A mysterious metal monolith was discovered in Utah after public safety officers spotted the object while conducting a routine wildlife mission.
A helicopter crew with the Utah Department of Public Safety Aero Bureau was assisting Wildlife Resources on Wednesday to count bighorn sheep in southeastern Utah, the department said.
Pilot Bret Hutchings said one of the officers spotted the object in a remote area of red rock — something that appeared to be a scene right out of "2001: A Space Odyssey."
"He was like, 'Whoa, whoa, whoa, turn around, turn around!' And I was like, 'What.' And he's like, 'There's this thing back there — we've got to go look at it!'" Hutchings told CNN affiliate KSL. "We just happened to fly directly over the top of it.”
Hutchings said the origins of the silver metal monolith still remained a mystery, but it appeared to be a “new wave” art installation that stood “between 10 and 12 feet high.”
“It is illegal to install structures or art without authorization on federally managed public lands, no matter what planet you're from,” the Utah Department of Public Safety said in a statement released Monday.
The department said it was unclear who, or what, installed the monolith, and that they would not disclose the exact location of the object out of safety concerns.
They added that the Bureau of Land Management will determine whether further investigation is warranted.