A crack appears to have formed across the world-famous Westbrook ice disc, coinciding with reports of people climbing out onto it with axes. Credit: CBS 13

The giant spinning ice disc in the Presumpscot River in Westbrook that has attracted headlines and watchers from around the globe appears to have a crack down the middle by a New Jersey man trying to carve a peace sign into it.

Photos shared on social media show the moon-like circle with a jagged line gouged approximately down the middle, while others appeared to show at least one person climbing onto the ice disc with an ax.

The city of Westbrook on Twitter acknowledged “reports and photos of someone on the ice,” adding, “We strongly discourage this.”

[Believe it or not, the ice disc isn’t the weirdest thing to happen in Westbrook]

A CBS 13 producer posted that a man who climbed onto the ice disc said he was trying to carve a giant peace sign into the circle.

Christopher Angulo came from New Jersey to chip the giant emblem into the disc, CBS 13’s Dustin Bonk reported.

“I’m making a giant peace sign out of this,” he told Bonk. “And I want it to spin around so bad and create that visual for the world to see, of peace making the world go ’round right here in Westbrook.”

According to the New York Daily News, Angulo, then 38, was put in a psychiatric ward by authorities in early 2013 after a stunt in which he climbed a storm-damaged coastal New Jersey rollercoaster to plant an American flag. The Daily News described Angulo as a father of two.

Just more than a week before, local police had to stop a man trying to climb out onto the disc.

The moonlike circle in the river is not the first of its kind, but is among the largest ever reported at about 100 yards in diameter. The disc has attracted crowds along the Westbrook riverfront and a web cam was set up to provide watchers a view of the spinning circle over the internet.

It made news when the disc was temporarily stuck against the shore ice on Jan. 16, but it was dislodged and resumed spinning.

[Portland readers, what do you want to see more of in the BDN?]

With warmer temperatures and rain on Thursday, crowds returned to Westbrook anew, worried the disc’s end could be near.

“With the warm weather, I thought it might be melting and it might be my last chance to see what the phenomenon is all about, so yeah, I decided to come out,” Terry Lacarrubba, of Gray, told CBS 13.

Since the Westbrook ice disc shot to international stardom early last week, other, smaller ice discs have been noticed on water bodies elsewhere around Maine.

Mostly joking internet commenters have said the discs are signs of an alien invasion, among other theories.

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Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.