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
    • 4.8 • 60 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?
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 37 min
    Episode Two - The caravan

    Episode Two - The caravan

    Whose fault was it? Investigators sift through the evidence and reach a shocking conclusion.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 54 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.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 54 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.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 47 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.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 45 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?
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 56 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
60 Ratings

60 Ratings

user202875987379 ,

Outstanding.

A respectful and comprehensive coverage of the disaster, aftermath, and recent government apology. Splendidly done.

Mastercast Reviews ,

White Silence - No Spoilers!

41 years ago Flight 901 took off from New Zealand on a sightseeing mission over Antarctica with 257 people on board. 4 hours, 4 minutes and 42 seconds into the flight the plane descended; crashing into the lower slopes of Mount Erebus killing everyone on board and launching one of the biggest investigations the industry has ever seen. The disaster caused a years long court battle, permanent mandatory changes to aircraft radar, accusations (and quite a bit of evidence) of a coverup, and a huge loss still felt through New Zealand even today. This podcast uses court transcripts as well as testimony from professionals involved and family accounts to discuss all of these aspects while trying to get to the bottom of who was at fault for the death of so many. It has 4.7 stars on Apple Podcasts with 48 ratings and a gold medal New York Festivals Radio Awards 2020. The eight part miniseries is produced and hosted by Katy Gosset with production help from Michael Wright. Each part is on average 34 minutes long with the show starting and wrapping up in 2019. Trigger warning for airplane crashes, depiction and recovery of the dead, and strong language.

Similar Pods: Our Thing Podcast, Black Box Down, Floodlines, Frozen Lies, A Perfect Storm: The True Story of the Chamberlains, Unexplained Mysteries, Noble Blood, History! This Week, The 50 Year Secret, Black Sheep, Erebus Flight 901: Litany of lies? Airspace

More reviews on insta @themastercast

YGlen ,

Another engaging podcast from RNZ

Very well done - thank you!

Top Podcasts In History

iHeartPodcasts
Wondery
Sarah Marshall
Dan Carlin
Audioboom Studios
Goalhanger Podcasts

You Might Also Like

RNZ
Stuff
Newsroom.co.nz
NZME
RNZ
RNZ

More by Stuff

Stuff
Stuff | RNZ
Stuff
Stuff
Stuff
Stuff