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  Debunking the myth Gagarin was not first (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   Debunking the myth Gagarin was not first
mensax
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posted 12-26-2004 09:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mensax   Click Here to Email mensax     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Pravda: Gagarin was not the first cosmonaut
As 40 years have passed since Gagarin's flight, new sensational details of this event were disclosed: Gagarin was not the first man to fly to space. Three Soviet pilots died in attempts to conquer space before Gagarin's famous space flight, Mikhail Rudenko, senior engineer-experimenter with Experimental Design Office 456 (located in Khimki, in the Moscow region) said on Thursday. According to Rudenko, spacecraft with pilots Ledovskikh, Shaborin and Mitkov at the controls were launched from the Kapustin Yar cosmodrome (in the Astrakhan region) in 1957, 1958 and 1959.

machbusterman
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posted 12-26-2004 10:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for machbusterman   Click Here to Email machbusterman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had never heard of these stories before.

Does anyone know if these details will be published by the media? This of course would make the history books inaccurate.

Frederic Janik
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posted 12-26-2004 11:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Frederic Janik   Click Here to Email Frederic Janik     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
These stories have been going around for a while now (look at the date of the Pravda article: 2001) and no expert actually gives them any real credit.

By the way, Pravda nowadays seem to be focusing a lot on stories about UFOs, conspiracies and the like! Not very serious in my opinion!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-26-2004 11:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
All these Phantom Cosmonauts are documented on astronautix.com and all are, at best, rumors gone wild; at worst, outright hoaxes. Noted Russian space history expert Jim Oberg has also researched this topic. Pre-Gagarins are the Russian space program's contribution to modern mythology, alongside Big Foot, UFOs and the hoax of landing men on the Moon...

mensax
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posted 12-27-2004 08:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mensax   Click Here to Email mensax     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the links Robert.

It made for some interesting and enlightning reading. Jim Oberg's closing paragraph though didn't do a very good job at closing the door on this subject...

Paradoxically the hero-worshiping Soviets denied at least one genuine space age hero -- Valentin Bondarenko -- his proper tribute and recognition because of their irrational, insistent secrecy. His tragic death in 1961 in the line of duty was not revealed for a quarter of a century. In the meantime, the Apollo 15 astronauts had left a plaque on the moon in 1971 in honor of fallen space heroes, both American and Russian. Bondarenko's name is not on it, and it should have been. How many other names should also have been there remains to be determined.

paclippr
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posted 12-02-2007 02:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for paclippr   Click Here to Email paclippr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would like to re-open the topic on the question of whether Yuri Gagarin was the second man in space. Recently reading accounts of Sergei Vladimir Ilyushin, Jr., who purportedly orbited the Earth 5 days earlier then Gagarin and had lost consciousness returning to earth. The Soviet Union dismissed the story at the time but supposedly new info since the fall of the Soviet Russia has appeared. Anyone want to offer any insight on this "interesting story"?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-02-2007 02:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Astronautica's Phantom Cosmonauts: Ilyushin:
There are also hundreds of photographs released of the cosmonauts in training, of preparations for the launch, of the recovery of the capsules. Even during Soviet times censors would make mistakes and release photographs showing unknown cosmonauts or spacecraft. These provided material for Soviet space watchers of the time to penetrate the secrecy around the program. But in all of these hundreds of photographs released before and since the fall of the Soviet Union there is not one to substantiate Ilyushin training as a cosmonaut, let alone his launch.

East-Frisian
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posted 12-02-2007 06:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for East-Frisian     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I guess, this kind of topic will never end, the same as: Have astronauts been on the moon? A little bit boring.

cspg
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posted 12-02-2007 08:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And does it really matter? Even if Gagarin was not the first (to come back alive), it would be another Russian/Soviet cosmonaut... so what's the big deal?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-02-2007 11:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Were there even a chance any of these phantom cosmonauts were real (which I would say is a resounding "no"), I think it would be a very "big deal".

It's sort of like saying, 'Who cares if a paleontologist finds a fossil of a new species? It would just be another dinosaur.'

That said, given all we know about the Soviet program today and given that this particular subject has been given extra focus by respected researchers, I would hope we could put this particular chapter of space history myths to bed.

ColinBurgess
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posted 12-02-2007 02:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A big AMEN to that, Robert!

kyra
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posted 12-02-2007 03:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kyra   Click Here to Email kyra     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The key words are "all we know", as Robert just stated. There are plenty of great researchers and sleuths currently working to save and gather the detailed historical and technical accounts of this era. The amount we know (or have access to) about Vostok vs. Mercury is about 10%.

