Analysis: The Hindenburg Incident

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As referenced in Schudel (2014), radio broadcaster Herbert Morrison uttered these famous lines, “It’s a terrific crash, ladies and gentlemen. It’s smoke, and it’s in flames now; and the frame is crashing to the ground, not quite to the mooring mast. Oh, the humanity!” The Hindenburg incident is regarded as the first broadcasted American tragedy as it happened (Colimore, 2012). This essay will detail the events of what transpired on the day of the crash by survivors through Colimore (2012) and Schudel (2014). It will also discuss a recently proposed theory behind what may have caused the airship’s destruction concluded by Dowling (2013). Discussion Schudel (2014) details the Hindenburg, an 800-foot-long and 135-feet-high zeppelin kept in the air by hydrogen gas; renowned as the pride of Adolf Hitler, and an influential propaganda tool for the Nazi regime. A mere two months before the crash, the dirigible was spotted by spectators at the Olympics in Berlin. Schudel (2014) described it as a brilliant silver ship…show more content…
However, in Dowling (2013) new evidence proposed that the aircraft was not caused by an engineering flaw, but a scientific phenomenon known as St. Elmo’s fire. This rarely seen oddity occurs when a “luminous electrical discharge in the atmosphere gathers around elevated objects” (Dowling 2013). Mark Heald was eight years old when he watched the landing with his family in Princeton. From their angle they were able to observe the landing. He recalls seeing a blue flame streaming across the top of the zeppelin. Some scientists believe that St. Elmo’s fire was present at the time of the incident. This phenomenon compounded by recent experiments that suggest the craft was leaking hydrogen, caused the gas to be ignited, and channeled it back into the dirigible causing the explosion (Dowling

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