Its origin and purpose still a total mystery
November 24, 2020 2:28 AM   Subscribe

The Utah Department of Public Safety has found a monolith in Utah.
posted by Stark (142 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
 
Classic local TV news coverage
posted by Bwithh at 2:44 AM on November 24, 2020 [18 favorites]


"My god, it's full of stars"
posted by Captain_Science at 2:51 AM on November 24, 2020 [12 favorites]


we 👏 are 👏 not 👏 doing 👏 monoliths 👏 in 👏 2020
posted by um at 2:53 AM on November 24, 2020 [96 favorites]


But was there anything carved in reformed Egyptian about how Mitt Romney will save the US Constitution which is hanging by a thread?
posted by Avelwood at 2:54 AM on November 24, 2020 [16 favorites]


This is fantastic timing. I can't be the only one who's had a strong desire lately for an elegant match-cut to leap forward 3 million years.
posted by theory at 2:59 AM on November 24, 2020 [69 favorites]


No seriously I am just fecking done with these writers.

The writers of Twenty Twenty are some of the laziest fecking talents I've ever seen, I have. It's shocking. Dreadful.

We're doing monoliths? That's the plan? No Thanksgiving so we're going to drop a MONOLITH fer fecks sake?!

Shark. Jumped.
posted by andreaazure at 3:08 AM on November 24, 2020 [24 favorites]


"It is illegal to install structures or art without authorization on federally managed public lands, no matter what planet you’re from."

If this year ends with the sight of extraterrestrials being perp-walked...
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 3:13 AM on November 24, 2020 [57 favorites]


"Attempt no slickrock mountain biking there."
posted by theory at 3:14 AM on November 24, 2020 [55 favorites]


This monolith has little nipples along the edges
posted by polymodus at 3:26 AM on November 24, 2020 [2 favorites]


Ah! That's where I left it!
posted by Thorzdad at 3:36 AM on November 24, 2020 [14 favorites]


I get a 403 error... Guess I'll never know what this is about.
posted by Pendragon at 3:39 AM on November 24, 2020


If it is made of metal is it a monolith?
posted by interogative mood at 3:39 AM on November 24, 2020 [23 favorites]


There's an alien inscription on the monolith which becomes visible when scanned with an electron microscope. After much effort, a very rough translation has emerged:
Here lies Mr. Woof. He was a good doggo.
Experts are advising that despite our intense curiosity, we shouldn't ever exhume whatever otherworldly remains are there because that would be wrong.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 3:47 AM on November 24, 2020 [12 favorites]


Isn't it supposed to be 1x4x9?
This one looks wrong.
posted by MtDewd at 3:53 AM on November 24, 2020 [15 favorites]


I get a 403 error...
Yeah me too... here’s a link from The Guardian
posted by bitteschoen at 3:54 AM on November 24, 2020 [2 favorites]


Nigel gave me a drawing that said 18 inches. Now, whether or not he knows the difference between feet and inches is not my problem. I do what I'm told.
posted by pracowity at 4:00 AM on November 24, 2020 [47 favorites]


If it is made of metal is it a monolith?

The Guardian article headline is "Helicopter pilot finds 'strange' monolith in remote part of Utah" - perhaps they will correct it to "Helicopter pilot finds strange 'monolith' in remote part of Utah".
posted by misteraitch at 4:23 AM on November 24, 2020 [11 favorites]


If it is made of metal is it a monolith?

That's what I was wondering too. But wikipedia informs me that the Rudston Monolith is a megalith, for what it's worth.
posted by hoyland at 4:23 AM on November 24, 2020 [2 favorites]


Though Wikipedia has monoliths being stone, too...
posted by hoyland at 4:24 AM on November 24, 2020


> This monolith has little nipples along the edges

I noticed that too, they are almost certainly pop rivets, as that thing can't be solid for practical reasons. It's probably stainless steel sheet metal riveted to an internal frame.
posted by smcameron at 4:48 AM on November 24, 2020 [7 favorites]


that thing can't be solid for practical reasons

I'd normally agree without hesitation, except that once you're on board with secretly putting a monolith out in the middle of nowhere, what's in scope for "practical" begins to be a bit different.
posted by rmd1023 at 5:01 AM on November 24, 2020 [64 favorites]


they removed the EXIF data from the first image....smart!
posted by lalochezia at 5:02 AM on November 24, 2020 [11 favorites]


Sleepless me nods in recognition at the crew’s eagerness to pause its sheep count and investigate the shiny thing they saw more attentively.
posted by notyou at 5:23 AM on November 24, 2020 [21 favorites]


*angry ape noises intensify*
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 5:27 AM on November 24, 2020 [28 favorites]


Do I hear timpanis?
posted by terrapin at 5:35 AM on November 24, 2020 [3 favorites]


Someone's trying to create intelligent life on earth.
posted by mrgoat at 5:46 AM on November 24, 2020 [16 favorites]


Isn't it supposed to be 1x4x9?
There are other interesting sequences. But, I wish they'd measured it and told us the dimensions. The Guardian video makes it look square at the base. Counting pixels in one of the photos suggests it's close to 1x1x5. I can't think of a plausible meaning.
posted by eotvos at 5:49 AM on November 24, 2020


It's probably a leftover from a film shoot that everyone has since forgotten. Either that or some folks who had previously been making crop circles decided it was time for a new hobby.
posted by wierdo at 5:50 AM on November 24, 2020 [4 favorites]


Hey, you kids! Get your tongue off that thing, you don't know where it's been!
posted by briank at 5:53 AM on November 24, 2020 [5 favorites]


that thing can't be solid for practical reasons. It's probably stainless steel sheet metal riveted to an internal frame

So you’re telling me it’s not even mono, in addition to not being lith?

Arthur C Clarke really murdered that word.
posted by rodlymight at 6:01 AM on November 24, 2020 [15 favorites]


This monolith has little nipples along the edges

Its a mammal! Thank God.
posted by biffa at 6:04 AM on November 24, 2020 [29 favorites]


landed nearby to investigate further.

I really hope this wasn’t an “attempt no landing” kind of situation.
posted by nubs at 6:06 AM on November 24, 2020 [2 favorites]


From the photos and videos, it looks triangular in section and maybe 10 feet above the ground, something like 2 feet wide on each face, each face bolted or riveted to each other or internal braces, couldn't tell if it has a top or not.
posted by thefool at 6:22 AM on November 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


Scientists, by use of precise laser measuring equipment (Nigel had a laser pointer in his coveralls) have determined that this structure is precisely aligned with Angkor Wat and the former corporate headquarters of Dicks Sporting Goods. The implications are confusing.
posted by 1adam12 at 6:27 AM on November 24, 2020 [9 favorites]


Aww, what a cute lil' monolith. It's an uwu invasion.

DON'T RUN
WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS

posted by snuffleupagus at 6:32 AM on November 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


Isn't it supposed to be 1x4x9?

I think Clarke's line is something like "how naive it was to assume the sequence stopped with three dimensions."
posted by doctornemo at 6:34 AM on November 24, 2020 [9 favorites]


A bunch people have found it. On Google Earth
posted by interogative mood at 6:44 AM on November 24, 2020 [22 favorites]


Call Ancient Aliens! They are back!
posted by mermayd at 6:48 AM on November 24, 2020


Every single photo in that linked article is the best prog rock album cover. There isn't a dud in the batch.
posted by furnace.heart at 6:50 AM on November 24, 2020 [40 favorites]


The photo of the one crewman standing on the other's shoulders to look over the top is a significantly better artwork than the thing itself. I hope it (the sculpture/thing) is promptly removed and scrapped.
posted by wreckingball at 6:51 AM on November 24, 2020 [14 favorites]


