[FPSPACE] 'Gagarin Conspiracy' movie, Gordon Feller claims -- got my answer

James Oberg jameseoberg at comcast.net
Fri Jul 10 11:10:55 EDT 2009

We're in the same boat, Phil -- informed, principled (if a little cynical),
and also unlike these guys, not wealthy...   Sigh.

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Phillip Clark 
  To: James Oberg ; fpspace at friends-partners.org 
  Sent: Friday, July 10, 2009 9:26 AM
  Subject: Re: [FPSPACE] 'Gagarin Conspiracy' movie,Gordon Feller claims -- got my answer

  Call me ever-so-slightly cynical, if you will, but these days documentary makers seem to be more interested in headline-grabbing fairy stories than reporting boring old facts.

  Phillip Clark

    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: James Oberg 
    To: James Oberg ; fpspace at friends-partners.org 
    Sent: Friday, July 10, 2009 3:18 PM
    Subject: Re: [FPSPACE] 'Gagarin Conspiracy' movie,Gordon Feller claims -- got my answer

    Thanks to the fpspacer community....

    Final Frontier, May/June 1996, page 34

    "Casually sending people to their deaths was an easy thing to do in the Soviet union of 1961..."

    Gordon Feller, publisher of 'Russian Business News', researched this story in the Kremlin archives in Moscow. No photographing, no photo-copying -- not even note taking -- are allowed in the archives. As Feller says, "You read for a  while then run outside and frantically scribble down what you can remember." Of course, Feller, who speaks Russian fluently, performed the feat from Russian into English.

    The first Soviet cosmonaut to return from space, as we now know, was not Yuri Gagarin but Vladimir Iliushin, the son of the well-known Soviet plane designer. Iliushin returned from space in bad shape, and the Soviet space bosses could not present him to the public.

    Tragically, other cosmonauts tried as well but never left the launch site, dying in either explosions or fires. In the contest to beat the Americans into space, from 1957 to 1961 at least seven Soviets died in six separate attempts to put them into space.

    The following list and sketchy details come from the state archive of the Kremlin. A nondescript file drawer contains a commemorative logbook of cosmonauts who died in the line of duty. Here is a list of known tragedies.

    1957          Lodovsky and Shiborin die at Kapustin Yar launching base
    1959          Mitkov dies
    1960         Dolgov dies
    1961         Belokonov dies
    1961         Kachur dies
    1961         Grachev dies
    ===============================   end of story

    These names had been debunked decades earlier, confirmed more recently
    by Russia's own space historians and journalists, by top officials' diaries
    (Kamanin, Mishin, Chertok, etc), and a flood of archival photographs... 

    Suddenly, claimed Feller, all these bogus names turn out to be exactly -- and ONLY exactly -- the 
    'secret dead cosmonaut' list. And a real casualty, Valentin Bondarenko, who burned to death in 1961, 
    is left OFF Feller's list. What nonsense! But it's PERFECT for another Hollywood 'documentary'.



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