A group of young men have filmed themselves tearing down a monolith that appeared on a mountain in California. The monolith was one of several that have appeared across the states of Utah and California.
Driving from southern California up to the town of Atascadero the group hiked up into the Santa Lucia mountain range under the cover of darkness to reach the monolith. One of the men could be heard saying that they needed less "so-called alien obelisks" and "more of the cross right here".
"Christ is king of this country," he added, before instructing the rest of the group to help him tear the structure down.
As they tore it from the ground, the group could be heard chanting "Christ is King", before replacing the structure with a wooden cross. They said that their intention was to demonstrate “how much we love Jesus Christ”.
At one point, the group also made offensive remarks about immigrants.
The act of vandalism angered local officials.
"We are upset that these young men felt the need to drive five hours to come into our community and vandalize the monolith,” Atascadero’s mayor, Heather Moreno, said in a press release. “The monolith was something unique and fun in an otherwise stressful time.”
No-one is sure exactly how the monolith — weighing in a approximately 90kg — made it up to the top of the 400-meter high peak.
Another monolith erected in Utah was later removed by a group of outdoor adventure who insisted that the increase in foot traffic around the site was damaging the local environment. "This land wasn’t physically prepared for the population shift (especially during a pandemic),” one of those involved in the removal wrote on Instagram. “People arrived by car, by bus, by van, helicopter, planes, trains, motorcycles and E-bikes and there isn’t even a parking lot."
Monoliths have been popping up in the UK, too, with one appearing on the Isle of Wight over the past few days:
"I'd love the idea of it being delivered by aliens but it's more than likely an unusual art project," one local told the Telegraph. "But can 2020 get any weirder?"