Is there any truth to the biggest Denver Airport conspiracy theories?

Sitting outside Denver, Colorado, is a massive hub of New World Order population control. 

Denver International Airport (DIA) is seen by conspiracy theorists as a gigantic base full of open-air prisons and massive underground complexes, all designed to house massive groups of undesirables as a prelude to large-scale population control. In fact, they demolished an almost brand-new airport to do it, building a facility with fewer runways—and shaped them like a swastika.

What’s more, the evil cabal planning to use DIA as a massive kill center has done it in plain sight, filling their terrifying base with creepy art, alien symbols, totems of devil worship, and murals depicting exactly how they’ll kill us, with a gas called “Australia Antigen.” 

There’s also a giant blue horse, paintings of United Nations soldiers murdering children, and elites living in sealed containers while the world burns. It’s the stuff of horror.

These claims are what’s generally known as the Denver Airport Conspiracy. Since DIA first opened in 1995, it’s been the subject of wild accusations. The conspiracy has been the subject of innumerable articles, videos, TV episodes, and tweet threads. Despite denials from DIA reps, and most of these claims lacking evidence, the conspiracy has persisted for nearly a quarter of a century.

But why? What is it about an international airport in the Rocky Mountains that’s caused such a stir? Why this particular airport? And why do people believe it?

What is the Denver airport conspiracy?

That Denver International Airport was designed and built by the non-existent “New World Airport Commission” to transfer and eliminate a large part of the North American population. 

The airport will be used to ferry in “useless eaters” (those deemed unworthy of life), where they’ll be held in open fields protected by barbed wire, then exterminated in underground tunnels using a poison called “Australia Antigen.” And the worst part is that until they’re killed, they’ll be subjected to bizarre and violent murals showing exactly what’s about to happen to them.

There are other, more tangential elements of the conspiracy; but this is the central claim, and the one that most mainstream media outlets refer to when they write about it.

Is any of the Denver Airport Conspiracy true?

Like most conspiracy theories, there are grains of truth in some of the rumors about DIA. This is why it’s stuck around for so long. But most of these aspects are easily explained and have little relationship to some kind of mass purge of undesirables by a world-controlling government like the New World Order or Illuminati. 

When did the Denver Airport Conspiracy start?

DIA was the subject of rumors even before it opened in 1995, due to delays in its construction and huge budget overruns. But upon its opening, people saw the admittedly jarring artwork and started asking questions.

Was Denver’s airport demolished for no good reason?

No, Denver’s previous airport, Stapleton International, was built in 1929. It was too small for modern jets and was a constant noise nuisance, located just six miles from downtown Denver. And while it had the same number of runways as DIA, they were too small for jumbo jets, and ran in diagonal patterns, meaning they couldn’t all be used at once. Because it couldn’t expand, its closing was first proposed in the early 1980s. 

The airport hasn’t been demolished entirely, and much of it has been redeveloped into a mixed-use neighborhood. DIA is 25 miles from Denver’s center and is equipped to handle the biggest jets in the world.

Why does Denver Airport have such weird art?

The most often-cited element of the Denver Airport Conspiracy are two murals by Chicano artist Leo Tanguma. The first, a two-part mural “Children of the World Dream of Peace,” indeed shows what the critical thinking site Skeptoid describes as “a menacing Nazi-style soldier wreaking havoc and fear.” But the second part shows the once-victimized children standing over the defeated soldier in triumph, and references several Bible verses about beating swords into plowshares.

The second, “In Peace and Harmony With Nature,” shows a nightmarish world where near-extinct species are kept under glass —a warning about what will happen if humans don’t change their ways.

While the murals are jarring, they’re only a small part of the paintings, sculptures, and exhibits on display at DIA.

The airport has a thriving Art and Culture program, with the goal of showcasing Colorado-based artists to “make the creative energy and cultural legacy of the Rocky Mountain Front Range region palpable to anyone who visits the airport.”

Born in Texas and based in Denver, Tanguma is a well-known local artist and his murals are vibrant and attention-grabbing, conveying warnings about the destruction of war and climate change. 

