UPDATE: Videos appear to show 'Utah arch' and 'Utah hoodoos' being destroyed
(UPDATE: 12/12/2018 3:17 p.m.) -- A new statement from the Utah Department of Natural Resources says the videos are "more than likely fake."
You can read the entire statement below:
"The two videos from Monday depicting the destruction of an arch and hoodoos allegedly somewhere in Utah have been reviewed by the Intermountain West Regional Computer Forensics Lab in Salt Lake City, an agency that assists law enforcement throughout the Intermountain West.
It is the opinion of the lab that the videos are more than likely computer generated, and therefore, fake. Employees from the Utah Department of Natural Resources, including geologists from the Utah Geological Survey and law enforcement from the Division of Parks and Recreation have also reviewed both videos and are unable to identify the locations of these two alleged explosions. Additionally, we have received no investigative leads or information from the public.
While the experts believe these videos are fake, the fact still remains that many of Utah’s natural resources are damaged from careless and irresponsible act of vandalism and destruction. These acts include spray painting over rock art, carving into sandstone and outright destroying natural rock formation. In these cases, those involved are demonstrating poor judgement and disrespect.
Formations like hoodoos and arches take tens of thousands of years to form and can be destroyed in seconds through the careless acts of some. We hope those visiting our beautiful public lands appreciate and enjoy the natural scenery Utah has to offer and realize their responsibility as stewards to protect it. We encourage anyone that witnesses acts of vandalism on public land to report it to the appropriate land managing agency immediately. Enjoy it. Don’t destroy it."
UPDATE (4:46 p.m.) -- 2News received a statement from the Utah Department of Natural Resources and Division of Parks and Recreation:
"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."
The poster of the video, "desdu23419," does not give any details about the location of the arch, when the video was taken, or why the arch was destroyed.
It's also unclear who shot the video or who destroyed the natural formation.
Another video posted to YouTube of hoodoos being destroyed was posted yesterday. The video by World Wide Leaks says the video was taken in Utah.
Many people commenting online have speculated that the videos may be fake.
2News has calls into the parks officials to determine if the videos are a hoax. We're waiting on a response.
There are more than 2,000 natural arches in Utah.
2News is following this story and will provide updates as they become available.