UPDATE (7/7/2022) – The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said the Georgia Guidestones were completely destroyed Thursday for safety reasons.

ELBERT COUNTY, G.A. (WSPA) – The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said an explosion destroyed the Georgia Guidestones Wednesday near Elbert County.

According to the GBI, an explosive device detonated around 4 a.m. Elbert County Sheriff’s Office responded to the location and found a large portion of the monument destroyed.

Pictures and drone footage show one of the four stone panels in rubble on the ground.

Multiple law enforcement agencies and responders are on the scene of the landmark area conducting an examination.

The enigmatic roadside attraction was built in 1980 from local granite, commissioned by an unknown person or group under the name R.C. Christian. The 19-foot-high (6-meter-high) panels bear a 10-part message in eight different languages with guidance for living in an “age of reason.” One part calls for keeping world population at 500 million or below, while another calls to “guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity.”

It also serves as a sundial and astronomical calendar.

The roadside attraction received renewed attention during Georgia’s May 24 gubernatorial primary when third-place Republican candidate Kandiss Taylor claimed the guidestones are satanic and made demolishing them part of her platform.

The site is about 7 miles (11 kilometers) north of Elberton, near the South Carolina state line. Granite quarrying is a top local industry.

Officials said around 11 a.m. that Highway 77 North and Hartwell Highway near Guidestones Road are shut down and drivers will need to seek an alternate route.

The Georgia Guidestones are described as Elberton’s most unusual set of granite monoliths.

Anyone with information regarding the explosion can contact Elbert County Sheriff’s Office at (706) 283-2421 or the GBI at (706) 552-2309.

Anonymous tips can be submitted online or by calling 1(800) 597-8477.