The story behind the Utah monolith just keeps getting stranger as it’s revealed it may have been standing in the desert for four years.
The shiny three-metre metal structure was spotted by a helicopter pilot last week, and the news instantly went viral with theories that it could be a piece of alien technology like in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Utah’s Department of Public Safety has refused to reveal the location of the slab in order to discourage visitors.
“It is in a very remote area and if individuals were to attempt to visit the area, there is a significant possibility they may become stranded and require rescue,” a spokesperson said.
They added that it’s illegal to install a structure on federally managed public land without authorisation “no matter what planet you’re from”.
However, that hasn’t stopped eagle-eyed geographical experts from analysing the available information in an attempt to figure out the monolith’s location.
Now a Reddit user is believed to have figured out its coordinates.
Tim Slane discovered a small Redstone canyon on Google Earth, which features a narrow gap closely resembling that seen in photos of the monolith released by Utah authorities.
He then used Google Earth’s satellite images to look at the area from far above. The photos show an indistinct object in the middle of the canyon that casts a long, narrow shadow across the ground.
What’s more, Google Earth photos show no sign of the monolith up until 2016 when the surrounding area appears to have been cleared of scrub. This indicates the huge object may have been placed in its current location up to four years ago.
If this is indeed the famous monolith, be warned that it’s in a very remote area with no reception.
Amateur explorers are not advised to go searching for it as there’s a good chance they could get lost with no means of communication.
Helicopter pilot Bret Hutchings spotted the monolith as he was flying overhead helping wildlife resource officers count bighorn sheep last week.
“That’s been about the strangest thing that I’ve come across out there in all my years of flying,” Mr Hutchings told local news channel KSLTV.
Mr Hutchings said the object looked manmade, prompting many to speculate it is an installation placed in the remote desert by an artist.
However no artist or gallery has come forward yet to claim the piece as one of their own.
Monoliths are an iconic motif in Stanly Kubrick’s classic 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, in which they are machines created by an alien species.
Their discovery – and the reactions of the characters who find them – drives the plot of the eerie movie, which was an adaptation of the novel by Arthur C. Clarke.
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