A detailed paper trail of historic, financial and technical records is what will eventually provide the airtight proof that the Phantom Cosmonauts are truly phantom.

I personally don't believe any of these stories after some years of intense research. The recorded space-ground conversations do not match the style and protocol that was known some years after the real first flights took place.

However, the documentation when released will demonstrate the coherence of the program. Documentation can:

  1. Show the engineering cycle working to correct problems on a flight to flight basis.
  2. Allow for a comprhensive understanding of the chain of command, duties, and whereabouts of involved personnel.
  3. Show a linear pattern of the design and building of parts such that there are no gaps for a "Phantom Rocket" to launch a Phantom Cosmonaut.
Let us presume for a moment that such a flight took place. Even in a secret program there is a huge paper trail. Even if it is 100% destroyed in a cover-up there will still be a gap in the records that will be visible when the surviving similar type records from unclassified programs are revealed. If the R-7 #10 launch report is missing between 9 and 11 here is a starting point for research. If a numbering system is altered, this is also a red flag.

In summary, we need the reams of data (think dozens of gigabytes of PDF) on everything launched from 1957 through the 1960's in the SU.

This is not a harsh request. Think of what can be gathered from Mercury through Apollo.

There is no room in the record for Phantom Astronauts or faked moon landings, which is one of the reasons why no serious space scholar gives these stories any credit. NASA has given us access to the paper and media trail. It is the wish of many researchers that various contractors and state archives such as RGANTD will do similarly.

Chris Dubbs
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posted 12-02-2007 06:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chris Dubbs   Click Here to Email Chris Dubbs     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A little canine cosmonaut reasoning --

Two precursor, one-orbit dog flights were designed to test Vostok systems. The flight of Chernushka on March 9, 1961 came off well, as did the flight of Zvezdochka three weeks later. Both dogs were accompanied by a cosmonaut, a mannequin named Ivan Ivanovich. [Could these be the cosmonauts who preceded Gagarin?] Three weeks later came Gagarin's flight. I just don't see the time to fit in any other failed flights.

kking
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posted 12-02-2007 07:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kking   Click Here to Email kking     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have in my audio collection of news reports during Gagarin flight. Even Walter Cronkite said in his reporting that such flights did happen. I think Frank McGee did too. I've haven't seen any concrete proof yet. But in my own personal opinion I don't think Gagarin was first. Then the Russians would say 100% success. During a CBS radio report when asked reaction to Alan Shepard's flight. They said this was done by us several years before.

I have seen several pro-Gagarin people won't even debate this. I'm just one person with my own thoughts. I don't believe Gagarin was first but yet to see concrete proof of other flights.

FFrench
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posted 12-02-2007 07:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Unlike most conspiracy theories, this one is probably well-intentioned to begin with, and easy to trace back to a single source, explain and thus close the book on for good.

A basic chronology of events is:

Despite being a secret state program, rumors got out before a huge event like the first manned space shot - probably too many people involved for it to be otherwise. Rumors were therefore circulating in Moscow in the days and weeks before Gagarin's flight that something big was about to happen.

Amongst the rumors, as often happens when people only have a hint of a story, was speculation that something had already been attempted but perhaps gone wrong. It's possible that whispers about cosmonaut Bondarenko's death in late March, officially a secret but, like the manned flight story, impossible to keep completely quiet, was twisted into a story about a cosmonaut dying in flight.

Around this time Vladimir Ilyushin, son of the famous aircraft designer, had a car accident. He lived close to a Moscow-based British reporter called Dennis Ogden, who got wind of it.

Ogden then put the three elements together:
- rumors of a manned flight soon to take place
- rumors of a cosmonaut dying / injured
- Ilyushin hospitalized after an accident

And, in a probably well-intentioned move, but typical of some reporters, jumped the gun, assumed Ilyushin had been injured while attempting a spaceflight, and wrote a story to that effect.

And that's the whole story. There are no facts to support Ogden's reporting guesswork, and in the subsequent decades nothing substantial to change that viewpoint. Ogden just made a guess too far.

So, I think it's fair to say, case closed.

