Utah Monolith Mysteriously Vanishes, Replaced By Pyramid

A mystifying metal monolith has disappeared and been replaced with a smaller pyramid, just over a week after it was discovered by sheep herders in the Utah Desert.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which administers the area, said it had received "credible reports" the structure was removed "by an unknown party" on Friday.

"The BLM did not remove the structure which is considered private property," the agency said in a statement released Saturday.

"We do not investigate crimes involving private property which are handled by the local sheriff's office."

The structure was first spotted by state employees who were counting sheep from a helicopter last Wednesday.

Pilot Ryan Bacher was among the first and last to see the structure, after spotting dozens of others "looking at this fun piece of art" on Friday.

"Twenty-four hours later, my close friend, who is also a helicopter pilot, flew his family down to see as well and found it taken down," he told local news outlet KSLTV.

He has since shared a photograph showing visitors at the site, where the monolith apperas to have been replaced by a smaller metal pyramid and some rocks.

We've seen too much.

The monolith in Utah's southeastern desert (which was likely installed about 5 years ago) has been stolen. All that is left is a pile of rocks and a small, metal pyramid.https://t.co/BaHKusn0IF

— Jen Riess (@JenRiess) November 29, 2020

It comes after coordinates which pinpointed the location of the 10 to 12ft tall structure were shared on Reddit.

David Suber, who later visited the location, then shared directions to the monolith on social media.

Discussing his experience on Instagram, he said it was neither magnetic or solid and described it as sounding "like a cardboard box" when he knocked on it.

"At the end of the day, extraterrestrial or made through artistic expression; the monolith provided an opportunity for thousands of people to rally behind something positive again," he told CNN after his visit. "It was a good escape from all the negativity we've experienced in 2020."

He was not the only one to make the trip. YouTuber Justin McBride said he found handprints on the monolith, which was fastened to a metal frame in the rock.

"The thing was filthy from people touching it," he said. "I attempted to wipe it down, but it's like the handprints were frozen to it and from a donut glaze or something."

There is no suggestion Suber or McBride were involved in the monolith's disappearance.

Officials never publicly disclosed the monolith's location because concern intrigued could put themselves in danger trying to visit it.

Speaking after the discover last week, Hutchings told KSLTV it was "about the strangest thing that I've come across out there in all my years of flying."

"We were kind of joking around that if one of us suddenly disappears, then the rest of us make a run for it," Hutchings said and compared the sight to something from Stanley Kubrick film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

"I'm assuming it's some new wave artist or something or, you know, somebody that was a big 2001: A Space Odyssey fan," he added.

In the film, a group of apes encounters a monolith and it influences them to evolve by using tools.

Rock formations Bryce Canyon Utah
File photo: Unusual sandstone rock formations in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, pictured on November 8, 2018. A metal monolith, which was first spotted by people counting sheep last Wednesday, has seemingly vanished. George Rose/Getty