Adventure guide Sylvan Christensen has tried to justify why he and a group of others removed the mysterious metal monolith in the Utah desert
The adventure tour guide, who admitted removing a 12-foot monolith from the Utah desert, said he did it because the remote location was overrun by tourists.
Sylvan Christensen, who identified himself as one of the culprits for the removal of the metal sculpture on social media posts on Tuesday, said he was concerned the sudden interest would lead to so many people riding, biking and even flying the Location – with some even "throwing up in the desert".
Christensen previously uploaded a video to TikTok showing him and three other men pushing over the 12-foot pillar and then strapping them to a wheelbarrow.
"Do not abandon your personal property on public property if you do not want it to be taken out," he wrote in the headline.
The shiny pillar was first spotted on November 18 by officials at the Utah Department of Public Security, who examined bighorn sheep using a helicopter.
In a statement to DailyMail.com, Christensen said the desert was not ready for the rush of visitors who gathered to see the unusual attraction. It is still a mystery who built the monolith.
“We removed the Utah Monolith because there are clear precedents for how we will share and standardize the use of our public spaces, natural wildlife, native plants, freshwater sources and human influences on them.
"The puzzle was being in love, and we want to use this time to unite the people behind the real problems here – we're losing our public land – things like that don't help."
The mysterious triangular metal monolith that appeared in the remote Utah desert on November 18 and attracted the nation's attention disappeared on Friday
The three-sided structure was removed on Friday evening (picture), with pictures of the perpetrators taken by photographer Ross Bernards
The video posted by Sylvan Christensen on TikTok and Instagram showed the group rolling away the monolith
Three of the four culprits responsible for the fall and removal of the mysterious Utah monolith from Friday night
Christensen went on to note that the group didn't take pride in tearing down the metal block, but that the desert purists felt that the attention they received both in person and online was causing damage.
"Let's be clear: the dismantling of the Utah Monolith is tragic – and if you think we're proud, we aren't. We are disappointed. Besides, we were late. & # 39;
"This country was not physically prepared for the population shift (especially during a pandemic)."
The thrill seeker said he believes the "land is not physically prepared" for the swaths of curious tourists who have gathered to take pictures of the metal structure since it was discovered last week.
“People came by car, bus, van, helicopter, airplanes, trains, motorcycles and e-bikes, and there isn't even a parking space. There are no bathrooms – and yes, pooping in the desert is an offense. There was a lot of that. There are no marked paths, no trash cans and it is not a user group area.
& # 39; There are no designated campsites. Any user on public land should be aware of the importance and relevance of this information and related laws. Because if you did that, anyone who went out there filming and monetizing the monolith without properly allowing the use of the land would know that this is also a criminal offense, ”Christensen said.
The men reportedly worked 10 to 15 minutes to remove the obelisk before dismantling it and carting it away in a wheelbarrow
One of the perpetrators identified himself in a social post on Monday as Sylvan Christensen, who uploaded videos to Instagram and TikTok showing the group uprooting the obelisk, and wrote, "If you don't give up your personal property on public land, don't give up your personal property want to be taken out & # 39;
Sylvan Christensen: Full explanation on DailyMail.com
We removed the Utah monolith because there are clear precedents for how we share and standardize the use of our public land, natural wildlife, native plants, freshwater sources, and human influences on them. The riddle was being in love, and we want to use this time to unite the people behind the real problems here – we're losing our public land – things like that don't help.
Let's be clear: the dismantling of the Utah Monolith is tragic – and if you think we're proud, we are not. We are disappointed. Besides, we were late. We want to make it clear that we support art and artists, but legality and ethics have defined standards – especially here in the desert – and absolutely also in adventure. The artist's ethical failure for the 24-foot equilateral furrow in the sandstone from the establishment of the Utah Monolith was nowhere near as great as the damage caused by internet sensationalism and the world's subsequent reaction.
This country was not physically prepared for the population shift (especially during a pandemic).
