MIND TRAPS: The fatal mistake of hanging on too long — UPDATE

Alert reader Serbia Milan has dug up a bunch of fascinating historic film clips of the USS Akron tragedy of May 11, 1932, when 2 sailors died after holding on too long to the mooring lines of a US Navy dirigible.

I posted about the incident, and what it tells us about human psychology, here.

This one is a clip from the French film “Les porte-avions volants de l’US Navy,” which I translate as “The US Navy’s Flying Aircraft Carriers”:


The caption on the LiveLeaks page this comes from states that “one man was carried 15 feet (4.6 m) into the air before he let go and suffered a broken arm in the process. Three others were carried up even farther. Two of these men — Aviation Carpenter’s Mate 3d Class Robert H. Edsall and Apprentice Seaman Nigel M. Henton — lost their grips and fell to their deaths. The third, Apprentice Seaman C. M. “Bud” Cowart, clung desperately to his line and made himself fast to it before he was hoisted aboard Akron one hour later.”

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This last one is from a contemporary Italian documentary. Notes Serbia, “You can barely see the two poor sailors, little dots in the sky, BUT there’s more footage of the Zepp crew getting the third guy up, and a bit longer shot of all the other sailors falling on top of each other; they quickly get up, but the last one doesn’t, and you can just see for a brief moment other guys rushing to help him – clearly it’s the guy who broke his arm; click on “full screen” for a better view:”

2 thoughts on “MIND TRAPS: The fatal mistake of hanging on too long — UPDATE”

  1. Apprentice Seaman C. M. “Bud” Cowart was my grandmothers nephew.Her father Daddy pal was a cowboy etc( we don’t talk about the other things) that taught all his children to learn how to use the rope. Paid off that day for Apprentice Seaman C. M. “Bud” Cowart.

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