Monoliths, UFOs and time travel

Like any student of trivia curiosa, with a particular predisposition for the mysterious, the weird…

Like any student of trivia curiosa, with a particular predisposition for the mysterious, the weird or the strange, I’ve been following all sorts of reports on the continuing appearances of monoliths in various areas all over the world.

Since the discovery of the first such monolith, in a desolate canyon in Utah on Nov. 18, 2020, over a hundred other sightings have been reported. That makes for an average of over 15 a week, or twice a day.

Although the Utah structure was subsequently found out to have been there since at least October 2016, it wasn’t reported until four years later. Its sudden popularity drew much attention and curiosity up close, until it disappeared on Nov. 27, with video later surfacing of a group of men taking it down.

Insider reported on Dec. 20:

“The same day, a second monolith appeared in Piatra Neam?, Romania, only to disappear on Dec. 2. That was when a third appeared in Atascadero, California.

“After those three, another monolith appeared. Then another. Within a month after the Utah monolith was discovered, at least 87 similar metallic towers have popped up around the world.”

The monoliths recalled Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 science fiction film, 2001: A Space Odyssey, leading to speculation about extraterrestrial origin. But the phenomenon has also been seen as a craze, a different kind of meme, or an internet hoax.

Not all have exactly been mysterious, as a few were installed by local businesses for promotional purposes. And some of the monolith makers acknowledged that “they built their structures to end 2020 on a high note.”

Among them is Alex Apolonov, also known as the prankster artist “I Did A Thing,” who has taken credit for installing a monolith in Melbourne with help from friends.

Travis Kenney and Wade McKenzie, who put up the one atop Pine Mountain in Atascadero, California, had heard of the first two, in Utah and Romania. Familiar with Kubrick’s film, which featured three monoliths, they figured that a third was due, and decided to make it themselves.

It was quickly taken down by a group of men who livestreamed themselves as they chanted “Christ is King” while erecting a wooden cross as a replacement. Kenney and McKenzie wound up building a second monolith. They were urged to do so by the town mayor, who wanted it back on the same spot, this time permanently.

Some installations have brought unexpected benefits. A monolith that appeared on Dec. 3 outside The Paul Jolly Center for Pet Adoptions in San Antonio, Texas, increased the traffic in the group’s adoption website. They hope the structure will stay where it is.

After Insider’s Dec. 20 count of 88 monoliths thus far, many more continued to be reported, involving 30 countries in most continents. The US leads the pack with 33 sightings in 20 states. Next is Canada with a total of 17 monolith appearances, from Alberta to Quebec.

In Europe, Germany topped the list with 10, followed by United Kingdom with eight, Italy and Sweden with five apiece, France and Netherlands with four each, Belgium with three, Austria, Finland, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and Ukraine with two each, and Czech Republic, Hungary, Norway, Slovakia and Switzerland with one each.

Morocco in Africa had one, while New Zealand in Oceania also had one, with Australia having two. Central America’s Panama, Colombia and Paraguay had one each. Asia’s monolith came late, when on Dec. 29, one appeared at Symphony Forest Park in Ahmedabab, Gujarat, India. Notably, none has appeared in Russia and China, while artists, engineers and pranksters in the rest of Asia, including Japan, South Korea and the ASEAN countries, have joined in.

So as of last week, a total of 118 monoliths has been recorded, with a small percentage of these taken credit for, some for blatantly commercial purposes, others for fun, but with the rest still wrapped in anonymity and mystery. Will the fad continue in 2021?

Other uncommon news in the last two years have included the discovery of the Bosnian Pyramid Complex, said to be larger and more mysterious than the pyramids in Egypt. This was reported by Alternative News on Sept. 25, 2018 — although the 11 structures were first found in 2005.

Discussions on teleportation have also been revived, with physicists claiming that individual particles can be teleported, by creating absolute identical versions in a location other than the original, with “exactly the same properties, (and) exactly the same quantum state.” But the big question remains: if one can ever teleport big things like people.

Meanwhile, a recent social media report went viral when it featured a young Russian who appeared to have conducted time travel from 1958 to the present. He disappeared while in the custody of Soviet scientists who were close to verifying his story, on the strength of the authenticity of his photos using obsolete film and a vintage camera. Among the photos was one of a UFO that had suddenly hovered above him.

Speaking of which, recent reports also had multiple witnesses spotting a UFO over the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The New York Post got into the act with the following lead:

“A Harvard professor says aliens visited us in 2017 and warns more are coming — but a bunch of Hawaiians say they’re already here.”

The multiple witnesses reported “a bright blue, glowing, oblong unidentified flying object hovering above the skies of Oahu… before it nosedived into the ocean.” Some had actually videotaped the occurrence, and presented their tapes to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Well, it’s 2021. We can expect more mysteries and revelations to pile up, and wondrous amazement to overflow our cups of appreciation. Despite political dinosaurs still holding sway in the face of increasing disgust, the future is always upon us.