The Mysterious “Lost Cosmonaut” Recording
In 1961, two amateur Italian radio engineers recorded what many believe to be the voice of a female cosmonaut burning up on re-entry. If real, this would have been the first woman in space.
Achille and Giovanni Judica-Cordiglia were two highly regarded radio engineers from Italy who, starting with the launch of Sputnik, made a name for themselves by tracking and recording radio signals from satellites in orbit.
Over time, they bought an old WWII bunker and transformed it into a listening station they named Torre Bert.
From here, the recorded everything from the heartbeat of Laika, the dog on Sputnik 2, to Yuri Gagarin.
But they also recorded some mysterious sounds from missions that were never made public by the highly secretive Soviet Union. One of these was of a woman crying out in distress in May of 1961.
If real, this would have been the first female in space, a full 2 years before the current first, Valentina Tereshkova.
To this day, Russian officials have never named or acknowledged the existence of a mission that this could have been from. Was this a doomed cosmonaut in her final moments? Or a clever hoax?