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On November 28, 1979, an airliner 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?

In White Silence, 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 why it was captured by one famous phrase: ‘an orchestrated litany of lies’.