Officers from the Utah Department of Public Safety’s Aviation Bureau were flying a helicopter last Wednesday, helping the Wildlife Division count bighorn sheep in southeastern Utah, when they spotted some thing that seemed to come out of “2001: A Space Odyssey.”
“One of the biologists… spotted it, and we just flew straight over it,” pilot Bret Hutchings told CNN affiliate KSL. “He was like, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, turn around, turn around!’ And I said to myself “What”. And he’s like, ‘There’s that thing over there – we’ve got to go look at it!’ ”
And it was there – in the middle of the red rock was a monolith of shiny silver metal sticking out of the ground. Hutchings guessed he was “between 10 and 12 feet tall”. It didn’t appear to have been thrown to the ground at random, he told KSL, but rather it appeared to have been planted.
“We were kind of joking that if one of us suddenly goes missing then the rest of us are racing,” Hutchings said.
Still, Hutchings said he believed it was likely placed there by an artist rather than an alien.
“I guess he’s a new wave artist or something or, you know, someone who was a huge fan (” 2001: A Space Odyssey “),” he said, referring to a scene from the 1968 film where a black monolith appears.
Still, it is illegal to install structures or artwork without permission on public land “no matter what planet you are from,” Utah DPS said in a statement Monday.
The location of the monolith is not disclosed and it is not yet clear who – or what – placed the monolith there, DPS said.
As of Monday, the Bureau of Land Management will decide whether a further investigation is necessary.