I’ll admit I caught the web-sleuth bug after reading about the intriguing find by the big horn sheep counting crew in Utah. I began poking around on Google Earth and trying to narrow down a location. Spent way too much time on it to be honest. I even went back in time using FlightRadar24 and found a helicopter flight path that meandered around just southwest of Arches National Park the morning of Monday the 16th. After a couple of hours poking around my eyes started to dry up in their sockets so I had to stop. My wife was having fun watching her Sherlock Holmes scour the satellite imagery.
The next day we’d learn that I wasn’t so far off in my choice of search location. Soon after this story broke, Reddit users began combing the digital desert, narrowing down the flight path and discovering the so-called monolith a little farther south than my search area, closer to Dead Horse State Park.
A keen Redditer, after looking back through past Google imagery, noticed that the object first appeared on satellite images in October of 2016. That rules out John McCracken, whom I mentioned in my original writeup on this topic. McCracken passed away in 2011. Maybe it’s a tribute.
Apparently the area has been used for filming, most recently for the show Westworld, which actually used the area of Dead Horse National Park in 2016, the same year the monolith appeared on satellite images. Maybe some of the crew were having a little fun with extra set materials.
The mystery continues. I’ll report back as I learn more.
The Original Story:
Members of the public safety department were in a helicopter, aloft over the remote high desert of Utah, assisting wildlife resource officers count big horn sheep when one of the crew spotted something strange. There, poking out of the red sandy landscape below, was a tall silvery monument of some kind.
Circling around, the pilot maneuvered the chopper back to the location and set down nearby so they could take a closer look. The crew made the precarious hike down into the canyon to examine the strange metal thing standing alone amid eons of eroded sandstone like some strange beacon from another world.
Maybe, like the monolith found by prehistoric hominids in Stanley Kubrick’s 2002: A Space Odyssey, the gleaming object found in this remote area of Utah heralds an impending change in the development and evolution of humankind.
Or maybe it’s art. The pilot of the chopper speculated that it could be the work of a new age artist. One suggestion is that it is a piece by the late minimalist artist John McCracken who is known for creating such sculptures using various mediums including plywood, fiberglass, polyester resin, polished stainless steel and bronze.
As the crew walked around the object, which stands roughly twelve feet high, they determined it was securely “planted” into the earth. Photos that the Utah Department of Public Safety Aero Bureau posted on Instagram soon after it was found show that the object is made of metal with fasteners spaced at regular intervals along the edge, likely used to hold the panels of the three-sided form together.
Without some serious examination and investigation it would be difficult to determine when the object was placed in it’s current location, or by whom. It’s likely that it was transported clandestinely to the spot and assembled on site.
While it is fairly certain that the object came to its current resting place at the hands of an unknown visitor in an unidentified flying object, there is little doubt that the visitor is a creative human being. Regardless of the details, this secretly placed work of art does what it is intended to do: wonderfully shrouded in it’s own mystery, it kindles the imagination.
There is this fun little podcast I listen too called Conspiracy Theories by Parcast, hosted by Molly Brandenburg and Carter Roy. If you’re interested in conspiracies, whether you believe them or not, I highly recommend you give it a listen. Some conspiracies they discuss will have you scratching your head. Not is all as it seems, it would seem.
Recently the hosts discussed the death of Elvis Presley and the many conspiracy theories that have cropped up after his untimely demise which suggest that The King faked his death and has been spotted alive in various places around the world, including in the film Home Alone.
Some people just can’t let dead rock stars rest in peace. Faked death conspiracy theories exist for many, allegedly, deceased celebrities including Jim Morrison, Michael Jackson, Andy Kaufman, and others. Over the years I had heard of the occasional Elvis sighting or death hoax and let it pass as nonsense, but after hearing this particular episode of the Conspiracy Theories podcast I decided to take a closer look at a few of these theories that some believe prove that Elvis faked his death and is still alive sipping Mai Tais in Tahiti.
ONE: The Overloaded Coffin Theory
Did some nitwit overload the coffin? In this entertaining hoaxed Elvis death conspiracy theory it is suggested that the coffin weighed in excess of 900 lbs, which would mean either Elvis had gathered substantial girth prior to his death, or that the person responsible for the simple, yet clandestine, task of loading some sandbags into an empty coffin screwed up and added a couple hundred pounds to the King’s bulk. Can this be true?
According to a 2016 article on Huffington Post, written by retired homicide detective and forensic coroner Garry Rodgers, reexamining the details known about Elvis’ health and the circumstances surrounding his death, Elvis was in bad shape at the time of his death and it is estimated that he weighed in the neighborhood of 350 lbs. I’m not sure where the author got that estimate but some reports of that weight claim the information came from a close confidante of The King, a member of his’ “Memphis Mafia”.
Other reports claim his weight at death was closer to 260 lbs or so. Let’s check out the deets.
Is 900 lbs a lot for a coffin with Elvis in it? For your standard coffin it is, most don’t typically exceed 200 lbs or so but a National seamless copper deposit casket, like the one Elvis was buried in, can weigh as much as 600 to 800 lbs. In the former case, a 600 lb coffin holding a 350 lb Elvis would have topped out at 950, which is, as the conspiracy states, in excess of 900 lbs. What about a 260 lb Elvis? Given the weight variation of the particular style of coffin, let’s say the coffin was closer to 700 lbs, this would still put the total weight well over 900 lbs.
So, if some sneaky goon loaded that coffin with sandbags to replicate the weight of Elvis while The King was putting in a call to the helicopter, they were pretty much right on nuggets. Just because the coffin weighed more than what some fervent conspiracy theorists expected, doesn’t mean Elvis wasn’t in it.
Elvis had gained substantial weight and was in pretty poor health. His regular use of prescribed narcotics and notoriously poor diet, along with some genetic predispositions, led to a rapid decline in health between 1973 and 1977. Sadly Elvis Presley passed away of cardiac arrest on August 16, 1977, while sitting on the toilet at his Graceland mansion.
Let’s let the sleeping King of Rock rest in peace. Yes, I said helicopter. Next…
TWO: The Mysterious Elvis Escape Helicopter Theory
Apparently there is a photo in existence somewhere that depicts a black helicopter flying over Graceland on the day of Elvis Presley’s death. I can’t find the photo in it’s entirety online however, just a fudged comparison between it and other Graceland images. The claim made by whoever brought the photo to pubic attention is that the helicopter is secretly flying Elvis, alive and well, away from Graceland at the time of his funeral.
First things first: the photo is not from 1977. The height of the bushes, trees or whatever they are, along the front of the house is consistent with the height of the bushes, trees or hedges, after it was turned into an historic landmark attraction, not at the time of the legendary musicians death. When Elvis passed the greenery along the front of Graceland mansion was quite a bit taller. At some point in the years after his death they were either trimmed down to the nubs or completely torn out and replaced.
What I’m thinking is this: why the hell would Elvis wait until the exact day of his funeral to fly off to parts unknown? Anyone trying to fake their own death would get the heck out of Dodge as soon as possible, before anyone notices the sandbags in the coffin. That’s what I’m saying.
The photo isn’t necessarily a piece of Photoshopery either. It could simply be a picture of a dark colored chopper flying along in the distance with the Graceland mansion in the foreground. This is an un-conspiracy. Simply a dumb hoax.
THREE: Elvis is Alive and Appears as an Extra in Home Alone Theory
This is a good one. I’m not sure of the actual number of people who resemble Elvis Presley, but I’m sure it’s a big figure. Many people can sort-of resemble anyone. I bet more ordinary people bear a closer resemblance to Elvis than most Elvis impersonators do.
With that in mind, and the basic understanding that coincidences occur, I suggest that the extra standing behind Macaulay Culkin’s mom at the airline ticket counter in Home Alone is just some guy who happens to resemble elvis. In reality the fellow’s name is Gary Grott, and he also shares a passing resemblance to Bob Seger, and a guy who lived down the street from me when I was 15. Some people just have a look.
Sadly Mr. Grott passed away in 2016. So we’ll let him rest in peace too.
And FOUR: Elvis is Pastor Bob Joyce
Wait a minute, let me get this straight. Elvis faked his death so he could move to Arizona and pastor a faith ministry?
No. Just, no. Anyone with a functioning noodle in their head would immediately see that Bob Joyce looks like a lot more like an aging Jim Morrison than Elvis Presley. Regardless of this obvious oversight, some congregants and conspiracy theorists think that Bob Joyce might be the return of The King despite the fact that Bob Joyce himself doesn’t even support the idea.
If the man himself denies it how does the conspiracy persist? Easy, people living a vapid existence with too much time on their hands believe this kind of carp regardless of evidence to the contrary.
I don’t know what Pastor Joyce is selling but it can’t be much more than a hunk a hunk o’ burnin’ Jesus love. Give the guy a break.
That does it for me. I’m sure there are more Elvis sightings and theories but I’m up for just accepting the fact that The King of Rock and Roll was in poor health after eating way to many Fool’s Gold Loaf sandwitches and bugers, regularly taking prescription drugs and generally living an unhealthy and high stress lifestyle. The poor guy died. RIP Elvis Presley.
No confirmed conspiracies here. But, maybe Bob Joyce is Jim Morrison. It’s not much more of a stretch than the Elvis conspiracy to think that Mr. Mojo Risin’ himself faked his death in Paris and high-tailed it to Arizona to preach.