The space race of the 1960s was tight in fact Yuri Gagraina went up on April 12, 1961, and the US followed really close behind only 23 days later with Alan Shepard and similarly the soviet launched the first woman into space Valentina Tereshkova in 1963 in the US followed right behind was Sally ride 20years later Valentina was a badass she was only 26 years old at the time and she got the job because she was an avid parachutist and early Vostok designs actually required the cosmonaut to parachute out of the capsule after re-injury turned out. They didn’t wind up doing that but still she went up into space she spent three days doing 48 orbits around the earth and then when she landed on the border of Kazakhstan and China and was found by some villagers who invited her for dinner which she did. Valentina certainly deserves her place in space history but some people believe that she wasn’t the first woman in space there may have been someone before her someone who tragically died during recently and someone whose name has been completely lost to history but whose final words were recorded on audiotape.
Sputnik went into orbit in 1957 panic ensued throughout the Western Hemisphere for the first time there was a soviet communist presence in space above us turns out there wasn’t really anything to worry about with sputnik anyway all sputnik really did was just send out a message a little beep through a radio signal that the soviet actually published and anybody could and listen to and this was something that the US did later when they put up the Explorer 1 satellite. They publish the frequency of radiofrequency so people could listen to the signals and this kind of created a bit of a side fed which was people listening for signals for satellites just like the whole space race was a craze. Everybody was following it everybody was into it.
It also kind of started the secondary craze of people creating radio listening stations to listen to the satellites that have gone up into outer space one of the most successful teams at this was the Italian brothers Achille and Giovanni Utica Cordelia. It’s a lot of syllables. These guys were excited about the possibility of listening to these satellites that were going overhead so they set up sort of a makeshift listening station in their home they picked up the first satellite Sputnik and then they later picked up the explorer 1 satellite they also picked up signals from Sputnik 2 which actually had a dog on board like and they actually recorded this sound which they believe to be the heartbeat of their success at capturing and recording some of these satellites actually got them a little bit of fame around their hometown and they use this fame to invest a little bit of money into actually buying an old world war concrete bunker and setting up their own listening station there that they called Torre Burt. In Torre Burt, they did some groundbreaking radio listening stuff they actually were able to figure out how to calculate the direction and speed of a satellite by measuring its Doppler effect the Doppler effect as the satellite passed overhead and along the way, they also captured some very and unexpected signals on November 28th, 1960. They picked up the signal of an SOS which is the international distress call and the thing that was interesting about it was that it didn’t have that Doppler shift so that they could measure the direction of it just kept growing fainter and fainter which to them meant that it might have been a human being in a capsule that was flying away from earth that maybe was going too fast and escaped the earths gravity and was just travelling away from earth and that’s why the signal kept getting weaker and in February of 1961 they picked up a signal that sounded to them like the heartbeat of a man and maybe some gasping breathes.
What's interesting about those recordings both of those took place on the same day and from the same you know mission that they believe that they captured but right after that they soviets announced that they did have an unmanned craft that crashed in the soviet union so there’s a possibility that maybe there was an actual person on there and of course they listened in and recorded Yuri Gagarin’s flight just a couple of months later. On April 1961 the most mysterious one by far was one that they recorded in may of 1961 just a month later this one was the voice of a Russian woman so it's calling out in distress saying that she felt hot that she could see flames and was asking if she was going to crash the brothers interpreted this to be the final words of a female cosmonaut as she was burning up in the atmosphere.
Unlike the previous instance where they recorded something and then the soviets reported an unmanned craft crashing there were no records at all released by the soviet space agency anyway of any kind of launches or any kind of mission or any kind of failures that happen at that time so in a perfect world that would be the end of it they said it didn’t happen therefore it didn’t happen but the soviets had a history a very known history of covering up space accidents you know again the stakes were super high the space race was basically a proxy war between the east and the west and the soviets had their own state news agency so they were able to control the narrative in a way that western countries just could not in fact there are now well-documented cases that have comeup when documents have been declassified after the fall of soviet union that showed that they did actually cover up many space accidents during that time some western sources claim that at least 11 different accidents occurred fatal accidents occurred between 1961 and 1967 that were later covered up by the soviet union and those are just the ones that they’ve uncovered.
We also know that the soviets had painted some cosmonauts out of official pictures which is something that was done back in Stalin’s rigme when they wanted to erase somebody from history very Orwellian there’s also a story that came up of a cosmonaut name Vladimir Ilyushin who claimed he went up five days before Gagarin but his craft entered too early and he actually landed in China where he was held captive for a year now this is all super murky we don’t know whats true and whats not true because they covered up a lot of stuff and the truth has been obscured but its impossible to think that this recording of a female cosmonaut could have actually been a failed mission of course there are some problems with this whole scenario one of them is that as a capsule re-enters the atmosphere around it ionizes and that causes a radio blackout so if its person was actually burning up through the atmnosphere there’s no way that the brothers would have been able to record the radio signals coming out of it the other thing is that even after the fall of soviet union a whole lot of documents were declassified there was no record whatsoever of any female astronaut cosmonaut that went up in the early 1960s and the other is after the fall of the soviet union a lot of documents got declassified a lot of information got on earth about some of these covered up accidents and nothing was in there about this particular mission and finally a lot of people questiond whether or not these two amateur radio astronomers could have picked up on this signal when all these other major listening stations around the world run by a huge governments like the united states with a lot more power and a lot more sensitivity weren’t able to pickup on this so some people think they faked it . You know they got a lot of attention with their recordings and maybe this was a way to just sort of keep that attention so what do you think this did you think the USSR actually put a female cosmonaut up into space and she died on reentry do you think that these guys made it up do you think that they just recorded something else.