back to article Where's the mysterious metal monolith today then? Oh look, it's atop a California mountain

This is getting out of hand. Mere days after the metal "monolith" found out in the boondocks of Utah vanished, a similar structure has popped up on a Californian mountaintop. Local papers reported the plinth was spotted atop Pine Mountain near the town of Atascadero in San Luis Obispo County. The rectangle was said to be made …

  1. chivo243 Silver badge
    Alien

    Calendars off by 20 years?

    These pranksters are getting ready for 2021... not 2001

    1. WonkoTheSane
      Headmaster

      Re: Calendars off by 20 years?

      Or are they early?

      The sequel novels to 2001 are 2010: Odyssey 2, 2061: Odyssey 3 & 3001: The Final Odyssey

      1. EVP

        Re: Calendars off by 20 years?

        What's missing here is '2020: Odyssey 2.196', huh?

  2. revenant

    "Where will the mysterious metal monolith appear next?"

    Dunno, but this is beginning to seem a lot like Krull, only without the nasty aliens. Yet.

    1. Phones Sheridan
      Alien

      Re: "Where will the mysterious metal monolith appear next?"

      I think this is more like the garden gnome going missing, then for the next few years you get post cards from it taken next to various landmarks all over the world, followed by the obligatory Daily Sport headline "Mysterious metal monolith found on moon!" in a few weeks.

      1. beep54

        Re: "Where will the mysterious metal monolith appear next?"

        Reminds me of a prank a friend played in college around 1972 or so. He arraigned for a series of postcards to be sent to one particular girl that all said, "Wait for me. I'm coming. Godot." He managed to have them sent from around the world with the postmarks being ever closer to home causing the girl to begin to panic. She obviously did not get the Godot part. He would have, of course, missed her. But this lasted an entire semester.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Where will the mysterious metal monolith appear next?"

          I’m not getting the “ Godot” part either.

          Can you explain.

          1. Dinanziame Silver badge

            Re: "Where will the mysterious metal monolith appear next?"

            Waiting for Godot is a play by Samuel Beckett. The only thing generally known about it is that Godot never comes.

            1. PhilipN Silver badge

              Re: "Where will the mysterious metal monolith appear next?"

              Occasionally mantra throughout the play during badinage between a couple of tramps (main characters) : "....waiting ..... waiting for Godot.."

              1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

                Re: "Where will the mysterious metal monolith appear next?"

                Years ago I heard Waiting... on the radio and in my head they were the Daily Express tramps.

                That ages me. ;)

              2. Martin Silver badge
                Headmaster

                Re: "Where will the mysterious metal monolith appear next?"

                "Let's go."

                "We can't."

                "Why not?"

                "We're waiting for Godot."

                "Ah."

                It comes up several times in the play.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Mushroom

          Re: "Where will the mysterious metal monolith appear next?"

          @beep54

          He managed to have them sent from around the world with the postmarks being ever closer to home causing the girl to begin to panic."

          You call that a prank? What would you call it if it happened to a daughter of yours? Assuming that your mummy let you out of her basement to let you fuck someone else.

          Cheers… Ushy

        3. 759b954e-617b-408b-a2b1-f5a42c3688d4
          WTF?

          Re: "Where will the mysterious metal monolith appear next?"

          Reminds me of a creepy trick an unhinged would-be stalker played in college around 1972 or so.

          There, fixed it for you.

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Go

        Re: "Where will the mysterious metal monolith appear next?"

        garden gnome photos would actually be pretty awesome!

        the vacation places I really have no simultaneous time+money to visit...

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: "Where will the mysterious metal monolith appear next?"

      where's "Waldo" (the stainless steel monolith)

    3. Manolo
      Alien

      Re: "Where will the mysterious metal monolith appear next?"

      Friesland

      https://twitter.com/OmropFryslanNL/status/1335529454236524544

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: "Where will the mysterious metal monolith appear next?"

        That's an odd one. I never would have guessed the Frisians to be susceptible to the narcissistic vanity of band-wagon jumping.

        On the other hand, I'll bet the perps are used to saying "Do you want fries with that?" in the local lingo ...

        1. Manolo
          Joke

          Re: "Where will the mysterious metal monolith appear next?"

          Wollo jo patat mei?

  3. Nursing A Semi

    Mondelez Advert

    I always knew they were evil, but seems they have developed a new way of advertising. Just wait until these things start to rust and turn yellow and all weill be revealed.

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      Re: Mondelez Advert

      If your waiting for aluminium to die of rust then you might be waiting a long time. (aluminium to human intents and purposes doesn't decay unless exposed to sea water; an unlikely event in the desert locations these have been sighted in)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not aluminium?

        Article: "The rectangle was said to be made of stainless steel..."

        No further comment.

        1. Martin Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: Not aluminium?

          No further comment?