People arrived by car, bus, van, helicopter, airplanes, trains, motorcycles and e-bikes and there isn't even a parking space. There are no bathrooms – and yes, pooping in the desert is an offense. There was a lot of that. There are no marked paths, no trash cans and it is not a user group area. There are no designated campsites. Any user on public land should be aware of the importance and relevance of this information and related laws. Because if you did that, anyone who went out there filming and monetizing the monolith without properly allowing the use of the land would know that this is also a criminal offense.
BLM (Bureau of Land Management) currently has a tremendous job managing millions of acres of land and the millions of users who use it. BLM already encounters so many active communities where we create and develop standards that are usually learned from mistakes. Executives and business owners help determine user group areas that enable specific uses of public land in specific locations. Some of them are permanent like bike lanes or jeep tracks, others are semi-permanent like bolts and hangers. Some user group areas restrict usage, such as the Corona Arch Hiking user group area, which does not allow rope activities but allows hiking.
We encourage artists to create, administer land management and the community to take responsibility for their actions and property. What we need now is a massive movement towards education about the use and management of our land – no diversion from it.
He then argued that such projects should be handled through the right channels, namely the Bureau of Land Management, an agency of the US Department of the Interior responsible for the administration of states.
The Bureau of Land Management looks after around 247.3 million acres.
& # 39; We encourage artists to create, administer land management and the community to take responsibility for their actions and property. What we need now is a massive movement towards education about the use and management of our land – no distraction from it, ”he wrote.
Christensen continued to step in on social media, boasting of his exploits: "Don't give up your personal property on public property if you don't want it to be taken out."
In a video posted on his personal page on Tuesday, Christensen and three others are seen strapping the structure to a wheelbarrow and removing it from the canyon.
"The sure word was gone," jokes one of the men in the video as the group carts away the monolith.
The short clip, which has been viewed over 100,000 times on TikTok, was titled, "Don't give up your personal property on public property if you don't want it to be taken out #utahmonolith #leavenotrace," accompanied by a shrug emoji .
The video, which has been viewed nearly 50,000 times on TikTok, shows the Christensen and three others attaching the structure to a wheelbarrow and removing it from the canyon
Posts on Christensen's social media pages identify him as a Canyon Adventure Tour Guide for Moab Adventure Tours as well as an avid slackliner and base jumper. It is unclear who else is involved in the demolition.
Photographer Ross Bernards took to social media on Monday announcing he was there when Christensen and his group moved in to remove the structure under cover of darkness.
According to Bernards, Christensen and his group appeared out of nowhere shortly after 8:40 p.m. and told him, "You better have your pictures," before proceeding to move the structure around.
Bernards described how the men worked between 10 and 15 minutes, repeatedly pushing the structure hard until it sloped toward the ground. The men then pushed the obelisk in the opposite direction to uproot it, he said.
While conducting the Vigilante demolition operation, one of the men allegedly remarked, "This is why you don't leave trash in the desert," wrote Bernards on Instagram, suggesting that the group consider the monolith a pollutant for the landscape.
"The sure word was gone," jokes one of the men in the video as the group carts away the monolith.
The column finally gave way under the force of the group and jumped out of the ground and landed with a loud crack on the desert floor.
Then the men quickly broke the structure apart before carting it away in a wheelbarrow.
"As they carried to the wheelbarrow they had brought, they all looked at us and said, 'Don't leave a trace,'" wrote Bernards.
"We didn't know who they were and we didn't want to do anything to stop them," he later told the New York Times. "They just got in there to execute and they said," This is our mission. "
On his social media post, Bernards stated that he believed the men were right to dismantle the monolith.
“We stayed the night and hiked to a hill overlooking the area the next day, where we saw at least 70 different cars (and one plane) getting on and off. Cars are parked everywhere in the tender desert landscape. Nobody follows a path or one another, ”he wrote.
