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The metal monolith recently documented in the Utah desert has been there since 2016

INSIDER logoINSIDER 24/11/2020 horecchio@businessinsider.com (Haven Orecchio-Egresitz,Aylin Woodward)
a stone building that has a sign on a rock: A monolith was spotted in Utah by state employees counting sheep by helicopter. The Utah highway patrol © The Utah highway patrol A monolith was spotted in Utah by state employees counting sheep by helicopter. The Utah highway patrol
  • A Utah state helicopter crew was counting sheep when it discovered a mysterious metal monolith in a red-rock desert area.
  • There is no indication where the structure came from, and the state's Department of Public Safety is joking that it's from out of this world.
  • Google Earth maps showed the structure appeared sometime between August 2015 and October 2016.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Utah state employees spotted a nearly 12-foot-high metal monolith in the middle of a remote area of federal lands, and they have no idea what world it came from.

Members of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources were counting bighorn sheep by helicopter in southeastern Utah when they saw the strange object and landed in the area to check it out, Utah's Department of Public Safety said in a statement.

A post shared by UtahDPSAeroBureau (@utahdpsaerobureau)

The agency is withholding the location of the find in the red-rock area south of Moab because its location is so remote that if people did visit the site, they would likely get stuck.

The structure was put there sometime between summer 2015 and fall 2016

According to Google Earth's historical view, the metal structure appeared sometime between August 2015 and October 2016.

graffiti on a rock: The mysterious Utah monolith's location: left, August 2015, right, October 2016. Google Earth © Google Earth The mysterious Utah monolith's location: left, August 2015, right, October 2016. Google Earth

There was no obvious indication of who left the monolith. The agency poked fun at the idea that aliens left behind the structure.

"It is illegal to install structures or art without authorization on federally managed public lands, no matter what planet you're from," it said.

A post shared by UtahDPSAeroBureau (@utahdpsaerobureau)

The crew took many photos at the site and posed with the object, which resembles the giant slab from an iconic scene in Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film, "2001: A Space Odyssey."

In videos they shared on the state's website, you can hear the helicopter crew chatting about the baffling find. 

"What the heck?" one of the men said as he walked up to it.

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