The Utah Monolith: Aliens or Art?

The Utah Monolith: Aliens or Art?

Anna Wright

On November 18th a strange monolithic structure was found in the Utah desert only to disappear 9 days later. Although some have been quick to support the alien theory, a more realistic answer may be found within the art world.

The Utah Monolith stood at roughly 10-12 feet; it was composed of three silver-coated panels with a metallic sheen. Upon its discovery, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the organization that controls the area, did not disclose the location of the Monolith, however, inquisitive individuals began their search and immediately released the coordinates online. Many began to query where the structure came from, but another question soon arose: where did the Monolith go? Its speedy exit only managed to brighten the spotlight. Two more were additionally found in Romania and California days later, but their authenticity is doubtful. The Monolith in California is particularly unrealistic as it was not there the previous day. 

While some still speculate that aliens were behind the creation of the Utah Monolith, another more persuasive argument has been made. John McCracken, a minimalist artist who lived in the area, is believed to have created the possible work of art. Other pieces of his such as Glacier (1988) and Fair (2011) hold much resemblance to the Monolith; both being made of polyester resin and fiberglass on the wood are similar in size, shape, and color.

Unfortunately, McCracken passed in 2011 carrying any definite answer with him to the grave. His son, on the other hand, was able to answer some questions in a phone interview with The New York Times. Patrick McCracken recalled a conversation with his father in which he had mentioned wanting to place his artwork in remote places for people to find later on. Although other artist friends of his denied ever hearing him say this, McCracken could have simply never mentioned anything in order to maintain its secrecy. 

Even though some compelling theories have been put forward, a final conclusion cannot be concretely reached. One question still remains: who is behind the Utah Monolith?