The only real interest here (which is why I'm typing this up) is that it is characteristic of the secretive nature of the program, guesswork by reporters, etc. that went on at that time, and so is of minor historical interest as a sign of those times. But not of any credence as evidence for undisclosed manned flights.

art540
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posted 12-02-2007 08:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for art540   Click Here to Email art540     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Chris Dubbs:
I just don't see the time to fit in any other failed flights.
I suppose you could review and verify the two "Vostok" flights made under the name of Korabl-Sputnik which flew and recovered March 9 and March 25, 1961...

Jay Chladek
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posted 12-02-2007 09:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gagarin was first, end of story. The thing about a conspiracy theory (which is what this claim of cosmonauts before Gagarin is) is it unravels as the crowd gets bigger. In all the interviews with cosmonauts that trained as part of that first class, to my knowledge not one of them said anything about Ilyushin during an interview, yet at the same time there was discussion about Valentin Bondarenko's oxygen fire accident. If the Soviet Union were still around, I might be more inclined to potentially believe such a story. But doors on the old state secrets have been opening up since the Soviet Union fell and to my knowledge, not one shred of evidence towards manned flights before Gagarin has surfaced yet.

To me, this does rank right up there with the moon hoax claimers, Kennedy conspiracy theorists and a certain discussion about the supposed "real" cause of the Challenger disaster that reared its ugly head a few months back (and which unfortunately made it into a book I own).

cspg
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posted 12-03-2007 12:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
It's sort of like saying, 'Who cares if a paleontologist finds a fossil of a new species? It would just be another dinosaur.'
That was precisely my point. One cosmonaut or another doesn't change the course of history as we know it. The Russians would have still been the first ones to orbit a human being.

Another cosmonaut wouldn't therefore be "a new species". If Buzz Aldrin had been the first to step on the Moon, would that have made any difference? Don't think so.

As to putting matters to rest, that would be a shame. There's nothing definitive about history: e.g. Graham Bell is known for having invented the telephone but historical research tends to show that this may not be true; Antonio Meucci may have, as stated by the House of Representatives back in 2001.

TellingHistory
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posted 12-11-2007 05:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for TellingHistory   Click Here to Email TellingHistory     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In all the hubbub of the discussion of this most likely fabricated story about other cosmonauts beating Gagarin into space, let's not forget that Gagarin was not the first to make a complete orbit. Titov was. French and Burgess substantiate this in their book [Into That Silent Sea] too (from page 29):
Gagarin had not completed a full orbit of the Earth. He had in fact landed over 900 miles short.
But let's also appreciate that the Russians were the first in space, period. Gagarin, Titov, or whomever. My bet is Gagarin was though.

Aztecdoug
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posted 12-11-2007 05:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Aztecdoug   Click Here to Email Aztecdoug     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Truth is always stranger than fiction, right?

I understand that John Glenn was the first person to complete a space flight. Gagarin's flight was technically sub-orbital because he did not complete a full lap. Also Titov bailed out, like Gagarin, thus not finishing their flights in the same apparatus which took them into space.

So Gagarin while first in space did not complete the first space flight. Don't you love rules!

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posted 12-23-2007 04:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ndrfrt64   Click Here to Email ndrfrt64     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have recently read a book written by Judica Cordiglia brothers on their listening experience about radio transmission from space in the sixties.

The first part of the book is about official manned and unmanned missions, both American and Soviet. The last part is about not confirmed and tragically concluded missions. This is the first they reported:

On 11.28.1960 at 13.43 CET, 135 days before Gagarin's launch, Judica Cordiglia brothers listened the following morse message: "S.O.S. for the whole world". Professor Heinz Kaminski of the Bochum observatory in Germany confirmed the radio frequency and recorded some signals, but not confirmed the message. Some technical considerations suggested the radio signal came from a spacecraft going away from the earth orbit.

Other listening experiences are reported on the book about uncorfirmed Soviet missions, before and after Gagarin launch.

Reading the book, Judica Cordiglia brothers seem to be careful, technically qualified and absolutely ingenious. Read, for example, chapter 14, where they explain the way they used to discover the secret radio frequency of John Glenn spacecraft.

Book is in Italian.

ColinBurgess
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posted 12-23-2007 05:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sadly, ounce for ounce, this book is a bigger load of tripe than what you can buy at the butchers. For more than four decades, professional, diligent and highly reputable space researchers have been refuting every single claim that these deluded fellows have made. I'm afraid these guys do not want to listen to facts, preferring instead to believe and publish rubbish about phantom cosmonauts having vanished without trace, along with their unrecorded, unbuilt rockets and spacecraft. They have been deceived by (but make a living out of) taped messages on unmanned flights, robotic telemetry and pre-recorded signals, and by giving credence to conspiracy thoeries set up by no less an authority than newspaper reporters looking to gain notoriety.

