Authorities reported Saturday that after mysteriously arriving, a metal monolith that was discovered last week by Utah public safety staff is now gone.
The three-party metal structure was removed from the public area by an “unknown party” on Friday evening, the Utah Office of the Federal Bureau of Land Management said in a statement.
The bureau said it had not removed the monolith, which it considers “personal property”.
The Utah Department of Public Safety said Monday that it had found the item while surveying for Bingor sheep.
“He’s gone!” The Department of Public Safety said in an Instagram post reacting to the news. The department said “almost as quickly as it has now vanished,” adding that “I can only speculate” that the aliens withdrew it, using emojis for extraterrestrials.
“Maybe it will stop coming to us in Canada !!” One person commented.
It was a mystery how the monolith was set up in the first place. Lt. Nick Street, a spokesman for the Department of Public Safety, said the monolith had penetrated the cliff.
“Someone used a concrete cutting tool or something to really dig, almost to the exact shape of the object, and to embed it really well,” he said. “It’s weird. There are roads nearby, but the material has to be hauled in to cut the rock, and haul the metal, which is over 12 feet long in squares – to do it all in that remote place of course. Interesting. “
Officials said the structure was at most a work of art and its installation on public lands was illegal. It was not clear who placed it where and when – but the art world quickly surmised that it was the work of science fiction sculptor John McCracken. He died in 2011.
His son, Patrick McCracken, told The New York Times this week that his father told him in 2002 that “he would like to leave his artwork in remote locations to be discovered later.”
While officials refused to disclose the location of the monolith, some people tracked it down. David Surber, who visited the structure this week and posted videos of it on Instagram, said it was located near Lockhart Basin Road, which is south of Moab.
The Bureau of Land Management said it would not investigate the disappearance because “crimes involving personal property” are managed by the local sheriff office. San Juan and Grand County Sheriff’s offices did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Mr. Surber, who trekked the monolith, posted on its Instagram Story on Saturday night about its disappearance. “Apparently unbroken is gone,” he said. “Nature returns to her natural state, I think.”