By Charlotte Ix and Grace Wilson
After protesters toppled Silent Sam last August 20, UNC hauled off the Confederate monument in a truck. But university officials have never said where it went.
Now, Carolina Connection’s Charlotte Ix may have discovered where the parts of the monument are being stored, including the metal figure of the soldier, as well as the stone pedestal and base that were later ordered removed by then-Chancellor Carol Folt.
Ix was originally tipped off about the storage site by her roommate in May.
“We were sitting in my apartment when she happened to mention that she knew the location of Silent Sam,” Ix said in a report for Carolina Connection’s radio newscast.
Her roommate had visited earlier with a different friend, but didn’t want to tell Ix how they knew where the statue was.
Skeptical of her story, Ix asked her roommate to take her there. They ended up at a UNC storage yard off of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Chapel Hill.
“Twenty minutes later, we were staring over a fence at a shady figure covered in a tarp,” Ix reported. “That moment in the dark, I still wasn’t sure what I was looking at.”
After that night, Ix was unable to forget what she may have seen. Still curious if it really was Silent Sam, she decided last week to visit the same place again, but this time in daylight:
“I headed down MLK and took a familiar turn onto a shaded road. Up past a few buildings and behind another, I parked my car and hopped out. I walked through a small bit of brush to the same fence. It was a wire fence covered with a screen so you couldn’t see through. It had barbed wire lining the top. I pulled a nearby trash can over to stand on and get a better view. Looking over the fence, this time in the daylight, it was obvious to me what I was looking at.”
Ix saw a large, metal figure covered with a brown tarp. It appeared to be the Silent Sam statue lying on its back with its rifle pointed towards the sky.
Behind the figure is something large and rectangular, wrapped in a blue tarp. It matches the size of the pedestal that the soldier was mounted on.
Beside the figure were three stone squares sitting uncovered. The stones matched the statue’s base which once supported the pedestal. The tallest stone is clearly missing what it once supported.
Following her visit to the site, Ix contacted university officials to confirm that what she saw was Silent Sam. UNC-Chapel Hill Director of Media Relations Joanne Peters Denny replied in an email, “I am unable to identify what is in the photo.”
When Ix went back to the storage site after the email exchange, she saw a police offer guarding the area. It was the first time she saw a guard there.
The UNC Board of Governors had planned to make a decision about the statue’s fate in March, but board members have postponed that decision indefinitely.