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Explosion destroys mystery monument in Georgia, authorities say


An explosive device detonated by “unknowns” early Wednesday destroyed a granite monument in Georgia that was built under mysterious circumstances more than four decades ago and promoted by state officials as ” America’s Stonehenge,” authorities said.

The monument, known as the Georgia Guidestones, which was built about nine miles north of Elberton, Georgia, had four granite slabs connected to a central pillar, with a capstone at the top.

But around 4 a.m. Wednesday, an explosive device was detonated, destroying “much of the structure,” the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in a statement. He is investigating the explosion with the Elbert County Sheriff’s Office.

On Wednesday evening, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation released surveillance video that captured the explosion, which hurled pieces of the monument outward and scattered dust into the air. Shortly after, a car can be seen in the footage leaving the scene, according to the agency.

He said that “for safety reasons” the remaining pillars had been “completely demolished”.

For more than four decades the Guidestones have dominated an area, fascinating and confusing many visitors. It is unclear why the 19ft granite slabs were there, or what they meant, and only one man claimed to know the identity of the benefactor who paid for them.

The man, Wyatt Martin, claimed another man named RC Christian paid for the granite slabs in 1979, after visiting the town in East Georgia.

“I swore an oath to this man, and I can’t break it,” Mr. Martin, who helped broker the arrangement of the monument, told The New York Times in 2013. He added: “Nobody will never know.”

The granite slabs, the department says on its website, display “a 10-part message espousing the conservation of humanity and future generations in 12 languages.” It also serves as an astronomical calendar: each day at noon, the sun shines through a narrow hole in the structure, illuminating the day’s date.

Despite the mysterious aura of the Guidestones, some local residents said they had little interest in them. Some conspiracy theorists have claimed the Edicts of the Stones – which include a call to ‘unite humanity with a living new language’ and a recommendation to keep the planet’s population below 500 million – represent an elite plot to depopulate the globe.

“They built this monument calling for the forced depopulation of the planet,” Alex Jones, the far-right broadcaster and conspiracy theorist, said in a video in 2020.

In a post on TwitterKandiss Taylor, Republican candidate for governor of Georgia, appeared to welcome the partial destruction of the monument, which she described as the “satanic guiding stones.”

Mart Clamp, a local businessman who helped his father carve the Guidestones when they were first erected, said he was “heartbroken” by the damage from the blast.

“People were always making up some kind of crazy story about them,” he said of those who pushed conspiracy theories to the slabs.

“It’s unfortunate that we live in a society that thinks it’s okay to tear things down that you don’t agree with,” Mr Clamp added. “I’m at a loss for words right now.”

He said many local businesses in the area, including his own, which engraves the stone, had volunteered their time and resources to restore the structure.

“If we are allowed to,” Mr Clamp added, “we will rebuild them.”

Eduardo Medina contributed report.



nytimes

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