Turkey: Monolith appears at UNESCO World Heritage site
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Monoliths of an unknown origin keep cropping up around the globe, with online sleuths trying to figure out whether someone is pulling off an elaborate prank. Many artists have already come forward to claim credit for the phenomenon but conspiracy theorists cling onto hopes extraterrestrials are trying to leave us a message. The shiny pillars have so far appeared in a US desert and a UK beach, as well as in Romania, Belgium and now near Gobeklitepe in Sanliurfa, southeast Turkey.
Gobeklitepe, also known as Gire Miraza, is home to an archaeological site containing some 200 pillars dated to the 10th millennium BC.
On February 4, a prism-like monolith appeared in a field near the site.
The three-metre-tall monolith came inscribed with an enigmatic inscription in ancient Turkish, which was translated as: “Look at the sky, you will see the Moon.”
And although the object was promptly surrounded by tape and armed guards, the state-run Anadolu Agency has confirmed the monolith was gone by Tuesday, February 9.
Fuat Demirdil, a local farmer, said he was baffled by the monolith’s appearance and sudden disappearance.
He said: “We didn’t know if it was placed on my field for marketing purposes or as an advertisement.
“We saw that the metal block was no longer at its place.
“Residents cannot solve the mystery of the metal block either.”
Photos snapped at the scene of the monolith’s eerie appearance now reveal a pile of upturned dirt and loose rocks.
Conspiracy theorists and self-titled UFO experts were quick to claim the monoliths are part of a planet-wide plot by aliens to contact us.
A Twitter account called Alien-Facts tweeted: “The monolith phenomenon continues.
“This new piece recently appeared in Turkey near the ancient site Gobekli Tepe.
“Intriguingly this monolith boasts a message reading “look at the sky, see the Moon.”
Another Twitter user shared references to the Fox series X-Files and tweeted: “God I hope its aliens!”
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But the truth appears to be much more mundane than aliens, and the truth behind the monolith was revealed on Tuesday evening.
As Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the country’s new space programme, an image of the monolith was projected onto a screen behind him.
The marketing ploy mimics in many ways the appearance of two moons in the skies over Dubai last week – a promotional event tied to the UAE’s first mission to Mars.
Mr Erdogan said: “I now present to you Turkey’s 10-year vision, strategy and aims and I say: ‘look at the sky, you will see the Moon.'”
The first monolith to spark the craze appeared in Utah last November.
Utah: Metal monolith discovered by state officials
The object was discovered by the Department of Public Safety Aero Bureau in a remote part of the state and no one has claimed credit for it yet.
According to the Bureau, it is illegal to install art structures without permission on federally managed public lands “no matter what planet you’re from”.
The Bureau said: “The crew said there was no obvious indication of who might have put the monolith there.”
The monolith was most likely an art installation that has since been mimicked more than 100 times globally.
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