          OK, I'll do it then.

          If YOU'RE waiting for aluminium to die of rust...

        2. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: Not aluminium?

          Article: "The rectangle was said to be made of stainless steel..."

          No further comment.

          The new ones are obviously bad copies that blew it. The original was a triangle and thought to be stainless steel. I tend to agree that these "copies" are just pranks. Maybe the first one was also? The one mystery not solved is "who took the first one?".

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Alien

            Re: Not aluminium?

            fake vs "real" monoliths

            like fake vs "real" crop circles

            (just because SOME people fake them...)

            icon, because, well YOU know!

          2. Kernel

            Re: Not aluminium?

            "The one mystery not solved is "who took the first one?"."

            One of the pleasures of living in a UTC+12 time zone - you often get to hear the news first.

            From a New Zealand news site -

            "Utah residents Andy Lewis and Sylvan Christensen posted a 23-second video showing the monolith, once embedded into the rock, being dismantled, loaded onto a wheelbarrow and carried away at night."

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6c2EhNtSj4

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: Not aluminium?

              Those fuckheads? Figures. Complete sense of entitlement, that lot.

        3. PhilipN Silver badge

          Re: Not aluminium?

          Rectangle ...?

          Length, width but no depth. Now that gets interesting. But then does it even exist?

      2. KittenHuffer Silver badge
        Boffin

        Technically ......

        ...... I don't think I've ever seen Aluminium. But I do see Aluminium Oxide all over the place.

        This is because as soon as Aluminium is exposed to normal air Oxygen will bond to it producing a layer of Aluminium Oxide across the new surface. So unless you cut your Aluminium in an oxygen free environment all you ever see is 'pre-rusted' Aluminium.

        1. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: Technically ......

          Aluminium doesn't rust. Apart from the fact that aluminium oxidizes, as rust specifically refers to iron oxide, while iron oxide is detrimental to the structure of iron, alimunium oxide is actually protective. So it isn't rust, either technically or morally.

          1. thomn8r

            Re: Technically ......

            alimunium oxide is actually protective

            Tell that to someone with an early Land Rover

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
            Joke

            Re: Technically ......

            Rust? Rust? Bring back Ruby I say! Or PHP in a pinch.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: Technically ......

              New-fangled nonsense. I never really saw a reason to stop using perl.

        2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: Technically ......

          Having seen what was left of a fume hood after finely divided aluminium that was cut in an oxygen-free atmosphere subsequently came into contact with air, I can confidently assert that aluminium very definitely does react with air given half a chance.

          I'm reliably informed that it will quite happily continue to burn underwater, once started.

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: Technically ......

            I'm reliably informed that it will quite happily continue to burn underwater, once started.

            several metals will do that, by essentially burning hot enough to react with the water itself.

            Pure Al metal instantly forms a protective oxide layer when exposed to air. This is why you need inert gas to weld it. You can't solder to it either. Titanium is similar. A lot of metals are actually like this.

            Everyone remembers Jr. High science teachers lighting magnesium and putting sodium into water, right?

          2. PhilipN Silver badge

            Re: Technically ......

            "continue to burn"

            Long discussion here about aluminium warships burning (or not) some years ago during the tenure of a site editor with military characteristics and stimulated by events during the Falklands War. Details (including the final conclusion, if there was one) escape me since I am not into violence.

        3. swm Silver badge

          Re: Technically ......

          In high school I used to "burn" holes in aluminum pie plates with mercury. The mercury acts as a catalyst and allows the oxygen in the air to get to the aluminum under the oxide and oxidise it. The result is towers of aluminun oxide and, eventually, creates holes in the pie plate.

        4. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: Technically ......

          Technically ......

          ...... I don't think I've ever seen Aluminium. But I do see Aluminium Oxide all over the place.

          Technically, you have seen the aluminium (note for our crosspondian cousins, not aloominum), because the couple-of-atoms-thick layer of alumina on the surface is thin enough to allow the vast majority of photons to pass straight through it. If pure enough, it can grow pretty transparent crystals as well, more commonly known as sapphires and rubies (depending on the colour, which depends on the impurities).

      3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: Mondelez Advert

        Tell that to a stoichiometric mixture of aluminium and iron oxide.

        edit - "aluminium dying of rust" is pretty much a perfect description of the thermite reaction...

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

          Re: Mondelez Advert

          Thermite Welding is used for Continuous Welded Rails...

          https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=thermite+welding+rails

      4. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Mondelez Advert

        Aluminiun is fine in seawater, one reason why boats are built out of it.

        You do have to be careful with other metals in close proximity though, otherwise a large battery results with consequent electrolytic action.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Mondelez Advert

          You do have to be careful with other metals in close proximity though, otherwise a large battery results with consequent electrolytic action

          Yes, hence its use as a sacrificial anode on big steel ships and oil rigs.

