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State agency says videos showing destruction of Utah arch, hoodoos appear to be fake

Posted at 2:35 PM, Dec 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-12 16:43:38-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah Department of Natural Resources said Wednesday they have consulted experts, who believe videos purporting to show the destruction of rock formations in Utah are fake.

The agency began investigating this week after a pair of videos surfaced online. One shows the destruction of a rock arch and the other shows the destruction of two hoodoos, which are rock formations.

The DNR states they consulted a forensics lab that works with law enforcement agencies, and they have also worked with outdoors experts to verify the authenticity of the footage.

"It is the opinion of the lab that the videos are more than likely computer generated, and therefore, fake," a press release states. "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."

Fox 13 News also consulted an expert on video effects prior to the release from the DNR, see the video above for that interview.

While the videos in question are likely fake, the Utah DNR reminds citizens that many of the state's natural resources are damaged by lack of care or intentional vandalism, and they encourage those who recreate outdoors to be respectful and careful.

"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," the release states. "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."