California monolith pops up after finds in Utah, Romania

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FILE - In this Nov. 27, 2020, file photo, a metal structure sticks out from the ground on the Batca Doamnei hill, outside Piatra Neamt, northern Romania. Days after the arrival and swift disappearance of two shining metal monoliths spotted half a world away from each other, another towering structure has popped up, this time at the pinnacle of a trail in Southern California. Its straight sides and height appear similar to one discovered in the Utah desert and another that was found in Romania. (Robert Iosub/ziarpiatraneamt.ro via AP, File)

LOS ANGELES – Days after the discovery and swift disappearance of two shining metal monoliths half a world apart, another towering structure has popped up and then quickly vanished, this time from the pinnacle of a trail in California.

After photos were posted on social media, the tall, silver metallic structure drew hikers to the top of the Pine Mountain trail in an Atascadero park, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, KEYT-TV reported Wednesday.

The 3-sided, 10-foot-tall, 200-pound monolith was similar to two others discovered recently in the Utah desert and in Romania. Like those structures, the origin of the California edifice is also unknown.

But by Thursday, the California monolith had vanished, apparently torn down by a group of young men that traveled five hours from farther south to remove it, the city of Atascadero said in a Facebook post.

Video posted online showed a group of young men wearing night-vision goggles toppling what appears to be the monolith before dawn while chanting “Christ is king” and “America First." One man also is heard saying to the camera: “We don’t want illegal aliens from Mexico or outer space.”

The men replaced the structure with a wooden cross, which also disappeared. All that was left Thursday of the monolith were few pieces of supporting rebar.

Police were reviewing the video, The Tribune of San Luis Obispo County reported.

The destruction wasn’t appreciated by locals.