The shiny, metal monolith that appeared in the Utah desert was already mysterious; land officials don't know how it got there. But the mystery now has deepened: The monolith is gone. Officials in the state's Bureau of Land Management say they don't know how that happened, either, CNN reports. A BLM Facebook post said the monolith vanished Friday night, removed by "a person or group." The agency denied responsibility. "The BLM did not remove the structure, which is considered private property," the post said. Officials never released the exact location, but visitors began arriving in the remote spot last week. Any investigation of what the BLM called an "illegally installed structure" would be up to the sheriff's office, the post said.
After the monolith was discovered, tongue-in-cheek speculation centered on aliens as potential suspects. An Instagram post from the state Department of Public Safety did not let aliens off the hook in the new mystery. "Almost as quickly as it appeared it has now disappeared,” the post said, per the New York Times. "I can only speculate" that aliens took it back. The post has been taken down. A visitor who hiked in to see the structure said, "Nature returned back to her natural state I suppose." Another post, by a former head of the US Office of Government Ethics, was more ominous. "Relax," Walter Shaub tweeted. "The prophesy foretells that we'll be fine as long as nothing happens to the mysterious monolith in Utah." (It was a work of art, theorists decreed, or possibly a WiFi router.)