The sheriff’s office in San Juan County, Utah, has said it’s not planning an investigation into the disappearance of the monolith, which had been placed without permission on public land. But authorities also said they would accept tips from any of the hundreds of visitors who trekked out to see the otherworldly gleaming object deep in the desert.
The sheriff and the Bureau of Land Management, which oversees the land where the object appeared, didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment whether they are investigating the removal that Bernards’ group photographed.
Visitors have left behind a mess of human waste, cars parked on vegetation and other debris, the land agency said. The mysterious structure that evoked the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey” generated international attention and drew plenty of speculation about otherworldly origins, though officials said it was an earthly creation of riveted plates of stainless steel.
For Bernards, the visitors’ damage to the environment convinced him that the remote area was better off without the structure.
“Leave the art to places where art should be and let Mother Nature have her space for art,” he said.
Utah isn’t the only place a monolith emerged. A similar metal structure was found on a hill in northern Romania, in the city of Piatra Neamt.
Like the Utah structure, whoever placed the object didn’t follow the proper steps and get a building permit, Mayor Andrei Carabelea said in a Facebook post over the weekend. Still, he took it in stride, joking that some “cheeky and terrible” alien teenagers were likely putting them up around the world.
“I am honored they chose our city,” he said.