Moab ‘Mr. Slackline claims he is behind the removal of the Utah monolith


The origins of the now-famous “monolithic” sculpture are still unclear in San Juan County, but its disappearance on Friday night is less of a mystery.

Andy Lewis, BASE’s jump leader and Moab slackliner, who passes “Sketchy Andy,” posted a video of “Mr. Slackline ”YouTube account Tuesday morning, claiming he was a member of the group of four who knocked down the statue.

(Courtesy of Michael James Newlands) Michael James Newlands was on a mysterious visit to Utah
(Courtesy of Michael James Newlands) Michael James Newlands visited Utah’s mysterious “monolith” Friday night when he witnessed four people overturn the statue and take it out in a wheelbarrow. Outline Andy Lewis (Moab) says he was part of the removal effort.

Lewis, contacted by text message on Tuesday, confirmed that he had published a video containing photos taken by an observer and original video footage of the men transporting the remains of the structure out of the canyon. Blurring effects are used to hide the faces of men.

The so-called monolith, which is technically misleading because it is not made of a single block of stone, became an international media sensation last week after photos of stainless steel objects were published by the Utah Department of Public Security.

The coordinates of the 10-foot-tall structure were soon published, and within a few days hundreds of people made their way to the remote and secluded part of northern San Juan County, Lockhart Basin, where there is no bathroom, trail sign, or other equipment. According to the land management bureau, the sudden jump in the visit caused widespread damage to the landscape, including tires, litter, toilet paper and hundreds of new trails.

“They went upstairs and pushed a little with their hands,” Bernards told The Salt Lake Tribune. “Then they gave him a couple of really good thrusts that pushed him and tipped him aside.”

“I hope you got your photos,” Bernards recalls one of the men.

Michael James Newlands, a friend of Bernards who took some photos from his phone, said his group was just standing at the top of the statue. “I thought,‘ It’s solid. He’s not going anywhere. “- He told.

But when all four men began to push back, and the fourth with more force, it was clear he was failing.

(Courtesy of Michael James Newlands) Michael James Newlands was on a mysterious visit to Utah
(Courtesy of Michael James Newlands) Michael James Newlands visited Utah’s mysterious “monolith” Friday night when he witnessed four people overturn the statue and take it out in a wheelbarrow. Outline Andy Lewis (Moab) says he was part of the removal effort.

“He jumped out of the ground and landed with a very, very loud thud,” Bernards said. One of the panels descended as he landed. The men dismantled the structure and put its pieces in the wheelbarrow, leaving only the triangular steel top of the prism.

Bernards and his friends returned to the scene on Saturday and watched visitors who were unaware of its removal continue to flow into the area, including a Cessna that had landed in the salt brush.

“I think we saw 70-100 cars in and out of there,” he said. “It was a nut. And only people walk in all directions; no one was trying to find anything that resembled a clue.

Both Bernards and Newlands were delighted that the statue had disappeared, adding that the removing people had been contacted on Tuesday.

“I told them,‘ Thank you for removing it because it had to be done, ’” Bernards said, “It was cool, but it destroyed the ground over there.

Bernards added that, based on his conversations with one or more men he refused to name, he was convinced that the group was trying to protect the environment from excessive visits by removing the statue.

– I know it is [their motivation was], “he said.” I specifically asked them, and they said exactly why they did it.

A BLM official said the removal of the monolith did not violate its policy, so the disappearance of the statue would not be investigated. However, the agency is still investigating how it got there, which actually violated the law.

We will update this story.

Zak Podmore a Report to America is a member of the Corps and writes for The Salt Lake Tribune on conflicts and change in San Juan County. Your donation, which is in line with our RFA support, will help you write stories like this; please consider making any amount of tax deductible gift by clicking today here.