The strange triangular metal monolith that mysteriously appeared in the remote Utah desert was dismantled and destroyed on Friday by a group of four men who warned, "Therefore, don't leave any trash in the desert," an eyewitness revealed.
The gleaming 12-foot pillar was first discovered on November 18 by officials at the Utah Department of Public Safety, who surveyed bighorn sheep by helicopter east of Canyonlands National Park.
Swaths of curious tourists and explorers flocked to the building, posing for photos with the riddle as the public wondered if it was an art installation, an inexplicable message from a strange way of life, or just a stunt.
However, the monolith disappeared almost miraculously on Friday after it was "removed by an unknown party," the Bureau of Land Management said in a statement last week.
While local police are investigating the incident, photographer Ross Bernards took to Instagram on Monday to shed light on the mystery. He revealed that he had taken pictures of the structure on Friday night when a group of men moved in to destroy it under cover of darkness.
BILD: Three of the four culprits responsible for the fall and removal of the mysterious Utah monolith from Friday night
The men reportedly worked 10 to 15 minutes to remove the obelisk before dismantling it and carting it away in a wheelbarrow
The mysterious triangular metal monolith that appeared in the remote Utah desert on November 18 and attracted the nation's attention disappeared on Friday
The three-sided structure was removed by an "unknown party" (pictured) on Friday evening, with pictures of the perpetrators taken by photographer Ross Bernards
According to Bernards, the group of four men appeared out of nowhere shortly after 8:40 p.m. and told him, "You better have your pictures" before attempting to move the structure.
Bernards described how the men worked between 10 and 15 minutes, repeatedly pushing the structure hard until it sloped toward the ground. The men then pushed the obelisk in the opposite direction to uproot it, he said.
During the vigilante demolition work, one of the men reportedly remarked, "This is why you don't leave rubbish in the desert," wrote Bernards on Instagram, suggesting that the group viewed the monolith as a pollutant for the landscape.
The column finally gave way under the force of the group and jumped out of the ground and landed with a loud crack on the desert floor.
Then the men quickly broke the structure apart before carting it away in a wheelbarrow.
"As they carried to the wheelbarrow they had brought, they all looked at us and said, 'Don't leave a trace,'" wrote Bernards.
"We didn't know who they were and we didn't want to do anything to stop them," he later told the New York Times. "They just came to the execution and said," This is our mission. "
On his social media post, Bernards stated that he believed the men were right to dismantle the monolith.
“We stayed the night and hiked to a hill overlooking the area the next day, where we saw at least 70 different cars (and one plane) getting on and off. Cars are parked everywhere in the tender desert landscape. Nobody follows one path or the other, ”he wrote.
“We could literally see people trying to approach it from all directions to get to it and permanently changing the pristine landscape. Mother nature is an artist. It is best to leave the art to it in the wild. "
Utah's Bureau of Land Management shared photos of tire tracks in the area of the monolith east of Canyonlands National Park on Sunday to demonstrate the influx of visitors this seldom-visited area has received due to the mysterious pillar
A Reddit user shared a photo of the empty room where the monolith once stood after also leaving to visit the pillar late Friday night and found that it had disappeared in the early hours of Saturday morning
Bernards did not photograph the men who were taking down the sculpture and feared a confrontation with them as he feared they might be armed.
However, his friend James Newlands (38), who accompanied him on the trip, cleverly took a few quick photos of them on his cell phone.
The blurry images show the group of men working in the dark with torches on their foreheads and wearing gloves but no face masks.
The exposed insides of the monolith are also visible. This appears to be a hollow structure with a plywood anchor.
Adventurers Riccardo Marino and Sierra Van Meter also set out to visit the memorial on Friday, but arrived after 11:30 p.m. to find the place eerily deserted.
"All that was left in his place was a message that was written in the dirt and said" Bye b **** "with a fresh piss stain right next to it," Marino said on Instagram on Saturday.
It is unclear whether the message was left by the same men who were watched by Bernards. The photographer made no indication of such behavior.
Bernard's photos are the only known images of the culprits.
There are also puzzles as to who installed the monolith in the first place, and hundreds of theories are shared online.
Among the artists, a number initially suspected that the monolith was likely associated with the late John McCracken, a California-born artist who died in 2011 and was known for his freestanding sculptures in the form of pyramids, cubes, and slender plates.
David Zwirner, who represents McCracken's estate and initially identified it as one of the artist's authentic works, later told the Times that he had studied images of it and had no idea who created it.
