Last week, members of Utah's Department of Public Safety (DPS) were counting bighorn sheep from a helicopter above Red Rock Country when one of the crew members noticed a tall, metallic monolith jutting out from the Earth. Images and videos from Utah DPS show the shiny object pointing toward the sky in what looks to be a small canyon in the middle of the desert. The surveyors had to walk down from a pretty impressive height to get to it, and on closer inspection found the monolith to be three-sided, about as tall as two people, and firmly planted right into the ground.
How it got there is a complete puzzle, but everyone, including the crew, is already pretty sure it's aliens.
The whole setup is like a scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Or an episode of the Twilight Zone. Or even The Outer Limits. Honestly, pick your fave because this thing would fit any of them.
Utah DPS had a bit of fun with it as well.
"Okay," narrated a crew member in a cellphone video, "the intrepid explorers go down to investigate the alien life form."
In an interview with local news outlet KSL-TV, helicopter pilot Bret Hutchings said it was the strangest thing he'd found in all his years of flying. "We were kinda joking around that if one of us suddenly disappears, then I guess the rest of us make a run for it," he said.
The crew reported that there was "no obvious indication of who might have put the monolith there." And it doesn't appear to have been dropped in from above. Utah DPS is refusing to disclose the exact area where they found it because there's "a significant possibility [an individual] may become stranded and require rescue."
It's only thanks to their aerial view from the helicopter that crewmembers were able to even see it.
"One of the biologists is the one who spotted it and we just happened to fly directly over the top of it," Hutchings told KSL-TV. "He was like, 'Whoa, whoa, whoa, turn around, turn around!' And I was like, 'What?' And he's like, 'There's this thing back there — we've got to go look at it!'"
For now, the department believes the most likely explanation for the monolith is that it's some kind of art piece. Or maybe someone really, really likes movies.
"It is illegal to install structures or art without authorization on federally managed public lands, no matter what planet you're from," the department stated in a press release.
But, seriously, aliens. If you're out there, give us a call. We're really lonely right now and would love to meet someone new.