- A group of young men livestreamed themselves tearing down the mysterious metal monolith that appeared in California. They put a wooden cross there instead.
- Video footage shows the men topple the statue while shouting “Christ is king.” It is not clear who they are.
- Vice News reported that they later moved the monolith away from the site and put the cross there.
- Police are investigating. The city’s mayor told Vice: “We are upset that these young men felt the need to drive 5 hours to come into our community and vandalise the Monolith.”
- The monolith was the third one to appear then be removed. Two others that appeared in Utah and Romania have also been removed.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
A group of young men filmed themselves tearing down the mysterious metal monolith in a California town and replacing it with a wooden cross.
It was noticed after similar structures had appeared and then disappeared in Utah and Romania.
According to Vice News, the men livestreamed the video onto blockchain streaming site DLive under the name CultureWarCrimnal.
A clip showing them pull down the monolith was reposted in this tweet:
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It is not clear who the men are. The mayor of Atascadero told Vice that they were from out of town and had driven five hours to knock down the monolith.
One was wearing a headband with President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan, Vice said. The footage Insider saw was too unclear to make out what it said.
In it, one man says: “Christ is king in this country. We don’t want illegal aliens from Mexico or outer space. So let’s tear this b—- down.”
They chant “Christ is king” as they rock the monolith back and forth to unfix it from the ground.
According to Vice, the rest of the livestream shows that the men stood a wooden cross in the same spot after removing the monolith. They carry the monolith some way before dropping it when another group approached them, Vice said.
Atascadero Police Department and the city government are both investigating the incident, Vice reported.
Vice also reported that the men said they drove for over five hours to reach the monolith, and that footage from the car journey shows them singing military songs, making racist remarks, and talking about burning crosses and white power.
Heather Moreno, the mayor of Atascadero, said to Vice: “We are upset that these young men felt the need to drive 5 hours to come into our community and vandalise the Monolith. The Monolith was something unique and fun in an otherwise stressful time.”
The monolith, discovered on top of Pine Mountain in Atascadero, is around 10 feet tall and appears to be made of stainless steel,local news outlet Atascadero News reported.
The San Francisco Chronicle spoke to some people that were disappointed by its removal.
Matt Cadaret, a man who hiked to the site to see it without realising that it had been removed, told the newspaper: “It’s too bad it’s gone. People were real excited about it. Anything that gets people excited is a good thing.”
The origins of all three of the monoliths is unclear.
As Insider’s Aylin Woodward previously reported, the monolith in Utah â€” which was the first one found â€” was discovered by state officials on November 18, but Google Earth maps indicate the structure was erected sometime between August 2015 and October 2016.