10 episodes

On November 28, 1979, an Air New Zealand 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. This was a disaster that shattered a country’s psyche. 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? To mark the 40th anniversary of the disaster, Michael Wright and Katy Gosset explore why New Zealand’s deadliest disaster was also its most controversial; why a nation was incapable of moving on; and how it was captured by one famous phrase: ‘an orchestrated litany of lies’. White Silence will be released daily from November 8, 2019.

White Silence Stuff | RNZ

    • History
    • 4.7 • 37 Ratings

On November 28, 1979, an Air New Zealand 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. This was a disaster that shattered a country’s psyche. 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? To mark the 40th anniversary of the disaster, Michael Wright and Katy Gosset explore why New Zealand’s deadliest disaster was also its most controversial; why a nation was incapable of moving on; and how it was captured by one famous phrase: ‘an orchestrated litany of lies’. White Silence will be released daily from November 8, 2019.

    Episode One - The break-in

    Episode One - The break-in

    On November 28, 1979, an Air New Zealand DC10 took off from Auckland Airport on a sightseeing trip to Antarctica. It never returned. What do the families remember of that fateful day?

    • 35 min
    Episode Two - The caravan

    Episode Two - The caravan

    Whose fault was it? Investigators sift through the evidence and reach a shocking conclusion.

    • 50 min
    Episode Three - All hell

    Episode Three - All hell

    With the pilots’ reputations in tatters, a second investigation into the crash unearths appalling mistakes and a sensational new theory for what caused the crash.

    • 50 min
    Episode Four - The Lovesong of J Alfred Prufrock

    Episode Four - The Lovesong of J Alfred Prufrock

    ‘An orchestrated litany of lies’ is ingrained into New Zealand’s collective consciousness. Justice Peter Mahon didn’t have to say that, but he did. It would prove the making of him, and the ruin.

    • 43 min
    Episode Five - New World Order

    Episode Five - New World Order

    In 1981, New Zealand was changing. The baby boomers had come of age, and the South African rugby tour was about to tear the country apart. When the Mahon report landed right in the middle of this, the country was ready for its first big conspiracy theory.

    • 41 min
    Episode Six - White Silence

    Episode Six - White Silence

    40 years after the Erebus disaster, there is still no national memorial to the victims and no consensus on exactly what happened that day in 1979. Why has New Zealand been so hopelessly unable to deal with its worst-ever disaster?

    • 52 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
37 Ratings

37 Ratings

rickinblackuk ,

Thank you!

I was a 15 year old English boy, living in NZ with my parents throughout 1979. We lived on the flight path of Christchurch airport and that fateful night, awaited hearing ‘the missing aircraft’ flying over us. Of course it never came.
I have waited 40 years to hear this full and frank story. Thank you for bringing it to us.

BethanyAnn1403 ,

More than meets the eye

An exceptionally well researched and documented exploration into the worst disaster in New Zealand’s history. Shocking and emotional for all who lost their lives. The production is great and we really appreciate the effort put into this podcast. Look forward to future projects.

Martin Pounds ,

Shocking!

A very interesting podcast. Well worth listening to.

You Might Also Like

Stuff
Stuff
Stuff
NZME
The Australian
True Crime New Zealand

More by Stuff

Stuff
Stuff
Stuff
Stuff | RNZ
Stuff
Stuff