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Vintage Radio Amateur film sheds light on Hindenburg disaster

05/27/2021

Vintage home movie film supplied by New Jersey amateur Bob Schenck, N2OO, was the highlight of a PBS documentary on the Hindenburg disaster. The film, shot by his uncle Harold Schenck, may provide clues as to what sparked the disastrous fire of 1937 that destroyed the airship Hindenburg and left 35 people dead as the German zeppelin landed at Lakehurst, New Jersey. Harold Schenck has tried to get government investigators interested in his film, which was shot in a different light from the news footage that does not begin until after the fire started, but it has been largely ignored. “Nobody ever asked for it,” says Bob Schenck in the documentary.

Schenck’s film is the highlight of a PBS documentary “NOVA”, Hindenburg: The new proofe, who studies the problem in depth with the aim of unraveling the secrets of the cold affair. The program aired on May 19 and remains available to stream.

“My dad bought this nifty Kodak camera – an 8mm self-winding camera – and he couldn’t come. [to the Hindenburg landing] because he was working, ”said Bob Schenck during the documentary. “So he asked my uncle and my mother if they wanted to take pictures and see the Hindenburg Earth.”

Bob Schenck approached Dan Grossman, an airship expert, whose Hindenburg, in 2012 at a commemoration of the disaster that forever commemorated radio journalist Herbert Morrison’s plaintive response to the air, “Oh, mankind! The NOVA documentary not only shares footage of Schenck, which provided new clues to reexamine the cause of the explosion. The documentary also reviews scientific experiments that have helped investigators gain a better understanding of what started the fire.

The initial investigation only concluded that the fire was the result of a hydrogen leak ignited by a spark, but it was never determined what caused the spark. Testimonies suggest the fire started near the tail of the airship, but supporting evidence was difficult to find until Schenck’s footage was examined.

“The Hindenburg remains vivid in our collective memories all these years later because of the scorching footage and film of the explosion, ”NOVA co-executive producer Chris Schmidt said in a Manchester patch item. “We are honored to share these new footage with the world and to bring the NOVA audience behind the scenes of this crucial new crash investigation.” – Some information from Manchester crest; thanks to Pete Varounis, NL7XM


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