Jerry Spangler, Colorado Plateau Archaeological Alliance
Vandalism of rock art in Nine Mile Canyon occurred May 25 and has prompted a federal criminal investigation. The defacing involves the “Pregnant Buffalo” site visited by thousands of people every year. It can be seen quite clearly on the right in this image.

'Pregnant Buffalo’ Rock Art at Nine Mile Canyon Defaced


How did you spend your Memorial Day weekend? Someone spent theirs defacing rock art dubbed “Pregnant Buffalo” at Nine Mile Canyon in Utah.

The suspect carved the initials “JMN” and the date “5/25/14” into the dark patina next to the buffalo carving that is more than 1,000 years old. Worse still, the vandalism happened just minutes after archaeologist Jerry D. Spangler inspected the site for vandalism and saw none, reported Deseret News.

“Each act of vandalism is a selfish disregard of the aesthetic, spiritual and scientific values that constitute our collective past,” Spangler, executive director of the Colorado Plateau Archaeological Alliance, told Deseret News. “These sites are non-renewable resources, and the damage done can never be completely repaired.”

A close-up image of the vandalism that occurred in Nine Mile Canyon on May 25, 2014. (Jerry Spangler, Colorado Plateau Archaeological Alliance)

Spangler also said the damage happened at about 12:20 p.m. on May 25. About 20 minutes after that two local property owners visited the site and saw two people scurrying away.

According to The Salt Lake Tribune, federal officials from the Bureau of Land Management are in contact with two suspects but would not provide any more details.

The canyon where the damage occurred is actually 40 miles long, and has been dubbed the world’s longest art gallery. Some 10,000 images are believed to date between 900 and 1250 A.D. in the canyon.


You need to be logged in in order to post comments
Please use the log in option at the bottom of this page



Two Bears Growling's picture
Two Bears Growling
Submitted by Two Bears Growling on
How would these foolish ones like for we Native folks to come into their religious buildings & tag them? Exactly! They wouldn't like it one bit! This is no different to we Native people now is it! We have OUR sacred places & they have theirs.........

choctawgirl's picture
Submitted by choctawgirl on
The people that do these things are just being self destructive. They don't think and they don't realize all things are sacred. I can't stand driving by graffiti on rocks where I live in the mountains. People are sick. They feel entitled to put their name on everything and carve their names everywhere and "I love so and so" in trees. It makes me sick. It's egotistical and stupid. These people need to be caught and punished. More people need to be punished for doing things like this since everyone has to be baby sat.

Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
The only solace I have in hearing this story is that the perpetrators are likely going to be caught. The idiot left his initials AND the date he was there! I'm so tired of ignorant people. They have little to no respect for anything. They see these archeological petroglyphs on equal par with their destructive graffiti. I hope they're caught soon and punished severely.

Catfish101's picture
Submitted by Catfish101 on
Its ancient American art. Automatically the perps are white because the sacred rock belongs to indians? I respect art of all kinds, especially ancient art that has a message behind it. Senseless behavior like this deserves punishment of course. We are all equal, stop assuming white people are out to hurt your native pride. All ethnics of life have examples of ignorance.