A public safety crew flying over southeastern Utah found an "unusual" monolith in a remote area of the state. The sleek metal structure embedded in the ground is at least 10 feet tall, and no one seems to know how it got there.
The Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS) said Monday that Aero Bureau and wildlife resource officers were conducting a count of bighorn sheep last week in Red Rock Country when they spotted the object and landed nearby to investigate further.
Videos and photos released by DPS show the crew exploring the metal monolith. At one point, one DPS officer climbed onto another's shoulders, slightly reaching over the top of the structure.
DPS said there was "no obvious indication" of who put it there, leaving its origins a mystery for now.
Bret Hutchings, a DPS helicopter pilot, told KSLTV that the unexplained 10- to 12-foot-high structure is the "strangest thing that I've come across out there in all my years of flying." However, he had some theories of what it could be.
"I'm assuming it's some new wave artist or something. Or, you know, somebody that was a big '2001: A Space Odyssey' fan," Hutchings said.
The object bears resemblance to the black monument in Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film that comes from an unseen alien civilization.
DPS said it is illegal to install structures of art without authorization on federally managed lands, "no matter what planet you're from." The Bureau of Land Management will investigate further.
"We were kind of joking around that if one of us suddenly disappears, then the rest of us make a run for it," Hutchings told the station.
The department said it would not reveal where the monolith is located because the structure is in a remote area and tourists may require rescue if they get stranded.
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