The fate of Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, is still shrouded in mystery. Everyone knows that he became the first man on the planet to fly into space, although no one knows how exactly he died. Conclusions of the governmental committee investigating Gagarin’s death have not been exposed still.
The committee to investigate the death of cosmonaut, test pilot, Soviet Union Hero Yuri Gagarin was established on March 28, 1968 – the next day after the tragedy. However, all documents related to the investigation were subsequently classified. The committee stopped its existence too.
The only official document about the death of Yuri Gagarin is the obituary: “As a result of catastrophe during a training flight.” The obit was signed by the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. However, the document does not contain a word on the cause of death of Gagarin and his co-pilot, Seregin.
Yuri Gagarin was flying a MiG-15 jet on March 27, 1968. The five-ton aircraft smashed into pieces as it crashed down.
Several units of Soviet troops were called to search 12 kilometers of the area around the crash site.
Specialists collected over 90 percent of what had been left of the fighter jet. That is very surprising because they can usually recover only 40 of 60 percent.
The crash site was not found immediately after the tragedy. Rescuers were searching for Gagarin’s and Seregin’s white parachutes. Authorities originally believed that the two pilots had catapulted themselves. However, there were no parachutes found.
The crater was found in the woods. The crash site was encircled six hours later. Specialists, who examined the site on March 28, 1968 were shocked. They found out that the crew of the crashed jet fighter had no parachutes at all. They found only cords that someone had cut off with a knife.
Version 1. A terrorist act.
Someone cut the cords off not to let pilots catapult themselves. Gagarin and Seregin had no chance to survive in the crash. It was rumored that then-Soviet leader, Leonid Brezhnev, was extremely envious of Gagarin’s fame, and he ordered to get rid of the cosmonaut.
However, only a few people knew that KGB officers found the missing parachutes three days after the crash. The parachutes were found in one of the villages nearby. Locals found the crash site and cut the cords off an stole the parachutes thinking that their fabric could come in handy some day.
Version 1. A bird .
Members of the committee found a dead bird, a jay, in the crater. Specialists immediately assumed that Gagarin’s jet collided with a bird and fell down. Ornithologists said that the bird was not the reason of the air crash. They even determined that the jay had been killed by a hawk.
Version 3. Drunkenness .
Gagarin and Seregin were drunk. The two pilots had had a couple of shots of vodka two days before the flight. Neither had alcohol on March 26.
It is worthy of note that Yuri Gagarin had many reasons to ruin himself by drinking. Party officials, defense officials, foreign officials, etc – everyone wanted to meet the first man in space and have a drink with him.
Version 4. Technical malfunction .
The jet, which Gagarin was flying was old and worn-out. Meteorological services did not check to which extent the weather allowed training flights that day.
MiG-15 had no black boxes. There were flight recorders on board, but they could only record speed and altitude. However, Gagarin’s flight recorder had no paper inside.
Tow radars were supposed to trace the flight. The radar tracing the altitude of the jet fighter was out of order that day.
The committee determined that there was nothing wrong with the aircraft before it hit the ground.
Version 5. Human factor .
One of the most respectable researchers of Gagarin’s tragedy, Lieutenant-General Sergei Belotserkovsky, was certain that MiG-15 had found itself in the vortex flow caused by another plane.
Version 6. Weather balloon. Cosmonaut No.2, Gherman Titov, believes that Gagarin’s plane collided with a weather balloon. Indeed, military men found tens of old weather balloons in the area.
Academician Valentin Glushko believes that the Soviet leadership did not even want to find out the truth about Yuri Gagarin’s death.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov