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In a story only 2020 could produce, a '2001: A Space Odyssey' like monolith appeared in Utah. Did a real UFO take it away?

The truth about the monolith: Did a real UFO take it back?

In a story only 2020 could produce, a 2001: A Space Odyssey like monolith appeared in Utah on Nov. 18. Officers from the Utah Department of Public Safety found the alien-like monument while helping count bighorn sheep in the area. 

It’s already a freaky story, but it gets weirder when you throw in this tidbit: nobody knows how it got there or how it got removed. Ten days after its discovery, the monolith disappeared with only a small pile of rocks to mark its former location. Let’s go further down the rabbit hole that is 2020 because a similar monolith popped up in Romania the same day someone removed it from Utah. 

The story has baffled multiple officials and led to some of the craziest theories about its origin — many of these theories include aliens. So, was it possible an alien UFO came back to claim its monolith? Let’s dive in! 

Aliens brought and retrieved the monolith

One of the outlets touting the alien conspiracy is Tucker Carlson & Fox News. Maybe not every outlet is touting the theory, but everyone from Daily Mail to NPR to The New York Times is captivated by the Utah & Romanian monoliths. Many of these outlets were quick to point out the 2001: A Space Odyssey comparisons, which many of these alien conspiracies are based on. 

In 2001, a monolith was discovered by a prehistoric tribe of monkeys. Upon its discovery, the tribe learns how to use animal bones as tools, walk upright, and start wars. In the film, it’s thought an unknown group of aliens brought the monolith to intelligent species to spark these advancements. The same is believed to be true when humans discovered the monolith again on the moon. 

A genius like Stanley Kubrick can’t get everything right because the monoliths are very different. 2001’s monoliths are matte black & rectangular – Utah & Romania’s are silver & pyramid-shaped. However, it’s shocking how similar the first location in 2001 is to the Utah desert. Because of the striking similarities to 2001, many believe we could be in for a technological revolution. 

The truth of the monolith’s disappearance 

While it’s possible aliens removed the monolith they placed in Utah, and then jettisoned away to place it in Romania, it’s not the only plausible theory. Four men claimed to witness the monolith’s removal from Utah. 

Ross Bernard & three friends drove from Colorado to photograph the monolith. His photos are amazing and can be found on his Instagram account @rossbernard. As they finished their photoshoot with the monolith, another group came up and started to dismantle the piece. In his Instagram post, Bernard explained he heard one of the men say: “This is why you don’t leave trash in the desert. Another man said: “leave no trace”.

Bernard & his friends didn’t stop the group of men from removing it because they agreed. He didn’t snap any photos with his camera, but his friend Michael James Newlands did. Newlands told The New York Times, “We didn’t know who they were, and we were not going to do anything to stop them. They just came in there to execute, and they were like, ‘This is our mission.’”

The alien theory could still be true

Thanks to Bernard & Newlands, we know aliens couldn’t have removed the exact piece in Utah and brought it to Romania. We also know the monolith wasn’t solid metal. Newlands’s photos revealed the monolith was hollow and made of wood. Though we still don’t know who placed the monoliths in Utah or Romania or who removed the monolith in Romania. 

There are some key differences between the Utah & Romania monolith. The Romania monolith is a three-sided metal structure compared to the wooden one in Utah. It’s also welded together and embedded in the dirt, while the Utah one was riveted together and embedded in a crack in the rocks. The Utah one also has an unblemished while Romania’s has swirls on the surface. 

While any explanation is possible, the art world has weighed in on the origins of Utah’s monolith. According to The New York Times, many believe the monolith was a piece by the late John McCracken placed before his death and went undiscovered for nine years. David Zwirner, the art dealer in charge of McCracken’s estate, initially identified it as an authentic piece but, upon further inspection, claimed he had no idea who made it. 

Most recently, a Youtuber named “Sketchy” Andy Lewis posted a video on his YouTube channel, Mr. Slackline, claiming to have dismantled the Utah monolith. His video is twenty-three seconds and appears to show him & his crew dismantling a metallic structure at night. Meanwhile, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! has offered a $10,000 reward for any information on the structure’s owner or the monolith’s whereabouts. 


We may never know the origins of either monolith, but it is fun to speculate over it. Which theory do you believe? Is it one in this article or one we missed? Let us know in the comments. 

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