Shattered Like A Stone Goblin

Goblins or Hoodoos
Goblins or Hoodoos
at Goblin Valley State Park

by Gene Howington, Guest Blogger

Public parks and protected lands belong to us all as our collective natural heritage. By preserving and acting as stewards of these natural treasures, we aim to preserve them for the enjoyment their majesty and beauty brings for us and for our children’s children. One of these parks is Goblin Valley State Park in Utah. Since 1974, the unusual rock formations there known as goblins or hoodoos have enriched the lives of many thousands of visitors. These formations of sandstone, siltstone and shale are caused by differential rates of erosion and are a great example of the stark beauty of the high desert. Some of these formations are 200 million years old.

So naturally, it would be fun to push one down.

Even a young one that’s only about 20 million years old.

Seems like fun, doesn’t it?  The men are laughing, cheering and exchanging high fives after toppling the formation and in the finest “dumb fun” tradition for the men identified as Dave Hall, Dylan Taylor, and Glenn Taylor, local troop leaders of the Boy Scouts of America and youth leaders for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was such a great time, they posted the video to Facebook where several of their friends thought it was great fun too.

As it turns out, the Utah State Park Service is considerably less amused than the Taylor entourage was at the time. Noting that a criminal investigation is underway, Utah State Park Service spokesman Eugene Swalberg said, “It is not only wrong, but there will be consequences. This is highly, highly inappropriate. This is not what you do at state parks. It’s disturbing and upsetting.”

But wait!  There’s more.

The Boy Scouts of America didn’t think it was fun or appropriate either. Friday they released the following statement:

We are shocked and disappointed by this reprehensible behavior. For more than a century, the Boy Scouts of America has been a leader in conservation—from stewardship to sustainability. We teach our 2.6 million youth members and 1.1 million adult members, who collectively spend more than 5.5 million nights outdoors, the principles of “Leave No Trace.”

These principles stress a commitment to maintaining the integrity and character of the outdoors and all living things. The isolated actions of these individuals are absolutely counter to our beliefs and what we teach. We are reviewing this matter and will take appropriate action.

There has been no statement from the LDS organization.  Jesus could not be reached for comment. The smart money is on neither the Mormons nor the Nazarene being too pleased with this group either. At least Jesus is likely to forgive them. When this author contacted Sir Issac Newton via Ouija board, he said, “Gravity is not your friend and it doesn’t need your assistance, but it is the law.”

Some of the Facebook feedback wasn’t so positive either. When someone posted to Facebook that they should take the video down before their actions landed them in the pokey, Dave Hall had all the answers. He wrote. “Nobody’s going to jail. You have a 2,000 lb boulder that is teetering on a 2″[sic] dirt ledge and about ready to fall off on it’s [sic] own. 5 minutes before this video we watched a family with many small children walk right below the rock to take a family photo. We didn’t do anything until they were gone because we didn’t want anyone to get hurt. One gust of wind and that rock was falling whether someone was there or not. … I’ll take my chances with the cops rather then my conscience after hearing a family was crushed to death by a rock I was prompted to move.” Glenn Taylor had posted that they were “just doing [their] civic duty!”

Dave Hall also told The Salt Lake Tribune that “[w]ith the information we had we made the best decision we could. We weren’t there for vandalism or anything like that. The intent was to enjoy the natural resources with a bunch of friends. We’re extremely sorry for our actions. There was no in way shape or form any intent to go out there and cause any harm to our natural resources.”

Was this the best decision they could have made? Was this an example of civic duty in eliminating an imminent threat? Does this merit felony vandalism charges? Will the imminent threat defense and a professed lack of intent mitigate any felony vandalism charges? What do you think?

Source(s): The Salt Lake Tribune

Note: All apologies to the great author Harlan Ellison, whose short story “Shattered Like A Glass Goblin” inspired the title.

~submitted by Gene Howington, Guest Blogger

58 thoughts on “Shattered Like A Stone Goblin”

  1. raff has obviously never used a bidet. Bear fans think they’re water fountains, or “bubblers” as Cheeseheads call them.

  2. Almost all states now allow felons to vote after incarceration, or off paper[supervision].

  3. Give these guys a break, they just got done watching “FOX NEWS” and their brains didn’t reboot……

  4. They need to be charged and convicted of a felony to preclude them having any legal access to firearms. Such people as this should not have the vote or guns.

