Scrap dealers are feared to have stolen a metal monolith that recently appeared in Romania and led to wild alien claims.
The mysterious 3-meter-high metal object, covered with rings, was discovered on a hill in the town of Piatra Neamt on November 26.
It resembled the monolith that surfaced in the Utah desert in the US, sparking speculation that they were linked and were the work of aliens.
And like the Utah object, it has now disappeared just days after it was found.
The monument, which overlooks the sacred peak of Mount Ceahlau, is feared to have been stolen by scrap merchants, the Sun.
Police sources said there was a glow on the hill – which may have been for metal cutting.
One of them said, “The lights seen were probably a welding machine and it’s probably already on a scrap yard where metals are being recovered.”
Locals reportedly estimated how much the kilogram per kilo was worth shortly after it appeared.
The monolith aroused excitement among science fiction fans around the world.
In Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film, 2001: A Space Odyssey, an alien monolith is a recurring symbol that appears to play a role in the development of human evolution.
But Robert Iosub, of Ziar Piatra Neamt newspaper, said, “An unidentified person, apparently a bad local welder, made it.”
He said that all that now remains is “just a little hole covered with rocky ground.”
The plate construction had a poorly welded joint, he added.
Georgiana Mosu, of the Piatra Neamt Police Department, said police were investigating the illegally installed structure, which was located in a protected archaeological area.
The Utah monolith was first spotted on Nov. 18 and went missing on Nov. 27.