Similar to the two monoliths found, the artefacts created during the Land Art Movement would also be built at inaccessible and remote corners of the Earth.
It is being speculated that it is the doing of one John McCraken who was a famous minimalist sculptor and who was also known to be fond of science fiction. (Credit: The Indian Express)
Mysterious monoliths discovered in Utah! The US state’s wildlife agency came across a 10-12 feet tall metal monolith at the base of a canyon in Utah’s Red Rock country last month. The team of experts descended on the canyon and tried to understand where the monolith had sprung from out of the blue and could not find any satisfactory answer. The experts wondered as to who could have installed the monolith at a deserted canyon and how long it had been there. On November 23, the Utah Department for Public Safety in an official statement told people about the discovery and in the absence of any evidence, speculated that the metal monolith seemed to be the work of a “new wave artist”. The department also pointed out that the monolith might very well be a prank played by one of the fans of “2001: Space Odyssey”. In the 1968 released film written by Stanley Kubrick and co-written by Arthur C Clarke, a massive black monolith from an extraterrestrial origin appears in a tribe of hominids.
Before the possibilities hinted at by the Utah Department could seep into the minds of people, the Federal Bureau of Land Management’s Utah office announced that the monolith had been removed from its site by an unknown party on November 27. If this was not enough, the news of another monolith being spotted in the Batca Doamnei Hill in Romania emerged. However, the surface of the Romanian monolith was different from Utah’s monolith as it had looping scrawls.
With the occurrence of three similar and mysterious events one after the other, people in these countries and from the rest of the world are speculating and propounding wild theories about these monoliths. Some of the most popular theories being speculated by the people are as follows:
Extraterrestrial Origin: Having grown up watching several films based on alien races from the other planets descending on the Earth and leaving important clues, people are guessing half-jokingly that these monoliths have been dropped by an alien race. The plot of the film, 2001: Space Odyssey also gives a similar explanation for the emergence of the monolith in the film.
Artwork: This theory seems to be far more plausible as similar artworks and objects had emerged in the Land Art Movement which was on its peak during the 1960s-70s. The basic premise of the Land Art Movement was the rejection of commercialisation of art and creating new artefacts using the materials of the Earth like rock, sand, water, among others, the Indian Express reported. Similar to the two monoliths found, the artefacts created during the Land Art Movement would also be built at inaccessible and remote corners of the Earth. The most famous example of such art work was Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jerry in the 1970 which was a massive sculpture created using rocks and salt crystals in Utah’s Great Salt Lake.
With regard to the recently found monoliths, it is being speculated that it is the doing of one John McCraken who was a famous minimalist sculptor and who was also known to be fond of science fiction. However, an art gallery with considerable knowledge about McCraken’s work has hinted at two distinct possibilities. The art gallery has said that it could be an authentic artwork of McCraken installed by himself before his death in the year 2011 or one of his ardent fans may have tried to imitate the artist and installed the monolith on the rock.
In opposition, the photos shared by the Utah officials have led people to question this claim as they pointed out that the monolith lacked the finesse of an artwork expected from an artist of McCraken’s calibre.
Hoax or Prank: People have also not ruled out that the emergence of the monoliths might be a hoax played out by an individual. Similar incidents were reported from the fields in Wiltshire in the United Kingdom in the 1970s. Similar themes have been explored and depicted in numerous films and science fiction shows including in M Night Shyamalan’s Signs(2002), X Files which was popular in the period between 1993-2002 among others. In the 1990s, two Englishmen namely David chorley and Doug Bower had also come forward to take the responsibility for creating these artefacts as a joke. However, in the present case no one till now has come forward to admit their role behind the emergence of these monoliths.