For Halloween, a collection of weird tales about airports and aircraft.
- By Rebecca Maksel
- AirSpaceMag.com, October 25, 2011
Nothing says "fear of flying" like a good aviation-related ghost story. So, in time for Halloween, we present a few haunting tales for your reading pleasure.
First up: It makes sense that the United States’ largest international airport is home to both ghosts and outsize conspiracy theories. At least one Web site claims that Denver International (pictured during a lightning storm) is built atop Native American burial grounds. The rumor may have started, says the site, when the airport’s public art program began playing Native American chants on a continuous audio loop near the pedestrian bridge linking Concourse A and the Jeppesen Terminal building. To be safe, in April 1995, Native American spiritual leaders performed a night-time ceremony to put any ancient spirits to rest. (Read the 1995 story in the alternative weekly newspaper Denver Westword here.)
Laura Coale, the director of media relations at Denver International, confirms that blessings were done at the site, but notes that archaeologists surveyed the area before airport construction began, and found no traces of any burial grounds.
Other reasons for the spooky vibe at DIA include the 32-foot-tall sculpture “Mustang,” by artist Luis Jimenez (who was killed while working on the sculpture), which inspired 200 “protest haiku” to be delivered to the Denver mayor’s office (Sample: Because of this thing / People think they are in hell / instead of Denver). The airport's underground tunnels, originally meant for a computerized baggage system, also are believed by some to be secret bunkers built for the 2012 apocalypse, or a place to warehouse space aliens. Then there are the airport's “scary” murals depicting the destruction of the environment and the horrors of war, and a Masonic plaque (under which a time capsule is buried) bearing the words “New World Airport Commission.”