Judica-Cordiglia brothers

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The two brothers
The brothers reported that they had recorded messages from secret missions during the Soviet Vostok program in the early 1960s.

The Judica-Cordiglia brothers are two Italian former amateur radio operators who made audio recordings which allegedly support the conspiracy theory that the Soviet space program covered up cosmonaut deaths in the 1960s.[1] The pair claimed to have recorded several failed secret Soviet space missions. These recordings have been the center of public interest for more than 50 years.[2][3]


Achille (1933-2015) and his brother Giovanni Battista (1939-2024) set up their own experimental listening station just outside Turin in the late 1950s. The brothers used a disused German bunker at a site named Torre Bert.[1] Working with scavenged and improvised equipment, they claimed to have successfully monitored transmissions from the Soviet Sputnik program (1 & 2) and Explorer 1, the first American satellite, in 1958 using equipment that recorded flight information such as telemetry, voice recordings and visual data.[3]


In the 1960s, the brothers released recordings alleged to be radio communications taken from secret Soviet Union space missions, including the purported dying sounds of a suffocating lost cosmonaut.[3] As compiled by Kris Hollington of the Fortean Times, a British monthly magazine that popularizes "anomalous phenomena",[citation needed] the quoted list of these is as follows:[2]

May 1960 Unnamed cosmonaut lost when his orbiting space capsule veered off course.

November 1960 The brothers picked up an SOS message in Morse code from a troubled spacecraft.

February 1961 Recorded the suffocation of a cosmonaut.

April 1961 Just prior to Yuri Gagarin’s flight, a capsule circled the Earth three times before re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere.

May 1961 Weak calls for help from an orbiting capsule.

October 1961 A Soviet spacecraft veered off course and vanished into deep space.

November 1962 A space capsule bounced off the Earth’s atmosphere during re-entry and disappeared.

May 1963 Unnamed female cosmonaut perished on re-entry.

April 1964 Cosmonaut lost when capsule burnt up on re-entry.[2]

In The 28 November 1960 recording, a faint SOS Morse Code signal has been purportedly sent from a troubled spacecraft leaving Earth's orbit.[4][full citation needed]

Skepticism over the recordings[edit]

There have been inconsistencies in the recordings. For instance, audio transcripts reveal that none of the cosmonauts, who were supposed to be Soviet air force pilots, followed standard communication protocols, such as identifying themselves when speaking or using correct technical terminology.[5][better source needed][6] Likewise, some of the recordings contain disjointed sentences and grammatical errors, and the speaker has an accent that does not sound Russian.[7][8][better source needed] Given the secrecy surrounding the Soviet space program at the time, the US intelligence community considered the claims plausible, but subsequent mass declassification of Soviet documents provided no evidence for the existence of the Lost Cosmonauts.[9]


Fortean Times published an article on the brothers and their recordings of lost cosmonauts in March 2008.[2]

In 2011, the brothers' story was featured on the Science Channel TV show, Dark Matters: Twisted But True.[4]

In March 2020, Giovanni Battista was interviewed by Vice regarding the brothers' story on the Extremes podcast Season 2 Episode 25 titled "Mystery of the Lost Cosmonauts".[10] It was also featured on a Vice article titled "These Brothers Were Eavesdropping on Space Transmissions When They Heard Cries for Help", as an accompaniment to the podcast episode.[3]

The 2024 Apple TV+ series Constellation includes recordings of a lost female cosmonaut as a major plot point, and recreates the brothers' alleged 1961 recording.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Ratcliff, J. D. (April 1965). "Reader's Digest April 1965". Reader's Digest. p. 110. Archived from the original on 17 February 2017. Retrieved July 27, 2022.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  2. ^ a b c d Hollington, Kris (July 2008). "Lost in Space". Fortean Times. Archived from the original on 3 April 2013. Retrieved 11 March 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d "These Brothers Were Eavesdropping on Space Transmissions When They Heard Cries for Help". www.vice.com. April 2020. Retrieved 2022-07-27.
  4. ^ a b Episode 05: Missing Cosmonauts. Dark Matters: Twisted But True. Science Channel. 14 December 2011.[full citation needed]
  5. ^ Grahn, Sven (2 August 2008). "Notes on the space tracking activities and sensational claims made by the Judica-Cordiglia brothers". Sven's Space Place [self-published blog]. Retrieved 11 March 2022. I think that the Judica-Cordiglia brothers did run a tracking station and picked up signals from various spacecraft. However, for some reason they thought that they needed sensational stories maintain their image of a 'hot-shot' operation. Once they over-interpreted some receptions and made fantastic claims they were 'trapped' and had to continue to produce sensations.
  6. ^ "Search for the Missing Cosmonauts". Skeptoid. Retrieved 6 November 2022.
  7. ^ "Братья Джудика-Кордилья, космонавт Людмила". Информационный портал Орбита (in Russian). 28 November 2021. Retrieved 6 November 2022.
  8. ^ "Людмила, сгоревшая в космосе: что известно о жуткой истории катастрофы 17 мая 1961 года" (in Russian). 18 May 2022. Retrieved 6 November 2022.
  9. ^ Oberg, James (March 1, 2007). "Why I Don't Believe the Claims of the Judica-Cordiglia Brothers" (PDF). JamesOberg.com. Retrieved April 26, 2024.
  10. ^ S2E5 - Mystery of the Lost Cosmonauts, 2020-03-24, retrieved 2022-07-27
  11. ^ Sharma, Dhruv (2024-03-22). "Constellation's Parallels With A REAL 20th-Century Mystery Make The Apple TV+ Show Even Creepier". ScreenRant. Retrieved 2024-04-26.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]