SALT LAKE CITY — A mysterious silver monolith that was placed in the Utah desert has disappeared less than 10 days after it was spotted by wildlife biologists performing a helicopter survey of bighorn sheep, federal officials and witnesses said.
"We have received credible reports that the illegally installed structure, referred to as the 'monolith' has been removed from Bureau of Land Management public lands by an unknown party," on Nov. 27, BLM spokesperson Kimberly Finch said in a statement. The agency did not remove the structure, she said.
The Utah Department of Public Safety said biologists spotted the monolith on Nov. 18, a report that garnered international attention. It was about 11 feet (3.4 meters) tall with sides that appeared to be made of stainless steel.
While Utah officials did not say specifically where the monolith was located, people soon found it on satellite images dating back to 2016 and determined its GPS coordinates, prompting people to hike into the area.
Reporters with The Salt Lake Tribune hiked to the spot on Saturday and confirmed that it was gone.
Spencer Owen of Salt Lake City said he saw the monolith Friday afternoon and camped in the region overnight, but as he hiked to the area again on Saturday people passing him on the trail warned him it was gone, the Tribune reported. When he arrived at the spot, all that was left was a triangular piece of metal covering a triangular-shaped hole in the rocks.
"I was really bummed," said Owen, who posted a video on his Instagram. "It was so pretty and shiny. I wanted to go see it again."
On the way, they passed a long-bed truck with a large object in the back and he said he joked "oh look, there's the Utah monolith right there," he said.
When they arrived at the spot, it was gone.