The Lost Cosmonauts of the USSR: An Eerie Recording Picked Up From Outer Space?

We are a species destined for the stars.


It’s a story that sounds fit for a Hollywood movie. Have you ever thought about the process humankind underwent to send a human successfully into space? The USSR and the USA had to do the unimaginable to take humankind beyond Earth and space.

But this journey was not easy. It was dangerous. It was hard. It required sacrifice and a lot of willpower. Getting to space is humankind’s destiny. We are destined to travel the cosmos; we are all made of stars. We are, as Carl Sagan put it, made of star stuff. But the journey of traveling to space took its toll. Mistakes happen, and things don’t go according to plan always.

The USSR and the USA had their fair share of accidents while traveling to space. Apollo 1 and Apollo 13 were just a few of the many issues the USA and NASA had to face and put behind them to take humankind to the stars. But the USSR, like the USA, had issues while taking its cosmonauts to space. Their story is much more mysterious and stranger than that of the USA.

The Lost Cosmonauts of the USSR

As the USSR competed with the USA in the space race, a bizarre ‘accident’ occurred that no one has ever explained. It involves one Soviet cosmonaut’s last moments in space, and the story behind it will give you goosebumps. On April 12, 1961, Russia became the first country to send the first human being into Earth’s orbit successfully: pilot and cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin made history as he operated the Vostok Capsule in space.

Mockup of the spacecraft Vostok-1 (1961), Museum of Air and Space Paris, Le Bourget (France). Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Mockup of the spacecraft Vostok-1 (1961), Museum of Air and Space Paris, Le Bourget (France). Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The USA could not stay behind Russia. In the months following the USSR’s success, they sent their own astronaut into space when Alan Shepard successfully performed a sub-orbital mission in the Mercury space program. The Space Race was officially on. The USSR wanted more. They prepared to send another man into space. But this time, unlike Gagarin, the cosmonaut would orbit Earth multiple times, beating Gagarin’s achievement.


And as both sides made it to space, the USSR supposedly wanted to become the first country to send a woman into space. According to a mysterious recording intercepted by amateur radio operators, the USSR made it happen, but the mission was anything but successful. The female cosmonaut, whose name has never been declassified, supposedly made it to space in May 1961.

The fate of the lost cosmonauts of the USSR?

During re-entry, the Soviet Spacecraft malfunctioned. The Italian Amateur radio Operators, the Judica-Cordiglia brothers, allegedly picked up an S.O.S. transmission from the female cosmonaut as she was plunging back to Earth. Although the following recordings have never been proven to be accurate, it is believed that the spacecraft spent a week in space. By the time re-entry took place, the spacecraft’s Oxygen supplies were running extremely low. And as the spacecraft made its way to Earth, an eerie radio transmission was intercepted coming from the spacecraft:

“listen… listen! come in! come in… come in… talk to me! talk to me! I am hot… I am hot! what? forty- five? what? forty-five? fifty? yes… yes… breathing… breathing… oxygen… oxygen… I am hot… isn’t this dangerous? it’s all… yes… how is this? what? talk to me! how should I transmit? yes… what? our transmission begins now… forty-one… this way… yes… I feel hot… I feel hot… it’s all… it’s hot… I feel hot… I can see a flame… I can see a flame! I feel hot… I feel hot… thirty-two… thirty-two… forty-one… am I going to crash? yes… yes… I feel hot… I feel hot! I will re-enter…”


According to the allegedly intercepted transmission, the spacecraft was taking too much heat during re-entry, and the cosmonaut was exposed to extreme temperatures inside it. Further reports suggest that on May 26, 1961, the Soviets announced their spacecraft returned to Earth. The Capsule was severely burned, but no cosmonaut was found inside. The USSR never acknowledged they lost a cosmonaut in space, and many people treat the recordings and story as a massive conspiracy.


In total, the Judica-Cordiglia brothers released nine recordings over a period of four years. The details were as follows:

  • May 1960, a crewed spacecraft reports it is going off course.
  • November 28, 1960, a faint SOS Morse Code signal is sent from another troubled spacecraft leaving Earth’s orbit.
  • February 1961, a cosmonaut is audibly recorded suffocating to death.
  • April 1961, a capsule is recorded orbiting the Earth three times before re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere just days before Yuri Gagarin made his historic flight.
  • May 1961, an orbiting spacecraft appeals for help after going out of control.
  • October 1961, a cosmonaut loses control of his spacecraft, which veers off into deep space.
  • November 1962, a space capsule misjudges re-entry bouncing off the Earth’s atmosphere and out into space.
  • November 1963, a female cosmonaut dies during re-entry.
  • April 1964, another cosmonaut is killed when his capsule burns up in the Earth’s atmosphere.

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Written by Ivan Petricevic

I've been writing passionately about ancient civilizations, history, alien life, and various other subjects for more than eight years. You may have seen me appear on Discovery Channel's What On Earth series, History Channel's Ancient Aliens, and Gaia's Ancient Civilizations among others.

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