Another monolith, similar to the one discovered in the Utah desert, has appeared and vanished – this time in Southern California.
It’s unclear who placed the monolith on a hiking trail in Atascadero, KEYT-TV and The Atascadero News reported Wednesday. The tall, silver structure drew some hikers to the area after photos were posted on social media.
Connor Allen, news correspondent for the Paso Robles Press and Atascadero News, shared photos of the structure, adding it was located “at the top of Pine Mountain in Atascadero!!”.
The Atascadero News also reported that unlike the Utah monolith, the “Atascadero obelisk was not attached to the ground, and could be knocked over with a firm push.”.
And, like other monoliths before it, the California structure vanished as strangely as it appeared. According to a press release from the city of Atascadero, the 10-foot-tall monolith, which weighed an estimated 200 pounds, disappeared early Thursday morning. Video on social media shows a group of men removing the monolith and replacing it with a plywood cross, the release adds.
“We are upset that these young men felt the need to drive 5 hours to come into our community and vandalize the Monolith,” Atascadero Mayor Heather Moreno said in a statement. “The Monolith was something unique and fun in an otherwise stressful time.”.
The city encourages anyone with information about the monolith to contact the Atascadero Police Department, which is looking into the incident.
At least two other monoliths have been spotted elsewhere. A similar structure that officials said was made of riveted plates of stainless steel was reportedly toppled in Utah by a group of people who said “leave no trace.”.
In Romania, a journalist with a local publication reported a monolith also disappeared shortly after being found on a hill. A local official said that structure was placed without permission, as well.
Two adventure sportsmen, Utah residents Andy Lewis and Sylvan Christensen, stepped forward to say they were part of the team who removed the Utah monolith. They posted a 23-second video showing the monolith, once embedded into the rock, being dismantled, loaded onto a wheel barrow and carried away at night.
The structure had been placed without permission on public land. Visitors left behind a mess of human waste and debris and parked cars on vegetation as well, officials said.
“Right after it had fallen over and made a loud thud, one of them said, ‘This is why you don’t leave trash in the desert,'” Colorado photographer Ross Bernards wrote in an Instagram post.
Contributing: Bryan Alexander, Charles Trepany USA TODAY; The Associated Press.
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More:Photographers captured removal of the mysterious Utah monolith. Here’s why it vanished.