Utah agencies are investigating whether or not videos that have surfaced on the internet showing multiple rock formations being destroyed are real.
A video titled “Utah arch destroyed” was uploaded to LiveLeak by user desdu23419 (6.20) late last week shows a natural arch being demolished by explosives.
Yesterday, the same user added another video to LiveLeak with the title “Ecoterrorism: Utah Hoodoos Being Destroyed” and shows Hoodoos being demolished with explosives as well.
Many people have been speculating about the authenticity of the videos. There are some videos already online which go through the videos pointing possible inconsistencies that may show the acts were fake.
There have also been many comments regarding their shock and disbelief that anyone would intentionally destroy these natural formations.
The Salt Lake Tribune spoke with a hiker who believes he knows the location of the background shown in the videos, and images of the area do not show the formations shown in the videos.
The Tribune also spoke with several video and animation experts who stated their skepticism about the authenticity of the explosions. You can read those interviews here.
At this point, the specific locations and the validity of the videos are unknown, but officials are investigating.
Yesterday, the Utah Department of Natural Resources and Division of Parks and Recreation released the following statement on the videos to several media outlets:
"The Utah Department of Natural Resources and Division of Parks and Recreation learned of these videos today.
We are currently working to determine the authenticity of both and reaching out to other state and federal agencies to identify the exact locations.
The destruction of natural rock formations on public land is a crime and will be prosecuted. Formations like hoodoos and arches take tens of thousands of years to form and can be destroyed in seconds when people act carelessly and irresponsibly. Please protect Utah’s public lands. Report abusive behavior like vandalism and enjoy the outdoor responsibly."
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