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Images emerge of group removing mysterious Utah monolith

Images emerge of group removing mysterious Utah monolith
© Utah Department of Public Safety

Photos of four unidentified men show them removing the mysterious 10-foot monolith that appeared in Utah.

Nature photographer Ross Bernards was on site when he saw four men removing the monolith.

Bernards' friend, Mike Newlands, was also present when they witnessed the men taking the construction away. He says he spoke to one of the men who reached out to him asking for the photos, reports USA Today, and he asked why they removed the now world-famous structure.

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"They took it away for a few reasons," said Newlands. "It’s litter – public lands are to be respected, and this was out of place, in a pristine and sensitive environment."

The men also reportedly removed it due to concerns about safety and the remote landscape where the monolith was located.

"With the amount of people who are not familiar with desert landscapes, the damage to the land from all the vehicles and people was going to be disastrous," said Newlands.

According to Bernards, he, Newland and two other friends ventured out to take photos of the monolith when they began to hear voices approaching them. Bernards says he and his friends considered leaving when a member of the approaching party pushed the monolith, causing it to tip over somewhat.

“You better have got your pictures," the man said, according to an Instagram post by Bernards.

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Another member of the party apparently said, “This is why you don't leave trash in the desert."

Newman described what the men did after all four successfully pushed the structure over.

"They quickly broke it apart and as they were carrying to the wheelbarrow that they had brought one of them looked back at us all and said 'Leave no trace,’” wrote Bernards.

At this point, Bernards and Newlands’ group assisted in clearing away the debris and remnants.

"It needed to come down. They were nice enough, but I have a feeling that when they saw us there, it just confirmed for them why they were out there in the first place,” Bernards said.

Utah's Office of Tourism appeared to agree in a statement issued to USA Today.

“While we recognize the world-wide interest the ‘monolith’ has generated, it can’t compete with the art of Mother Nature … It’s better suited to a museum or other public space where we mere mortals display our talents,” the statement read.