Fears 'Heads Could Be Split Open' as Man Seen Hitting Baseball Into Grand Canyon

A man has sparked concern and speculation online after he was seen hitting a baseball into the Grand Canyon.

The incident, which was first reported on by Fox10 on Wednesday, came to light after the National Park Service (NPS) issued an appeal for information via the Grand Canyon National Park's Facebook page.

According to the post, a man was "observed hitting a baseball with a baseball bat into the Grand Canyon near the Yavapai Geology Museum on the South Rim."

The incident occurred at around 3:45 p.m. on Sunday, October 17. Newsweek has since uncovered a video of the man hitting the baseball, which was uploaded to TikTok by disciplecheeks.

The original poster has said he does not know the man and was just a bystander. His video can be viewed here:

Following the initial appeal for information, NPS officials updated the post to confirm they had been in contact with the "involved individual" and no further details were available at this time.

Newsweek has contacted the NPS for comment.

While the incident itself appears close to being resolved, debate continues to swirl on social media around the man's actions.

At the time of writing, the NPS Facebook post appealing for help had been shared over 1,800 times generating 2,100 comments in the process.

A handful of commenters appeared eager to either ape or play down the man's actions.

Ty Lee O'Daniel said he was "totally doing this" while Mitch Capps thought it was "not that big of a deal." Capps came in for stern criticism over his remark with Diana Victoria describing his "ignorance" as "astounding."

"Another white guy doing something stupid," Norma Dupris wrote.

Hanna Schmitz was among those to express concern over the man's actions and the impact they could have on the "people that are hiking below" who could have ended up getting "their heads split open" by the baseball.

Warren Meyer agreed, writing: "People like this make me angry" with Rafa El branding the incident: "self Involved Entitlement at its highest."

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Praveen Krishnan, meanwhile, highlighted the tragic death of Pete Absolon, who was killed after being struck by a rock thrown by a group of hikers above.

An expert climber and father-of-one, Absolon, 47, was the Rocky Mountain director of the National Outdoor Leadership School. He was killed in 2007 when hiker Luke Rodolph dropped a bowling ball-size piece of granite down into a basin of the Grand Canyon as he wanted to watch its descent. Unbeknownst to him, Absolon and another climber were 300 feet below. The rock struck Absolon in the head, killing him instantly.

Despite the largely negative response to the post, there were a handful of posters who attempted to contextualize the man's actions, pointing to a message on the t-shirt shown in the picture accompanying the appeal, which hinted at a potential reason for his actions.

Dakota R Beavers urged everyone to "not jump to conclusions" noting that the "RIP shirt" the man is wearing could be related to a recently deceased friend and they may have been scattering their ashes rather than hitting a baseball.

Justin L Jones agreed, theorizing that the man was "most likely fulfilling a last wish for a late friend."

While the message on the man's blue t-shirt is not entirely visible, the words "Johnny" and "RIP" are both decipherable in the pictures shared by park authorities.

The incident comes a month on from the discovery of a body later revealed to be the remains of a man who was believed to have been missing since 2015.

Scott Walsh's remains were discovered during an aerial search of the park.

A place of stunning natural beauty, the Grand Canyon nevertheless poses any number of risks to hikers and those eager to explore the layered bands of red rock.

Back in July, one woman was hospitalized and three other hikers were injured during a lightning storm that struck Grand Canyon National Park.

The 28-year-old woman was initially found unresponsive at the scene but regained a pulse after being given life-saving CPR treatment.

Several warning signs on the Grand Canyon.
Stock image of a series of warning signs along the Grand Canyon. A man was filmed hitting a baseball into the Grand Canyon in an incident that sparked debate. Kirsten Dunlap/Getty

UPDATE10/2121, 6:55 a.m. ET: This article was updated with a new image.