Mystery statue suddenly appeared in the middle of a river. 25 years later, it’s finally solved

Its sudden and unfounded appearance caused such a fuss that people clogged up the highway as they clambered out of their cars to get a closer look at it.
December 16, 2017 2:03 pm Last Updated: January 20, 2018 2:06 pm

Overnight, a mysterious statue appeared in the very middle of the Susquehanna River off a small town in Pennsylvania and caused a huge stir.

It was a small replica of the Statue of Liberty, and its sudden and unfounded appearance caused such a fuss that people clogged up the highway as they clambered out of their cars to get a closer look at the statue in the river.

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“Traffic was stopped in both directions, you couldn’t get anywhere,” one woman told CBS.

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Officials remembered that phones started ringing off the hook. Where had it come from?

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Nobody knew where it came from, nobody came forward to claim the deed, and as time went on, investigations yielded no results.

Until about 25 years later.

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“We kept it quiet, that was fun, that was part of the fun of the whole thing,” said Gene Stilp.

Stilp, a lawyer, had gotten together a group of 20-somethings to erect the statue in celebration of the 100th birthday of the Statue of Liberty.

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He built it in a friend’s garage, and the group snuck out in the middle of the night, “32-feet in the air, and it was pitch black, and we had to be very careful,” he told Penn Live.

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It was the most dangerous section of the river, and what they did was also highly illegal.

But Stilp said it wasn’t hard to get people to come help, and about a dozen guys did.

“I’d say, ‘Come on over to the garage. I have something to show you. I need people who can keep a secret, and who have the skills to do this,’” he said.

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Meeting up again 25 years after the statue went up. (CBSN/Youtube)

 

But—the statue standing there today actually isn’t even the original. It’s a replica of a replica.

Six years after Stilp and his friends put up Pennsylvania’s Lady Liberty, a particularly strong wind blew it over.

But by then, people were so attached to having their own personal replica of the nation’s statue that the town commissioned a new one to put in its place.

And it still stands there today.

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