Another mysterious monolith suddenly appears — this time in Romania

By Colin Dwyer (NPR)
Dec. 1, 2020 3:57 p.m.
A metal monolith was reported to have appeared on a scenic location in northern Romania on Nov. 27. Local newspaper Ziar Piatra Neamt reported the finding on a hill near the archaeological site of an old fortress overlooking the Bâtca Doamnei lake.

A metal monolith was reported to have appeared on a scenic location in northern Romania on Nov. 27. Local newspaper Ziar Piatra Neamt reported the finding on a hill near the archaeological site of an old fortress overlooking the Bâtca Doamnei lake.

Ziar Piatra Neamt via Storyful

Cue the X-Files theme, folks. The monolith mystery has deepened.

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Less than two weeks after authorities stumbled across a mysterious metal object standing freely in the Utah desert — and just days after it disappeared — a similar monolith has been reported nearly halfway around the world. Residents in the Romanian city of Piatra Neamț say they have found another odd item that could have been ripped from the set of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The local newspaper reports that the monolith, like the one discovered in Utah, is about 10 to 12 feet tall and apparently composed entirely of a dimly reflective metal. It was reportedly found standing on the Bâtca Doamnei plateau, near an archaeological site overlooking the city. Jurnal FM, a local radio station, recorded video of the purported object, revealing an eye-aching sheen and looped markings along its surface.

Andrei Carabelea, mayor of Piatra Neamț, appears to be taking the news in stride.

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"There is no reason to panic for those who think there is still life in the universe," Carabelea quipped, according to a translation by The Independent. The statement was posted to Facebook after the discovery surfaced Friday.

"My guess is that some alien, cheeky and terrible teenagers left home with their parents' UFO and started planting metal monoliths around the world. First in Utah and then at Piatra Neamt," he added. "I am honored that they chose our city."

The monolith in Utah disappeared less than 10 days after officers from the state's Department of Public Safety first spotted it. Authorities professed their utter confusion at its presence in Utah's Red Rock Country.

They were no less confused by its sudden disappearance overnight Friday. An adventure photographer said that he spotted four men dismantling the structure, according to The New York Times.

All that was left of the structure Saturday morning was "a triangular metal piece that used to be on top and a hole where the base of the tower stood," according to The Salt Lake Tribune. The Bureau of Land Management denied moving the structure.

As for the monolith in Romania, Carabelea said that while he had no answers himself, he would not be upset if the newfound mystery happened to attract tourists to his city.

"Beyond the conspiracy theories that can be tempting," he added, "I'd like to see this randomness as further proof that our city is special. For the earthlings and (maybe) not only."

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