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The unexpected rise of the mysterious monoliths8 min read

December 10, 2020 5 min read


The unexpected rise of the mysterious monoliths8 min read

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Are you a science-fiction fan? Are you convinced that aliens have already made contact? Would you do anything to see signs of extra-terrestrial life? If your answer to all of this was a yes, you may want to sit down and get a glass of water for this.

Fade Away Drinking Water GIF by kai
Image: GIPHY

Alright, you intrepid explorers, it is time to investigate an alien life form! 

The mystery presents itself

Washington bighorn sheep herds trapped to help others | The Spokesman-Review
Bighorn Sheep Image:spokesman.com

It was the Wednesday before the 21st of November, 2020. Officials from the Utah Department of Public Safety were going on a flight over Red Rock County with Wildlife officials. The plan was to check on the population of bighorn sheep. 

They were flying their helicopter around the desert when they spotted something very unusual. Immediately, the officials went to take a look.

In photos and videos taken by a team member and released by the department, the survey crew can be seen descending toward the object. “OK, the intrepid explorers go down to investigate the alien life form,” a crew member joked in one of the videos. “Who does this kind of stuff?”

What did they find?

What they saw was a shiny silver hollow metallic plank fitted deep in the ground. It had been locked into the layers of hard rock that make up the Red Rock County! ‘The unusual object,’ as the state described it, was about the height of two tall men stacked on top of each other! It was planted so firmly in the ground that people could climb it without it toppling over! 

Owliver’s Obscure Observation: A rock or single-pieced large object such as this is known as a monolith. Monoliths can be small like this mysterious shiny thing, but they can also be much larger structures such as small mounds and mountains.

What made it so unusual?

Well, this whole ordeal was rather unusual for several reasons. First of all, no one has claimed that they placed the monolith there. There was no clear sign of why it was there either. Secondly, experts can’t really tell how someone would have got such a heavy object to such rocky terrain. The chief of the wildlife department described the area as hazardous. In fact, he claimed that reaching that spot is very challenging whether you come on foot or use a vehicle. 

Sedona Red Rocks Map
The topsy turvy rock formations

The perpetrator had their work cut out for them. First of all, they would have to reach the spot unseen and in secret. Then, they would have had to plant the monolith. After all of that, the perpetrator would have to cut a perfectly sized hole in the rock in which they placed it! No one even knows how deep the object goes!!!

Lastly, even though the authorities and wildlife department claim that they often see weird things that people have set up in the desert, this was highly unusual. In fact, some of them admit that this monolith is the most mysterious occurrence that they have witnessed so far!

“I have to admit, that’s been about the strangest thing that I’ve come across out there in all the years of flying”.

Bret Hutchings, helicopter pilot.

Who (or what) was behind this?


The simple answer is, no one really knows! But, there have been theories! Let us first get the one that we are all thinking about out of the way. Visitors from outer space! Yup, if aliens had to make contact, what better way to do it than using a shiny rock with magical powers. The officials who first saw the monolith were quite convinced they had finally seen signs of alien contact. In fact, they even joked with one another that if one of them were to mysteriously disappear, the rest of them would make a run for it!

Owliver’s Obscure Observation: 87-year-old Haim Eshed, a retired space security chief, who headed Israel’s space security program for nearly 30 years, has declared that aliens exist! What’s more, he claims Donald Trump knows all about it!

A movie

The next possibility is pretty cool and mysterious, as well. You see, way back in 1968, a man named Stanley Kubrik made a movie called 2001: A Space Odyssey. In this film, something very similar occurs. A black monolith sent down by aliens is embedded in the desert as apes dance around it and gain enough intelligence to evolve into humans and even more. Did Stanley Kubrick predict the future? He is even rumored to have envisioned the iPad long before apple snapped it into existence. But the iPad and aliens are worlds apart– quite literally! Experts think that if this monolith has anything to do with the movie, it was probably a fan that went too far.


Others claim that it is a left-over prop from one of the many sci-fi movies that are shot in the area, but most believe that it is a work of art. Several people believe that it is most likely an art installation made by the eccentric artist, John McCracken. He had created several metallic monoliths and displayed them in museums and art galleries.

But as with everything else related to this story, there’s a catch: John Mccracken died in 2011! That would mean that he would have had to ask someone else to secretly place this monolith. Moreover, other artists and art lovers have claimed that the finer details of this monolith were very different from the ones Mccracken designed!

The plot thickens…

It’s Gone!! As mysteriously as this shiny block time-traveled into our lives, it rocketed out. Officials claim that they have no idea who did it!! Aliens perhaps? Or perhaps people who were afraid that all the tourism the monolith would cause would ruin the landscape. Maybe, it was the mystery artist. Who’s to say? Just as the world began to seek the hidden clues that would unravel this mystery, a new twist arose. 

What happened next?

A new monolith that looked just like the very first one appeared in California. Soon, there was yet another one in Romania! Now, keep your socks on for this one; the monolith in California disappeared as well! Then, most recently, reports have arisen that the latest monolith is in Britain!!

Well, whoever did this alien or not, it was nice to get our minds off the pandemic for a little while. Extra-terrestrial or not, these monoliths are definitely works of art. Because, what is the purpose of art if not to make us think and wonder, and what could make you wonder more than the secrets of the vast Universe?

That’s all… until the descent of the next monolith.

With excerpts from: New York Times, New York Times, New York Times, CNN, CNN, CNN