On April 12, 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin became the first human in space. Or did he? Believers in the lost cosmonaut conspiracy theory think Gagarin was not the first person to reach space, but only the first person to survive the trip. These individuals believe the Soviet government launched several unsuccessful manned missions to space before Gagarin's flight on the Vostok 1. Rumors about the "lost cosmonauts" that attempted to survive a space mission date back to at least 1965. Two Italian brothers, Achilles and Giovanni Judica-Cordiglia, built a listening station in the 1950s, previous to Gagarin's mission. They claim to have picked up transmissions from space missions before and after Gagarin's that were less successful. In one recording, they say they heard an unnamed cosmonaut suffocating, and in other, heard a cosmonaut's voice as a malfunctioning craft was burning up.
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Key Facts In This Video
On April 12, 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin became the first human in space. 00:25
Rumors of "lost cosmonauts" that flew to space before Yuri Gagarin have been around since at least 1965. 01:27
The Soviet Union did, in fact, erase members of the Soviet space program from photographs. 03:06