Tag Archives: conspiracy

The lost cosmonauts of Russia’s black space program

Russian Wostock space rocketOK, this isn’t strictly a science fictional post, but it’s just that interesting a story – and a well-told one, too – that I thought it deserved sharing here, where I think it’ll be appreciated. It’s the tale of two Italian radio geeks, and how they accidentally became the ears of the West within Russia’s space programmes – the one that’s common knowledge, and the ones that were kept quiet.

It is the ultimate in Cold War legends: that at the dawn of the Space Age, in the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s, the Soviet Union had two space programmes, one a public programme, the other a ‘black’ one, in which far more daring and sometimes downright suicidal missions were attempted. It was assumed that Russia’s Black Ops, if they existed at all, would remain secret forever.

The ‘Lost Cosmonauts’ debate has been reawakened thanks to a new investigation into the efforts of two ingenious, radio-mad young Italian brothers who, starting in 1957, hacked into both Russia’s and NASA’s space programmes – so effect­ively that the Russians, it seems, may have wanted them dead.

True, or bunk? I don’t know – but it’s a damned good story. Go read it – it’ll be fifteen minutes well spent. [via the indispensable MetaFilter; image by James Duncan]

ZOMFG kkkonspiracy!!1

Wired has a run-down of the ten most popular conspiracy theories, which will either raise a wry chuckle out of you or fire you up into a paranoid rant-fest, depending on your personal belief systems.

I’m kind of fascinated by conspiracy theories, and when I was younger used to subscribe to quite a few (mostly the UFO-related ones, I’m ashamed to admit – a classic case of wishful thinking). Curiously, the book that completely cured the problem for me was Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea’s conspiracy classic, The Illuminatus! Trilogy.

It’s apparently the innate pattern-recognition functions of the human mind that create conspiracy theories wherever we find a vacuum of fact surrounded by unexplained events … how long do we have to wait until Occam’s Razor becomes hardwired, I wonder?

[tags]conspiracy, theories, psychology, philosophy, logic[/tags]