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Photos of four unidentified men show them removing the mysterious 10-foot monolith that appeared in Utah.

Nature photographer Ross Bernards was on site when he saw four men removing the monolith.

The article goes on to state the following:

Bernards’ friend, Mike Newlands, was also present when they witnessed the men taking the construction away. He says he spoke to one of the men who reached out to him asking for the photos, reports USA Today, and he asked why they removed the now world-famous structure.

An Instagram post by Bernards reads as follows:

If you’re interested in what exactly happened to the monolith keep reading because I was literally there. On Friday, 3 friends and myself drove the 6 hours down to the middle of nowhere in Utah and got to the “trailhead” around 7 PM after passing a sea of cars on our way in.

We passed one group as we hiked towards the mysterious monolith, while another group was there when we arrived, and they left pretty quick after we got there. For the next hour and 40 minutes we had the place to ourselves.

I had just finished taking some photos of the monolith under the moonlight and was taking a break, thinking about settings I needed to change for my last battery of drone flight when we heard some voices coming up the canyon. We were contemplating packing up our things as they walked up, so they could enjoy it for themselves like we did. At this point I looked down at my watch and it was 8:40 PM.

4 guys rounded the corner and 2 of them walked forward. They gave a couple of pushes on the monolith and one of them said “You better have got your pictures.” He then gave it a big push, and it went over, leaning to one side. He yelled back to his other friends that they didn’t need the tools. The other guy with him at the monolith then said “this is why you don’t leave trash in the desert.” Then all four of them came up and pushed it almost to the ground on one side, before they decided push it back the other when it then popped out and landed on the ground with a loud bang. They quickly broke it apart and as they were carrying to the wheelbarrow that they had brought one of them looked back at us all and said “Leave no trace.” That was at 8:48.

If you’re asking why we didn’t stop them well, they were right to take it out. We stayed the night and the next day hiked to a hill top overlooking the area where we saw at least 70 different cars (and a plane) in and out. Cars parking everywhere in the delicate desert landscape. Nobody following a path or each other. We could literally see people trying to approach it from every direction to try and reach it, permanently altering the untouched landscape. Mother Nature is an artist, it’s best to leave the art in the wild to her.


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A post shared by Ross Bernards (@rossbernards)

A video was then posted on social media, reportedly by two Utah residents, who say they were part of a group who removed the monolith. According to a USA Today report, Utah residents Andy Lewis and Sylvan Christensen posted the 23-second video, saying the group removed the monolith the night of Nov. 27.

In an Instagram post, they explained:

We removed the Utah Monolith because there are clear precedents for how we share and standardize the use of our public lands, natural wildlife, native plants, fresh water sources, and human impacts upon them. The mystery was the infatuation and we want to use this time to unite people behind the real issues here— we are losing our public lands— things like this don’t help.

Let’s be clear: The dismantling of the Utah Monolith is tragic— and if you think we’re proud— we’re not. We’re disappointed. Furthermore, we were too late. We want to make clear that we support art and artists, but legality and ethics have defined standards– especially here in the desert— and absolutely so in adventuring. The ethical failures of the artist for the 24” equilateral gouge in the sandstone from the erecting of the Utah Monolith, was not even close to the damage caused by the internet sensationalism and subsequent reaction from the world.

This land wasn’t physically prepared for the population shift (especially during a pandemic).
People arrived by car, by bus, by van, helicopter, planes, trains, motorcycles and E-bikes and there isn’t even a parking lot. There aren’t bathrooms— and yes, pooping in the desert is a misdemeanor. There was a lot of that. There are no marked trails, no trash cans, and its not a user group area. There are no designated camp sites. Each and every user on public land is supposed to be aware of the importance and relevance of this information and the laws associated with them. Because if you did, anyone going out there and filming the monolith and monetizing it without properly permitting the use of the land— would know that’s an offense too.


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A post shared by Sylvan Christensen (@sylvanslacks)

Multiple photos of the creation were posted on social media:


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A post shared by Mono Lith (@utahmonolith)

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  1. “2020: A Space Odyssey.” This is the scene where the chimps destroy the monolith and then transform into socialists.

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