Greg Bear's The Forge of God (1987) begins with the discovery of a "fake mountain" in the American southwest. It's an alien ship. And the novel offers a bit of dialog which wins this week's contest for Worst Things You Want to Hear From an Alien Species in a First Contact Situation: "I'm sorry, but I have bad news." Because said alien is there to point out another alien species is invading with world-destroying intentions.
posted by doctornemo at 6:52 AM on November 24, 2020 [3 favorites]


If it's hollow...what's inside it? Has anyone tried knocking on it to see if something knocks back? I mean, that's what Bugs Bunny would do.
posted by emjaybee at 7:15 AM on November 24, 2020 [14 favorites]


Clearly the ghost of Donald Judd is running around Utah, having a good time.
posted by PussKillian at 7:19 AM on November 24, 2020 [8 favorites]


"My god, it's full of stars wives.”
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:29 AM on November 24, 2020 [10 favorites]


that's what Bugs Bunny would do.

Or Wile E. Coyote ...
posted by carter at 7:32 AM on November 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


This was just the first one.
posted by aniola at 7:32 AM on November 24, 2020 [2 favorites]


There will be copycats.
posted by aniola at 7:32 AM on November 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


The Monolith: Live at Red Rocks didn't sell very well, mainly because it was just ear-splitting shrieking.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:38 AM on November 24, 2020 [9 favorites]


The only logical explanation is that Utah's sheep have developed remarkable metallurgical skills.
posted by kozad at 7:42 AM on November 24, 2020 [6 favorites]




Isn't it supposed to be 1x4x9?
Designed by same aliens who designed this.
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 7:47 AM on November 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


Finally a role that might be Danial Day Lewis back to the big screen.
posted by NoThisIsPatrick at 7:52 AM on November 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


Wait a minute..is this close to Night Vale?
posted by emjaybee at 7:57 AM on November 24, 2020 [5 favorites]


Bear__Fucker has proven once again that he doesn't need assistance.
posted by stannate at 8:07 AM on November 24, 2020 [6 favorites]


I'm a little sad that this obvious Burning Man promotional thing is getting as much attention as it was clearly designed to attract.
posted by aspersioncast at 8:11 AM on November 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


It looks like the site is not particularly challenging to get to if you have experience with 4WD trail driving. It’s a quarter mile south of Lockheart Road at the closest point. So you could drive most of the way on the road and then park and walk the last bit.
posted by interogative mood at 8:13 AM on November 24, 2020


Bear__Fucker from reddit found the location.
posted by Lord_Pall at 9:44 AM on November 24
The comments in that thread are worth the scroll.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 8:14 AM on November 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


I'm intensely curious how it was installed. That's rock it's on. If you were really serious about it standing for a long time, you'd want as much below as above, in as tight a fit as possible, filling in the gaps with small particle soil and let compaction do the rest. It would be nearly impossible to remove without essentially digging it out, which would do more damage to the landscape than leaving it there. Would ground-penetrating radar show how far down it goes?

Also, there's a variety of basic hardware like toggle bolts that would essentially lock it in place once installed. It wouldn't be hard to make it more trouble/damaging to remove than it's worth.
posted by fatbird at 8:23 AM on November 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


Arthur C Clarke really murdered that word.

as did thousands of coders writing procedural dreck.
posted by j_curiouser at 8:33 AM on November 24, 2020


I doubt anyone installed that into rock. That's sediment in there, eroded from the surrounding channels and canyons.

It might also have a wide but shallow base. An EM scan from the surface would show that.

