Earlier this month, state employees with the Utah Department of Public Safety and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources spotted something strange as they flew over a remote area of the state’s wilderness. There, in the middle of the Mars-like landscape, stood a twelve-foot-tall shiny metal monolith.
No one seems to know where this out-of-place object is from or who put it there. Many people have come up with theories, most of them involving extraterrestrials or space invaders. Finally, however, at least part of the mystery is solved, thanks to internet sleuths.
Monolith Mystery Solved?
When state officials made their findings public, they were careful not to give the exact location of the mysterious monolith. This is because the remote Utah wilderness can be quite treacherous, and they were afraid that amateur hikers would get lost trying to go see it.
Of course, not giving out the exact location only made many people want to find it more. Not surprisingly, it took less than 48 hours for a few clever internet users to locate the monolith. One of these detectives was Reddit-user Tim Slane.
Slan found the object by tracking the flight path the helicopter took when it found the monolith in the first place. When it went off-radar, he figured that it had landed. This, he presumed, was the location of the monolith.
Then, he scanned the map to find the area with the exact features that matched official photos from the original find. Eventually, he found a canyon that appeared to fit the description. There he could see a long, narrow shadow, likely from the monolith.
This also gave him information as to how long the object has been there. Looking back at satellite images from the last few years, the shadow was not visible in 2015, but showed up in 2016.
Slane shared the coordinates of the monolith on Reddit, which not everyone was happy about.
“I knew that once the location became public knowledge that people would visit the area,” said Mr. Slane. “I have received some angry messages for my revealing of the location.” 
Since then, dozens of enthusiasts have made their way into the wilderness to find the mysterious monolith. One of the first people to arrive was 33-year-old former US Army infantry officer, David Surber. He drove six hours through the night to try to get there.
“I decided to go there first because I was drawn to the fact that this object had been there for five years, hidden in nature,” he said “It was a good escape from all the negativity we’ve experienced in 2020.” .
We may now know the location of the monolith, but it’s origins and purpose are still a mystery. Currently, the most widely-accepted theory is that it’s some kind of conceptual art piece. No artist, however, has stepped forward to claim responsibility.
Several people have speculated that the monolith could be the work of the late artist, John McCracken. He was a minimalist sculptor who had a zeal for science fiction.
It appeared that the mystery was over when the David Zwirner Gallery, which exhibits the artist’s work and represents his estate, claimed that the monolith was his. The artist’s son Patrick added even more fuel to the rumor.
According to Patrick, his father said something in 2002 about wanting to leave his artwork in remote places for people to discover later.
“He was inspired by the idea of alien visitors leaving objects that resembled his work, or that his work resembled. This discovery of a monolith piece — that’s very much in line with his artistic vision,” he said .
The only problem is that McCracken would have had to do this without his dealer or any of his friends knowing. In fact, McCracken’s artist friend James Hayward is of the opinion that it is a giant hoax.
“The object in the photos I have seen is crudely made,” explained Hayward. “I looked at the corners as much as I could; they are made by a machine called a brake, which bends metal. When you bend metal with a machine, the corners are not sharp and crisp. They’re rounded.” 
The Mystery Remains
The gallery later retracted their statement, and claimed that the artist must have been paying homage to the late McCracken .
People have suggested other artists, but all of them have denied having any connection to the mysterious object. Wendy Wischer of the University of Utah’s School of Fine Art believes it was the work of more than one person.
“One person alone could not have done it so there is a group of people who have some knowledge of it somewhere,” she said .
So while we may know where the monolith is, the object still remains shrouded in mystery. One thing is for certain, though: now that it’s location is public, a lot more people are going to be making the trek to visit it. This, of course, is much to the dismay of public officials.
You can read about how the monolith was originally discovered HERE.