          And if you want to see how well it reacts with oxygen, look at the exhaust of a space shuttle solid rocket booster. It gets a bit toasty...

  4. brotherelf
    Coat

    Steel yourself, not all are made from metal either…

    A wooden statue that was surreptitiously um… erected, I guess?, in the alps has gone missing as well.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-55142062

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
  5. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    bored now

    you can stop.

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: bored now

      yes.

      Crop circles need too many people to stamp out in these covid times.

  6. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    this one was covered in curly squiggles – clearly an ineffable and extraterrestrial script.

    Black Speech from Mordor?

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      Devil

      > Black Speech

      That's racist.

      On the other hand "Mordor speech of African descent" could be considered derogatory (Mordor being the bad guys), so better ban those books altogether.

      /s

      1. Dave559 Silver badge

        Black Speech

        If you were a, umm, person(?), orc, wraith or other fell being from Mordor, I would imagine that when it comes to speech (or anything else) black would surely be regarded as a very positive adjective (or do I mean negative)? The blacker and darker the better?

        It's all a question of your perspective.

        (Although there probably could be, and probably have been, many PhD theses written on the issue of how the forces of evil tend to be portrayed as (in some sense) "black", and to some extent that's a fair point, although obviously it's not a comparison with ethnic origin as such.)

    2. Irony Deficient Silver badge

      an ineffable and extraterrestrial script

      Black Speech from Mordor?

      If I recall correctly, more than one Middle Earth language was written using Tengwar.

      Closer to effability and terrestriality, the Mkhedruli letters of modern Georgian and several scripts for languages in India and southeastern Asia are also quite curly.

  7. This is not a drill

    Destroy them!!!

    They are clearly the source of Covid-19.

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Destroy them!!!

      I thought it was the source of the Illuminati mind control that is going to be propagated via the 5G network.

      Uh...or something.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge
        Alien

        Re: Destroy them!!!

        I thought it was the source of the Illuminati mind control that is going to be propagated via the 5G network.

        I think people are confusing cause & effect. First propagate a virii. Then mutate via propagated radio waves, creating a memetic virii. Then use those radio waves to program the infected. Then use senior infected carriers to implement policies beneficial to the memetic virus. Then, as the saying goes, "The virus makes work for idle hands".

        This is all obvious when you think about it. Programming infected people to make crop circles was just a beta test. The crop circles can be seen from space, but have a low information content, and programming subjects to create QRC (QR Crop) codes was complex and unreliable. But this alpha test proved that spreading via communications was possible, and indeed desireable.

        So enter COVID, or Communications-Optimised Viral Information Distribution. An elegant method of combining ancient and modern, utilising quatenary code along side binary to make programming 'go viral'. Richard Dawkins discovered this, but was then persuaded to keep quiet about meme infection, but as always, once a meme is in the wild, it's hard to supress completely. But you can see plenty of evidence of the infected trying to supress this via 'social media' labelling truths as 'fake news'.

        But again the purpose is obvious, as the results are showing. As the virus spreads, so do the 'monoliths'. As more are discovered, so will their networking function, and simply 'connecting the dots' will show they're placed at 'natural' convergence points around the globe. This fact is also 'checked' by dismissing the idea of ley lines, which is also evidence of the efforts being directed at supressing the truth.

        But the introduction of 5G will increase the data available to the memetic virii, and thus hosts. This will both accelerate the process of 'monoliths'. These are obviously antenna, and with millions of 4W hosts transferring power via the ley lines to the antenna, will be powerful enough to beam signals into deep space, summoning our new overlords.

        1. aregross

          Re: Destroy them!!!

          Well Played, Sir!

        2. drand

          Re: Destroy them!!!

          And of course our new overlords will arrive in the Little Chefs, all built on intersecting lay lines.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Destroy them!!!

            Given the speed the people moved in Little Chef's, I wouldn't worry about that.

  8. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Hmm, rivets. Hand riveter fits in a rucksack, rivets can be swiftly drilled out within one battery charge of a portable 18v drill for dismantling. The stainless steel sides could be rolled up for transport, possibly within a large rucksack, and then riveted to internal frame. Internal frame simple to assemble and erect / dismantle and stow away.

    The thickness of stainless to choose would depend on how flat you can rivet thin stuff against the frame, versus how tightly you want to roll up the sheets (and carry weight).

    Possibly whole shebang could be carried by one person. Erection is sort of job that would be easier with two people, but doable by one person. Visiting remote spots is safer if done by more than one person (should, eg, an ankle be broken in area of no cell phone coverage).

    1. Martin Summers Silver badge

      "Erection is sort of job that would be easier with two people"

      I certainly find that to be the case yes.

      1. seven of five Silver badge
        Joke

        Or a lot harder ...