Those nipples look like heat staining from welding, not rivets.
posted by hypnogogue at 8:36 AM on November 24, 2020 [2 favorites]


I hope they find whoever did it and charge them as they did Casey Nocket and that boy scout troop.
posted by Poldo at 9:16 AM on November 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: *angry ape noises*
posted by klanawa at 9:23 AM on November 24, 2020 [9 favorites]


Truly impressive restraint on the part of these men to not jump around like monkeys.
posted by Corduroy at 9:28 AM on November 24, 2020 [5 favorites]


You don't know they didn't. I would be quite certain they did. I sure as hell would have.
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:29 AM on November 24, 2020 [4 favorites]


The critically important question is, did those folks take sandwiches to eat along the way and if so did those sandwiches have their crusts cut off? (twtr link)
posted by thatwhichfalls at 9:45 AM on November 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


The exact location of the installation is not being disclosed since it is in a very remote area and if individuals were to attempt to visit the area, there is a significant possibility they may become stranded and require rescue.

Bear__Fucker from reddit found the location.


Well, it was a nice thought.
posted by thelonius at 9:46 AM on November 24, 2020


If it was me I would have set some rods into the rock with epoxy. The rods would be spaced to have epoxy filled sleeves inside the object slip over them. 30 minutes work on site and 24 hours later mechanical cutting of the object or destruction of the rock under the base would be required for removal.
posted by Mitheral at 9:47 AM on November 24, 2020 [4 favorites]


Classic local TV news coverage

Perhaps the best bit is when the anchors throw to the correspondent who is... just standing out on the street, reporting on the story. Not anywhere near the monolith, not even at the Department of Public Safety HQ. Just standing on a sidewalk with a camera crew because that is how they do.

It’s like, how much more classic local TV news coverage could this be? And the answer is none. None more classic local TV news coverage.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:47 AM on November 24, 2020 [12 favorites]


This object is not a mono- it's clearly made of multiple pieces, you can see the rivets and shoddy joinery. It's not a lith either - made of metal, not stone. Not sure what the fuss is about.
posted by rebent at 9:56 AM on November 24, 2020 [2 favorites]


If it was me I would have set some rods into the rock with epoxy.

I'd probably go with a pile of self-assembling nanobots and maybe whatever pile of raw materials wasn't locally handy, and also fill it with a pressurized aerosol mix of stimulants and hallucinogens.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 9:58 AM on November 24, 2020 [4 favorites]


It’s like, how much more classic local TV news coverage could this be? And the answer is none. None more classic local TV news coverage.

I lost it at the stop motion
posted by treepour at 10:08 AM on November 24, 2020 [5 favorites]


I met a pilot from an antique land,
Who said -- "One vast and trunkless leg of steel
Stands in the desert..."
posted by jim in austin at 10:11 AM on November 24, 2020 [11 favorites]


did those sandwiches have their crusts cut off?

Incidentally, 'crustless moon bread' is my next sockpuppet name.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:24 AM on November 24, 2020


it's close to 1x1x5

Around here, 511 is what you dial for traffic and weather updates. So not really as profound as your usual "monolith", but still quite practical.
posted by bonehead at 10:35 AM on November 24, 2020


It put Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrookm on the map! Wait, no.
posted by snofoam at 10:55 AM on November 24, 2020 [4 favorites]


I'm so not surprised to see that this is just outside Dead Horse Point. I myself have gotten lost hiking in that area and needed rescuing, which I have written about on here before. It's a rural place, but lots of people know it well.

You've gotta understand - the residents of Moab have not much else but LSD, time, a little radioactive dust floating through the air, and an extensive knowledge of the local BLM land (I say this as a former resident of Moab and a lover of that little town). This is 100% some sort of orgy destination.
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:01 AM on November 24, 2020 [13 favorites]


I will also say that I have mixed feelings about the location being figured out and published. This area is no joke. Even on a marked trail you can easily get lost and get hurt or die or just suffer for a long time until you are found. People without extensive familiarity with the area should not try to find this.
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:06 AM on November 24, 2020 [2 favorites]


interogative mood: "A bunch people have found it. On Google Earth"

I clicked that link and it said on the upper rail: YOU ARE RUNNING AN EXPERIMENTAL VERSION OF EARTH.

which, I have to say, explains a lot
posted by chavenet at 11:18 AM on November 24, 2020 [42 favorites]


