Just when we thought 2020 cannot become any more weirder, a few similar instances of "extraterrestrial" activities have sparked debate around the world.
For the uninitiated, three metal monoliths -- reportedly similar in appearance, size and structure -- have appeared in Utah, Romania and the lastest one has been seen in California.
The first three-sided metal monolith was seen at the base of a canyon in Utah's Red Rock Country. Reportedly, the shining metal monolith was originally spotted by a team of officers flying by in a helicopter during a routine survey of bighorn sheep in southeastern Utah. They found out the structure to be nearly 10 and 12 feet high.
The Utah Department for Public Safety on November 23 released an official statement and announced the discovery of the monolith. "They speculated that it was most likely an art installation by a 'new wave artist' or a prank by a '2001: Space Odyssey fan', reported the Indian Express.
However, the monolith soon disappeared on November 27. The Federal Bureau of Land Management’s Utah office announced that it had been removed “by an unknown party”. According to photographer Ross Bernards, four men dismantled the structure and took it away on a wheelbarrow.
In a detailed account, Bernards also provided evidence by posting pictures on Instagram and wrote: "4 guys rounded the corner and 2 of them walked forward. They gave a couple of pushes on the monolith and one of them said “You better have got your pictures.” He then gave it a big push, and it went over, leaning to one side. He yelled back to his other friends that they didn’t need the tools."
He added: "The other guy with him at the monolith then said “this is why you don’t leave trash in the desert.” Then all four of them came up and pushed it almost to the ground on one side, before they decided push it back the other when it then popped out and landed on the ground with a loud bang. They quickly broke it apart and as they were carrying to the wheelbarrow that they had brought one of them looked back at us all and said “Leave no trace".
After the disappearance of the monolith in Utah, a second one was discovered on Batca Doamnei Hill in Piatra Neamt city in Romania on November 30. This monolith also vanished later, however, there is no explanation regarding this disappearance.
Now, a third mysterious monolith has appeared atop Pine Mountain in Atascadero, California. "The three-sided obelisk appeared to be made of stainless steel, 10-feet tall and 18 inches wide. The object was welded together at each corner, with rivets attaching the side panels to a likely steel frame inside," the Atascadero News reported. Also, unlike the monolith in Utah, the California monolith was apparently a "little wobbly".
What are the possible reasons behind the mysterious appearances of these monoliths?
There are three theories behind the mysterious appearances of the monoliths in Utah, Romania and California.
The first and the most popular theory among netizens is that these monoliths are in fact artefacts left on earth by an alien race.
A seemingly credible theory suggests that these monoliths are artworks. The Utah Department for Public Safety also suggested the same. It said the monolith is clearly "somebody's art installation, or an attempt at that." Likely, these artworks could have been created and installed in the vein of the Earth Art (Land Art) Movement which emerged in the 1960s and 70s. Reportedly, the movement was in protest against the "ruthless commercialization" of art in the United States. It had also gained momentum in Great Britain and many other countries.
The third theory is that these monoliths are a prank or a hoax like the crop circles or geometric patterns which mysteriously began to appear in fields in England in the 1970s. There were also many conspiracy theories regarding the appearance of the crop circles, however, the mystery was solved in 1987. "The tricksters who spent 10 years making them in the 70s and 80s were revealed to be Dave Chorley, from Winchester in Hampshire, and his friend Doug Bower. The pair travelled the countryside at night using a plank and a piece of rope to make the curious shapes, which appeared throughout Wiltshire and Hampshire," a BBC report said.
Meanwhile, the appearance (and disappearance) of these monoliths still remain a huge mystery.