Exploring All of the Denver International Airport’s Conspiracies

Exploring All of the Denver International Airport’s Conspiracies
The Denver International Airport is home to a whole slew of conspiracy theories. (Image: Denver International Airport)

There once was a time when conspiracy theories were both relatively harmless and easy to laugh at. Area 51, the Loch Ness Monster, and the faked Moon landing are some of the sillier theories that have invaded pop culture. One location with its own conspiracy lore is the Denver International Airport, which is home to a plethora of different theories about the end of days.

Initial Turbulence

Exploring All of the Denver International Airport’s Conspiracies

The Denver area was originally serviced by the Stapleton International Airport, which opened in 1929, and began being decommissioned in 1985 to make room for the newly proposed Denver International Airport. Stapleton was too small to service the growing crowds interest in international travel, Denver neighbourhoods were expanding toward the airport, and local communities were threatening to sue due to noise pollution. These concerns led to a proposal by the newly elected Denver mayor Federico Peña to build a new airport on newly annexed land.

Breaking Ground (and the Budget)

Denver International Airport's main concourse in 2001. (Image: Michael Smith, Getty Images)Denver International Airport’s main concourse in 2001. (Image: Michael Smith, Getty Images)

Denver International Airport officially broke ground in September 1989, but wasn’t opened until February 1995, which was 16 months behind schedule. The airport also blew past its initial budget by $US2 ($3) billion, costing a total $US4.8 ($7) billion (about $US9.2 ($13) billion adjusted for inflation.) $US2 ($3) billion is a wide margin to overshoot a budget by, so conspiracy theorists naturally began wondering what exactly that money could have been used for.

The New World Order

Exploring All of the Denver International Airport’s Conspiracies

A damning piece of evidence in the Denver International Airport’s conspiracy lore is a commemorative stone featuring the Masonic Square and Compasses, which is a reference to the Freemasons. National Treasure fans might remember the Freemasons being connected to some of our country’s earliest origins, but in reality they are a harmless fraternal organisation. Another piece of evidence that excited the conspiracy community is the inscription of the “New World Airport Commission,” which some suggest could be an arm of the New World Order. But the New World Airport Commission doesn’t actually exist, so it seems that any impending apocalypse that could begin with the DIA isn’t going to happen.

The Secret Tunnels

The tunnels also feature trams, which may or may not shuttle lizard people to their bunkers. (Image: Denver International Airport)The tunnels also feature trams, which may or may not shuttle lizard people to their bunkers. (Image: Denver International Airport)

To be fair, hearing about a secret network of subterranean tunnels would make my ears perk up too. The story goes that one of the reasons the airport went over budget was because of a state-of-the-art baggage system that would run underneath the airport. The baggage system isn’t used anymore, leading people to question what those tunnels could be used for. Some argue that the tunnels are home to aliens/lizard people, or the Illuminati headquarters, or could connect DIA to different government facilities, like the North American Aerospace Defence Command (it’s all the way in Colorado Springs, but sure).

Antigens

Metal inscriptions in the airport's floor allude to Colorado's geologic history (or the airport's apocalyptic plans). (Image: Denver International Airport)Metal inscriptions in the airport’s floor allude to Colorado’s geologic history (or the airport’s apocalyptic plans). (Image: Denver International Airport)

In a roundup of all the conspiracy theories they could unearth surrounding the airport, Vice reported on a lesser known conspiracy theory involving hepatitis. On an atrium floor, the letters “AuAg” set within the side of a mining cart are embossed in the terrazzo floor in gold metal. The theory goes that “AuAg” actually stands for Australian antigen — an antigen associated with hepatitis — and this is subtle foreshadowing that the New World Order is planning on culling some of the world’s population via pandemic. Vice is quick to argue that “AuAg” actually refers to Colorado’s history mining gold and silver, whose symbols are Au and Ag on the periodic table, which the airport confirmed.

Apocalypse Artwork

The murals in this collection are intended to represent the future. (Image: Denver International Airport)The murals in this collection are intended to represent the future. (Image: Denver International Airport)

If nothing else about the Denver International Airport is concerning, its choice of artwork should raise an eyebrow: At best it’s creepy, at worst it’s terrifying. The murals that line the walls of the airport depict some apocalyptic scenes and are by Chicano artist Leo Tanguma. Two of the noteworthy murals are “Children Dream of War and Peace,” which features a military officer in a gas mask carrying a long sword and machine gun through a ruined building, while “In Peace and Harmony with Mother Nature” shows children mourning the loss of Earth’s biodiversity as a forest burns behind them. While these murals aim to comment on issues like preserving nature and ending violence, their jarring execution has some believing that they are omens of things to come.

Blucifer

If the red eyes didn't concern you, the history of this sculpture definitely will.  (Image: Denver International Airport)If the red eyes didn’t concern you, the history of this sculpture definitely will. (Image: Denver International Airport)

Those pulling up to the Denver International Airport will be greeted by a 9.75 m tall blue stallion with piercing red eyes, perched on its hind legs. The sculpture is from the late artist Luis Jimenez and is named “Blue Mustang,” although some refer to it as “Blucifer.” It’s absolutely an odd choice for an airport already shrouded in end-of-times lore — you know, because of the whole “four horsemen of the apocalypse” thing — but an even odder choice when in 2006, the sculpture fell while being moved from Jimenez’s studio, pinning him against a beam which ended up killing him.

Denver International Airport’s Response

The Denver International Airport realised that the best course of action was to lean in to the conspiracy theories, and as such has released the “DEN Files,” a blog on their website that leans into the lunacy of the DIA conspiracy theories. The airport also had a marketing campaign featuring a gargoyle in one of the terminals that would speak directly to passersby that dare interact with it. It’s a win/win for Denver International Airport: The airport revealed that their conspiracy marketing has made then $US1.5 ($2) million according to the B1M who cite the airport’s PR team, while also throwing the public off the scent of any subterranean bunkers and apocalypse plans that may actually exist within the airport.