> Here lies Mr. Woof. He was a good doggo.
Experts are advising that despite our intense curiosity, we shouldn't ever exhume whatever otherworldly remains are there because that would be wrong.
Yeah, if some Elder or Outer Being buried their favored Hound of Tindalos here on Earth in the Millennium-That Is-The-Year-2020, I sure as hecking wouldn't recommend digging it up.
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 11:37 AM on November 24, 2020


Now that its location is known, this is its fate.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:40 AM on November 24, 2020 [2 favorites]


Bear__Fucker from reddit found the location.

Pretty sure Clarke didn't predict that part, at least.
posted by solotoro at 11:41 AM on November 24, 2020 [4 favorites]


this is its fate.

Or someone yarn bombs it.
posted by carter at 11:42 AM on November 24, 2020 [2 favorites]


Bear__Fucker writes:
I looked at rock type (Sandstone), color (red and white - no black streaks like found on higher cliffs in Utah), shape (more rounded indicating a more exposed area and erosion), the texture of the canyon floor (flat rock vs sloped indicating higher up in a watershed with infrequent water), and the larger cliff/mesa in the upper background of one of the photos that Utah DPS took. I took all that and lined it up with the flight time and flight path of the helicopter - earlier in the morning taking off from Monticello, UT and flying almost directly north before going off radar (usually indicating it dropped below visible radar level. From there, I know I am looking for a south/east facing canyon with rounded red/white rock, most likely close to the base of a larger cliff/mesa, most likely closer to the top of a watershed, and with a suitable flat area for an AS350 helicopter to land. Took about 30 minutes of random checks around the Green River/Colorado River junction before finding similar terrain. From there it took another 15 minutes to find the exact canyon. Yes... I'm a freak.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 11:43 AM on November 24, 2020 [9 favorites]


It is Donald Trump's escape vehicle that he will use after wrecking the planet.
posted by jcworth at 11:47 AM on November 24, 2020


... visible when scanned with an electron microscope ...

... An EM scan from the surface ...
Certianly things to pursue, but I'm holding out for experimentally testing the current value of pi at the monolith.
posted by joeyh at 11:50 AM on November 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


I will also say that I have mixed feelings about the location being figured out and published. This area is no joke. Even on a marked trail you can easily get lost and get hurt or die or just suffer for a long time until you are found. People without extensive familiarity with the area should not try to find this.

I think this might be overstating this, although you do get weird tourists in their minivans out there. It's about 12 miles by air from Moab. Maybe 5 miles from paved US Highway 191. And as interogative mood said just a quarter mile from Lockhart Road which is a pretty major jeep road.

I wouldn't be surprised if it was put there by a commercial jeep safari outfit from Moab for a tourist attraction although I would have expected word to get out by now.
posted by JackFlash at 12:29 PM on November 24, 2020


I’m anxious to see who turns into the Starchild.
posted by waving at 1:15 PM on November 24, 2020 [7 favorites]


my God... there no bars.
posted by clavdivs at 1:55 PM on November 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


others out there?
posted by doctornemo at 1:57 PM on November 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


I really like it. I agree with the policy that you shouldn’t install art on public land without a permit, so it should probably be removed, but I really like it.
posted by Going To Maine at 2:05 PM on November 24, 2020 [2 favorites]


It’s possible that some commercial Jeep safari outfit was colossally stupid enough to risk the fines and possible jail time for this stunt; but that doesn’t seem like likely to me. I don’t expect this structure to be left in place for very long. This is public land and you can’t just plunk your art installation down on it without consent of the community. Hopefully they didn’t do too much damage to the underlying sandstone if they anchored it or bolted it in place.
posted by interogative mood at 2:06 PM on November 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


My mom sent me a link to this yesterday and the pics of all the guys in jumpsuits in a desert landscape gave me big vibes of The Little People, so I texted her back saying "this is my favorite Twilight Zone episode." She said "I don't remember a monolith in the Twilight Zone?" I said "just the vibe it's giving off." She said "are you sure you don't mean 2001 A Space Odyssey?" "Yes," I said. "There's a monolith in 2001 A Space Odyssey," she said. "I know," I said. "Have you seen 2001 A Space Odyssey?"
posted by phunniemee at 2:08 PM on November 24, 2020


Here it is on Google Earth

I live in Utah. Don't ask me how I know.
posted by ShakeyJake at 3:13 PM on November 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


I get a 403 error...

