UNITED STATES NEWS

Gleaming monolith pops up in Nevada desert, the latest in a series of quickly vanishing structures

Jun 18, 2024, 7:00 PM

This photo provided by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department shows a monolith near Gass Peak, Ne...

This photo provided by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department shows a monolith near Gass Peak, Nev., on Sunday, June 16, 2024. Jutting out of the rocks on a remote mountain peak near Las Vegas, the glimmering rectangular prism's reflective surface imitates the vast desert landscape surrounding the mountain peak where it has been erected. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department via AP)

(Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department via AP)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The strange monolith looks like it could have come from another world.

Jutting out of the rocks in a remote mountain range near Las Vegas, the glimmering rectangular prism’s reflective surface imitates the vast desert landscape surrounding the mountain peak where it has been erected.

But where did the object come from, and is it still there? That’s a mystery the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it was trying to solve after learning about it Monday through a social media post.

Las Vegas police said on the social platform X that members of its search and rescue unit found the otherworldly object over the weekend near Gass Peak, part of the vast Desert National Wildlife Refuge where bighorn sheep and desert tortoises can be found roaming. At 6,937 feet (2,114 meters), it is among the highest peaks in the area north of Las Vegas.

“We see a lot of weird things when people go hiking like not being prepared for the weather, not bringing enough water,” the police department wrote. “But check this out!”

Photos accompanying the department’s post show the strange structure standing tall against a bright blue sky, with distant views of the Las Vegas valley. It evokes the object that appears in the Stanley Kubrick movie “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

Neither the police department nor its search and rescue unit immediately responded Monday to requests for more information about their discovery — the latest in a series of mysterious shiny columns popping up around the globe since at least 2020.

In November of that year, a similar metal monolith was found deep in the Mars-like landscape of Utah’s red-rock desert. Then came sightings in Romania, central California and on the famed Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas.

All of them disappeared as quickly as they popped up.

The Utah structure, which captured the world’s imagination during the pandemic, is believed to be the first in the series. It stood at about 12 feet (3.6 meters) and had been embedded in the rock in an area so remote that officials didn’t immediately reveal its location for fear of people getting lost or stranded while trying to find it.

Hordes of curious tourists still managed to find it, and along the way flattened plants with their cars and left behind human waste in the bathroom-free backcountry. Two men known for extreme sports in Utah’s sweeping outdoor landscapes say it was that kind of damage that made them step in late at night and tear it down.

Now, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it is worried the same level of damage could happen at the Desert National Wildlife Refuge, which was established to protect bighorn sheep and is home to rare plants. It is the largest wildlife refuge outside of Alaska and can cover the state of Rhode Island twice.

“People might come looking for it and be coming with inappropriate vehicles or driving where they shouldn’t, trampling plants,” said Christa Weise, the refuge’s acting manager.

The Utah and Nevada structures were illegally installed on federal land.

United States News

Associated Press

Kenney Grant, founder of iconic West Virginia pizza chain Gino’s, dies

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — William Kenneth “Kenney” Grant, the founder and owner of the iconic West Virginia chain Gino’s Pizza and Spaghetti House, has died. He was 94. Grant died Wednesday, according to an obituary posted by Beard Mortuary funeral home. A native of Huntington, Grant founded Gino’s in 1961. He gradually expanded the business, […]

6 minutes ago

An electronic billboard displays images of former President Donald Trump from his recent rally at t...

Associated Press

Rally shooter had photos of Trump, Biden and other US officials on his phone, AP sources say

WASHINGTON (AP) — The 20-year-old Pennsylvania man who tried to assassinate Donald Trump had photos on his phone of the former Republican president, President Joe Biden and other officials, including Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Chris Wray, according to two people familiar with the matter. Investigators searching Thomas Matthew Crooks’ devices have also […]

9 minutes ago

FILE - The James M. Fitzgerald U.S. Courthouse and Federal Building in downtown Anchorage, Alaska, ...

Associated Press

Alaska judge who resigned in disgrace didn’t disclose conflicts in 23 cases, investigation finds

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A federal judge in Alaska who resigned after a scathing investigation found he had engaged in inappropriate conduct with staff and attorneys did not disclose conflicts of interest with attorneys in 23 criminal cases he heard, prosecutors said. The top federal defender in Alaska, Jamie McGrady, said her office will conduct […]

19 minutes ago

Associated Press

Missouri high court clears the way for a woman’s release after 43 years in prison

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Supreme Court cleared the way Thursday for a Missouri woman whose murder conviction was overturned to be freed after 43 years in prison. A circuit court judge ruled last month that Sandra Hemme’s attorneys showed evidence of her “actual innocence,” and an appeals court ruled she should be […]

50 minutes ago

Associated Press

FDA OKs best-selling e-cigarette Vuse Alto, but only in tobacco flavor

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal health officials on Thursday authorized sales of the best-selling e-cigarette in the U.S., Vuse Alto, allowing manufacturer Reynolds American to keep the vaping brand on the market for years to come. The Food and Drug Administration decision only applies to several tobacco-flavored versions of the reusable product, which takes cartridges filled […]

51 minutes ago

Associated Press

New Jersey to allow power plant hotly fought by Newark residents

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — In the first major decision issued under an environmental justice law designed to prevent additional sources of pollution in already overburdened communities, New Jersey will allow construction of a backup power plant at one of the country’s largest sewage treatment facilities. The facility dumped some 840 million gallons of raw sewage […]

1 hour ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

Gleaming monolith pops up in Nevada desert, the latest in a series of quickly vanishing structures