Utah monolith

Modern structure of unknown origin in southern Utah

The Utah monolith was a metal pillar that stood in a red sandstone slot canyon in northern San Juan County, Utah. The pillar was 3:m (9.8:ft) tall and made of metal sheets riveted into a triangular prism. It was unlawfully placed on public land between July and October 2016, and stood unnoticed for over four years until its discovery and removal in late 2020. The identity of its makers, and their objectives, are unknown.

Utah state biologists discovered the monolith in November 2020 during a helicopter survey of wild bighorn sheep. Within days of its discovery, members of the public found the pillar using GPS mapping software and made their way to the remote location. Following intense media coverage, it was covertly removed on November 27, 2020, by four residents of Moab, Utah. After nearly a month in their possession, the monolith was given to the Bureau of Land Management, and is currently in their custody.

Following the discovery of the monolith, over two hundred similar metal columns were erected in other places throughout the world, including elsewhere in North America and countries in Europe and South America. Many were built by local artists as deliberate imitations of the Utah monolith.

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Discovery

On November 18, 2020, state biologists of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources were in southeastern Utah carrying out a survey of bighorn sheep from a helicopter when one of the biologists spotted the pillar and told the pilot, Bret Hutchings, to fly over the location again. Hutchings described the moment:

One of the biologists is the one who spotted it and we just happened to fly directly over the top of it. He was like, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, turn around, turn around!" And I was like, "What?" And he's like, "There's this thing back there – we've got to go look at it!"

Hutchings noted that the object appeared man-made, and had been planted in the ground instead of being dropped from the sky.

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