Hindenburg Mystery Solved [Video]
Being an armchair historian, I always love a good whodunit. For 75 years the Hindenburg disaster has been shrouded in mystery since it exploded into a ball of fire on May 6, 1937 at the Lakehurst Naval Station in Lakehurst, New Jersey.
The disaster occurred as it was attempting to dock with its mooring mast at the naval station. Of the 97 aboard, 35 were fatalities. One person on the ground crew was killed.
The disaster was the subject of spectacular newsreel coverage, photographs, and Herbert Morrison's recorded radio eyewitness report (Oh! The humanity!) from the landing field, which was broadcast the next day. A variety of hypotheses including espionage, have been put forward for both the cause of ignition and the initial fuel for the ensuing fire. The incident shattered public confidence in the giant, passenger-carrying zeppelins and brought an end to an era of airship travel.
Now, 75 years later, the cause of the disaster has been found. Scientists found the cause while blowing up scale models of the ship. They say static electricity was the culprit. As the Hindenburg hit a thunderstorm, it became charged with static electricity. A broken wire or stuck gas valve leaked hydrogen into the ventilation shafts. When the crews on the ground ran to take the landing ropes, they effectively 'grounded' the craft, which caused a spark which ignited the hydrogen.