SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The recent appearance (and reported disappearance and apparent vandalism) of a metal monolith in San Luis Obispo County has local artisans hammering out possibilities linked to the random sightings.
"My thinking is that this is a six-sided love letter from the universe," said Dan Patterson, Founder and President of Santa Barbara Forge.
On Wednesday, hikers trudged the two mile trek up Pine Mountain Loop at Stadium Park in Atascadero and were greeted by the shiny structure, jutting out of the earth.
The metal monument stood at the peak, at least for a day and a night.
By sunrise Thursday morning, hikers were disappointed to find the sculpture/statue/monument gone, just as quickly as it appeared.
A similar metal monolith was first spotted by helicopter less than two weeks ago in a remote area of Utah. Images went viral and speculation conjured up talk of aliens, even among local artisans.
Patterson and his crew create beautiful, heirloom-quality custom metal work in their industrial shop on E. Gutierrez Street. Gates, doors, railings, and hardware are among their specialities for the past 15 years.
Patterson speculated about the challenge of making and installing metal monoliths.
"They are so perfect from the pictures I've seen. It would be extremely difficult unless you're a really good fabricator," said the stone-faced Patterson. "You know, we're getting into the mysteries of like, say maybe Stonehenge, how they might've done that. I see this as really part and parcel of that kind of oddity that the earth throws at us that we just don't have an explanation for."
You can send a unique metal "love letter" of your own during the holidays; Santa Barbara Forge has gorgeous, hand-forged frying pans on sale. They're not six-sided but certainly large enough to cook up a hearty meal for a hungry hiker searching deserts and peaks for the next monolith.
Click the following link for more information about Santa Barbara Forge: https://sbforge.com