Monday, June 25, 2007

"OH THE HUMANITY!"

We all know what happened to the mighty glorious Hindenburg right?!

Of course! Such a big beautiful behemoth ship she was. The most prestigious way to travel, until jet planes came into use. For a while there Nazi Germany seemed to be very creative and on the vanguard of technology. From what I've read, I believe it was the largest aircraft ever built by humans. The largest ever! WOW!

They wanted to fill it with the safe gas helium, but apparently there were restrictions imposed by the U.S. (which had this gas in abundance) against Germany, so the Germans had to use hydrogen instead; the U.S. was already suspicious of Hitler's government mind you. The ship was named after the President of Germany, Paul von Hindenburg, who was succeeded by Adolf Hitler. It was pretty expensive to travel on it, only the really rich and wealthy could afford to really; $400 back then, which would be a whopping $5,000 or so nowadays.

Alas, it had flown from Germany to Lakehurst, New Jersey many times successfully without a problem during its first year of service in 1936. However, that all ended in May of 1937 as it was about to land in New Jersey, and burst into flames. There he was, reporter Herbert Morrison, with his famous line, "OH THE HUMANITY!" Morrison was deeply devastated by what he was witnessing of course, and his reporting of the incident stands as one of the first dramatic news events ever caught on film. Most of the deaths surprisingly, occurred not from the flames engulfing the passenger cabin area, but by those who jumped in fright to their demise below; 97 people were on board, 35 were killed, and one dude on the ground.

Many theories have surfaced as to what really happened. Why did the mighty zeppelin burst into flames? Well, it was perhaps most likely a combination of the flammable hydrogen gas and the paint used on the airship that did her in--at least, this is what that cable show Mythbusters proved with their tests not too long ago. This story is all too similar to the Titanic disaster ain't it?

I can smell a good Hollywood blockbuster movie already, although I think a cheap flick was already made some years ago.

9 comments:

M- Filer said...

911 came to mind before Titanic did, but I guess it really wasn't a terrorist attack.....OR WAS IT?

molly said...

oh man, if they make a movie, you KNOW its going to involve dakota fanning

somehow.

thanks soo much, i adore pattie boyd! thats a HUGE compliment!

Christopher said...

I can see Peter Jackson directing the movie...

Junk Thief said...

Totally unrelated to this post, but...I love that shot of the drunken Linda McCartney on the upper left!

Gavin Elster said...

The cheap flick was a Universal film with matte paintings by the great Albert Whitlock and a score by John Williams. Not that cheap of a film. It was none the less a horrible film.

Since this was a German ship filled with flammible gas do you think if it happened today it would have been labeled as a terrorist attack?

Zhu said...

I feel so smart after I read your blog. Do I have to quote you everytime I mention your infos in a conversation ? :D

durante vita said...

A coworker would say, "Oh the humanity!" and now I understand.

Thanks!

laurenbove said...

Oh, how interesting. I loved this post. I have always been interested in this and other similar events. Just finishsed a cool book "Devil in the White City" by Larson. Excellent read that combines the very interesting but forgotten story of the first serial killer and the Chicago World's Fair...of which famous things like the Ferris wheel, shredded wheat and the term "snap shot" ....

laurenbove said...

I also posted a jake gyllenhaal in your honor at mindfulthings.


xxoo