The Hindenburg Mystery - Recap

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Nimoy retells the story of the Hindenburg tragedy. He mentions that there was a large hangar used for large ships like the Hinderburg. He says Count Zeppelin and his company is responsible for the building of the Hindenburg. He says ships like Graf Zeppelin helped to gain wide interests in new airships that would be faster. By 1934, he says the largest airship was being built the Hindenburg. He says a special hangar had to be built for the large ship. He also mentions that the creator of the Hindenburg, Hugo Eckener actually wanted to use helium which was safer than hydrogen.

However, Americans were unwilling to sell Helium to the Germans so the plan went on to use hydrogen. Nimoy says Eckener was removed as director of the Hindenburg for anti-nazi sentiments yet production of the Hindenburg continued. Nimoy puts the creation of the Hindenburg as a symbol of triumph for the Nazi party.

Nimoy states how the Hindenburg made ten flights in 1936 and had log in over two hundred thousand miles.

Nimoy then points to a series of threats against the Hindenburg and how the Hindenburg would meet a sad fate in Lakehurst, New Jersey.

He mentions how the Hindenburg was search but nothing dangerous was found. Everything went well as the Hindenburg traveled from Europe to the US. However, then the disaster happen. The actual footage of the Hindenburg exploding with broadcaster Herbert Morrison’s commentary is shown.

Nimoy mentions that sixty-two people escaped the disaster but thirty six people died The episode then focuses on the causes for the explosion. Nimoy says the cause for the explosion was obvious citing the hydrogen gas. However, he goes on to speculate about the possibility of there being a sabotage on the ship.

A special commission was made to look into the disaster with Hugo Eckener once again playing a key role in the investigation. The commission made the conclusion that a wire had broken in the hull and cut a gas cell igniting static electricity to cause the explosion. Nonetheless, people still believe that sabotage was the cause of the explosion with Captain Pruss (the captain at the time) adamant that was the reason.

As the episode ends, Nimoy says no matter what theory is given it's clear that if the Hindenburg used helium instead of hydrogen the tragedy would have been avoided.