Giant boulder stolen, but it’s not ‘biggest’ heist ever

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Wizard rock stolen in Arizona
Gone! A missing boulder report has been filed the US!

The theft of a massive one-tonne boulder from the side of a highway in a national forest in the United States has baffled police … but perhaps clues can be found in similar jumbo-sized hests here in Australia.

Certainly the mysterious disappearance of the stately black boulder, commonly called ‘Wizard Rock’ form Arizona’s Prescott National Forest, has some uncanny parallels with the disappearance of the Big Mango from Bowen in 2014, and the disappearance of a 1.5-metre tall dinosaur from the Sunshine Coast in the same year.

In all cases, the key questions are the same. Why did they do it? And, perhaps most bafflingly, how did they do it?

Big mango theft

Before and after … the Big Mango was suddenly not there any more!

In America, the U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement is asking the public to come forward with any information relating to the removal of the beloved rock, which has been a roadside attraction on Highway 89 for many years.

The park says that people often stop to admire the rock, take pictures, and bring others to appreciate it. Officials speculate it would have had to have been removed with heavy equipment.

Removal of minerals from National Forest land without a permit is illegal, so the boulder bandit is facing a maximum fine of $5,000 or six months in jail, and possibly both.

Dinosaur stolen

Police come face to face with the missing dinosaur. PIC: Police Sunshine Coast

The apparent theft of the three-storey, 10-tonne mango statue from Bowen’s tourist information centre made headlines around the world five years ago. Eventually though, it transpired that no police report had been filed and the missing mango was found shortly afterwards covered by tarps and branches in a paddock behind the information centre.

The chicken restaurant chain Nando’s quickly claimed responsibility for the disappearance, explaining it was all part of a stint to promote a new sauce.

The mystery of the theft of a giant velociraptor in 2014 was less easily explained. The trail had apparently gone cold until the dinosaur miraculously re-appeared on top of Mount Coolum two years later, along with a note  requesting it be returned to its rightful owners.

The raptor was missing both an eye and a tail.

It was taken to Coolum police station where Sergeant Ben Cox said it caused a bit of a stir

“A few of the boys at the station positioned it at the entry door so when I walked in, I was faced with a dinosaur,” he said. “We come across some unusual things, but this was one of the more unusual.”

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One Response to Giant boulder stolen, but it’s not ‘biggest’ heist ever

  1. In Canberra they are developing a ‘rockaretum’ close to the National Arboretum. They are getting 4 – 5 tonne blocks of rock from around Australia so people can see how diverse the rock is from all over. They installed a large rock that had gold bearing quartz through it. There would only have been a miniscule amount of gold, but sure enough, not long after it was put there, it disappeared one night. How it was done beats me. A crane would have been needed. People can’t leave anything alone.

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