So, a forbidden monolith?
posted by atoxyl at 3:18 PM on November 24, 2020 [2 favorites]


Try this

https://earth.google.com/web/@38.34301098,-109.66609761,1314.60328611a,136.15957716d,35y,0h,0t,0r
posted by ShakeyJake at 3:19 PM on November 24, 2020


it should probably be removed, but I really like it.

I think it's pretty neat too.

It would seem to be on BLM land, so unless the area is restricted if it's not removed by the agency it's like to be slowly removed by target practice.

One wonders how long it's been there, given the lack of any damage.
posted by snuffleupagus at 3:24 PM on November 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


Oh, is that where I left it? Sheesh! I've been looking everywhere! I'll pop right on over just as soon as we polish off this round.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:25 PM on November 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


snuffleupagus: One wonders how long it's been there, given the lack of any damage.

Bear__Fucker at Reddit said: "Looking at Google Earth Historic Imagery, the object was installed sometime between satellite photos take on 8/17/15 and 10/20/16."

I love this story.
posted by swerve at 3:38 PM on November 24, 2020 [8 favorites]


Bear__Fucker at Reddit said: "Looking at Google Earth Historic Imagery, the object was installed sometime between satellite photos take on 8/17/15 and 10/20/16."

WAIT, WAIT, WAIT, WAIT, WAIT. SO ALL THE CRAP THAT HAPPENED IN 2016 AND SINCE IS BECAUSE OF THIS.
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 3:46 PM on November 24, 2020 [25 favorites]


It is Donald Trump's escape vehicle that he will use after wrecking the planet.

There's no way he'll fit. Most likely his alien overlords knew that when they left him here. They're not stupid.
posted by klanawa at 4:04 PM on November 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


>
posted by peppermind at 4:22 PM on November 24, 2020


> I’m anxious to see who turns into the Starchild.
> Bear__Fucker at Reddit said: "Looking at Google Earth Historic Imagery, the object was installed sometime between satellite photos take on 8/17/15 and 10/20/16."
Maybe the monolith is David Bowie's chrysalis?
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 4:28 PM on November 24, 2020 [11 favorites]


Between 8/17/15 and 10/20/16 -- has anyone checked in with Westworld's prop master?
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:56 PM on November 24, 2020 [2 favorites]


If you haven't read the Reddit thread with bear_fucker's find, really it's worth it. Here's their explanation of how they found the location (! youza)

I looked at rock type (Sandstone), color (red and white - no black streaks like found on higher cliffs in Utah), shape (more rounded indicating a more exposed area and erosion), the texture of the canyon floor (flat rock vs sloped indicating higher up in a watershed with infrequent water), and the larger cliff/mesa in the upper background of one of the photos. I took all that and lined it up with the flight time and flight path of the helicopter - earlier in the morning taking off from Monticello, UT and flying almost directly north before going off radar (usually indicating it dropped below radar scan altitude. From there, I know I am looking for a south/east facing canyon with rounded red/white rock, most likely close to the base of a larger cliff/mesa, most likely closer to the top of a watershed, and with a suitable flat area for an AS350 helicopter to land. Took about 30 minutes of random checks around the Green River/Colorado River junction before finding similar terrain. From there it took another 15 minutes to find the exact canyon. Yes... I'm a freak.
posted by bluesky43 at 5:30 PM on November 24, 2020 [5 favorites]


Also, this is the internet I'm here for.
posted by bluesky43 at 5:31 PM on November 24, 2020 [7 favorites]


"Bear__Fucker: Yes... I'm a freak."

hrm
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:13 PM on November 24, 2020


I put in for directions to the coordinates on the google earth link and it popped up as "the rod from god". It's already got two reviews, for an average of 3.5 stars.
posted by deadbilly at 9:33 PM on November 24, 2020 [5 favorites]


Embedded into the rock per NYT article.

