#1
What does the Pit think of the so called 'Phantom Cosmonauts' which the USSR allegedly sent into space/to their deaths prior to Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space? Fact or fiction?

For those who are not familiar with the term Phantom Cosmonauts:

Wiki

Link 1

Link 2

Audio Recording

Discuss.


Also, just so I beat some people to it:

I wouldn't really say it's that crazy of a conspiracy, but hey you're allowed to think what you want to.
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#2
It's one of the more believable conspiracy theories.
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#4
The main thing that puts me off to some degree is that the Russians have not revealed anything since the fall of the USSR.
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#6
I know nothing about this and therefore cannot give a valuable contribution. Here's a strange picture instead.

#7
Quote by WholeLottaIzzy
I know nothing about this and therefore cannot give a valuable contribution. Here's a strange picture instead.



Well you could click on and read the links I provided!
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#9
I've heard about that, two brothers in Italy set up a listening post, they started to hear signals that were going further from the Earth, and all of the voices they heard were in Russian in a panicked tone.
#11
Quote by sashki
I think it's highly likely. I wouldn't say they were "sent to their deaths" but the government obviously wouldn't publicise a failed attempt.



Well, they ended up dead one way or another and let's face it the USSR didn't have the greatest respect for the lives of its personnel.
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#12
I've been fascinated by these stories for a while, but am not entirely convinced. While not impossible, the Soviets didn't have much for extra hardware to be throwing around on phantom missions. Also, there's not much reason such missions would continue to be a secret today.

Bits of this spacecraft came down a few counties away from my present location...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sputnik_4
#13
I'm usually pretty dismissive of conspiracy theories, but this one actually seems fairly plausible.

Quote by flyingmarlin
Well, they ended up dead one way or another and let's face it the USSR didn't have the greatest respect for the lives of its personnel.


Exactly.
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#14
Quote by flyingmarlin
Well, they ended up dead one way or another and let's face it the USSR didn't have the greatest respect for the lives of its personnel.


Yet failed missions weren't of benefit to them either. It doesn't give you much to publicize. That was some motivation to address the safety of cosmonauts, if indeed a genuine concern for their welfare didn't exist (and I doubt that was really the case).
#15
There's been other cases of USSR secrecy which was kept secret such as the death of Valentin Bondarenko (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentin_Bondarenko). If they had informed the west about the dangers of 100% oxygen environments inside spacecraft then it's likely that fire onboard Apollo I may not have happened.

The difference between Bondarenko and the phantom cosmonaut stories is that Bondarnko's death wouldn't compromise the USSR's prestige of having the first man in space. I imagine that Russia is still pretty proud about it.
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#16
Quote by Dodeka
Yet failed missions weren't of benefit to them either. It doesn't give you much to publicize. That was some motivation to address the safety of cosmonauts, if indeed a genuine concern for their welfare didn't exist (and I doubt that was really the case).


Well, it's true that dead cosmonauts weren't in the governments best interest. However we must remember the urgency of the USSR to get one step ahead in the space race (It was more important to them than it was to the Americans - However obviously both wanted to be dominant), surely the sort of testing which was carried out by the USA and took so long to implement (not saying they didn't have their failures too) could have been bypassed.


Remember the USSR went from what was essentially a peasant nation to a super power in around 40 years. The way they did that was in large part due to the sacrifices of its people. What was basically slavery via gulags and forced labor pushed the Soviets to being a super power. Why limit noble communist sacrifice to projects on terra firma?
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#17
It's all bullshit. The US and the USSR kept each other well informed of manned and unmanned launches since the inception of ICBMs in the early 1950s. Wouldn't want to incinerate the planet now would we.
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#18
Quote by flyingmarlin
Well, it's true that dead cosmonauts weren't in the governments best interest. However we must remember the urgency of the USSR to get one step ahead in the space race (It was more important to them than it was to the Americans - However obviously both wanted to be dominant), surely the sort of testing which was carried out by the USA and took so long to implement (not saying they didn't have their failures too) could have been bypassed.


Remember the USSR went from what was essentially a peasant nation to a super power in around 40 years. The way they did that was in large part due to the sacrifices of its people. What was basically slavery via gulags and forced labor pushed the Soviets to being a super power. Why limit noble communist sacrifice to projects on terra firma?


