Denver International Airport’s Conspiracy Theories Debunked

Denver International opened in 1995, a couple of years late and a couple of billion dollars over budget. Since then, it has gone on to become a major hub for Frontier and United Airlines but is infamous for some rather more sinister reasons. From lizard people to haunted horses, the airport has made its way into the urban legends of our time, but are any of them really true?

Denver international conspiracy theories
Is DEN just another airport, or is something more sinister going on? Photo: Denver International Airport

We take a dive into some of the wildest and weirdest conspiracy theories surrounding Denver Airport to see what’s true and what’s not.

The New World Order controls the airport

One of the most popular urban legends surrounds the link between Denver and the Freemasons, a centuries-old secret society. Theories suggest that the Freemasons have controlled a part of Denver International since it opened, and that the New World Order (NWO) is planning to leverage this position as part of their plot to take over the world.

The evidence for this stems from a plaque at the south entrance to the airport, dated March 1994. Under the plaque is a time capsule for the people of Colorado to open in 2094. But it is the symbol of the Freemasons inscribed on the that captures the most attention. Below that, a reference to the New World Airport Commission fires up the imagination regarding the involvement of the NWO.

Denver International Airport’s Conspiracy Theories Debunked
The Freemasons are controlling the airport? Photo: F4ith.H0p3.Ch4r1ty via Wikimedia

However, the truth about who controls Denver International, in reality, couldn’t be more boring. Like most airports in the USA, the government controls it, and not the Illuminati. The World Airport Commission (yes, there should have been a comma between new and world in the inscription) does not exist now, but it did in 1994. And as for the Freemasons, well, they helped make the time capsule for the airport, so they put their logo on it.

‘Blucifer’ is haunted

The 32 foot tall Blue Mustang statue that rears up on its hind legs above Peña Boulevard is certainly an imposing beast. Its red glowing eyes and snake-like mane have led to local people dubbing it ‘Blucifer,’ although its actual name is just ‘Mustang.’ Wild theories about this statue being haunted have abounded, and not without some foundations.

Denver international conspiracy theories
Blucifer killed his maker. Photo: Denver International Airport

When artist Luis Jiménez was crating ‘Mustang,’ he was inspired by Mexican muralists to use bright, clashing colors. The piece took more than a decade to construct but, as he was nearing completion, a piece of the sculpture fell on the artist, severing an artery in his leg and causing his death. His children finished the sculpture, and the airport unveiled it in 2008.

Blucifer was meant to symbolize the wild spirit of the West. Unfortunately, due to his appearance, many believe he is actually one of the steeds belonging to the four horsemen of the apocalypse. At the end of the day, however, it’s just a statue, not a vessel for evil. Well, unless you’re the artist building it, of course.

Denver international conspiracy theories
DEN has some fun with the theories about its facilities. Photo: Denver International Airport

An underground society

People claim that when Denver Airport was built, there was also a network of tunnels, secret bunkers and buildings constructed below the surface. Down there, the world’s elite could be protected from the apocalypse, hiding out until it was safe to return to the surface.

Others suggest that the tunnels and bunkers house something rather more sinister. Alien life forms and ‘lizard people’ have been accused of hiding beneath our feet at Denver, supported by blurry footage on conspiracy sites and ‘strange’ markings on the walls.

Denver international conspiracy theories
Are they hiding lizards down there? Photo: Denver International Airport

What is below Denver is no big secret. There is indeed a network of tunnels, around 470,000 square feet of them, in fact. These are used by around 1,000 people a day, ferrying luggage around planes and baggage areas. These tunnels are also home to miles of plumbing and electrical cabling, which would otherwise take up space above ground.

The most mysterious thing you’ll find down here is a multi-million dollar baggage system, intended to be one of the most advanced in the world, designed to shuttle baggage all over the airport effortlessly. But it never worked properly, and in 2005, it was scrapped entirely. It could be a creepy place to be if ‘ghost conveyers’ are sinister to you, but it’s not a conspiracy.

Nazi symbolism and apocalyptic artwork

From the air, Denver’s runways are apparently swastika-shaped – although you have to squint quite hard to see this at all. Really, the fan-shaped design allows aircraft to take off in any direction, no matter what the wind is doing. It’s just good design.

A mining cart carved into a tile in the Great Hall has the letters Au and Ag inscribed into it. Clearly, this is an abbreviation for ‘Australian Antigen’ – a deadly chemical weapon being developed by the Illuminati to destroy all mankind. It couldn’t possibly be simply the atomic symbols for gold and silver.

Around the airport, artistic pieces are regularly interpreted as heralding the end of the world. “Children of the World Dream of Peace” depicts death and war, with a gas mask-wearing soldier thrashing around with a sword and a machine gun. “In Peace and Harmony with Nature” shows children crying while the world burns in the background.

Denver international conspiracy theories
Scary or hopeful? Photo: Denver International Airport
Denver international conspiracy theories
Children cry as the world burns. Photo: Denver International Airport

Not cheerful pieces on their own, but they are meant to be a series of artworks. Each is accompanied by a second piece that shows happiness and peace. They were designed to be depictions of the artists’ hopes and desires for the world to live in harmony.


More at home atop English church eaves or ancient castles, Denver International chose to bring gargoyles to the world of aviation. Sitting in suitcases, tongues sticking out, these unnerving sculptures survey the world below them as people bustle about their business.

Denver international conspiracy theories
‘Notre Denver’ Photo: Denver International Airport

For conspiracy theorists, this is yet another piece of evidence that something mysterious is going on at DEN. But for the airport, the ‘fun sculptures’ are rooted in historical significance. Those English churches and old castles used to add gargoyles for protection, preventing evil spirits from entering the building.

‘Notre Denver’, as the gargoyles are colloquially known, are no different. They watch down on arriving passengers, making sure all baggage arrives safely. They’re not evil; just misunderstood.

What do you think about Denver Airport? Have you ever noticed anything suspicious?