Adventurers Riccardo Marino and Sierra Van Meter set out at 11:30 p.m. Friday to visit the memorial, which is east of Canyonlands National Park. However, the red rocks were empty. "All that was left in its place was a message written in the dirt saying 'Bye b ****' with a fresh piss stain right next to it," said Marino
This is the puddle of urine that was found on the site of the monument
Some observers also pointed to the object's resemblance to the avant-garde work of John McCracken (left), an American artist who lived in nearby New Mexico for some time and died in 2011. He was known for his free-standing sculptures in the form of pyramids, cubes or smooth plates (right)
Officials suspect it might have been built by an artist or big fan of 2001: Space Odyssey – the structure is similar to the machines in Arthur C. Clarke's story (pictured)
Utah: Officials have refused to reveal the location of the metal lobe for fear that curious seers would flock to the remote wilderness, but Internet experts have managed to pinpoint its location anyway. Google Earth imagery shows it's been there since 2016 or 2015
Many noted the object's resemblance to the strange alien monoliths that spark leaps in human progress in Kubrick's classic science fiction film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
While the origins of the metal lobelisk remain unclear, Google Earth images show the structure has been around since at least 2015 or 2016.
Lieutenant Nick Street, a spokesman for the Department of Public Security, said it was possible the structure had been there for 40, 50 years, maybe even longer.
“It's the kind of material that doesn't deteriorate with the elements. It can only be a few years old, who knows. There's no real way based on the material it's made of, how long it's actually there, ”he said on Tuesday.
A similar version of Utah's monolith appeared in Seattle on New Years Day nearly 20 years ago.
Just like the Utah sighting, there was no initial evidence of the creators or the origin of the structure.
Park officials said at the time that no one was given permission to install the structure and if they pushed against it it wouldn't give up.
Then, on January 3rd, it disappeared without a trace, leaving a concrete platform on which it was anchored.
In its place was a single red rose, the stem of which had broken in two according to KIRO7.
It was then discovered the next morning on Green Lake & # 39; s Duck Island.
Artist Caleb Schaber then volunteered to be the monolith's spokesman and said he and a group of anonymous staff who called themselves "Some People" had made the object and several smaller versions that were placed around Seattle.
But he said his group had nothing to do with the disappearance of the monolith.
A view of the mysterious monolith in Magnuson Park in Seattle, pictured on January 2, 2001
A similar triangular monolith was also discovered in Romania (above) near an ancient site last Thursday
Similar to Utah, another mysterious monolith appeared in Romania last week.
The shiny triangular pillar was found on Batca Doamnei Hill in the city of Piatra Neamt in northern Romania last Thursday.
It was discovered just meters from the well-known archaeological landmark of the Petrodava Dacian Fortress, a fortress built between 82 BC BC and AD 106. Was built by the ancient Dacian people.
The structure later turned out to be less of a mystery, however, as a local metalworker installed the 9-foot-tall structure as a prank, according to local reports.
By Tuesday, the structure had also mysteriously disappeared overnight.
"The 2.8 meter high building disappeared overnight as quietly as last week," said journalist Robert Iosub of the local newspaper Ziar Piatra Neamt, who had seen the building, told Reuters.
"An unidentified person, apparently a poor local welder, did it … now there is only a small hole covered in rocky soil," local reporters found out, he said.
The sheet metal structure has a poorly welded joint, he added.
Romanian officials have not yet identified the culprit responsible for designing the monolith.
Rocsana Josanu, Culture and Heritage Officer at Neamt, said, “We have started investigating the strange appearance of the monolith.
“It's privately owned, but we still don't know who owns the monolith. It is located in a protected area at an archaeological site. & # 39;
She added, "Before they could install anything there, they needed our institution's permission, which then has to be approved by the Ministry of Culture."
A police spokeswoman for Piatra Neamt Police, Georgiana Mosu, said the officers are conducting an investigation into the illegally installed structure.
Aliens or avant-garde art installation? Theories surrounding the mystery of the Utah desert monolith
Social media users quickly noticed the object's resemblance to the strange alien monoliths in Stanley Kubrick's classic science fiction film "2001: A Space Odyssey".
In the film, the monolith was a tool created by an alien race that sparked huge leaps in human progress.
SECRET INSTALLATION OF THE LATE ARTIST
The structure has also drawn comparisons to the work of minimalist artist John McCracken.
McCracken, who died in 2011, was known for his free-standing sculptures in the form of pyramids, cubes or slender plates.
The monolith closely resembles McCracken's works and leaves some to speculate that this could be one of his own works of art.
In addition, McCracken lived and worked in nearby New Mexico and California.
A spokeswoman for his representative, David Zwirner, said it was not a McCracken work.
Zwirner later issued another statement suggesting that the piece was indeed McCracken's.
"The gallery is divided in this regard," said Zwirner. "I think this is definitely from John."
NEW WAVE ARTIST OR SCI-FI FAN
Many have speculated that the structure might just be the work of a new wave artist or science fiction fan.
Pilot Bret Hutchings, who discovered the monolith, suggested it be placed by a big fan of 2001: A Space Odyssey.
A representative from David Zwirner said it may be a fellow artist who paid homage to McCracken.
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