Second best story of the week

The mysterious, unexplained Utah monolith was discovered by helicopter pilots who were out counting bighorn sheep in a rugged part of the state. Spectacular, isn’t it? Beautiful in its simplicity. And the best part is that no one knows why it’s there or who put it there.

Some theorize it’s a random piece of street art, or canyon art if you prefer, although one source said it’s illegal to erect things on federal land without permission. Others suggest it might be an old movie prop, as many movies have been filmed in the Utah desert. Or maybe the Utah Chamber of Commerce did it to attract attention. And of course there’s always the “aliens did it” crowd.

Studies of old Google satellite images reveal the monolith first appeared in 2016. It’s exact location was not immediately revealed this week because officials feared people would get lost trying to find it. But the challenge was there and the curious were soon climbing on it and taking pictures of it.

It’s three sheets of stainless steel bolted together in a prism shape and cut several feet into the ground. The top is 10 feet above the ground. And intentionally or not, the triangular shape points directly toward a very narrow slot in the canyon wall.

The monolith loses its mystique when there are people climbing on it, leaving fingerprints all over it, and taking photos that clearly show the bolts holding it together.

But solitary, unexplained, gleaming like a giant bar of polished silver, it’s magnificent. I’d like to shake the hand of its creator … maybe next year.

The prism-shaped monolith “points” toward a slot in the canyon wall — where it looks like someone has been digging recently, perhaps hoping to discover some meaning for the installation. At the base of the monolith you can see cut marks where a concrete saw was used to install the structure.
Not as impressive with people around it. L-R: Moab residents Micah Johnson, Monica Holyoak, Melissa Nerone, John Marshall, Zippy the dog, Nicole Bonilla and Jamie Marshall at the site of a mysterious metal monolith in San Juan County, Utah, Nov. 25, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Monica Holyoak, St. George News

(P.S. The best story of the week was the man who saved his puppy from the alligator.)

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