Earthlings, seemingly no strangers, removed the Utah monolith

It was a short stay by most standards. The emerging metal monolith, which has come to the forefront of international attention after being spotted in a remote part of the Utah desert on November 18, was dismantled just 10 days later. On Monday, government officials continued to insist that they had no information on the installation or removal of the piece in the public area – and its possible theft.

The San Juan County Sheriff’s Office initially announced it was unwilling to investigate the case in the absence of a complaint about the property. To support this, he uploaded a “Most Wanted” poster to his website, or rather a funny version of it, in which the faces of the suspects were replaced by nine big-eyed aliens. But by the end of Monday, the sheriff’s office had changed its position and announced that it was planning a joint investigation with the Federal Office, the Office of Land Management.

It was the job of an adventure photographer, Ross Bernards, to make evidence public on Instagram. Mr. Bernards, 34, of Edwards, Cluj-Napoca, visited the monolith on Friday night when he said four men arrived as if dismantling the statue from scratch. Mr. Bernards drove for six hours to get to know the statue and take dramatic photographs of it. Using the upscale Lume Cube lights attached to the drone, he created a series of glowing, moonlit images in which the monolith shines on the red rocks and deep blue of the night sky.

Suddenly around 20:40 he said the men had arrived, their voices echoing in the canyon. Working in twos, they gave the monolithic hard strokes with unmistakable purpose and began to lean toward the ground. Then they pushed it in the opposite direction, trying to rip it out.

“That’s why you don’t leave garbage in the desert,” one of them said, suggesting that the monolith be considered a polluter of the landscape, according to Mr. Bernards.

The statue jumped out and landed on the ground with a bang. Then the men smashed it down and transported it down in a wheelbarrow.

“When they set off with the pieces, one of them said,‘ Don’t leave a trace, ’” Mr. Bernards recalled in a phone interview.

He did not photograph the men who took down the statue, saying he was afraid of confrontation with them and feared they might be armed. But a friend who accompanied him on the trip, Michael James Newlands of Denver, 38, took some quick photos with his cell phone.

“It took no more than 10 or 15 minutes to tip the monolith and pull it out,” he told The New York Times. “We didn’t know who they were, and we didn’t do anything to stop them.” He added: “They only came in to be executed and said, ‘This is our mission. “

The photos are blurry, yet glamorous. Here are pictures of him working under the cover of darkness, wearing gloves but not a face mask, and standing over a fallen monolith. We can see its exposed interior. It turned out to be a hollow structure with a plywood reinforcement.

The photographs are the only known image of the sinners who removed the statue; they may not have been the same ones who pre-installed it. Lieutenant Nick Street, a spokesman for the Utah Department of Public Security, said last week that the monolith was embedded in the rock.

In recent days, artists have been loosely speculating that whoever erected the statue may have taken it off after it was discovered, as if desiring anonymous artist activists, the Banksy of the Desert.

But speculation in the art world didn’t bring up too many facts. Initially, the monolith was tied to John McCracken, a Californian-born artist who died in 2011 and enjoyed his taste in science fiction. David Zwirner, a New York art dealer representing the artist who first identified the monolith as an authentic McCracken, stepped forward Monday to tell The Times he studied the photos taken of him and has no idea who made it.

Almine Rech, who represents the artist in her galleries in Paris and Brussels, also approached a journalist to deny that the desert monolith was McCracken.

And news spread of a monolithic monolithic sight in the hills of Romania.

All of this leaves us no closer to solving the mystery of the Utah statue.

Moreover, the monolith that has fascinated the country over the past week and then disappeared as quickly as it has become public consciousness continues to provide pleasant uncertainty. Would you lose your aura and strength if we knew who created it?