After reports emerged that a monolith had mysteriously appeared in a remote area of Utah, Riccardo Marino and Sierra Van Meter decided to check it out.
Hoping to take some pictures, they drove eight hours on Friday to a trail that leads to the spot, which is located south of Moab and just east of Canyonlands National Park. But they made a startling discovery when they got there, which Marino detailed on Instagram.
“We’re gonna get some sweet photos, potentially some alien-type photos with the ground. We’re gonna have to cross through a little bit of a brush in Canyon country to get there, but without further ado, let’s hike to the Utah monolith,” Marino said.
Then they hiked to the site.
“We believe we might be the first people to come to the Utah monolith and have it not be here anymore. Unfortunately. But what we do see, though, is someone wrote ‘bye b****’ and clearly took a pee on where the monolith once stood. On the ground here you can literally see fresh tracks of some kind of wheel that pulled this thing out of here. And we’re literally walking down this trail,” Marino said.
“It was just taken tonight. Crazy. It’s very faint but you can see that it was definitely hauled out of here on some kind of wheel. But what was more unique, when we were driving in, we saw a truck with the tailgate folded back and a large object in the back. And that was probably about 30 minutes before we got to the trailhead. And we didn’t want to believe that maybe somebody was taking it or stealing it.”
The pair were there the day after Thanksgiving, and Marino said sadly: “No longer is the Utah monolith standing at this point.”
“We wanted to go see for ourselves. And we found that it was gone. There’s many people here at the at the trailhead camp. And they’re gonna wake up to see that it’s gone. It’s crazy, but who knows, maybe it did get zapped into space by the aliens because we are getting on to them.”
Then Marino said, “Hopefully these idiots,” before stopping with a laugh, adding, “Maybe the artist took back. If it’s taken, maybe the artist. It’s crazy.”
The 10- to 12-foot shiny monolith, reminiscent of the one featured in the film “2001: A Space Odyssey,” was first discovered on Nov. 18. Utah’s highway patrol shared a picture of the find on Instagram, along with the caption: “Counting big horn sheep with DWR this week. During the counts we came across this, in the middle of nowhere, buried deep in the rock. Inquiring minds want to know, what the heck is it? Anyone?”
“The crew said there was no obvious indication of who might have put the monolith there,” the Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS) said in a statement.
“The exact location of the installation is not being disclosed since it is in a very remote area and if individuals were to attempt to visit the area, there is a significant possibility they may become stranded and require rescue,” said the DPS, adding “it is illegal to install structures or art without authorization on federally managed public lands, no matter what planet you’re from.”
But then it disappeared.
“We have received credible reports that the illegally installed structure, referred to as the ‘monolith,’ has been removed,” the state’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) said in a Facebook post on Saturday.
Who took it? “An unknown party,” the BLM said.
“The BLM did not remove the structure which is considered private property. We do not investigate crimes involving private property which are handled by the local sheriff’s office. The structure has received international and national attention and we received reports that a person or group removed it on the evening of Nov. 27,” the agency said.
“We have received credible reports that the illegally installed structure, referred to as the “monolith” has been removed by an unknown party. The BLM did not remove the structure which is considered private property…” More: https://t.co/ZXJDGzxDaD pic.twitter.com/xXHdijk496
— BLM Utah (@BLMUtah) November 29, 2020
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