In 1961, astronaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space. However, some conspiracy theorists suggest that the Soviets reached space with much earlier, but hid it, because these flights ended in the death of astronauts.
During the Cold War, rivalry between the Soviet Union and the West was mainly a demonstration of the superiority of its system over the rest of the world. And sometimes it wasn’t even limited to Earth, since both sides were competing to be the first to send people into space. The space race during this period from 1955 to 1972 forced the Soviet Union and the United States to make the most of their scientific resources.
In 1957, the Soviets launched the first satellite into orbit, and in 1961, cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space.
These victories in the Space Race caused the United States to panic, as they were afraid that they could actually lose the contest with the Soviets. But the apparent success of the Soviet program hid a few dark secrets.
In 1960, a Soviet rocket caught fire at the launch site of Baikonur, killing at least 78 people. In 1961, shortly before Gagarin’s space flight, a Soviet cosmonaut died when a destructive fire started in an oxygen-enriched training capsule.
In 1967, cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov died when the parachute on his space capsule did not open. Gagarin himself will die a year later while training on a fighter jet, adding another name to the long list of the dead associated with the Soviet space program.
But it has long been reported that these well-known victims make up only a small fraction of the total death toll. In fact, some even claimed that many astronauts died during launches into orbit.
In 1960, the writer Robert Heinlein reported that during a trip to the USSR, he met soldiers who told him that a manned space launch had recently been carried out. The spaceship Sputnik-1, a spaceship, crashed in the guidance system and was sent to a higher orbit, instead of returning to Earth.
The Soviets officially claimed that the launch was an unmanned test flight, but, according to Heinlein, there could be an astronaut inside. To get some evidence of Heinlein’s theory, two Italian radio amateurs allegedly intercepted several radio programs, which they claimed were received from doomed Soviet cosmonauts.
Achilles and Giovanni Yudika-Cordilla, a pair of brothers from Turin, claimed that they began monitoring broadcasts of the Soviet space program in 1957 and that these programs prove that Yuri Gagarin was not really the first man in space.
In November 1960, the brothers claimed to have heard the SOS signal in Morse code received from the Soviet spacecraft. Based on the transmissions, they determined that the spacecraft was moving away from the Earth, and not revolving around it, which meant that the Soviets accidentally launched their astronauts deep into space. As a result, the brothers made nine such recordings, which, they claimed, were emergency programs of Soviet cosmonauts launched from Earth.
In one of the recordings, a female voice is heard, speaking in Russian that she sees fire, and asking Flight Control if the ship will explode. If the records are real, then this means that the first woman in space was actually launched by the Soviets and, apparently, died there. And according to other rumors, the Soviet cosmonauts were also technically the first on the moon, voluntarily going there in one of the probes of the USSR Lunar program.
The Soviets denied all these accusations, and, although they always sought to hide any unpleasant incidents behind the Iron Curtain, there are several good reasons to believe them in this matter. For example, physically there was no space for astronauts inside the Lunar Probes. Ship-Satellite-1 did not have protection for re-entry into the atmosphere, which suggests that the capsule had no opportunity to survive the flight.
Records Yudika-Cordilla today recognized as fakes. In his biography, Gagarin suggested that the majority of theories about the dead astronauts can be explained by accidents that occurred in low orbit, and not in space.
Even in the declassified Soviet documents on the space program there is no mention of the missing cosmonauts. Thus, most evidence suggests that the story of dead astronauts is another of the many myths of the Cold War era.