Two men have received hate mail, death threats, and may face criminal consequences from prosecutors for pushing over a 170 million year old rock formation in Goblin Valley.
The old rock formation, commonly known as “hoodoo,” is one of the many natural formations that give Goblin Valley its name. Glenn Taylor, the man who pushed the rock over, and Dave Hall, the man who filmed and narrated the two’s actions, believed the rock looked dangerous. They came to this conclusion seeing a group of people surrounding the rock, and being in the direct path if the rock were to fall.
“In hindsight, the smart thing for us would have been for us to say, ‘Dave, stay here. I’ll run and get a ranger,'” Taylor said. “I mean this rock was sitting in a 3-by-1/2 inch ledge.”
Since the video of the two men unseating the boulder was posted to Facebook, both men have received hundreds of hateful messages through social media and email.
“I’ve gotten death threats from people in Germany and Spain and New Zealand. I mean, hundreds and hundreds of hateful messages,” said Hall.
The state park officials at Goblin Valley believe the video posted by the two men is unsettling, and say it’s up to them to remove the rock if they deem it too dangerous.
“Neither one of us were out there intending to do illegal activity,” Hall said. “It just made sense to us at the time – remove the danger so that we don’t have to hear about somebody dying.”
Prosecutors haven’t placed any formal charges on Taylor or Hall. Both men have apologized for destroying the natural rock formation.