- The origins of the strange metal monolith that appeared in Utah’s Red Rock Country has been traced to around 2016.
- The object appeared between late 2015 and late 2016, based on Google Earth scans of the area.
- The location is apparently fairly popular for shooting movies and TV shows, including HBO’s Westworld, and it’s likely that it was a leftover prop or prank.
So, remember that big weird chunk of metal that was discovered by Utah’s Department of Public Safety? Nobody seemed to know what it was, and close examination of the object revealed that it had no markings or anything that would indicate its origins. Some silly folks (me) hoped that it was a sign that aliens have visited Earth and left us a weird memento, but it looks like that’s (probably) not what happened.
As Gizmodo reports, some dedicated Reddit users managed to dive deep enough into the internet to find the flight logs for the helicopters used by the Utah DPS. With that information, they managed to locate the exact spot where the strange object resides — something officials were keeping a secret because they didn’t want people to flock to the area. Then, using Google Earth, they went back in time and discovered that the object popped up between late 2015 and late 2016.
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The area is indeed remote, but it’s apparently very popular with filmmakers and TV production. A number of movies and TV shows have used the location, including “Westworld,” HBO’s sci-fi juggernaut. Perhaps most relevant is the fact that “Westworld” began shooting in the location right around the same time that monolith appeared.
If you’ve ever seen “Westworld” you know that there’s a lot of weird futuristic elements to the show, and a big beam of shiny metal stuck into the red rock is a perfect analog for the highly artificial Wild West theme park perched on a natural landscape. Now, I’ve never seen such an object in the show itself, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a prop that was abandoned or even a prank pulled by some of the crew.
In any case, this object is sitting in what is apparently a somewhat well-trafficked area, despite its remote location. The likelihood that this was a prank, an artist’s idea of something meaningful, or leftovers from one of any number of TV shows or movies has skyrocketed. Because of that, the likelihood that it was a big weird present from aliens has plummeted, which is a bummer.
Whatever the case, as of yesterday the Utah Department of Public Safety hadn’t yet decided what they were going to do with the strange monument. It’s not supposed to be there, and however it ended up there, its placement was likely illegal due to the laws that protect the area from human interference. It will most likely be removed, especially now that everyone knows where it is.