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The vanishing Utah '2001: A Space Odyssey' monolith discovered in Romania


Less than a week, after state officials in Utah discovered a strange, bright monolith in the middle of the desert, it has vanished and reappeared on the complete opposite side of the world. It disappeared from Utah five days before a near-identical structure was somehow spotted in Romania, roughly 6,000 miles away from the original site.

Following the discovery of the monolith in Utah, people began speculating and some believed it may have been planted by an obsessive fan of Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey. A monolith appears in the sci-fi classic which makes this a plausible theory, but one that lacks any substance behind it. Another more concrete theory appeared in The New York Times which seemingly has more legs than the Kubrick discussion. They believe the structure was planted roughly three years ago and linked the monolith with somebody associated with the late sculptor, monolith maker and sci-fi fanatic John McCracken.

McCracken passed away in 2011 from a brain tumour and left no indication about leaving behind any work like the one recently discovered. That said, his son has recalled that his father once told him that he’d one day like to leave his artwork in remote locations to be discovered later on. However, McCracken passed away years before it could have been plausibly planted and, more importantly, why has it disappeared?

If McCracken did arrange with another person to install the first monolith on his behalf before his death, that still offers no explanation as to why it has suddenly disappeared and seemingly been moved to Romania. The Daily Mail state that the new structure is planted just a few feet from where an ancient Dacian fortress historically stood and the structure faces toward one side of Mount Ceahlau, which remains a popular hiking destination in Romania. The monolith in Romania is 13 feet tall, which is almost the exact height of the now-missing Utah variant which stood at 12 feet, but the difference between the two is that this one has etchings and scribbles on its surface.

The local mayor of Piatra Neamt, Andrei Carabelea wrote on Facebook: “There is no reason to panic for those who think there is still life in the universe. My guess is that some alien, cheeky and terrible teenagers left home with their parents’ UFO and started planting metal monoliths around the world. First in Utah and then at Piatra Neamt. I am honoured that they chose our city.

“Beyond the conspiracy theories that can be tempting, I’d like to see this randomness as further proof that our city is special. For the earthlings and (maybe) not only.”

Meanwhile, Neamt Culture and Heritage official Rocsana Josanu said to The Daily Mail, “We have started looking into the strange appearance of the monolith. It is on private property, but we still don’t know who the monolith’s owner is yet. It is in a protected area on an archaeological site. Before installing something there, they needed permission from our institution, one that must then be approved by the Ministry of Culture.”