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"Cold War Horse" gets the "sledgehammer"

Josh Ellis / Westword
"Cold War Horse" sculpture near the old Rocky Flats nuclear weapons assembly site outside of Denver.
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OKLAHOMA CITY – According to Colorado artist Jeff Gipe, his recently-installed sculpture Cold War Horse, was seriously damaged by vandals using a … sledgehammer!

Say what? This naturally reminded me of a Dust Devil Dreams piece I wrote in March 2014 titled “Getting hit with a sledgehammer” and how the the nuclear catastrophe at Chernobyl, in the Soviet Union, coincided with the April 1986 release of the Peter Gabriel single “Sledgehammer.”

As Denver Westword reported on Wednesday:

“Just a week after it was installed in a field near the former Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant, Jeff Gipe's monumental sculpture, Cold War Horse, has been knocked over and seriously damaged. According to police, a vandal or vandals hit the sculpture with a vehicle over Labor Weekend and then got out and further attacked the piece with a sledgehammer.

A striking example of conceptual realism — and of political art — “Cold War Horse” is a life-sized depiction of a horse made of fiberglass, steel and resin that Gipe sculpted from the ground up. The horse is cloaked in a bright red hazmat suit and wears a gray respirator. The piece is meant as commentary on Rocky Flats, where plutonium triggers for bombs were once made; the plant was closed in 1992.”

At the website, where Gipe is raising money to repair the sculpture, he explains that “The main product Rocky Flats produced are plutonium ‘triggers’ for hydrogen bombs. Each trigger in itself is an atomic bomb. It’s estimate that 70,000 plutonium triggers were produced at the plant. Plutonium is a highly toxic substance and special precautions had to be taken to handle the material.”

The "Cold War Horse" as it was found after being vandalized by persons unknown. (Jeff Gipe via Westword)

Gipe reminds readers that Rocky Flats, operated by Rockwell International, had many problems, particularly of an environmental nature, over the years.

“In 1989, the FBI raided the plant because of suspected environmental crimes. Rockwell International … pled guilty and were ordered to pay an $18 million fine.

Rocky Flats was declared a Superfund site in 1992 and was cleaned up over a 13 year period and considered “clean” in October 2005, nearly 10 years ago.

Gipe writes that “the history and the people who have sacrificed so much have yet to be acknowledged by government agencies. This memorial stands as a reminder for a history that we must not forget.”

Was this a case of simple vandalism or was a message of some kind being sent? When it comes to happenings in spooky Denver, you just never know.

As a side note, Denver is also home to Philip Anschutz, owner of The Fat City Times (aka "The Oklahoman") and possible member of the Illuminati.


Gipe's Cold War Horse brings to mind another horse sculpture closely connected with Denver, Colorado - Luis Jimenez's Blue Mustang, nicknamed "Blucifer," for its demonic appearance at the entrance of the creepy Denver International Airport. I wrote about it in my piece "Keep Your Feet on the Ground and Keep Reaching for the Stars."

"Blue Mustang" (aka "Blucifer")

Synchronistically speaking, Jimenez, who was actually killed by his creation, was friends with Jesus Moroles, a granite artist. Moroles was approached to complete the Blue Mustang, but declined, due to the "political" nature of the sculpture. Jesus Moroles, whom we wrote about here, died in June. Because of his work on a project at USAO in Chickasha, Oklahoma, a memorial event is being held this very evening at the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum here in Oklahoma City.

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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