Agents from the Utah Department of Public Safety Air Force had been tasked with flying over a rough area by helicopter. They had to collaborate in the count of copies of bighorn sheep, a species present in the southeast region of the State. But last Wednesday, already in full swing, a member of the team caught a glimpse of something quite different from those animals among the red rocks of the desert.
A strange shape emerged from the rocks. “One of the biologists saw it and we flew directly towards it,” helicopter pilot Bret Hutchings told a television network affiliated with CNN. “Wait, wait, turn around,” the scientist told Hutchings. “There’s one thing back there, we have to go see it!”
When they got closer, the biologist’s surprise spread to the rest of the team. In a gap between the rocks they saw a monolith of shiny metal, three to three meters high according to a rough estimate by the pilot. It did not appear to have fallen from the sky, but to be firmly and vertically planted on the reddish soil. “We started joking: if one of us disappears, the rest of us will run away,” they told each other.
In their heads came the image of the black monolith, the silent and enigmatic protagonist of the science fiction film 2001: a space odyssey.The object that at the beginning of Kubrick’s film are discovered by hominids in the African savannah, and after which they learn to use bones as weapons. The one that reappears later, when thousands of years have passed, rediscovered by humanity on the far side of the Moon. The one that, later, is seen orbiting Jupiter and at the foot of the bed of a dying astronaut. Unlike the cinematographic one, this monolith has a metallic appearance that contrasts by its brightness with the dusty environment where it was installed.
“We started to think if it would be something planted here by NASA or something like that,” said the pilot, although soon, according to his testimony, they commented if it would not be an artistic installation. “I guess it’s more of some kind of artist new age or, well, someone very fan [de 2001]”, he pointed out.
The members of the crew have not specified the exact location of the monolith for fear that the adventurers will be encouraged to visit it; The area, they have pointed to the KSL, is remote and hikers and onlookers can get caught up in it.
According to the newspaper The Guardian, Some people who have seen the image of the monolith in the media relate it to the work of the minimalist artist John McCracken, who died in 2011 and was based in New Mexico and New York. The British newspaper has contacted its gallery owner, but has not received a reply.
“This must have been the weirdest thing I have come across in all my years of flying,” said the pilot. Nearby, bighorn sheep, a species used to scarce resources and harsh desert conditions, don’t seem to have developed any new skills.