Photographers captured removal of the mysterious Utah monolith. Here’s why it vanished.

So it wasn’t aliens that removed Utah’s mysterious monolith, after all.

Human beings were responsible for removing that 10-foot metal monolith, which garnered international attention after it was discovered Nov. 18 embedded in Utah’s remote Red Rock Country and went viral before vanishing without a trace over the weekend.

Days after the structure disappeared, travel photographer Ross Bernards revealed he was on site when four unidentified men showed up to remove the now-world-famous monolith. Bernards’ friend, Mike Newlands, was also witness to the removal. A few days later, he spoke with one of the men responsible for the removal who reached out asking for the photos Newlands took of them carrying the monolith away.

“They took it away for a few reasons,” Newlands told USA TODAY on Tuesday. “It’s litter – public lands are to be respected, and this was out of place, in a pristine and sensitive environment.” 

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