DENVER – It’s a Facebook post you read and think, “No one will believe this is actually true.”
Then you read the comments. And you lose a bit of faith in humanity … just a bit.
A Facebook page called “Denver Tribune” posted its first official post on Wednesday. It’s reads like an article.
The article claims there is a meeting on Thursday to determine the fate of “The Blue Stallion” at Denver International Airport. The meeting would be led by the “current governor of Denver, J.W. Hickenlooper” at the “Casa Bonita Courthouse”.
Our B.S. detectors went off right away.
First off, the statue is actually called “Mustang.” And John W. Hickenlooper is the governor of the entire state of Colorado ... not Denver, which has a mayor. Finally, the only dispute to be handled at the “courthouse” of Casa Bonita is whether or not the food is edible.
Others’ B.S. detectors did not immediately sound. As of publication of this article, the Facebook post had been shared more than 8,000 times, mainly by people hoping to save the statue.
“I feel like it’s disrespecting the artist to take it down,” Amber wrote. “He literally gave his life for this piece. Just leave it there.”
“Booooooo. I loved that horse,” bemoaned Luis. “Get over yourself and stop living in fear people. It’s just a statue.”
A spokeswoman for Denver International Airport verified this “article” is baloney.
“Mustang” was installed out at the airport in 2008. It’s earned the nickname “Blucifer” because of its demonic red eyes that seem to pierce the sky.
The public art, which was last valued at more than $2 million, is part of Denver’s larger collection.
The city has a policy of keeping artwork up for five years before it considers public requests to remove the artwork. Removing public art is rare. The five-year waiting period is meant to give the public time to adjust and become more comfortable with public art pieces.
That timeframe for “Blucifer” expired in early 2013 and according to 9NEWS reports at the time, the city had not received a single petition to remove the statue after that five-year period. 9NEWS reached out to Denver Arts and Venues to check if any requests to remove the statue had been filed in five years since, and there have been a whopping zero.
"There's this misconception out there sometimes that after a five-year period, that we were considering moving it, which is, in fact, false," Michael Chavez, the city's public art director, told us.
While many people seemed to believe the story, other commenters on the original post did seem to catch on and realized it's a joke - and we may need to be prepared for more of that.
We reached out to the creator of “Denver Tribune” for comment on the bogus story, and this person or persons responded to us with the same kind of satire used in the post:
"Our stories are verified by the Armenian Council for Truth in Journalism. As far as we are aware, 9News has yet to receive that standard of accreditation which casts a shadow of doubt on the validity of your assertion than 9News is anything other than fake news."
We noticed Denver Tribune posted a second Onion-style post Thursday, the same one a page called Farmington Tribune has posted. In our exchange with the Denver page, the person we talked to did say they're connected to the Farmington profile.
That Farmington page has shared several silly posts. There's one about installing mirrors in southwestern Colorado to increase evaporation to prevent wildfires, and another about a woman's particularly interesting struggle during the 416 fire - something about how the police won't do anything to stop this thing from terrorizing her family.
Both pages started posting this month.
So, friends. Please be aware that posted on these Tribune pages might just be having some fun, and you should double check your information before sharing something, as always.
Bottom line: rest assured, Denver: our airport’s guardian shall remain, and read posts thoroughly before you share.
PHOTOS: 'Blucifer' in all his glory