News & Politics

Utah Monolith Still a Mystery, But Less Mysterious

(Image credit: Utah Dept. of Public Safety)

The location of the monolith discovered in the Red Rock area of Utah has been pinpointed by online detectives, down to the exact latitude and longitude. Other internet sleuths used Google Earth to determine that it was placed at that location sometime between August of 2015 and October of 2016.

But who placed it there and why remains unknown.

The area where the oddity was found may be a clue. The location is just south of Dead Horse Point State Park, between the park and Needles Point, a tourist outlook. As it happens, several dozen movies and TV shows have filmed in that area from the 1940s through today, although there isn’t a paved road for many miles in every direction.

(Google Earth screenshot)


The monolith is also relatively close to Canyonlands National Park, the first clue based on the helicopter flight logs. As it happens, Dead Horse Point and Canyonlands have both been the setting for scenes in numerous films and TV shows. Dead Horse Point has been a shooting location for HBO’s “Westworld,” which started shooting in 2016, the movies Thelma & Louise (1991), Con Air (1997), Mission: Impossible 2 (2000), John Carter (2012), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), and perhaps most appropriately, the movie 127 Hours (2010) about a hiker who gets his arm trapped under a boulder and has to cut it off to get to safety.

Nearby Canyonlands National Park has also been a popular Hollywood destination in Utah.

Canyonlands National Park was also used for Thelma & Louise along with the shows “MacGyver” and “Touched by an Angel,” according to IMDB. Canyonlands was also the location for shots in the visually stunning film classics Koyaanisqatsi (1982) and Baraka (1992). A number of classic westerns were shot there too, including Fort Apache (1948), Warlock (1959), The Comancheros (1961), Rio Conchos (1964), and Gold of the Seven Saints (1961).

The theory that this was some movie prop left behind is more plausible than aliens, although it has as many holes in it. Because it was so recently put there, more information could be forthcoming on what productions were being shot around that time (August 2015), which would give us the names of people to talk to.

I think before too long, someone will fess up. It may be something as simple as bored prop people sitting around waiting for the next shot (there’s a lot of that when filming) and deciding to prank fellow crew members.

Whatever the explanation, it will be far more disappointing than aliens.