The mysterious Utah monolith is gone, according to the authorities (it was situated on public land):
When I initially came across the preview of the above story, my first reaction was “Why is Black Lives Matter making a statement about the monolith’s disappearance? Was it looted during a protest?” I guess Bureau of Land Management might have had some interesting queries lately; you can, after all, choose your acronym, but you can’t choose others who might also choose it.
Anyway, back to the “Utah monolith”. First sighted by officials nearly two weeks, its remote location was initially kept secret to discourage visitors, but internet sleuths succeeded relatively quickly in tracing its whereabouts. Now it’s gone, as mysteriously as it had first appeared.
What was it? An alien artefact? Mitt Romney’s spine? Perhaps guerilla artwork?
Some observers pointed out the object’s resemblance to the avant-garde work of John McCracken, a US artist who lived for a time in nearby New Mexico and died in 2011.
Daviz Zwirner, who has exhibited McCracken’s work at his New York Gallery since 1997, said he was convinced the monolith was the work of the artist however opinion was divided at the gallery, The New York Times reported.
McCracken’s son Patrick told the publication he had a conversation with his father in 2002 where he said he “would like to leave his artwork in remote places to be discovered later”.
He also said his father was inspired by the idea alien visitors would leave objects that resembled his work.
Reddit users noted the satellite images from Google Earth indicate it could have been standing since as early as 2015.
Mr Zwirmer said he had no idea how McCracken had installed the monolith if he was responsible.
The two most likely explanations are:
- an art installation, whether McCracken’s or not; or
- part of a viral marketing campaign for a new movie/TV show/game/book/product
In either case, it might not be a one-off but the first in a cycle, and so we might soon discover a similar obelisk – or another kindred metallic and/or weird-out-of-place structure – popping up in another location somewhere in the globe. Until then, or until someone credibly comes forward owning up to the monolith, it is pointless to speculate if it’s more likely to be an artistic statement about the intersection of technology and nature, or a stunt for a “Space Odyssey” remake. It could be something else entirely – a Dominion server with all the stolen Trump votes, for example. Or it could be the first sign of an alien invasion. It’s 2020, after all, so the more incredible the explanation the more likely it is to be true.
UPDATE (1 December 2020): It seems that another. similar megalith has popped up in Romania. Uncertain whether it’s a copy-cat or the same person/s responsible for the Utah one. The metallic surface of the Romanian one is covered in squiggles.