The mysterious granite monument known as the Georgia Guidestones was demolished Wednesday after an explosion early that morning destroyed a substantial portion of the structure.
The structure made up of massive granite panels was located 90 miles east of Atlanta and suffered extensive damage around 4:00 a.m. Wednesday from an explosion. Authorities discovered that a “large portion of the structure” was destroyed when they arrived on the scene.
The Elbert County Sheriff’s Office was the first responder on-site, and that agency requested assistance from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) in investigating the matter.
The GBI issued an announcement later in the day that heavy equipment crews had demolished the remainder of the monument “for safety reasons.” The GBI also released surveillance video that captured the explosion and a vehicle leaving the scene shortly after.
No arrests have been reported or suspects identified in the investigation so far.
The Georgia Guidestones monument was erected in 1980 by an unknown person or organization that used the name “R.C. Christian.” It was built from granite mined locally.
The Elbert County Chamber of Commerce has published an account of the monument saying that a man calling himself Richard Christian approached the Elbert Granite Finishing Company to ask questions about the costs involved in building the structure. He reportedly said he wanted to build a permanent monument for “the conservation of mankind.”
The Chamber’s account says that Christain claimed to represent a “small group of loyal Americans who believe in God.”
Elberton Granite Association vice president Christopher Kubas told reporters that the granite pillars making up the exterior of the structure were 16 feet, 4 inches tall, and weighed around 42,000 pounds each.
The surface of the granite monoliths included engraved writings that appeared to promote a global world government, strict population control, and eugenics policies. The engravings were made in eight different languages.
The writings included instructions to “maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.” They also said that human reproduction should “improve fitness and diversity” and called for nations to resolve “external disputes in a world court.”
The stones drew public attention over the years, largely due to the mystery surrounding their origin. The structure has been described as “America’s Stonehenge” by some and “Satanic” by others.
Wednesday morning’s explosion was heard by residents as far away as five miles who were startled out of their sleep.