to the history books, the first human to travel in Space was 2nd Lieutenant
Yuri Gagarin, on April 12th, 1961. But there have been persistent rumours
ever since that Gagarin was by no means the first, and that a number of
Soviet Cosmonauts preceded him with fatal
results. This is a brief résumé of some suggested names
of these forgotten heroes that have remained suppressed for over 40 years....
died in 1957 on a brief suborbital spaceflight from the Kapustin Yar rocket
base on the Volga River.
Cosmonaut A Shiborin was killed the following
year on a similar mission when a parachute failed.
Lieut. V Mitkov died during a third ballistic
flight in 1959.
A fourth cosmonaut was successfully launched into space in May 1960, but
a faulty retro-fire marooned him in orbit.
In September 1960 Cosmonaut Pyotr Dolgov
died in a launchpad explosion.
On February 4, 1961, laboured heartbeats were heard during radio transmissions
from an unknown Soviet Spacecraft. Several Cosmonauts disappeared around
this time, among them Belokonev, Kachur, and Grachev.
In April 1961 Vladimir Ilyushin (son of the
aviation pioneer) reportedly orbited the earth three times: his Vostok
Spacecraft landed heavily (possibly in China) severely injuring the Cosmonaut.
(This claim has been refuted, the official story being that he was injured
in a car crash, dying in a second accident a year later!)
Gagarin's mission (it should be acknowledged that many commentators doubt
that Gagarin ever actually flew in Space!) other unsuccessful spaceflights
reputedly took place:
In May 1961 weak human voice broadcasts were detected in Europe, apparently
from a two-man spacecraft. After several calls for help, these faded away....
In October, 1961, a Soviet spacecraft with three crew-members went off
course and left Earth orbit.
In November, 1963 the Soviet Union attempted to launch a second woman
into space. This ended in disaster when her Vostok craft allegedly burned
up during re-entry.
According to Italian shortwave interceptions, two Cosmonauts died during
an unsuccessful space mission in April 1964.