Scrap dealers are feared to have stolen a metal monolith which recently appeared in Romania and sparked wild alien claims.
The mysterious 13-foot high metal object, which was covered in rings, was discovered on a hillside in the city of Piatra Neamt on November 26.
It resembled the monolith which emerged in the Utah desert in the US, sparking speculation they were linked and were the work of aliens.
And just like the Utah object, it has now vanished just days after being found.
The monument, which faced the holy peak of Mount Ceahlau, is feared to have been stolen by scrap metal merchants, according to the Sun.
Police sources said a glow – which could have been metal cutting gear – was seen on the hill.
One said: “The lights seen were probably a welding machine and it is probably already at a scrapyard where metals are recovered.”
Locals reportedly sized up how much it was worth kilogram by kilogram shortly after it appeared.
Monolith 'identical to Utah desert structure' appears on the other side of the world
The monolith sparked excitement among science fiction fans worldwide.
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 the Ziar Piatra Neamt newspaper, said: “An unidentified person, apparently a bad local welder, made it.”
He said all that now remains “is just a small hole covered by rocky soil”.
The sheet metal structure had a badly-welded join, he added.
Georgiana Mosu, from Piatra Neamt police, said the force was investigating the illegally-installed structure, which was positioned in a protected archaeological area.
The Utah monolith was first spotted on November 18 and went missing on November 27.
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