Hindenberg in Flames

May 6th of 1937, the tragedy of the Hindenburg occurred. As the massive airship attempted to dock with its mooring mast, it went up in flames and burned to the ground at Lakehurst Naval Air Station. Around 7:25PM witnesses said they had seen fabric fluttering and what could have been gases spurting out, as well as a blue discharge that some believe may have been static electricity, then just seconds later the airship was engulfed in flames.

Out of 96 passengers on board the Hindenburg, 35 of them did not survive. One civilian on the ground was killed as well, leaving the death toll of the Hindenburg at 36 souls.

There were many different hypothesis as to how or why the incident occurred such as sabotage, a static spark igniting hydrogen, lightening, engine failure, incendiary paint, a puncture cell freeing hydrogen into the air, structure failure, and some newspapers even reported that they thought the incident happened due to a suicide because a luger pistol was found among the wreckage with one shell fired, but there was no proof of the suicide.

Werner Franz was one of two survivors that were still alive in 2012 – I’m not sure if he’s still around today, but he either had good luck or the stroke of a miracle working on his side the day of the disaster. He was 14 years old at the time, as the airship caught aflame he was cleaning dishes and was dazed and in shock when he first had seen the flames surrounding him. Werner was too afraid to move. Luckily, a water tank above him burst from the heat and soaked him down while putting out a lot of the fire that was around him giving him the chance to make a break for it. He was able to run and make it out alive with minor injuries (singed eyebrows).

There have been many claims of paranormal activity at the crash site over the years at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station, in Lakehurst, New Jersey. If you haven’t seen it yet,  TAPS investigated the main hanger in Ghost Hunters Season 5 Episode 25, in which I believe they were able to collect some pretty usable evidence.

This is original footage of the crash with the erie recording of Herb Morrison’s famous report as he tried to deliver information to his audience during the Hindenburg disaster.


~ William C. Raustler