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'Sketchy Andy': I Tore Down the Monolith

Slackliner Andy Lewis claims he, companions removed Utah structure to save land
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2020 7:32 AM CST
Updated Dec 2, 2020 7:47 AM CST

(Newser) – Another apparent piece of the puzzle of the vanishing Utah monolith has been solved. First, photographer Ross Bernards told the New York Times that he and his companions saw four men dismantle the shiny structure on Friday night. Now, at least two men have come forward claiming they were part of that group. Per the Salt Lake Tribune, 34-year-old Andy Lewis, a BASE jumper and slackliner who performed during the 2012 Super Bowl halftime show and goes by "Sketchy Andy," posted a 23-second clip on his YouTube page showing what he says was himself and three others (their faces are blurred) knocking down and dragging off the 10-foot-tall structure. "We REMOVED the Utah Monolith," the caption reads. "We will not be including any other information, answers, or insight at this time." Bernards says he's been in touch with the men, and that he thanked them for removing the monolith.

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"It was cool, but it was destroying the land over there," he tells the Tribune. Lewis has since diverged from his "no further insight" vow. "We are losing our public lands—things like this don't help," Lewis and Sylvan Christensen, another man who claims he helped tear down the monolith, say in a statement to Grit Daily, noting the crowds that flocked to see it were causing damage. "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." They add that they're not proud of what they had to do, "we're disappointed. Furthermore, we were too late." KSL notes Lewis himself was criticized a few years back by locals for a stunt in which he draped Christmas lights and ornaments over sandstone towers in Moab. (Read more strange stuff stories.)

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