They have not advanced nor substantiated a single one of their claims; all they have proved is that the bigger the lie you tell, the more people will swallow it. They have the credibility of Bart Sibrel, and their book is a fiction on a par with "The Hitler Diaries."

There is a welter of good, factual books around on the early Soviet space program; might I urge you to set aside that work of fiction and treat yourself to others that reveal the truth of the matter.

But that aside, welcome to collectSPACE, and I hope that you enjoy participating and enjoying discussions with some of the finest spaceflight enthusiasts on this old Earth.

kyra
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posted 12-23-2007 09:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kyra   Click Here to Email kyra     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My personal favorite general work about this era is "The Rocket Men" by Rex Hall and David Shayler. The copy I have here is well dog-eared, bookmarked, and filled with dozens of my own notes...

It's funny these stories still circulate with the data that is out there. The stuff I'm working on now includes gathering info about the Vostok's Command Radio Link, various lights on the instrument panel, and other technical details. You could just about build an R-7 rocket from what is online !

Dirk
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posted 07-27-2008 04:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dirk   Click Here to Email Dirk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I found today a very interesting article about Vladimir Ilyusin (the-ghost-first USSR cosmonaut).

I knew the story but I found one of the first indications.

I found the article in the "RAF Flying Review of July 1961). I can send a scan of the article or post it here.

By the way, is Vladimir Ilyusin still alive and has someone ever contacted him?

jeffbassett
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posted 08-12-2008 08:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jeffbassett   Click Here to Email jeffbassett     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As of extra interest to this topic, there is controversial documentation of the following:
  • May 1960 Unnamed cosmonaut lost when his orbiting space capsule veered off course.
  • November 1960 The brothers picked up an SOS message in Morse code from a troubled spacecraft.
  • February 1961 Recorded the suffocation of a cosmonaut.
  • April 1961 Just prior to Yuri Gagarin's flight, a capsule circled the Earth three times before re-entering the Earth's atmosphere.
  • May 1961 Weak calls for help from an orbiting capsule.
  • October 1961 A Soviet spacecraft veered off course and vanished into deep space.
  • November 1962 A space capsule bounced off the Earth's atmosphere during re-entry and disappeared.
  • November 1963 Unnamed female cosmonaut perished on re-entry.
  • April 1964 Cosmonaut lost when capsule burnt up on re-entry.
You can read about these here.

Additionally, if you want to go on a leap to another co-incidental odd story that just might be connected. I wonder of the Keck PA UFO could have been one of these missing capsule missions.

The witnesses report seeing a "crashed acorn shape Volkswagon size space craft in the woods". The military ropes off and evacuates the area and flatbeds an object away. The Soviet Union is not going to admit anything. The US is going to want to tear it apart for intelligence purposes...

Would make sense if the US did recover and both sides quietly hushed up the story during the cold war.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-12-2008 09:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jeffbassett:
As of extra interest to this topic, there is controversial documentation...
Actually, there is no controversy nor documentation.

The Judica-Cordiglia brothers haven't just been well debunked, they have been shown to be verifiable liars, willing eager to make up stories if it gets them press.

As just one example, they report listening in to all of the conversations from John Glenn in orbit, from launch through landing. To quote Jim Oberg, "no radio station in Europe was in range to receive ANY of those signals. Absent a Nobel Prize discovery in the physics of radio propagation, these vivid tales cannot have been based on real events."

If you believe we landed men on the Moon, then you should believe that Gagarin was first in orbit, as the reports to the contrary have been greatly exaggerated.

ColinBurgess
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posted 08-13-2008 05:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Prior to Gagarin's flight the Russians commonly used to load taped voice messages into their unmanned spacecraft to check transmission levels and so forth in preparation for the real event of launching a person into space. On one Korabl-Sputnik flight Western listeners even heard a choir singing a patriotic song. Did they all die in space? Hardly.

Following one of the (unmanned) Zond lunar flights Pavel Popovich told an interviewer how he made a tape recording of his voice, had it placed aboard before launch, and had it played on the craft's way back from the moon, which he said was an hilarious joke on anyone listening in.