(Oddly that article does not mention any of the online sleuthing.)
posted by joeyh at 1:41 AM on November 25, 2020


David St. Hubbins: "I think that the problem may have been that there was a Stonehenge monument on the stage that was in danger of being crushed by a dwarf. That tended to understate the hugeness of the object."
posted by ensign_ricky at 1:51 AM on November 25, 2020


ALL THESE WORLDS
ARE YOURS EXCEPT
UTAH
ATTEMPT NO
LANDING THERE
USE THEM TOGETHER
USE THEM IN PEACE
posted by zaelic at 4:22 AM on November 25, 2020 [7 favorites]


If there's one, there's more. (Law of Cockroaches, Mice, Monoliths).
posted by Chitownfats at 4:41 AM on November 25, 2020


Bear__Fucker at Reddit said: "Looking at Google Earth Historic Imagery, the object was installed sometime between satellite photos take on 8/17/15 and 10/20/16."
For now. This is going to be one of those things where someone rechecks, and it's going to have always been in the 2015 imagery. Then the 2014 imagery, slowly spreading backwards in time.
posted by MattWPBS at 5:19 AM on November 25, 2020 [8 favorites]


" I have arcane geological expertise, do they call me "Sandstone Seeker?" I can locate a monolith in the desert using helicopter flight data, do they call me "Monolith Maven?" But I fuck ONE bear.... "
posted by Floydd at 6:01 AM on November 25, 2020 [26 favorites]


I’m anxious to see who turns into the Starchild.

Tilda Swinton, obvsly.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:29 AM on November 25, 2020 [2 favorites]


(Law of Cockroaches, Mice, Monoliths)

Oh god, the cockroach mouse monoliths are the worst!
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:39 AM on November 25, 2020


The NYT also covered this story
“We fly pretty low for these surveys so we can identify the gender of the sheep, and while we were doing this we found this strange metallic monolith out in the middle of the desert.”

Yeah I imagine that's gotta be pretty pretty pretty low.
posted by stevil at 12:47 PM on November 25, 2020 [8 favorites]


It sounds like a regional euphemism: "... and I'll tell ya, the plane came in low enough to spot a sheep's privates!"
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:11 PM on November 25, 2020 [6 favorites]


As this TikTok videos shows the influencers have arrived. Please let this be some kind of trap for them.
posted by interogative mood at 3:20 PM on November 25, 2020


Polymetallos?
posted by 1adam12 at 5:30 PM on November 25, 2020


Please let this be some kind of trap for them.

Anyone survey it to see if it's radioactive?
posted by ctmf at 10:41 PM on November 25, 2020


Anyone survey it to see if it's radioactive?

I have deciphered the markings on the side and here is the translation into English:

"This place is a message… and part of a system of messages… pay attention to it! Sending this message was important to us. We considered ourselves to be a powerful culture.

This place is not a place of honor…no highly esteemed deed is commemorated here… nothing valued is here.

What is here is dangerous and repulsive to us. This message is a warning about danger.

The danger is in a particular location… it increases toward a center… the center of danger is here… of a particular size and shape, and below us.

The danger is still present, in your time, as it was in ours.

The danger is to the body, and it can kill.

The form of the danger is an emanation of energy.

