It appears that the Soviet government lied about the fatal crash of Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space. One conspiracy suggests the Soviet government was responsible for his death.
Reader ForSweden explained the possible circumstances around Gagarin's death and how it was tied to the suspicious death of friend and fellow cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov (pictured above, center).
This happened shortly after the crash of Soyuz 1, and Yuri Gagarin was the backup commander for the flight. Soyuz 1 was a disaster from the drawing board, and Gagarin knew it would likely crash. He tried to bump himself up to lead commander, thinking the Politburo wouldn't risk the life of a state hero in such a faulty machine. However, the flight launched with Vladimir Komarov in command. His parachute failed during re-entry and he died upon impact. It is rumored that he cursed over the radio the Politburo and the entire Soviet regime the entire way down. After the crash, Gagarin continued his criticism of the Soyuz program.
Then, in a completely unrelated incident, a Su-15 flies too close to Yuri and puts him into a fatal uncontrollable spin. The Politburo regrets the death of a member of the Order of Lenin and a Hero of the Soviet Union.
InvalidnostCCCP concurred and added a few pieces of background sources. Both are articles by NPR, the first one is right here, covering a book that puts forward this theory. The second article is also by NPR, annotating the first article and filling it with corrections and possible doubts. Both have been covered on IO9 before, but do not read one without the other.
When you've finished with the reading, share your thoughts here.
Photo Credit: AP