SALT LAKE CITY — Federal land managers are not saying what happens next to the mysterious monolith installed in the ground in a remote red rock area of San Juan County as they continue their investigation.
The Bureau of Land Management wants to know who put it there, how the shiny structure arrived at its destination and why someone would go to the trouble.
“It definitely has gone viral and is getting international and national attention,” said BLM spokeswoman Kimberly Finch.
“Although we can’t comment on active investigations, the Bureau of Land Management would like to remind public land visitors that using, occupying, or developing the public lands or their resources without a required authorization is illegal, no matter what planet you are from,” the agency said in a statement.
Satellite imagery shows the tall, three-sided structure was put on the public land sometime between August 2015 and October 2016.
The monolith was spotted on Nov. 18 during an aerial survey of bighorn sheep in southeastern Utah by the Utah Department of Public Safety Aero Bureau and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.
Crew members spotted the unusual object and landed nearby to get a closer look. They found the three-sided stainless-steel object is about as tall as two men put together.
The monolith resembles one that appears in the Stanley Kubrick movie “2001: A Space Odyssey.”
“This thing is not from another world,” said Utah Department of Public Safety Lt. Nick Street.
Still, it’s clear that it took some planning and work to construct the 10- to 12-foot monolith and embed it in the rock.
Officials are not revealing the exact location of the monolith because it is in such a remote area and there is concern that visitors will become stranded and require rescue.
Anyone who may know the location of the monolith is being encouraged to refrain from visiting it due to hazardous road conditions.
Contributing: Associated Press