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Shiny metal thing disappears, another appears

Jesse O’Neill, December 2, 2020 6:45PM New York Post

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A metal pillar on Batca Doamnei hill in Piatra Neamt, Romania. Picture: media_cameraA metal pillar on Batca Doamnei hill in Piatra Neamt, Romania. Picture:


Reading level: green

Another mysterious metal thing has been found, this time in Romania, days after one vanished without a trace from the desert in Utah, US.

The triangular metal pillar was found a few metres from an ancient landmark called the Petrodava Dacian Fortress in the city of Piatra Neamt in recent days.

It measures more than 4m tall and one side faces Mount Ceahlau — one of the seven natural wonders of Romania, known locally as the Holy Mountain.

The origin of the structure has Romanian officials as baffled* as their counterparts* in Utah.

“We have started looking into the strange appearance of the monolith*,” Neamt Culture and Heritage official Rocsana Josanu told the Daily Mail.

“It is on private property, but we still don’t know who the monolith’s owner is yet. It is in a protected area on an archaeological site. Before installing something there, they needed permission from our institution, one that must then be approved by the Ministry of Culture.”

media_cameraThe metal pillar on Batca Doamnei hill in Piatra Neamt, Romania. Picture: AFP/

The discovery came as questions persist* about the origin and disappearance of a similar steel object in the remote desert of Utah last week.

On November 18, wildlife officials counting sheep in a helicopter found the almost 4m tall triangular structure surrounded by a rock formation.

You can read the Kids News story about the discovery HERE.

media_cameraA still image from video of the metal structure found in Utah, US, which has since disappeared. Picture: AFP/Utah Department of Public Safety

They did not reveal its exact location out of fear adventurous travellers would get lost in the remote area — but by Tuesday people had found it and visitors described a “circus” atmosphere full of YouTubers and confused government officials.

By Friday, the installation was gone, without anyone taking credit for the bizarre situation.

“We have received credible* reports that the illegally installed structure, referred to as the ‘monolith’ has been removed from Bureau of Land Management public lands by an unknown party,” on November 27, Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman Kimberly Finch said in a statement. The agency did not remove the structure, she said.

Google Earth imagery shows that the Utah structure appeared between August 2015 and October 2016.

This article was first published on the New York Post and was republished with permission.


  • baffled: puzzled
  • counterparts: someone elsewhere with a similar role
  • monolith: large stone or rock; people often use the word to describe other big objects not made of stone
  • persist: continue to exist
  • credible: convincing, able to be believed


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Leaning Tower of Pisa not leaning so much anymore


  1. Where has the second pillar been found?
  2. What is it made of?
  3. In which country is Utah?
  4. What is the actual name of Romania’s Holy Mountain?
  5. When did the Utah structure appear? How do we know that?


1. Similarities and Differences
The appearance (and disappearance) of these monoliths or metal things has created a lot of curiosity. Although it is not the same object placed in each country there are similarities in their structure and where and how they appeared.

Read the article carefully and make notes of the similarities and differences of each object. Think about where they were placed, how long they had been there, who found them etc. Write your notes into a two-column chart labelled SIMILARITIES and DIFFERENCES.

Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Humanities and Social Sciences – Geography, Critical and Creative thinking

2. Extension
This bizarre story is bound to be on the evening TV news. Write a news bulletin for the host of the evening news to read out to introduce this story. Try to highlight the strangeness of this situation. Use lots of interesting vocabulary to engage the viewers and create intrigue and curiosity about how and why they appeared.

You can also include an interview with someone connected to the story. They may even like to give their ‘opinion’ on the mystery of these structures.

Practice reading out your ‘news bulletin’ using expression to help emphasise the bizarre situation.

Time: allow 40 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, The Arts – Drama,  Critical and Creative thinking

Aside from this, there is also this!
Brackets are a great literacy tool for adding aside comments, or comments that could be covered over and the sentence still makes sense. What’s inside the brackets is extra information.

They can be used for a variety of effects: to add more detail, to add humour, to connect with the reader etc.

My little brother, (the funniest kid I know) got himself into big trouble today.

Select 3 sentences from the article to add an aside comment to using brackets. Think about not only what you want to add to the sentence, but also what effect you are trying to create.

HAVE YOUR SAY: Who do you think installed the metal things?
No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking. No comments will be published until approved by editors.

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