Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

USA Today takes off on Anubis and aliens at DIA

Thanks to the Anubis statue now standing guard outside Denver International Airport, all those conspiracy theories about DIA have taken off again -- and they've landed the airport smack-dab in today's edition of USA Today.

"Officials insist the 26-foot tall statue of the ancient Egyptian god Anubis now standing outside the Denver International Airport terminal is there to promote a King Tut exhibit opening soon at the Denver Art Museum," the UFOs at DEN piece begins. "But the giant image of the jackal-headed god tasked with protecting the spirits of the dead is alarming some travelers."

The God of the Underworld will only be on duty at DIA until August. But the airport has several permanent art pieces that have fueled conspiracy theorists for years, as this Westword story documented. The airport's official website even notes that "a few fanciful conspiracy theories have been generated" by Leo Tanguma's mural titled Children of the World Dream Peace. And then there are the gargoyles guarding the baggage claim area, and Luis Jiménez's "Mustang," the horse that killed its creator.

More out-of-this-world rumors involve UFOs landing at DIA and aliens living under the airport. "One theory says you can put your ears against the columns in the terminal and hear alien voices from the basement," art administrator Matt Chasanksy tells USA Today. "All those theories are fanciful and fun. But none of it is true. And the aliens aren't telling me to say this."

But don't rule out Anubis.

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun