A few days ago, social media was abuzz with photos and video footage of a mysterious metallic monolith that was found by officials in the middle of the Utah desert. The monolith was spotted by officials from the Utah Department of Public Safety's Aero Bureau during a routine wildlife assistance helicopter flight on Nov. 18.
The discovery quickly led to speculation among the online community with some claiming the monolith was extra-terrestrial in nature while others believed it was an art installation, as previously reported.
However, thanks to some particularly devoted Reddit users, we now know that the chances of it being an alien lifeform are slim (though if an alien invasion were to happen, it would have been the year 2020).
Geolocation Using Flight Data, Satellite Imagery
Authorities did not reveal the location of the the monolith as they were worried that curious visitors might get stranded in the desert and need to be rescued.
However, a group of Redditors tracked the flight paths ofUtah Public Safety's two helicopters in Moab, registered as N352HP and N325SL, based on information obtained from FlightAware and zeroed in on the location of the monolith, placing it somewhere near Canyonlands National Park near the Colorado River.
Once the approximate location was narrowed down, internet sleuths took to Google Earth to pinpoint the exact location of the shiny obelisk. Meanwhile, others used the satellite imagery program's historical imaging data to figure out that the monolith has been there at least for four years, first appearing sometime between August 2015 and October 2016.
Several TV Shows, Movies Shot Nearby
As it turns out, the nearby Dead Horse Point and Canyonlands have served as the location for scenes in numerous films and TV shows, including 'Thelma & Louise' (1991), 'Con Air' (1997), 'Mission: Impossible 2' (2000), 'John Carter' (2012), 'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade' (1989), and '127 Hours' (2010), which revolves around a hiker who gets his arm trapped under a boulder and has to cut it off to survive.
However, the timeline of the monolith's appearance aligns with the time the epic sci-fi HBO drama 'Westworld' was filming in the area, so the best bet at the moment is that someone on the crew either did not pack up properly or used the metal object to play a long-term Kubrick-inspired prank on the world.