Utah Officials Found This Mysterious Metal Object in a Remote Desert Area

What started as a mission to count sheep turned into... this.

the mysterious metal monolith found in a Utah desert
Photo courtesy of Utah Department of Public Safety

Officials from Utah's Department of Public Safety Aero Bureau got more than they bargained for when a mission to count bighorn sheep in a southeastern portion of the state led to a bizarre, potentially out-of-this-world discovery.

While flying over a remote area of red rock country on November 18, crew members spotted a strange silver object—a monolith, they're calling it, which is a fancy word for "large upright object." In this case, the monolith was made of metal and not a product of nature. But that's about all experts can confirm right now.

The crew landed near the tall metal structure to investigate and could not determine who installed it. It was erected in a difficult-to-access area—so much so that the Utah DPS won't disclose its exact location because they fear sightseers would get stranded if they attempted to visit—so how someone successfully put it there is anyone's guess.

a monolith discovered in the Utah desert
Photo courtesy of Utah Department of Public Safety

"It is illegal to install structures or art without authorization on federally managed public lands, no matter what planet you’re from," the department reminded people (and aliens) in a statement about the discovery.

The Utah Bureau of Land Management will decide what to do about the monolith, if anything, but in the meantime, let's hope it arrived in peace. The last thing we need this year is to live out the plot of a sci-fi thriller.

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Kyler Alvord is a news writer at Thrillist. Find him on Twitter and Instagram. Or don't. It's really up to you.