“We could literally see people trying to approach it from all directions to get to it and permanently changing the pristine landscape. Mother nature is an artist, it is best to leave the art in the wild to her. & # 39;
Utah's Bureau of Land Management shared photos of tire tracks in the area of the monolith east of Canyonlands National Park on Sunday to demonstrate the influx of visitors this seldom-visited area has received due to the mysterious pillar
It is unclear what charges Christensen and his staff could face if they remove the statue
A Reddit user shared a photo of the empty room where the monolith once stood after also leaving to visit the pillar late Friday night and found that it had disappeared in the early hours of Saturday morning
Bernards did not photograph the men who had removed the sculpture and feared a confrontation with them as he feared they might be armed.
However, his friend James Newlands (38), who accompanied him on the trip, cleverly took a few quick photos of them on his cell phone.
The blurry images show the group of men working in the dark with torches on their foreheads and wearing gloves but no face masks.
The exposed insides of the monolith are also visible. This appears to be a hollow structure with a plywood anchor.
"They took it away for a couple of reasons," Newlands told USA TODAY. "It's rubbish – public land is to be respected and this was out of place in a pristine and sensitive environment."
Newlands added that the monolith was in a remote area of the desert that was only accessible via a 4×4 dirt road with no designated parking area.
He said it had become a major attraction and "with the amount of people unfamiliar with desert landscapes, the damage to the land from all vehicles and people would be catastrophic."
Adventurers Riccardo Marino and Sierra Van Meter also set out to visit the memorial on Friday, but arrived after 11:30 p.m. to find the place eerily deserted.
"All that was left in his place was a message that was written in the dirt and said" Bye b **** "with a fresh piss stain right next to it," Marino said on Instagram on Saturday.
It is unclear whether the message was left by the same men who were watched by Christensen's group. Bernards did not mention the observation of such behavior.
Adventurers Riccardo Marino and Sierra Van Meter set out at 11:30 p.m. Friday to visit the memorial, which is east of Canyonlands National Park. However, the red rocks were empty. "All that was left in its place was a message written in the dirt saying 'Bye b ****' with a fresh piss stain right next to it," said Marino
This is the puddle of urine that was found on the site of the monument
It is unclear what charges Christensen and his staff could face if they remove the statue.
San Juan County Sheriff Jason Torgerson confirmed to DailyMail.com that the department is investigating the incident with the the Bureau of Land Management.
"There are indications from social media posts," said the Torgerson. "They're all being examined and that's where we are now."
Commenting on possible charges against Christensen, Torgerson said, “We did not report a victim and said (the monolith) was my property.
“If the owner comes and says it's mine, then (Christensen and his group) look at stolen property, or if a victim and you are still in possession (of the monolith), then that is possession of stolen property.
"But we have no victim right now, so there is no charge," Torgerson continued.
There are also puzzles as to who installed the monolith in the first place, and hundreds of theories are shared online.
Among the artists, a number initially suspected that the monolith was likely associated with the late John McCracken, a California-born artist who died in 2011 and was known for his freestanding sculptures in the form of pyramids, cubes, and slender plates.
David Zwirner, who represents McCracken's estate and initially identified it as one of the artist's authentic works, later told the Times that he had studied images of it and no longer had a clue who created it.
Some observers also pointed to the object's resemblance to the avant-garde work of John McCracken (left), an American artist who lived in nearby New Mexico for some time and died in 2011. He was known for his free-standing sculptures in the form of pyramids, cubes or smooth plates (right)
Officials suspect it might have been built by an artist or big fan of 2001: Space Odyssey – the structure is similar to the machines in Arthur C. Clarke's story (pictured)
Utah: Officials have refused to reveal the location of the metal lobe for fear that curious seers would flock to the remote wilderness, but Internet experts have managed to pinpoint its location anyway. Google Earth imagery shows it's been there since 2016 or 2015
Many noted the object's resemblance to the strange alien monoliths that spark leaps in human progress in Kubrick's classic science fiction film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
While the origins of the metal lobelisk remain unclear, Google Earth images show the structure has been around since at least 2015 or 2016.
