Gary seeks information about radio recordings by the Judica Cordiglia brothers

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Gary Wise (W4EEY), who writes with the following inquiry:

Have you (or your subscribers) ever investigated the supposed radio recordings of the Judica Cordiglia brothers of Italy back in the 1960’s?

Two YouTube videos just crossed my path which sparked the question.

The brothers allegedly recorded transmissions from failed Russian Manned Space flights before the successful flight of Yuri Gagarin. I remember reading about these when I was growing up. The second video contains a snippet of a voice recording from a supposed female cosmonaut as she reports rising cockpit temperatures before she died.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Spooky and sad if true – but certainly a part of radio history if it can be documented.

Wow–I have never heard of these recordings and as you say, Gary, this is quite sad if true.

Post readers: Does anyone have more insight about the Judica Cordiglia brothers recordings?  Please comment!

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5 thoughts on “Gary seeks information about radio recordings by the Judica Cordiglia brothers

  1. David Chappell

    The first video suggests that the recording of the “lost female cosmonaut” is a fake voiced by the Judica Cordiglia brothers’ sister Teresa. This is an unwarranted accusation. English speakers often reach this conclusion after Russian speakers tell them that the Russian is all wrong. But it is only wrong for a cosmonaut. It is fluent Russian, though perhaps with an accent. The wording is off only if we are working hard to read something about space flight into her words. Since she says nothing even remotely related to space flight, this requires a real strain.
    I think what happened is Teresa, who was studying Russian, listened to this recording and got the wrong idea from those words which she could pick out. I have frequently seen people who have been studying Russian for three or four years make mistakes like this. That the recording is noisy almost to the point of unintelligibly makes it worse. Even Russian speakers can’t make out what the woman is saying without the help of noise-reducing filters and hours of listening. They generally just assume the Italian interpretation must be correct and when the little they can understand doesn’t match up with the doomed cosmonaut story they assume the recording is a deliberate fake.
    The recording is especially hard to understand because we hear only one side of the conversation. The woman seems to be taking down radiograms and confirming some kind of numbers associated with them, perhaps telephone numbers of the recipients. Periodically she makes silly remarks about the heat, presumably in the radio room. These remarks become increasingly silly and theatrical. This apparently confuses and alarms the operator on the other end since she repeats her remarks at his request and at one point assures him that she is not actually in danger.
    The widely circulated translations (including those in these videos) are garbage. For example, she doesn’t say “Isn’t this dangerous,” she says “There is no danger. Forget it.” Instead of “Am I going to crash,” she says “Hello! Hello! Oh-yes!” She does say “I see a flame!”, but this is part of her ongoing silly patter about the heat and may be a literary reference.

    Here is a better translation:
    Five, four, three, two one
    One two three four five
    Arin! Arin! Arin! Listen! Listen!
    Broom, Broom, Broom, go ahead, go ahead!
    I’m hot! I’m hot!
    It’s like forty-five, its like forty five.
    four five
    Ok, yes, yes.
    It’s dangerous. Breathing.
    Breathing. Breathing.
    I’m hot.
    It is not something dangerous. (pause) Enough of that.
    It is not something dangerous. Enough of that.
    Yes, yes, yes.
    He is listening.
    Go ahead.
    How am I to pass that on?
    (listens briefly)
    Yes, yes, yes.
    4-20-?-40-?. (pause) Here, so on this message we’ll have 4-20. So in this message we’ll have 4-20.
    I’m hot! I’m hot! (pause) Enough of that, enough of that. (pause) I’m hot! I’m hot, I’m hot. (pause) Medicine! Medicine, I’m hot! (pause) I see (pause and then melodramatically) a flame!
    I see a flame! I see a flame! I’m hot, I’m hot.
    Thirty twenty, thirty two, (pause) forty one, forty one.
    Hello? Hello? Oh yes!
    I feel sick, medicine. Sick, medicine.
    Nah, nah, nah.
    I’m listening.

  2. rtc

    This has always been an interesting subject for Early Spaceflight fans.Supposedly the
    brothers found the 10.005 AM channel used on the Mercury capsule (and later Gemini)
    by carefully measuring the trailing wire reel out HF antenna and carefully comparing it with
    known things in the photo.
    If you saw The Right Stuff movie the conflict between the scientists (who favored a totally
    remote controlled capsule) and the astronauts (who wanted some manual over ride) was
    Fortunately for the astronaunts a manual over ride was added which allowed a couple
    of them to return manually when the fail proof auto system failed.
    As far as I know the Soviet capsules were all remote controlled from the ground,at
    least the early ones.
    Even before these brothers came forth there was talk that a couple of Soviet capsules
    malfunctioned and were still up there.

    Not related to this but well worth having is this dvd:

    It tells the real backstory behind Sputnik 1 and why the gov’t wanted the Soviets to
    go first.
    Hams played a vital role in the days following the launch,too.

  3. António Gaspar


    Thanks to you and all contributors for such an interesting blog .

    There is a documentary about the Judica Cordiglia brothers called Space Hackers, with lots of details. You can find it in YouTube.

    I particularly enjoy how they figured out the right frequencies , comparing the size of the antenna with the astronaut bodies (head size), in the sea recovery operations public videos, using their father’s help, who was a medical doctor.

    Best 73 de CT1CXP


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