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Mysterious metal monolith found in Utah desert

A helicopter crew spotted a mysterious metal monolith miles from any town that appears to have been there for years.

UTAH, USA — A helicopter flight crew counting bighorn sheep spotted a mysterious metal monolith planted in the ground, miles from any town, and it appears to have been there for years without discovery.

The Utah Department of Public Safety said its helicopter crew was on the wildlife mission when one crew member spotted the metal tower sticking out of the ground in a canyon near Moab, UT about 90 miles north of the Arizona border. 

Utah DPS is not giving out the exact location of the monolith because it is in such a remote area. Officials are concerned people could get lost trying to find it. 

The helicopter crew landed and hiked to take a closer look.

Officials said they found a metal monolith sticking out of the ground at the end of a canyon. It stood about 12 feet tall.

According to a spokesman for the Utah DPS, the monolith appears to have been "professionally installed" in solid rock. The official estimated it could have been buried a few feet deep in the rock. 

The spokesman said he had no idea how long it had been there and officials were assuming it was some sort of art installation.

A check of historical satellite imagery in the area where the monolith appears to have been found shows an unnatural, monolithic shadow appearing sometime between 2015 and 2016, meaning it has been in the Utah desert for at least four years.

Credit: Utah Department of Public Safety

The spokesman said the monolith also appeared to be riveted together and weatherproof. 

He said there is no writing or identifying marks to determine who put it there or how. It is illegal to install monuments on Utah public lands without permission. 

The DPS spokesman said officials with the Utah Bureau of Land Management are deciding what to do with the monolith. 

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