Lieutenant Nick Street, a spokesman for the Department of Public Security, said it was possible the structure had been there for 40, 50 years, maybe even longer.
“It's the kind of material that doesn't deteriorate with the elements. It can only be a few years old, who knows. There's no real way based on the material it's made of, how long it's actually there, ”he said on Tuesday.
A similar version of Utah's monolith appeared in Seattle on New Years Day nearly 20 years ago.
Just like the Utah sighting, there was no initial evidence of the creators or the origin of the structure.
Park officials said at the time that no one was given permission to install the structure and if they pushed against it it wouldn't give up.
Then, on January 3rd, it disappeared without a trace, leaving a concrete platform on which it was anchored.
In its place was a single red rose, the stem of which had broken in two according to KIRO7.
It was then discovered the next morning on Green Lake & # 39; s Duck Island.
Artist Caleb Schaber then volunteered to be the monolith's spokesman and said he and a group of anonymous staff who called themselves "Some People" had made the object and several smaller versions that were placed around Seattle.
But he said his group had nothing to do with the disappearance of the monolith.
A view of the mysterious monolith in Magnuson Park in Seattle, pictured on January 2, 2001
A similar triangular monolith was also discovered in Romania (above) near an ancient site last Thursday
Similar to Utah, another mysterious monolith appeared in Romania last week.
The shiny triangular pillar was found on Batca Doamnei Hill in the city of Piatra Neamt in northern Romania last Thursday.
It was discovered just meters from the well-known archaeological landmark of the Petrodava Dacian Fortress, a fortress built between 82 BC BC and AD 106. Was built by the ancient Dacian people.
The structure later turned out to be less of a mystery, however, as a local metalworker installed the 9-foot-tall structure as a prank, according to local reports.
By Tuesday, the structure had also mysteriously disappeared overnight.
"The 2.8 meter high building disappeared overnight as quietly as last week," said journalist Robert Iosub of the local newspaper Ziar Piatra Neamt, who had seen the building, told Reuters.
"An unidentified person, apparently a poor local welder, did it … now there is only a small hole covered in rocky soil," local reporters found out, he said.
The sheet metal structure has a poorly welded joint, he added.
Romanian officials have not yet identified the culprit responsible for designing the monolith.
Rocsana Josanu, Culture and Heritage Officer at Neamt, said, “We have started investigating the strange appearance of the monolith.
“It's privately owned, but we still don't know who owns the monolith. It is located in a protected area at an archaeological site. & # 39;
She added, "Before they could install anything there, they needed our institution's permission, which then has to be approved by the Ministry of Culture."
A police spokeswoman for Piatra Neamt Police, Georgiana Mosu, said the officers are conducting an investigation into the illegally installed structure.
Aliens or avant-garde art installation? Theories surrounding the mystery of the Utah desert monolith
Social media users quickly noticed the object's resemblance to the strange alien monoliths in Stanley Kubrick's classic science fiction film "2001: A Space Odyssey".
In the film, the monolith was a tool created by an alien race that sparked huge leaps in human progress.
SECRET INSTALLATION OF THE LATE ARTIST
The structure has also drawn comparisons to the work of minimalist artist John McCracken.
McCracken, who died in 2011, was known for his free-standing sculptures in the form of pyramids, cubes or slender plates.
The monolith closely resembles McCracken's works and leaves some to speculate that this could be one of his own works of art.
In addition, McCracken lived and worked in nearby New Mexico and California.
A spokeswoman for his representative, David Zwirner, said it was not a McCracken work.
Zwirner later issued another statement suggesting that the piece was indeed McCracken's.
"The gallery is divided in this regard," said Zwirner. "I think this is definitely from John."
NEW WAVE ARTIST OR SCI-FI FAN
Many have speculated that the structure might just be the work of a new wave artist or science fiction fan.
Pilot Bret Hutchings, who discovered the monolith, suggested it be placed by a big fan of 2001: A Space Odyssey.
A representative from David Zwirner said it may be a fellow artist who paid homage to McCracken.
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