement posted on Facebook said.
"The BLM did not remove the structure that is considered private property."
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The Utah Department of Public Security first discovered the object in a helicopter in a remote area of southern Utah while it was counting bighorn sheep.
"I'd say it's probably between 10 and 12 feet tall," pilot Bret Hutchings told KSL when it was originally discovered. "We joked a bit about it, if one of us suddenly disappears, then I think the rest of us will run away."
But in the wake of the discovery, dedicated people on Reddit made an attempt to discover the origins of the monolith. First they located the monolith on Google Earth, then used historical imagery to find out exactly when the object first appeared in the desert. Using this data, they discovered that the monolith first appeared between August 2015 and October 2016.
At the time, the sci-fi drama Westworld was filming nearby, leading many to speculate that the monolith is an old movie prop.
Considering the location has also been used in a number of other TV shows and films – from current films like 127 Hours and Mission: Impossible 2 to classic westerns in the 1940s and 1960s – this is a possibility.
Regardless of this, the monolith has immediately disappeared. The Bureau of Land Management has said it has no plans to investigate the disappearance and has stated that this is the sheriff's office's business.