        1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

          Ah, the 1960s Scouting for Boys handbook:

          ... erection should be practised until it can be done in the dark, either alone or with the aid of a friend, in less than ten minutes...

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: Ah, the 1960s Scouting for Boys handbook:

            Erection should be commenced upon arriving on site, despite temptation to just dump bags on pitch and head straight for the beer tent.

            - Beer festival received wisdom

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Covid effect

    The shoddy installation of this monolith is proof that the Aliens are also susceptible to Covid 9. They had to social distance while digging it in, so with only one working at a time they were unable to make a proper job of it.

    In fact, I don't think the virus arose in animals at all. It is extra-terrestrial in origin and somebody picked it up during an alien encounter.

    [Anon as I don't want to be abducted to Area 51 during the Covid crisis]

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: The Covid effect

      "Aliens are also susceptible to Covid 9."

      Is that the unnecessary prequel?

  10. Dr_N Silver badge
    Trollface

    Stone piles

    It's the new stone stacking. Yippee.

    (Trolls turn to stone, don't they?)

  11. Captain Hogwash

    "a wanky art project or marketing campaign"

    There's a difference?

  12. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    A new kind of meme ?

    It disappeared from Utah and showed up in California. That sounds like a marketing gimmick, although for who, I have no idea.

    But in Romania also ?

    That sounds like meme to me. A bit of an expensive one, but meme nonetheless.

    1. Outski Bronze badge
      Happy

      Re: A new kind of meme ?

      It also made a brief appearance at Foour Seasons Total Landscaping!

      https://twitter.com/lartist/status/1333871359399763971

  13. OwnBogOwnBed

    I suspect it may be the work of the Once and Future Band, with their spaceship antics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_7zRTnBaJg

  14. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Gaslittering

    TIA.

  15. Paul Herber Silver badge

    One day you have just one plinth, soon you'll have a whole clump of plinths.

    1. TimMaher Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      “Clump of plinths”

      Is that an anagram?

      Bit like the collective expression “A wunch of bankers”.

      Only more obscure.

      1. Irony Deficient Silver badge

        Re: “Clump of plinths”

        “A wunch of bankers” is an example of a spoonerism rather than an anagram.

      2. Paul Herber Silver badge

        Re: “Clump of plinths”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambridge_Footlights_Revue

    2. Jonathan Richards 1 Silver badge

      Hurrah!

      > soon you'll have a whole clump of plinths

      So, you're saying that Some Day my Plinths Will Come?

  16. Mike 137 Silver badge

    "Where will the mysterious metal monolith appear next?"

    Crop circles all over again?

    I guess some people don't have anything important to do but still want to get public attention. And no, you don't need to be identified to be considered "important" these days - it's commonly become an introverted thing of smirking to oneself in isolation about how clever one's been.

    1. Flywheel Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: "Where will the mysterious metal monolith appear next?"

      Would it be too much to ask that when the next one is sighted, a police officer could be posted to watch it? If both then vanish it's aliens, otherwise some prankster will be helping police with their inquiries...

      1. Robert Moore

        Re: "Where will the mysterious metal monolith appear next?"

        Why would you want to stop this? It isn't hurting anyone, and it is a bit of fun in 2020 when we could all use a little fun.

  17. macjules Silver badge

    Hikers were warned to steer clear.

    Especially those carrying towels and small yellow fish.

  18. JDX Gold badge

    Rectangle?

    Common El Reg, get your dimensionality in order.

  19. Howard Sway
    Alien

    One has appeared in my back garden too!

    Yes, a large metal rectangle, or monolith as I call it, has mysteriously appeared next to my shed, where I keep a small amount of metal plate. It is available to be viewed by all interested monolith enthusiasts at a price of only £75 per person. Photographs £50 each.

    1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: One has appeared in my back garden too!

      > Yes, a large metal rectangle, or monolith as I call it, has mysteriously appeared next to my shed

      You bought a second shed?

    2. Ivan Headache

      Re: One has appeared in my back garden too!

      I’ve got a column of parrots in my garden.

      I’m calling it a pollylith.

  20. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Not quite a monolith but here's one scheduled for Blighty - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-55160220

  21. Sleep deprived
    Happy

    Did they pry it open?

    OMG, it's full of vaccine!

  22. Big_Boomer Silver badge

    Original thought?

    Nah, much like the TV/Movie industries it's easier to just copy what someone else has done. <yawn> The first one was mildly interesting, the copycats are just dull.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    but days earlier another similar structure had materialised, this time in Romania of all places

    Oh the INDIGNITY! said Thomas...

  24. Jonjonz

    Definitely some wannabee Christo "artist" desperate for publicity will emerge after a few more of these, hoping to get some wealthy patron on the hook.

  25. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: RE: Utah:

      No. Not really.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021