Authorities Searching for Group Apparently Caught on Video Toppling Iconic Rock Formation in Oregon

iStock/Thinkstock(PACIFIC CITY, Ore.) — Authorities are searching for a group of people recently caught on video appearing to topple over an iconic natural sandstone formation along Oregon's northwest coast.

The rock feature, known as "The Duckbill," was first found in shambles last week in Pacific City, Oregon, according to Oregon Parks and Recreation's associate director Chris Havel. The formation had been a part of Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area.

State officials initially believed the rock had fallen naturally, but they later became aware of a video online apparently showing a group of people pushing down the formation, Havel told ABC News Tuesday.

The video was filmed by a man named David Kalas, ABC Portland affiliate KATU-TV reported.

Kalas had been helping a friend film the coast with a drone when he said he noticed a group of people trying to push the rock pedestal down, he told KATU.

At first, Kalas laughed to himself because he "thought there was no way that they could knock it down," but then he saw the formation start "wobbling," he said.

Kalas managed to get his phone out just in time to catch the moment the group apparently toppled over the sandstone feature.

"I asked them, you know, why they knocked the rock down, and the reply I got was their buddy broke their leg earlier because of that rock," Kalas told KATU. "They basically told me themselves that it was a safety hazard and that they did the world or Oregon a favor."

The group also stood on top of the crumbled sandstone and snapped a few pictures before leaving, Kalas said. He added that he did not know who the alleged vandals were or catch their names, but he hopes his video will help catch them.

"I just want them to learn a lesson," he said, "because if they do this here, they will probably do it elsewhere."

ABC News was unable to reach Kalas.

Director Havel said Oregon State Parks, along with State Police, has now launched an investigation into the video.

He explained that the sandstone in the area has been around for over 18 million years and that the formation was possibly "thousands, tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands years old."

"I also think the bigger message here is that everyone who has ever crossed the safety fence and walked on the rock played a role in advancing the demise of this natural feature," Havel said.

"We hope that this story will remind everyone to be more mindful when visiting any park, not just this one."

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Celebrities, politicians post tributes to comedian, activist Dick Gregory

Celebrities, politicians post tributes to comedian, activist Dick GregoryBrent N. Clarke/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The death of comedian and activist Dick Gregory at age 84 on Saturday prompted a flood of tributes on Twitter from celebrities, activists and others.

Jane Sanders recalled how her husband -- Bernie Sanders, Democratic senator from Vermont and former presidential candidate -- once spent a night in jail with Gregory after protesting segregation in Chicago.

RIP Dick Gregory, a good & brave man. He & @SenSanders spent the night in jail together for protesting Chicago segregated schools in the 60s https://t.co/pYpMU34eOx

— Jane O'Meara Sanders (@janeosanders) August 20, 2017

Democratic National Committee vice chairman Keith Ellison posted a photo of himself with Gregory. "Thank you for giving yourself to all of us," he wrote.

Dick Gregory, may God Bless you and Keep you. Thank you for giving yourself to all of us. pic.twitter.com/Z1dLIvYuBn

— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) August 20, 2017

Activist and writer Shaun King posted pictures of Gregory as a young man. "Rest in power, good sir," King wrote.

Because many of you probably only knew Dick Gregory as an older man, I wanted to show you these young images.

Rest in power good sir. pic.twitter.com/ZayInokcaJ

— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) August 20, 2017

Singer John Legend called Gregory a "groundbreaker in comedy and a voice for justice."

Dick Gregory lived an amazing, revolutionary life. A groundbreaker in comedy and a voice for justice. RIP

— John Legend (@johnlegend) August 20, 2017

Some people posted excerpts from Gregory's memoir, "Callous on My Soul," such as when he wrote about a waitress in the South telling him that they "don't serve colored people."

White lady: We don't serve colored people here.

Dick Gregory: I don't eat colored people. Bring me a whole fried chicken.

RIP Mr. Gregory😰 pic.twitter.com/t8dnuRJhBC

— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) August 20, 2017

Here is a sample of some other tweets paying tribute to Gregory and lamenting his passing.

Comedian Dick Gregory always told it like it is. Our laughter was fuel to fight for justice in an unjust world. RIP 1932-2017 pic.twitter.com/wpbdEkvny1

— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) August 20, 2017

Marching w/ King. Sitting w/ Ali. Paving the way for our comedic greats. All while fighting for us.

Rest well Dick Gregory. #blkcreatives pic.twitter.com/GsfRTjHSuy

— #blkcreatives netwrk (@blkcreatives) August 20, 2017

He taught us how to laugh. He taught us how to fight.He taught us how to live.Dick Gregory was committed to justice.I miss him already. #RIP pic.twitter.com/3CfpM2O17D

— Rev Jesse Jackson Sr (@RevJJackson) August 20, 2017

Rest In Peace to civil rights icon Dick Gregory. An inspiration. A hero. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/kIzeYMNjor

— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) August 20, 2017


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