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For Some Public Officials, Conspiracy Theories Never End

Spokesmen for public agencies are accustomed to difficult people, but a conspiracy theory zealot pushed Steve Snyder’s patience to the limit when he was a spokesman at Denver International Airport (DIA). Perhaps Snyder was weary of responding to rumors that DIA’s six runways form a swastika, or that there was an underground chamber built to hold a concentration camp, when he received an E-mail in 2003 from Greg Ericson of the “Free Press International” website.

Ericson asked Snyder if there were any underground facilities at DIA. He wanted to know why there was a picture of a military man killing a white dove there. He asked about a freemason symbol at DIA and the words “New World” on the capstone. He demanded translations of writings on the floors of the airport. 

Snyder’s reply was curt and to the point. “These questions have been asked ad nauseum by groups like yours throughout the nine-year history of this airport,” he wrote. “[Y]ou can select whatever explanation you choose to believe.”

Then he tried, one more time, to explain. The “New World” designation was simply an outgrowth of the New World Airport Commission, a group of leaders who held several pre-opening events at the new airport. “The airport was to usher in a new era making Denver a world-class city, thus the New World name.” And the airport’s underground facilities were simply baggage tunnels used daily by hundreds of airline workers to take luggage to and from the terminal, Snyder said.

“There were cameras and reporters here documenting every single inch of dirt ever moved,” Snyder told his interrogator. “If something strange was going on out here, hundreds of media outlets would have been all over it by now. I’m surprised it took you nine years to send this email.”