One of the murals at the Denver International Airport, painted by Leo Tanguma.
Face it: anyone who has flown ever since the 9/11 attacks know that airports are Beelzebub’s satanic stock yards, where passengers are treated like so much cattle. Communities can heave all of the millions of dollars they like at an effort to fill these massive spaces with soothing artwork and soaring terminal designs, packed with wall-to-wall retail shopping and fast food Valhallas. It doesn’t matter. Air travel has been made miserable, and airports are places to be avoided. But one airport in particular has attracted the attention of a wide range of conspiracists who see something sinister there, and it’s even worse than TSA cavity searches over forbidden shampoo bottles, corkscrews and nail clippers.
When Denver, Colorado outgrew its old Stapleton Airport, the city and county government decided to think and build big. They went 25 miles out of town and built a facility that takes up twice the landmass of Manhattan. The airport was designed with the future in mind, and is the largest airport in the U.S., the third largest in the world. As with any project of this size, there was much consideration given to the decoration and design of the terminal, and its unique roof line was made to represent the conical peaks of the Rocky Mountains. But it was the artwork inside that first attracted curious groups of the very, very nervous. And then more accusations started pouring in.
Here are some of the peculiarities noted by conspiracy "researchers":
• Evil words – Some conspiracists have pointed to words cut into the floor as Satanic or "Masonic": Cochetopa, Sisnaajini and the baffling Dzit Dit Gaii. It turns out that these are actually Navajo terms for geographical sites in Colorado. The other creepy terms often pointed to as evil references, Braaksma and Villarreal, are actually the names of Carolyn Braaksma and Mark Villarreal, artists who worked on the airport sculptures and paintings.
• Creepy murals – We don’t know art, but we do know that a soldier wearing a gas mask, stabbing a dove with a scimitar and waving a gun over a river filled with women carrying dead babies (seen up at the top of this post) is not really the sort of thing to uplift our spirits while dashing for a far gate on a too-short layover. Other bizarre images include a scene with caskets featuring a dead Navajo woman, a dead Jewish woman and a dead African-American woman. Artist Leo Tanguma wrote explanations of his personal, if odd, inspirations for the paintings, describing them as depicting scenes of violence and tragedy being overcome by peace and harmony.
Then of course, there's always the satanic blue horse sculpture with glowing red eyes that welcomes visitors.
• Freemasons and the New World Order – It wouldn't be a real conspiracy if we weren't involved somehow. There is a dedication marker in the airport that is clearly inscribed with the square and compasses, along with listing the involvement of the two recognized Grand Lodges of Freemasonry in Colorado. All of this is mounted over a time capsule sealed during the dedication of the airport. Some claim that this is actually a futuristic “keypad” with some unknown purpose. Spookier to them is the notation of an organization called the New World Airport Commission.
The New World Airport Commission, say Denver Airport officials, was a group of local businesses that organized the opening ceremonies of the facility, and they chose the name because Denver was aiming to create a “new, world-class” city and airport. The Freemasons participated in laying the “capstone” (the last, finishing stone) of the airport project. This is by no means unusual. Masons have been laying cornerstones, capstones, and memorial markers for public buildings for almost 300 years. As symbolic heirs of the stonemasons’ guilds of the Middle Ages, modern Masons created a cornerstone ritual that has been used in public ceremonies that have included the White House, the U.S. Capitol Building, the Statue of Liberty, bridges, churches, university buildings, court houses, and even the Tacoma Dome. Conspiracists think this is creepy. On the other hand, we don’t hear them grousing about the new wave of Feng Shui “space clearing” ceremonies popping up everywhere since the 90s, consecrating everything from municipal buildings to nail salons.
BTW, the "control panel" is actually a braille inscription of the capstone text, so blind people can read it without crawling on their hands and knees.
• Masonic Great Hall - Another claim is that the large portion of the terminal is called the Great Hall, and is supposedly named after a room found in Freemason lodges. There certainly may be some Masonic buildings in the world with assembly rooms or dining areas referred to as Great Halls (London’s comes to mind), but it is by no means a common term in the overwhelming majority of Masonic buildings. It’s frankly a more common term in castles, from Chinon to Disneyland.
• Nazi Runways – Most modern airports wishing to utilize the most efficient runway designs are built these days with two parallel runways. Not so in Denver. Looked at from above, there’s no denying that the runways radiate like twisted spokes from the terminal building, and they do seem to resemble a swastika. Conspiracists claim this is either a fascist message to secretly show off the totalitarian power of the New World Order, or that it is an occult depiction of the old Germanic rune for power.
• Secret Underground Base – This is the most common charge against the Denver Airport, that it is built over the top of a massive, secret underground military base. The airport was budgeted to cost $1.7 billion, but came in closer to $5 billion when all the dust cleared. While it was built on a site chosen for its flat setting, millions of tons of earth were moved around the property, giving credence to the claim that something huge was being built underground. Bear in mind that the airport was over-designed, to be flexible for decades, to be easily expandable, and to use the very latest in technology – which created a nightmare of technical glitches throughout the first years of operation. Miles of tunnels were dug for underground trains between terminals, and for a troublesome subterranean baggage handling conveyor system that took years to get operating, and was subsequently abandoned in failure after wasting millions of dollars. In addition, there are other tunnels for a huge fuel pipeline system to pump jet fuel to gates instead of relying on tanker trucks. Part of the justification for all of this underground infrastructure is because Denver gets whacked with major snowfall for much of the winter, and the more that can be handled underground instead of dealing with snow, the more efficient it will be.
• Egyptian God of the Dead – To mark the arrival of a traveling exhibit of the treasures of Egyptian King Tutankhamen, in 2010 the airport installed a 26-foot tall, 7-ton concrete statue of Anubis, the Egyptian god of the Dead.
Yeah. Good choice for travelers already spooked about getting on a plane.
Anubis is often shown in Egyptian illustrations attending to the mummies of the dead Pharaohs, or protecting their tombs. In the Book of the Dead, Anubis measures the heart to determine the worthiness of the deceased before they may enter the Underworld. If you believe the airport sits on a secret underground bunker, this takes on new and creepy symbolism that will undoubtedly make you consider connecting through Dallas/Ft. Worth instead.
Conspiracists cry balderdash. They say there is a multi-level, subterranean base run by the New World Order, or the government, or both. One Alex Christopher claimed to have worked in the tunnels under the airport, and described what appeared to be vast holding areas for domestic enemies, strange nausea-inducing electromagnetic forces, and caverns big enough to drive trucks through, presumably filled with helpless political prisoners.