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Durango photographer one of last to view mysterious monolith in Utah

Illegally installed structure gained international attention
Local Utah authorities have said they do not have the resources to investigate the disappearance of a mysterious monolith in the Utah desert.

As mysteriously as it arrived, it was gone.

A silver monolith was discovered Nov. 18 in the Utah desert, about 11 feet tall and apparently made of stainless steel, which has garnered national and international attention.

This weekend, however, the monolith mysteriously disappeared, according to public land management agencies, which said they did not remove the illegally installed structure.

Durango photographer and videographer Terrance Siemon, who works with Ballantine Communications Inc., which owns The Durango Herald, said he went to view the monolith Friday and was likely one of the last people to see it before it disappeared.

Siemon said he and another friend who is also a photographer arrived at the monolith around 1 p.m. Friday to a packed crowd. So, the two waited until nightfall to take photos once people left.

“We had it to ourselves,” Siemon said.

A mysterious monolith was found Nov. 18 in the Utah desert, only to disappear about 10 days later.

Siemon left around 7 p.m. By 11:30 p.m. that same night, another group that went to visit the monolith reported it was gone.

“Literally, right after we left, some people came in and hauled it out,” Siemon said.

The New York Times reported Tuesday that four men removed the monolith about 8:40 p.m. Friday. Professional sportsman Andy L. Lewis of Moab took credit Tuesday for the sculpture’s disappearance with his group, posting a video on his Facebook page, the Times story said.

Public land agencies have been vague about where the monolith was located, though reports have said it was somewhere in the Canyonlands National Park area.

Siemon said he found the location online.

“It’s literally in the middle of nowhere,” he said.

Durango photographer Terrance Siemon said he was likely one of the last people to view the monolith placed in the backcountry of the Utah desert.

The San Juan County Sheriff’s Office in Utah said on social media it would not investigate further.

“While we take all reports of crime seriously, we do not have the proper resources to devote much time to the appearance and subsequent disappearance/theft of the structure that was discovered in a remote area of public lands within our county,” the Sheriff’s Office posted. “However, with hundreds visiting the area during the last few days, perhaps someone saw something suspicious.”


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