When a strange 2001: A Space Odyssey metal monolith was discovered in the middle of the Utah desert, the internet went crazy. Eventually, dedicated Reddit sleuths would discover more about the monolith and its possible sources.
But now the mysterious metal object is gone, according to officials from the Land Management Bureau in Utah.
According to the statement posted on Facebook “We have received credible reports that the illegally installed structure, referred to as the “monolith” has been removed from Bureau of Land Management (BLM) public lands by an unknown party.”
“The BLM did not remove the structure which is considered private property.”
The Utah Department of Public Safety had originally found the item while counting bighorn sheep in a helicopter in a remote area of southern Utah.
Pilot Bret Hutchings told KSL “I’d say it’s probably between 10 and 12 feet high,” back when it was initially discovered. “We were kind of joking around that if one of us suddenly disappears, then I guess the rest of us make a run for it.”
Yet dedicated people on Reddit made an effort to discover the source of the monolith in the wake of the discovery. In an attempt to discover exactly when the object first appeared in the desert, they first found the monolith on Google Earth, then used historical imaging data. They found that the monolith first appeared between August 2015 and October 2016 using this data.
Sci-fi drama Westworld was shooting in a nearby location at that time, which has led many to speculate that the monolith is an old film prop.
The location has also been used—from recent films such as 127 Hours and Mission: Impossible 2, to classic westerns in the 1940s and 1960s—it is a possibility.
Regardless, the monolith is gone, as of right now. The Land Management Bureau has said it has no plans to investigate the disappearance, saying that it is the sheriff’s office’s business.