Mysterious monolith materializes in Seattle's Magnuson Park on January 1, 2001.

  • By Walt Crowley
  • Posted 1/02/2001
  • Essay 2923
See Additional Media

On the morning of January 1, 2001, Magnuson Park visitors discover a metalic monolith atop Kite Hill. The oblong object measures approximately three feet wide by nine feet tall and appears to be hollow. There is no indication of the identity of its creators or their planet of origin.

The Park

Magnuson Park is located on the grounds of the former Sand Point Naval Air Station in northeast Seattle. The millennial monolith bore a striking resemblance to an alien artifact depicted in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, witnesses said.

Once news of the monolith reached the airwaves, it attracted droves of visitors. Many came to the park to delicately touch the structure, possibly in the hopes of raising their consciousness, and of obtaining a higher plane of thought.

Although no one of this earth obtained permits to install the monolith, park officials' only concern was that of the safety risk. They pushed against the structure, but it would not give. They decided to let it stand, pending further investigation.

A Migratory Monolith?

It didn't stand for long. Sometime during the wee hours of January 3, the monolith disappeared as mysteriously as it had arrived. All that remained was a hole containing a concrete platform, used to anchor the obelisk. In place of the monolith lay a single red rose, its stem snapped in two.

The "2001 Space Oddity" (as the Seattle P-I dubbed it) was discovered on Green Lake's Duck Island the next morning. At the same time, artist and Blue Moon Tavern regular Caleb Schaber revealed that he and a band of anonymous collaborators calling themselves "Some People" had fabricated the device and several smaller versions placed around Seattle.

Schaber also said that his group had nothing to do with the monolith hijack. Magnuson Park manager C. David Hughbanks  (1926-2023) arranged for the "art work" to return to Sand Point at least temporarily. In the latest twist, someone installed a rocket-like aviation fuel tank nose-down on the monolith's original site during the night of January 6-7, 2001. The mystery continues ...


Mark Higgins, "Anonymous Sculpture Brings One Landmark Movie to Mind," The Seattle Times, p. A-1; Ibid., January 2, 2001; Ibid., January 3, 2001; Susan Paynter, Mike Lewis, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, January 4, 5, and 6, 2001.

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
Major Support for Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You