They may only help count sheep, but then the people aboard a helicopter discover an unusual object – with an unclear origin.

Authorities say a helicopter crew has found an unusual metal monolith in a remote area of ​​the US state of Utah. The helicopter helped count sheep in southeastern Utah on Wednesday, when crew members saw the object and landed nearby for closer inspection, the state’s public security service announced Monday (local time).

Photos show the column in the middle of a red rocky landscape typical of the region. Pilot Bret Hutchings told local broadcaster KSL that the object was about three to three and a half meters high. Its origin is unclear. There was no information on the exact location. The authority wants to prevent people from getting lost while visiting the remote site and then having to be rescued.

It is illegal to install objects or works of art on state-run land without a permit, “regardless of which planet they come from,” the agency wrote, apparently joking.

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