  5. Kraaken, Totally agree. But, that’s the way it works now days. More than anything, I want the guy doing work in that park for long hours. He won’t do any time, and I don’t think he should. This should hurt or destroy his fraudulent personal injury case, which is a bonus and certainly karma.

  6. Nick Spinelli: “It is vandalism, charge them w/ felonious and plea down to misdemeanor w/ a heavy community service sentence to work in this park.”

    Great idea, Nick, but I think you could stop at charging with felonies and leave it at that. This is certainly more than a misdemeanor.

  7. These ladder climbing saint congregations exist in much of America. Get even. Go by and knock over some statues in their church front or at least leave some poop in their sidewalks the night before Christmas.

  8. maxcat, If folks knew just how many no damage personal injury lawsuits there are it would be open season on ambulance chasers and their clients. There was a time judges would just toss those horseshit cases out. That rarely happens anymore. Those cases are @ the top of the list for surveillance.

  9. maxcat, No surveillance needed for that lyin’ sack o’ shit plaintiff. YouTube and Facebook can be gold for PI’s and defense attorneys. People can be greedy and stupid.

  10. A few years ago we took the grandkids out West to see as many of the National Parks as time allowed. We did Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and South Dakota. We were on the road for several weeks.

    While I was reading the blog I received an email from one of the grandkids who is a faithful reader but seldom poster. He had read Gene’s article and was incensed as he well remembered the beauty of this park and still has the sketches he drew of some of the formations. He bemoaned the fact that these men ruined something for his children.

    I’m not going to repeat what he thought should be done with these men but it had something to do with “forced relocation” and a geyser named Old Faithful.

  11. Having visited the enormous cave in Bamyan where the Taleban blew up the enormous Buddha, I cringe at the actions of these overweight, uneducated and so-called religious men. Argh.
    I was going to include the Randy Newman song: We’re rednecks, but somebody beat me to the punch. One of my favorite songs of all times.

  12. One Salt Lake paper is reporting that Dave Hall has a pending “pain and suffering” lawsuit stemming from a multiple car accident in which fenders were damaged and NO one went to the hospital. The lawsuit was filed in September. His lawyer just issued a statement that Mr Hall is just beginning to get over his injuries. Mr. Hall is the father seen actually kicking over the rock.

  13. This is when my sides split open: “When this author contacted Sir Issac Newton via Ouija board, he said, “Gravity is not your friend and it doesn’t need your assistance, but it is the law.”

  14. I’m having some trouble with the ‘imminent threat’ thing. If this rock formation had withstood the elements and, presumably, other idiot humans for 20 million years, where is the imminent threat? I’m sure that’s what they are going to try to claim, but is the Dunning-Kruger phenomenon (being too dumb to fully understand how dumb you are) truly justification for an ‘imminent threat’ defense? Is the standard simply that they needed to perceive they were threatened (ala Florida), not that an actual threat existed?

    Also, too, why didn’t they just pray for God to resolve the threat? I can never understand these folks who wax ad nauseum about their faith in the Lord as the solution to every problem, but who then display an astounding lack of faith by deciding to take things into their own hands time and time again.

  15. I saw this on the news yesterday and their ex post facto excuse-making is so obvious it’s ridiculous. They were clearly just being obnoxious vandals in the video (by the way, congrats on filming and posting that, morons), and any un-biased person can see that they weren’t earnestly saving the public from a danger. Puh-lease!

    They need to pay a high price for their vandalism.

  16. Re. the defense that they were only acting to ensure the safety of others: It isn’t their park, so it isn’t their decision to manage it. If they really thought there was a safety concern, they should have brought it to the attention of the Park Service. That’s whose job it is make those determinations.

  17. OS:

    how old were the walnuts? Doesnt it take them a long time to become mature and viable for use as furniture?

    That is the government for you, they dont give a sh*t about economics.

  18. These guys get the Idiots of the week award hands down. They should be at least fined and required to actually go to the Wizard to get a brain!
    Secondly, this idiot is the same guy who filed a lawsuit claiming he was disabled in a car accident according to a Daily Kos story. I guess he done healed fast!

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