The danger is unleashed only if you substantially disturb this place physically. This place is best shunned and left uninhabited."
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 1:17 AM on November 26, 2020 [3 favorites]


Now receiving visitors, according to The Guardian.
“Overall not too crowded you all want to make the journey."
posted by Ahmad Khani at 2:35 PM on November 27, 2020


Easy come, easy go, apparently?
posted by armeowda at 10:29 PM on November 28, 2020 [3 favorites]


"No intelligent life here."
posted by joeyh at 6:17 AM on November 29, 2020




From chavenet’s link:
“All that was left in its place was a message written in the dirt that said ‘bye bitch’ with a fresh pee stain right next to it,”
In future trivia contests, we will struggle to recall whether this sentence applied to the monolith or the Resolute Desk.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:05 PM on November 29, 2020 [4 favorites]


Pretty sure those guys stole it, that story sounds made up.
posted by InfidelZombie at 6:29 AM on November 30, 2020






it transmogrified into a pile of stones, or it's some alien's Flat Stanley project
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:58 PM on November 30, 2020


Slate has some really nice pictures of the Utah one.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 5:00 PM on November 30, 2020


Mystery metal monolith vanishes from Utah desert
This reminds me...
Many years ago, a tabloid I saw in the grocery store had a cover story about 'B-17's on the moon!', complete with pictures.
(Maybe it was the Weekly World News, but I remember it as the National Enquirer. There apparently was also a British tabloid article featuring a Lancaster bomber)
Anyway, that cover was just another typical tabloid cover, but the one I really liked was a couple of weeks later- 'B17's missing from moon', along with ideas of who or what might have done it.

If I hadn't seen the Google Earth images of the monolith, I'd think this was all made up. Maybe the Deep State did it.
posted by MtDewd at 4:25 AM on December 1, 2020


Instagram user shows photos of and story about the monolith in Utah being dismantled by unknown men.
posted by terrapin at 6:11 AM on December 1, 2020 [1 favorite]


If the next one turns up at the Old Man of Storr, I'm betting a new Boards of Canada album in 2021.
posted by aeshnid at 10:08 AM on December 2, 2020 [1 favorite]


Mystery monolith vanishes in Romania - alien action or local prank? (Reuters, Dec. 1)

New mystery metal monolith appears on a California mountaintop (The Guardian, Dec. 2) Not long after a similar structure was discovered in a Utah desert, a silvery column has been found in Atascadero [a city in San Luis Obispo County, "about equidistant from Los Angeles and San Francisco"].

Dozens of hikers flock to take photos with the spontaneous monument (Atascadero News; pics.) Unlike its Utah sibling, the Atascadero obelisk was not attached to the ground, and could be knocked over with a firm push. The Atascadero News estimates it weighs about 200 pounds.
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:23 PM on December 2, 2020 [1 favorite]


Unlike its Utah sibling, the Atascadero obelisk was not attached to the ground, and could be knocked over with a firm push.

These beings from outer space sure got lazy really quickly
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 11:30 PM on December 2, 2020 [1 favorite]


I told you so.
posted by Chitownfats at 3:19 AM on December 3, 2020


Not sure if it's the same aliens, but apparently the US military is briefing about submersible UFOs which rise from the oceans and buzz fighter planes.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 3:51 AM on December 3, 2020


WTF is even going on anymore?
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 5:01 PM on December 3, 2020


Deborah Solomon in The New York Times: “Did John McCracken Make That Monolith in Utah?” (Not unreasonable, though surely he didn’t remove it or place the others…)

Sarah Jones in NY Mag / Intelligencer: “The Monoliths Are Stupid and I Hate Them”
posted by Going To Maine at 12:01 PM on December 4, 2020 [1 favorite]


Bored with monoliths now.
What's next?
posted by thatwhichfalls at 9:24 PM on December 4, 2020


Next we combine monoliths and yet another week where everything is actually cake and have monoliths that turn out to be made of cake.
posted by rmd1023 at 2:50 AM on December 5, 2020 [1 favorite]


« Older Common Descent   |   Australian art, and Americans who don't understand... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments