Strange Monolith Spotted by Helicopter Crew in Utah

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.

Metallic monolith found in remote Utah canyon, Nov 2020

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.