“The intrepid explorers go down to inspect the alien lifeform,” narrates a chuckling Bret Hutchings in a video documenting a strange encounter in southeastern Utah on November 18, 2020.

Hutchings, a helicopter pilot for the Aero Division of the Utah Department of Public Safety, was participating in an aerial count of bighorn sheep in remote desert canyon country. After a wildlife biologist spotted a reflective metallic object standing out from the red rocks, the helicopter landed to investigate.

Once on the ground, three crew members—wearing matching flight suits that look straight out of a 1950s science fiction film—approached what a Utah DPS press release described as a “metal monolith installed in the ground.”

“We were kind of joking around,” said Hutchings. “If one of us suddenly disappears, then I guess the rest of us make a run for it.”