On May 6, 1937 the German zeppelin Hindenburg burst into flames while docking at Lakehurst, New Jersey. The spectacular disaster brought an end to the airship era. n March 2013, major news outlets reported that the calamity’s “true” cause had been identified. “The explosion that destroyed the Hindenburg was caused by static electricity,” said Reuters, based on a British documentary by TV host Jem Stansfield, who reached his conclusion by blowing up three model hydrogen airships. Stansfield’s hypothesis fell short of excitement, however, since it was only a slight variant on the “static electricity” theory fed to the public for many decades. It was reminiscent of a 2002 Discovery Channel documentary which claimed the blowing up of the USS Maine – trigger of the Spanish-American War – was simply caused by an accidental coal bunker fire, though no other U.S. warship of that era exploded from such a cause. It also evoked the NTSB’s report that the 1996 destruction of TWA flight 800 over the Atlantic resulted merely from a short circuit igniting vapors in a fuel tank, despite many witnesses having reported a streak of light heading toward the plane prior to detonation.
[dntplgn recurring_amt1=”4.50″ recurring_amt2=”3.00″ recurring_amt3=”1.50″ item_name=”Donation for EarthNewspaper.com” paypal_email=”email@example.com” currency_code=”USD” currency_symbol=”$” return_url=” https://earthnewspaper.com/index.php/thank-you-for-donating-to-earthnewspaper-com”]