Monolith overthrew a group that said “leave no trace”

SALT CITY (AP) – New clues have emerged with the disappearance of a glittering monolith in Utah that seems to melt as mysteriously as in the Red Rock Desert – though it is no longer the only place where a strange structure has been discovered.

A Colorado photographer told KSTU-TV that he saw four men coming to a remote location in Utah on Friday night and pushing through the hollow stainless steel object.

“Immediately after he failed and made a loud thud, one of them said,‘ That’s why you don’t leave trash in the desert, ’” Ross Bernards told Salt Lake City TV station.

The group disassembled the structure, put it in a wheelbarrow, and left.

“As they packed up and left, they just said,‘ Don’t leave a mark, ’” he said.

The sheriff’s office in San Juan County, Utah, said he was not planning an investigation into the disappearance of the monolith, which had been placed in public without permission. But authorities also said they would receive tips from hundreds of visitors who hiked to see an object glistening in the afterlife in the depths of the desert.

The sheriff and the land management office, which oversees the land where the object appeared, did not immediately respond to messages asking for comment on whether to investigate the removal photographed by the Bernards group.

Visitors left behind human waste, cars parked on vegetation and other debris, the land agency said. The mysterious structure evoking the film “2001 Odyssey” has attracted international attention and sparked a lot of speculation about the otherworldly origin, although officials say it was a terrestrial creation of stainless steel riveted plates.

For Bernards, the environmental damage of visitors convinced him that the remote area was better without structure.

“Leave art where it needs to be and let mother nature have an area for art,” he said.

Utah is not the only place where a monolith has formed. A similar metal structure was found on a hill in Piatra Neamt in northern Romania.

Like the Utah structure, who placed the object did not follow the proper steps and did not receive a building permit, Mayor Andrei Carabelea said on Facebook over the weekend. Still, he took it easy, joking that some “cheeky and terrible” foreign teenagers would probably put them all over the world.

“It is an honor for me to have chosen our city,” he said.