Judica-Cordiglia Brothers: The People Who Uncovered a Secret Soviet Space Program?

It’s the 28th November 1960 and a mysterious SOS signal is apparently heard by two former amateur radio operators sitting in a makeshift experimental listening station set in a disused German bunker in Torre Bert. Their claim? That this is a coded signal being sent by a secret Soviet spacecraft that has hit trouble after leaving earth’s orbit. A similar signal, in fact, to the one the same two brothers say they picked up 6 months earlier in May 1960.

According to them, it’s no coincidence that they make the recording on either occasion. Their interest in Soviet space missions had been founded in October 1957 when the brothers reportedly, and accidentally, found and subsequently hacked into the frequency of the newly launched Sputnik.

In fact, these would turn out to be just the first of 9 recordings released by the Judica-Cordiglia brothers during the early 1960s that claim to show radio communications being sent from the Russians. It is said by conspiracy theorists and legend that the Soviet Union had two space programs: a public one and a top secret, “more daring” program that was kept very quiet. It is claimed that this incorporated many unrealistic and impossible space missions, thus resulting in many Russian cosmonaut deaths – and that is what the recordings appear to show.

But is there any truth in it? Are the recordings actually real? Did the brothers really tap into the Russian frequencies and expose something dark and secret?

Many people have their doubts. Actual evidence of a second space program has seemingly never been found – and if there ever was any evidence then it would almost certainly have been long since destroyed. And – importantly for the ‘evidence’ captured by the Judica-Cordiglia brothers – many people believe the recordings to be fake.

A big question mark in particular hangs over the language used on the recordings. Standard communication protocols, for example identifying oneself to the receiver, is never used by the apparent cosmonauts, and they appear to use broken, fragmented and grammatically incorrect sentences.

A notable recording made in November 1963 appears to capture the moment a female cosmonaut re-enters the earths atmosphere in a malfunctioning spacecraft. On the recording, she is heard to say “I am hot” – and then the craft burns up – but again, no correct technical terminology or standard communication protocols are used.

But whilst there is no real evidence to suggest the recordings are real – or that they do indeed show the Russians at work – they will certainly continue to fuel people’s appetite for information surrounding this fascinating era in space history.

This is a supposed recording of a Soviet space flight in 1961. In it, a Russian woman can be heard complaining about the increasing temperature inside the craft before it is destroyed attempting re-entry.

This was recorded by the Judica-Cordiglia brothers in 1961. It is reportedly one of many transmissions intercepted by the two brothers that prove the existence of the lost cosmonauts.

The following is a translation of what the woman is saying:

five…four…three …two…one…one
two…three…four…five…
come in… come in… come in…
LISTEN…LISTEN! …COME IN!
COME IN… COME IN… TALK TO ME!
TALK TO ME!… I AM HOT!… I AM HOT!
WHAT?… FORTYFIVE?… WHAT?…
FORTYFIVE?… FIFTY?…
YES…YES…YES… BREATHING…
BREATHING… OXYGEN…
OXYGEN… I AM HOT… (THIS)
ISN’T THIS DANGEROUS?… IT’S ALL…
ISN’T THIS DANGEROUS?… IT’S ALL…
YES…YES…YES… HOW IS THIS?
WHAT?… TALK TO ME!… HOW SHOULD I
TRANSMIT? YES…YES…YES…
WHAT? OUR TRANSMISSION BEGINS NOW…
FORTYONE… THIS WAY… OUR
TRANSMISSION BEGINS NOW…
FORTYONE… THIS WAY… OUR
TRANSMISSION BEGINS NOW…
FORTYONE… YES… I FEEL HOT…
I FEEL HOT… IT’S ALL… IT’S HOT…
I FEEL HOT… I FEEL HOT… I FEEL HOT…
… I CAN SEE A FLAME!… WHAT?…
I CAN SEE A FLAME!… I CAN SEE A
FLAME!…
I FEEL HOT… I FEEL HOT… THIRTYTWO…
THIRTYTWO… FORTYONE… FORTYONE

AM I GOING TO CRASH?… YES…YES… I FEEL HOT!…
I FEEL HOT!… I WILL REENTER!… I WILL REENTER…
I AM LISTENING!… I FEEL HOT!…

Alex Browne studied History at Kings College London and is an Assistant Editor at Made From History. He specializes in post-war history in the USA and Central America.