In my upcoming book on the first cosmonaut team, written with Rex Hall, I have a photograph of two so-called "phantom cosmonauts" named Belokonov and Mikhailov in the Izvestia newspaper office, taken on 27 May 1963 specifically to refute persistent rumours that they were killed in space flights two years earlier.

There were no "phantom cosmonauts" - end of story.

Philip
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posted 08-13-2008 06:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well-said Colin!

Serious spaceflight enthusiasts know that the early days of Soviet-Russian manned spaceflight have been examined in detail by specialists at BIS, who travelled extensively to Russia...

All the rest is buzz!

jeffbassett
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posted 08-13-2008 09:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jeffbassett   Click Here to Email jeffbassett     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Browsing on the net, thought it was quite an interesting story. But the net does have quite a bit of mis-information...

Given the pictures and documentation, I would have to think there is some truth to the brothers story. Given the presses lack of science background, it was not unusual for the US press to want to know why we could not pick up signals through the Earth as it was for other agencies to report such mis-information. I would not debunk a whole story based on such and assumed that such notations are the mistakes that were common in reporting of the time. If the brothers claimed it, then that's another story all together. Just found it and I am unfamiliar so thought I would post it here.

As for Soviet capsules lost and other undocumented flights...

This thread pretty much sums up they can and may have happened. Given the Soviet's public relations machine, I think it is quite possible there are many failed flights not accounted for.

I understand Gagarin ejected after re-entry and descended under his own parachute, as was planned. However for many years the Soviet Union denied this, because the flight would not have been recognized for various FAI world records unless the pilot had accompanied his craft to a landing.

To say that the Soviet Union was or is open would be to show a bias in itself. I am sure there are still much information on early Soviet space flight to be found out there.

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posted 09-13-2008 01:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for edmk5000   Click Here to Email edmk5000     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Brian Dunning's Skeptoid podcast recently had an episode on this subject.

hinkler
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posted 09-13-2008 06:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hinkler   Click Here to Email hinkler     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you have a choice between believing the Judica Cordiglia brothers or Colin Burgess, Francis French and Rex Hall, I would suggest the esteemed members of this forum are much more believable. Read some of their books and you will have some idea of the research these folks have undertaken.

moorouge
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posted 09-29-2009 03:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Apologies for coming to this late but... I'm surprised that no-one in this discussion has mentioned the work of the Kettering Group in the UK. Geoff Perry was tracking Soviet launches, both manned and unmanned, and announcing them long before the Soviets acknowledged them. The group even found and named a new Soviet launch site. You can check this out on the site of one of his pupils.

On edit: The following first appeared in the 1969 edition of my booklet "Manned Spaceflight". This is from the updated 1971 edition:

Totally unconfirmed and probably erroneous reports of other Russian deaths from the Torre Bert tracking station in Italy and from West Germany include:
  • 18 to 21:5:61 - SCIBOTIN, DOLGLOV (now believed to have died testing ejection seats for Vostok)
  • 14:10:61 - an unnamed man
  • 20:10:62 - LODOVSKY
  • 12:11:62 - BELOKONEV - retros failed to fire
  • 4:4:64 - IVAN & VIGOLA VALENTIN - on a rendezvous mission.
These deaths are strongly denied by the Russian authorities as having occurred on spaceflights.

Nevertheless, whilst the Soviets remain somewhat secretive about their intentions these stories will persist. For example, the commemorative stamp issued for two cosmonauts was for early balloonists.

Colin Anderton
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posted 09-30-2009 03:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Colin Anderton   Click Here to Email Colin Anderton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Aztecdoug:
Gagarin's flight was technically sub-orbital because he did not complete a full lap.
Have to dispute this! Gagarin achieved orbital speed, and only left that orbit when retro-fire took place. He was in orbit - not on a sub-orbital trajectory.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-30-2009 03:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While what you write is true, the rules set prior to Gagarin's launch by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (the world governing body for astronautic records, recognized by the Soviet Union at the time of Gagarin's flight) stated clearly that to achieve a successful orbital flight, the pilot needed to remain with the same spacecraft from launch through landing.

The Soviets purposely lied immediately following the mission, claiming that Gagarin landed in his Vostok capsule, in order to qualify for the record.

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posted 09-30-2009 05:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Colin Anderton   Click Here to Email Colin Anderton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With respect, Robert, that's a different issue. I agree absolutely with what you are saying - it's a matter of public record.