There were shortcuts taken for sure. Cosmonaut/individual welfare may not have been the highest of institutional priorities, but I'd like to think guys like Korolev had some concern for it. Maybe I'm wrong.
Last edited by Dodeka at Jul 20, 2011,
#19
Quote by Dodeka
There were shortcuts taken for sure. Cosmonaut/individual welfare may not have been the highest of institutional priorities, but I'd like to think guys like Korolev had some concern for it. Maybe I'm wrong.



The main issue with the USSR for most of its existence was that the people giving out the orders weren't usually the best qualified to do so. 'Put a man in space in X amount of year' etc. Targets had to be met, that's how they worked and so help you god if you didn't meet those targets. If they didn't meet the targets it usually meant disappearing for a holiday in Siberia breaking rocks whilst being labeled an enemy of communism.


Quote by Jackal58
It's all bullshit. The US and the USSR kept each other well informed of manned and unmanned launches since the inception of ICBMs in the early 1950s. Wouldn't want to incinerate the planet now would we.


Interesting, but the US and the USSR could and did keep secrets from each other. There's no point giving away more information than was necessary. They could say 'Yeah sending up another unmanned spacecraft' which could in reality be manned (or be a ICBM if they really wanted to be douches). Or they could make it so vague they wouldn't really know. That's why you've got NORAD etc. If they were that chummy there wouldn't have been a cold war.
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Last edited by flyingmarlin at Jul 20, 2011,
#20
This seems a lot like the US's old Banshee Astronaut program of the 70's.
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#21
Quote by JustRooster
This seems a lot like the US's old Banshee Astronaut program of the late-'50s and '60s.


Fixed for added intrigue.
#22
Eh Don't really matter, this was too long ago for me to give a damn about and has no real effect on today's problems.
#23
Quote by flyingmarlin
The main issue with the USSR for most of its existence was that the people giving out the orders weren't usually the best qualified to do so. 'Put a man in space in X amount of year' etc. Targets had to be met, that's how they worked and so help you god if you didn't meet those targets. If they didn't meet the targets it usually meant disappearing for a holiday in Siberia breaking rocks whilst being labeled an enemy of communism.


Interesting, but the US and the USSR could and did keep secrets from each other. There's no point giving away more information than was necessary. They could say 'Yeah sending up another unmanned spacecraft' which could in reality be manned (or be a ICBM if they really wanted to be douches). Or they could make it so vague they wouldn't really know. That's why you've got NORAD etc. If they were that chummy there wouldn't have been a cold war.

Except it's hard to hide an orbital vehicle and conceal communications. If the Soviets were failing as hard as some of these tin hat types claim they were the US would have made damn sure the entire world knew about it.
Same goes for the maroons that claim man has not set foot on the moon. If the US had tried to perform that scam the Soviets would have blown a cork.
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#24
Quote by ali.guitarkid7
Eh Don't really matter, this was too long ago for me to give a damn about and has no real effect on today's problems.



Just because it happened a long time ago doesn't mean that it's not interesting. The space race was pretty important in the evolution of a lot of stuff you use everyday. Bit of a short sighted point of view really.
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#25
Quote by flyingmarlin
Just because it happened a long time ago doesn't mean that it's not interesting. The space race was pretty important in the evolution of a lot of stuff you use everyday. Bit of a short sighted point of view really.


Interesting, yes, especially in understanding the evolution of the space race. It doesn't really matter either way though.

It could be pretty believable, but the fact that there's no conclusive evidence, and that most cases "have been confirmed as hoaxes." I don't know if I believe it. I'll keep reading up on it.
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#26
Quote by Jackal58
Except it's hard to hide an orbital vehicle and conceal communications. If the Soviets were failing as hard as some of these tin hat types claim they were the US would have made damn sure the entire world knew about it.
Same goes for the maroons that claim man has not set foot on the moon. If the US had tried to perform that scam the Soviets would have blown a cork.


Yeah I know exactly what you mean, it makes a lot of this very unlikely. I think the redeeming and enduring part of this conspiracy/whatever is the fact it was in the proper sketchy early days of the space race. But I guess if messages were apparently picked up by two Italian chaps, then i'd be surprised if the west didn't have an ear on what was occuring.

I also use that explaination to debunk the 'man never landed on the moon' conspiracy. It some what makes this one obselete too. Still, there will always be crazy, creepy russian shit which we'll never know about.


Quote by brandon369852
Interesting, yes, especially in understanding the evolution of the space race. It doesn't really matter either way though.


True, but I would like to know what happened. The past is important, even the insignificant things and you never know when it can all become realitive to daily life again. Learn the past, do well in the future.
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Last edited by flyingmarlin at Jul 20, 2011,