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White Silence: The Disaster that Shattered NZ's psyche

On November 28, 1979, an Air NZ DC10 jet took off from Auckland Airport on a sightseeing trip to Antarctica. There were 257 people on board. Hours later everyone was dead.

Somehow, the plane had flown directly into the Erebus volcano. In the decades since, grief gave way to blame, anger and recrimination. Who was responsible for so many deaths? Was there a cover-up? How could a plane just fly into a mountain?

Almost 40 years later, Stuff’s Michael Wright and RNZ’s Katy Gosset explore why New Zealand’s deadliest disaster was also its most controversial; why a nation was incapable of moving on; and why it was captured by one famous phrase: ‘an orchestrated litany of lies’.

A six-part podcast series, White Silence is a fantastic in-depth examination of the disaster and a must-listen for anyone interested in New Zealand History, aviation or real-life mystery.

Wright says “White Silence aims to tell the story of the Erebus disaster to a new generation of Kiwis. Most of us don’t know that much about our worst-ever disaster and we really should. There is still no national memorial to the victims. The more we understand just how bitter the fallout from the crash was, the more able we are to move on.”

The White Silence podcast series is available from today [Eds: Friday 8 November] at Stuff.co.nz with a new podcast released each day until Wednesday, 13 November. (See White Silence trailer and content overview per episode below.)

You can listen to White Silence on Stuff, RNZ, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or any other podcast app.


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