Memories revived in American Samoa over 1974 Pan Am jet crash
UK filmaker plans to make documentary about American Samoa's worst aviation disaster.
An independent filmmaker from England is to travel to American Samoa in hopes of finding people with a connection to the territory's worst aviation disaster.
87 people died when Pan Am flight 806 crashed short of the runway in January 1974 en route from New Zealand to the United States via American Samoa and Hawaii.
Paul Crompton told Amelia Langford there is still a lot of mystery surrounding the crash and he aims to produce a documentary for the families of those who died.
PAUL CROMPTON: It came to me through a friend, somebody I had been working with and he had lived with this story all his life and it took him quite a while to actually talk about it and when he told me about it I thought it sounded kind of intriguing and then he told me that he had never spoken to his father about it. Now, his father didn't board that plane because at the very last minute, he was due to board it, at the very last minute he had to take his son to the hospital in Auckland. But his first wife and daughter did board the plane and they never made it. Now, what happened is that for whatever reason, emotional or whatever reason, his father has never spoken to his son about it, this is his son through a second marriage, so my friend and his father have never spoken about it before and it just sort of intrigued me how a family dealt with such a major incident and then when I found out that the plane had been buried in the ground and that sounded a little bit sort of mysterious I just thought 'maybe there is something in this'. And then I thought maybe someone's done stories and a documentary on it before and very little existed. So between us we had to look into it more and found out that other people like him were also intrigued and confused about what had happened.
AMELIA LANGFORD: And so what will you set out to do with this documentary, what will you be looking to find out?
PC: Just to help those who had relatives who died in the crash, help them understand what happened and to try and paint a clearer picture as possible and also maybe at the end of it, and this is what quite a few family members have said to me, maybe there will be a memorial at the site where the plane crashed - somewhere they can go and visit and pay respects because even that doesn't exist at the moment.
AL: And you'll be going over to American Samoa?
PC: Yes, I'm going to be over there for four days to get a feel for it, to have a look at the crash site, I believe that parts of the plane are sort of still there, sort of protruding from the ground, and hopefully meet and talk to some people who can remember the incident. I mean I'm looking for anyone really who has a connection to it either in an official capacity or was just passing by or just nearby and also to look at how the crash was reported and recorded in local media aswell.
Paul Crompton can be contacted via the following email address, firstname.lastname@example.org
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