On May 16th, some rocks were placed on the Mauna Kea Access Road by an unknown man. This problem has led again to huge tensions on the mountain while states conservation officers are trying to find the suspect.
The man was spotted on a Visitor Information Center Camera after the rocks were placed on the road. According to the DLNR, the last rock placement occurred at the 5.5-mile marker of the summit road, at 12,500 feet level. Plus, the rocks might represent a risk because they were placed in the middle of a sharp right-hand corner, in the downhill lane.
After some workers on Mauna Kea have been interviewed by the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement officers, it was established that a man was seen in the area just before and after rocks appeared on the road.
The suspect was caught by a Hale Pohaku Visitor Center security camera. DLNR released the photos on Tuesday showing a shirtless man walking uphill along the road and carrying a plastic gallon container. According to DLNR, a telescope worker confirmed that the suspect was indeed the person everyone saw on the road around the time when the rocks were placed.
The unknown man is described as having a slim build and being about 5’5’’ and 5’8’’ tall. He was seen carrying a black-colored backpack and wearing light-colored white to light gray-colored board shorts and slippers. He was also carrying a plastic opaque container. People are advised to contact DOCARE at 643-DLNR if they have any information regarding this incident and the man.
Photos of the rocks blocking the road were already circulating on the internet and social media when the DLNR released the news. After a huge pile of perspectives, many associated the incident with another occurrence from Last June, when a couple of rocks blocked the road during the heated Thirty Meter Telescope standoff.
According to Chris Stark, group administrator of We Support TMT, if anyone is against the TMT project, astronomy or science, there is no need to endanger innocent people. Therefore, everyone is asked to refrain from such methods. Hopefully, there won’t be any problems on the Mauna Kea road in the future.