Incidentally, “Children of the World Dream of Peace” isn’t currently on display—it’s in storage until DIA completes a major renovation, likely around 2021.

Did the giant blue horse at the entrance to Denver Airport kill its creator?

Known as “Blucifer” the giant blue horse sculpture outside the airport’s gate is officially called “Blue Mustang,” in tribute to Colorado’s famous horses.

It stands 32 feet tall and weighs 9,000 pounds. And it did fall on its creator, sculptor Luiz Jimenez. But the work was still being created in the studio when the horse’s head fell on Jimenez, severing an artery in his leg and killing him. It was finished by other artists and unveiled without incident.

Was the Denver Airport secretly designed as an open-air prison with barbed wire facing inward?

No, the barbed wire on the fences surrounding DIA sticks straight up. It’s the same as every other airport security fence.

Are there tunnels under Denver Airport?

There are, mostly for a baggage handling system that was never completed. The tunnels are still used for moving cargo and bags under the airport, and there’s a tram used to take passengers between terminals. While some of the facilities are off-limits to travelers, there are no signs of buried buildings or bunkers in any public-facing space. Since 2018, DIA has offered gawkers tours of the tunnels, just to make sure nothing weird is going on.

DIA is also not the only airport in the world with underground baggage tunnels. Heathrow Airport in London opened an underground baggage system in 2009, while Dulles Airport in Washington has 58,000 feet of tunnels used for moving baggage and airport vehicles. 

Was a sonic weapon used there?

No.

In 2007, windshields on 14 planes at DIA indeed all cracked at the same time. An investigation found that they were victims of 100-mile per hour winds hitting them with grit particles.

Such shatterings have happened since then, though not to that extent. 

Do Denver Airport’s runways really look like a swastika?

Several of the runways do have right-angle configurations similar to a swastika, but this not for a New World Order-esque or Nazi reason. Denver has extremely strong winds that can abruptly change direction. Since planes always need to take off into the wind, the angular runways allow pilots to change their takeoff approach from north-south to east-west, depending on the wind’s direction.

What is the “New World Airport Commission?”

Another lynchpin of DIA controversy is a capstone erected during the construction of the airport. Dated March 19, 1994, the stone has a Masonic crest, a time capsule, the names of local dignitaries, and mentions a “New World Airport Commission.” 

Conspiracy theorists have claimed such a body does not exist, though it did. It was a loose collection of local politicians and business figures who helped with some of the planning and funding for the airport, and it was named after the music piece “New World Symphony.”

Such Masonic foundation stones are common on buildings built in the 20th century, and there’s nothing unusual about DIA’s.

What is “Australia Antigen?”

Denver International Airport poster Denver International Airport

Yet another element of the Denver Airport Conspiracy is that one of the Tanguma murals features an etching in the floor showing a large cart with the symbols “Au Ag.” Conspiracy theorists claim it to be the chemical abbreviation for a bio-weapon called Australia Antigen.

Australia antigen is a real thing, but it’s a biomarker of an immune response to Hepatitis B. On its own, it’s harmless, and can be used in the Hep B vaccine. It’s much more commonly referred to by medical professionals as HBsAg. The “Au Ag” marker instead refers to gold and silver–the two main products of Colorado’s mining industry.

Has anyone at Denver Airport ever commented on the conspiracy?

Many times. The airport’s staff seems to enjoy the attention the place gets because of the conspiracy. During the current renovation, the staff has put up signs featuring aliens, Masonic symbols, UFOs, and other conspiracy imagery. They’ve also created a website that jokingly “confirms” some of the many rumors, declaring “you may or may not have heard, DEN (the FAA abbreviation for the airport) got some secrets.”

As the airport’s media relations chief told the website Thrillist, “I think they used to be annoyed by it, but in recent years we’ve just embraced it.” 

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Mike Rothschild

Mike Rothschild

Mike Rothschild is a writer who specializes in researching and debunking conspiracy theories and fringe beliefs. He also writes about politics, history, and breaking news.