Is DIA built on top of ancient Native American graves?
Such rumors are certainly part of the airport’s folklore among DIA employees and frequent travelers. This is usually in reference to the pedestrian bridge arching between the main Jeppesen Terminal building and Concourse A. It is on these moving walkways that visitors will hear the sounds of Native American chants being played from speakers in a continuous loop. Officially the recordings are part of the extensive DIA art program and have been playing non-stop, 24-hours a day since the airport’s opening 14-years-ago.
As the story goes, the airport was constructed on top of burial grounds and spiritual sites used for centuries by the native tribes that populated the Front Range before the coming of the White Man. The perpetual playing of Native American songs in the 365-foot-long bridge was originally initiated by officials as a way to placate any angry spirits who might want to pull a Poltergeist or The Shining on one of the nation’s busiest airports. People in the conspiracy theory world think the burial ground may have connections to the Navajo writing in the floors at DIA and the dead Native American women seen in the Tanguma murals.
When asked, DIA spokespeople laugh-off the notion that the music has anything to do with angry spirits or that the land where the airport sits was a burial site for ancient tribes. Noting that little archeological evidence of Indian burial sites has ever been found around DIA, they surmise that the rumor had its origin in a ceremony that was performed around the time of DIA’s groundbreaking in the late-80’s by various Native American shaman to bless the new facility. Anything else is pure conjecture, they assert.
What they don’t mention is the secret ceremony conducted on the grounds of the airport in 1995.
That April, coalition of Native American spiritual leaders from around the country performed a night-time ceremony at several sites around the airport to put ancient spirits to rest that were disturbed by the construction of the multi-billion dollar airport. They were part of an official city group under the Webb administration called the “DIA Spiritual Resolution Committee.”
Members included representatives of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes who said they had discovered several sites where the spirits had been disturbed, said an article in the Rocky Mountain News. The city and the airport even paid for leaders of the Montana Cheyenne to come to Denver calm the Indian ghosts. At the time, one of the group’s members told another reporter that “Whenever [spirits] are disturbed, it seems like bad things come about.”
Better keep that music playing.