A 34-year-old daredevil known as “Sketchy Andy” claims to have been part of a crew that toppled and carted away the mysterious 10-foot stainless steel sculpture that appeared in a Utah slot canyon back in 2016 but only came to public attention last month. On Tuesday, BASE jumping guide Andy Lewis posted a 23-second clip to YouTube that appeared to show part of the removal operation. The caption read, “On the night of November 27, 2020, at about 8:30pm—our team removed the Utah Monolith. We will not be including any other information, answers, or insight at this time.”
The monolith was installed in a remote section of Utah desert four years ago, by an unidentified artist who drilled into the bedrock to secure it. In November, a group of biologists flying over the area while surveying bighorn sheep for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources spotted and photographed the unusual object. After the shots were posted online by the Utah Department of Public Safety, and a Reddit user geolocated the structure’s coordinates, tourists flocked to the area. The influx of sightseers caused immediate environmental damage, which reportedly prompted Lewis and his posse to take action.
Photographer Ross Bernards was taking pictures of the monolith Friday night when Lewis’ team appeared with a wheelbarrow. Bernards welcomed the monolith’s removal, he told The Salt Lake Tribune, because it was “destroying the land over there.” “I know that’s what [their motivation was],” Bernards said. “I asked them specifically, and they said that’s exactly why they did it.”