Mysterious silver monolith disappears from Utah desert
SALT LAKE CITY – A mysterious silver structure that gained international attention after it appeared in a Utah desert was removed by an unknown party during the Thanksgiving holiday.
The Land Management Office (BLM) confirmed during a site visit on Saturday that one or more unknown parties removed the illegally installed structure known as the “monolith” on the evening of Friday, November 27.
The BLM confirmed that it did not remove the 11-foot structure discovered on public land at the Monticello field office on November 18.
Curious citizens quickly found the structure on satellite images from 2016 and determined its GPS coordinates, prompting people to walk in the area.
During Thanksgiving week, a relatively large number of people visited the site, which was not developed for intensive visitation, BLM staff said.
“We recognize the incredible interest the ‘monolith’ has generated around the world. Many people have enjoyed the mystery and see it as a welcome distraction from the 2020 news cycle, ” said Monticello Field Director Amber Denton Johnson.
“Despite this, it was installed without permission on public land and the site is in a remote area with no services for the large number of people who now want to see it. Whenever you visit public lands, please follow Leave No Trace principles and federal and local laws and guidelines.
The structure aroused national and international interest and sparked a dialogue about who installed it and what it symbolized. The BLM received both positive and negative feedback regarding the condition of the structure and was investigating who installed it when a person or group removed it.
Any development on public land must be approved by the BLM and is subject to applicable laws, such as the Federal Land Policy and Management Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.
Visitors who flocked to the site parked on the vegetation and left human waste as evidence of their visit. The undeveloped area does not have toilets or parking.
The BLM recommends that visitors refrain from visiting the site, which has no cell service and requires high clearance vehicles. Passenger vehicles have already been towed from the area, BLM staff said.