Utah Department of Public Safety crew members found “a metal monolith installed in the ground” but “no obvious indication of who might have put the monolith there.”

A mysterious metal “obelisk” found buried in the remote western United States desert has inflamed the imaginations of UFO spotters, conspiracy theorists and Stanley Kubrick fans around the world.

The shiny, triangular pillar which protrudes approximately 12 feet from the red rocks of southern Utah.

Was spotted last Wednesday by baffled local officials counting bighorn sheep from the air.

Landing to investigate, Utah Department of Public Safety crew members found “a metal monolith installed.

In the ground” but “no obvious indication of who might have put the monolith there.”

“It is illegal to install structures or art without authorization on federally managed public lands.

No matter what planet you’re from,” warned the agency in a tongue-in-cheek press release Monday.

News of the discovery quickly went viral online, with many noting the object’s similarity with strange alien monoliths that trigger huge leaps in human progress in Kubrick’s classic sci-fi “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

Others remarked on its discovery during a turbulent year that has seen the world gripped by the Covid-19 pandemic.

And optimistically speculated it could have a different function entirely.

With officials refusing to disclose the object’s location out of fear that hordes of curious sightseers would flock.

To the remote wilderness, a race has also begun online to geo-locate the “obelisk” using surrounding rock formations.