Merit Badge for Stupid: Boy Scout Leaders Topple Ancient Rock Formation
“Wiggle it, just a little bit,” the man operating the camera, Dave Hall, says to goad his friend as he pushes on a rock formation called a goblin in Goblin Valley State Park in Salt Lake City, Utah.
After the rock falls the three men in the video laugh, cheer and high five. Likely not knowing that the rock they just toppled had been there since the Jurassic Period, according to geologists who spoke to The Salt Lake Tribune.
In the video, the men think they are protecting children from what looks like a precarious rock: “Some little kid was about ready to walk down here and die and Glenn saved his life by getting the boulder out of the way,” the cameraman is heard saying. “So it’s all about saving lives here at Goblin Valley.”
But park officials aren’t at all amused by the destruction.
“It is not only wrong, but there will be consequences,” State Parks spokesman Eugene Swalberg told The Salt Lake Tribune.
“This is highly, highly inappropriate,” he said. “This is not what you do at state parks. It’s disturbing and upsetting.”
The other men in the video are Glenn Taylor, who pushed the rock over, and Dylan Taylor, who jumped up and down excitedly once Glenn knocked it over.
The men told Fox 13 News that the video doesn't tell the whole story. The three insisted that the rock was extremely loose and was going to fall any minute. “We decided the best and smartest thing is, push it over so it can’t fall on top of somebody,” Hall told FOX 13 News.
The Emery County Attorney learned of the video October 16 and is investigating. Glenn Taylor did say he regrets how he handled the situation. “I wish we would have been smart enough to go get a ranger cause it was wrong of us to be vigilantes, and I’m sorry I did that,” he told FOX 13 News.