December 9, 2011
Cultural Analysis Research Paper
Denver International Airport Conspiracy
Conspiracy theories are profoundly inconclusive: They desire an absolute truth while questioning its very possibility; they strive to seek an ultimate conclusion while making sense of meaning; they doubt others’ credibility in search for unmanipulated knowledge. The American consciousness has found itself trapped within the grip of conspiratorial thinking. With each passing year, hundreds of conspiracy theories arise representing a new categorizing of truth and certainty where the explication of both expert authority and seditious discussion create phenomena. A particular conspiracy theory that has sparked the interest of the public surrounds the Denver International Airport. This airport has been the subject of various conspiracy theories since it’s opening in 1995. Investigators have questioned numerous airport officials in hopes of acquiring valid information regarding the myriad of mysteries within the airport itself. However, the officials have been reported to be distinctly elusive and secretive, which has further fuelled the conspiratorial fires. Denver International Airport’s runway design, dedication stone referencing the “New World Order”, mysterious murals, and unexplained underground base have been called to question therefore creating a widespread interest and the formation of conspiracy theories. These reported anomalies have led many to the conclusion that this particular structure will eventually become much more than just a commercial airport.
Stapleton International Airport was Denver, Colorado’s primary airport from 1929 to 1995. Amongst three days of celebration and festivities, it opened on October 17, 1929 as Denver Municipal Airport. Due to a 1944 expansion, its name was officially changed to Stapleton International Airport after Benjamin F. Stapleton, the city’s mayor from 1923 to 1947. Ira Boyd Humphreys originally created the airport’s design in 1919. It was called the “Union Station of the Air,” and was known as the most modern facility in the country, of its time (Metro Denver). The airport was an immediate financial success. It had four surfaced runways with the longest being an 11,500’ northwest strip. By the late 1950s, the jet age was becoming a reality, and the need to expand the terminal facilities and runways became a necessity. Additional land was later acquired from the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. The airport had a total of 54,724 feet of runways and 5 concourses (Metro Denver). The number of passengers traveling through the airport increased dramatically in the 1970s and 80s, and Denver neighborhoods were continuously expanding east towards the airport. (Haynes and Whipple)
By the late 1980s, plans were under way to replace Stapleton with a brand new airport. There were a number of problems with the airport, which eventually led to its closing and the development of the Denver International Airport (DIA). Stapleton Airport had inadequate separation between its runways, which often led to extremely long waits in bad weather. Additionally, there was little to no room for other airlines that had proposed to use Stapleton for new destinations. Numerous lawsuits were filed by the residents of the nearby Park Hill community regarding aircraft noise and legal threats to block runway expansion into Rocky Mountain Arsenal lands reassured the need for a new airport in a new location (Haynes and Whipple). Denver needed an airport located in an area that could allow for potential expansion.
The Colorado General Assembly brokered a deal in 1985 to annex a plot of land in Adams County in the city of Denver and use that land to build a new airport. Adams County residents and voters approved the plan in 1988 and construction for the new Denver International Airport began (Hayne and Whipple). The new airport was built on 53 square miles of land, an area of land...