‘Hindenburg: The New Evidence’ settles an unsolved mystery

Category: Television and Streaming

In 1937 the airship Hindenburg burst into flames while landing in New Jersey. The new NOVA documentary, Hindenburg: The New Evidence, uses modern technology to finally put to rest the reason for this disaster.

Up until relatively recently, all the film footage of the crash was from one angle. But a newly discovered piece of film shows the incident from a different side. “Thanks to this stunning new footage, we were able to revive a cold case investigation surrounding one of the most iconic disasters of the 20th century,” said Hindenburg: The New Evidence Executive Producer Gary Tarpinian.

While many thought it was sabotage that destroyed Germany’s popular airship, there were others that thought there was a more natural reason for the disaster. The ship was filled with hydrogen gas. Helium would have been preferable since it does not explode, however it was limited to the United States and not allowed to be sold outside of the country. So the Germans stayed with their standby modus operandi – hydrogen gas. Although other Zeppelins had exploded, for the most part the country had a good history when it came to their airships.

So, what exactly happened on that fateful day?

With careful examination of the new footage as well as technological experiments with recreations of the material that was used on the Hindenburg, the conclusion is clear. They finally put to rest the mystery surrounding the explosion of the Hindenburg. And it is really quite simple, when looking at it from today’s perspective. A confluence of circumstances took part in this historic disaster.

“For over 80 years, experts have debated how and why the fire began,” added Writer/Producer Rushmore DeNooyer. “Using the tried and true scientific method, we were able to unravel a key part of one of history’s most famous and captivating unsolved mysteries.”

I could go into detail and thoroughly explain what the conclusion is, however you should watch the film for yourself and see how they came to solve the mystery.

“We went to a lot of places in search of answers—from the crash site in Lakehurst, New Jersey, to the Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen in Germany,” said Director Kirk Wolfinger. “This film not only reveals new insights into how this tragic event unfolded, but also illustrates the enormous scale of the disaster.”

Hindenburg: The New Evidence premieres May 19, 2021 on PBS.

About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment industry for over 25 years. She also writes about products and travel. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, is the entertainment correspondent for Good Day Orange County, and has her own TV show, Beyond the Red Carpet, on Village Television in Orange County. She is a longstanding member of the Los Angeles Press Club and the Television Critics Association and is accredited by the MPAA.