Unexplained metal monolith discovered in remote area of Utah's Red Rock Country

An unexplained metal monolith was discovered in Utah's Red Rock Country, the Utah Department of Public Safety announced Monday.

In a statement shared on its website, the department said the structure was discovered by the DPS's Aero Bureau and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources on Nov. 18 while on a mission to conduct a count of big horn sheep in a portion of southeastern Utah.

Photos of the monolith shared by the department show an approximately 10-foot metal column with four sides. The surface is shiny but doesn't appear to be reflective.

"While on this mission, they spotted an unusual object and landed nearby to investigate further," the statement read. "The crew members found a metal monolith installed in the ground in a remote area of red rock."

The statement added that there was "no obvious indication" of who installed the monolith but reminded the public that it is illegal to install "structures or art without authorization on federally managed public lands, no matter what planet you’re from."

"We’re almost 100% sure this is an installation attempt of some kind," Utah Department of Public Safety spokesperson Lt. Nick Street told USA TODAY. "Not an attempt, they successfully installed it in the Red Rock in southeastern Utah.

Monolith discovered in Utah's Red Rock Country.
Monolith discovered in Utah's Red Rock Country.

The exact location of the installation was not disclosed due to its remote area in an effort to stop individuals from attempting to locate it.

"There is a significant possibility they may become stranded and require rescue," the statement warned.

The statement concluded that The Bureau of Land Management will determine if further investigation is needed.

"It’s stainless steel. It’s put together with pop rivets," Street said. "That kind of says it was definitely put together by humans. ... As far as the timeline, for all we know, it could have been placed there 50, 60 years ago and because of the material it’s made out of it hasn’t weathered – it was meant not to. It’s definitely an interesting installation."

Red Rock is one of five hiking regions distinguished by the Utah Travel Industry. The area is southern Utah canyon country, which includes all five of Utah's national parks and many of its monuments and state parks.

The DPS warning to not attempt to locate the monolith comes about a month after a California woman who was missing for nearly two weeks at Zion National Park in Utah was found safely.

Holly Suzanne Courtier, 38, hadn’t been seen since riding a private shuttle into the park’s Grotto area on Oct. 6. Her disappearance prompted multiple search and rescue efforts that were complicated by the fact that Courtier didn’t have a cell phone and hadn’t left a trip itinerary.

Contributing: Steve Kiggins, Jordan Culver

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Utah Red Rock Country: Metal monolith discovered in remote area