I'm responding to the statement that Gagarin technically made a sub-orbital flight, because he was 900 miles short of a complete circuit. This is what I'm disputing - he didn't complete a whole orbit of the earth, but he did achieve orbital flight.

Dirk
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posted 10-01-2009 03:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dirk   Click Here to Email Dirk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Soviets lied about the "shooting star" till 1978. And indeed normally an astronaut had to land IN his capsule.

I recently wrote an article (11 pages, but in Dutch) for the Belgian Aviation History Association. I even found a Russian journalist (Chizhenok, who is working for a US organisation seeking relatives of Russian orphans) to visit Vladimir Ilyushin about this matters (April 2009).

About cosmonauts in space before Gagarin my research gave the following:

  • Alexei Ledovsky (+1957) confirmed Mikhail Rudenko
  • Sergenti Zhiborin (+1958) confirmed Mikhail Rudenko
  • Andrei Mitkov (+1959) confirmed Mikhail Rudenko (and Herman Oberth)
  • Alexis Belokonyev (+ April 1960) confirmed journalist/candidate cosmonaut Yaroslaw Golovanov
  • Vasilli Zavadovsky (+ May 1960) confirmed USAF Col Barney Osfield (CIA)
  • Ivan Kachur (+ Sept 1960) unconfirmed
  • Piotr Dolgov (+ Oct 1960) Cordiglia recording-confirmed by other listening stations
  • Alexis Graciov (Nov 1960) Cordiglia recording- unconfirmed
  • Gennady Mikhailov (Feb 1961) Cordiglia recording uncorfirmed
  • Valentin Bondarenko (March 1961) confirmed by family - Gagarin was 16 hours death watcher
  • Vladimir Illyushin (April 1961) unconfirmed
  • Yuri Gagarin (April 1961) official the first in space
  • Ludmilla Serakovna and Nikolay Tokovy (+ May 1961) Cordiglia recording unconfirmed
  • Ivan Grachov (Oct 1961) unconfirmed
Mikhail Rudenko made his statements in 2001. He was an engineer at the Russian experimental space program (Office 465).

Yaroslav Golovanov wrote the death of cosmonaut Belokonyev in his book "Cosmonaut One".

The Cordiglia brothers mere radio amators who listened to all space activity since the end of the 50 ties. It must be said that the Cordiglia recordings are very controversial.

Most accidents happened at the base Kapustin Yar, were the German captured V2 rockets were tested (followed by the U2 flights of the US), later mission were launched at the base Tjoera Tam (the later Baikonour).

Those who want my article (in Dutch) and some other documents (faxes from the American Embassy in Moscow to the Secretary of State) just email me.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27861
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-01-2009 03:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I hope you found, as others have, that the above "phantom cosmonauts" were fantasies. It would be unfortunate to continue to propagate a myth that shares so many similarities to those who claim the U.S. never landed on the Moon.

East-Frisian
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Posts: 409
From: Germany
Registered: Apr 2005

posted 03-02-2010 01:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for East-Frisian     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by paclippr:
Sergei Vladimir Ilyushin, Jr., who purportedly orbited the Earth 5 days earlier then Gagarin...
According to German Wikipedia Ilyushin has died. R.I.P.

ctoddb
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posted 04-19-2010 02:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ctoddb   Click Here to Email ctoddb     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't have anything "official" to add. I just wanted to give my 2 cents' worth on this very interesting topic.

On the one hand, none of us would put it past the secretive Soviets to hide the truth about their early space program, manned or unmanned. With the revelation that Gagarin (and Titov) ejected before landing, we realize the Soviet government was willing to lie in order to come out on top. Some would even call that "cheating." Nevertheless, no one disputes that the first man in space was a Soviet. I think our interest in finding out if Gagarin was the first in space or not is more about "setting the record straight" so we can know WHO, indeed, was "FIRST." If it's not correct, they'll have to go back and re-edit any "Star Trek" episodes that referred to Gagarin as the first!

This long after the fall of the Soviet Union and with more opportunities for Western journalists to research open records, I think it is safe to assume at this time that Gagarin was the world's first human star voyager.

Steve Procter
Member

Posts: 979
From: Leeds, Yorkshire, UK
Registered: Oct 2000

posted 10-29-2010 10:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Steve Procter   Click Here to Email Steve Procter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Came across this recently. Anyone seen it? What a pile of...

Gagarin is a lie: The contradictions and the impossibilities for a Gagarin Earth orbit

Editor's note: Threads merged.


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