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Brian Dunning, Search for the Missing Cosmonauts
October 15, 2012

Did a young pair of Italian brothers uncover evidence of Soviet cosmonauts dying in space?

During the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union was hot. Both sides built and tested rockets as quickly as they could, trying to be the first to launch an artificial satellite into orbit, often with explosive results. Both sides had their successes, and both sides had their failures. People around the world watched and listened. Some, most notably amateur radio operators, listened more closely than others. And of these, a pair of young brothers from Italy, Achille and Giovanni Judica-Cordiglia, reigned supreme. Their library of audio recordings of nearly every flight from the space race is by far the most comprehensive private collection known. But the real reason it’s notable is that includes a number of recordings of alleged events that didn’t make it into the history books: doomed Soviet cosmonauts captured in their final moments of life, on flights that the Soviets said never happened.

Brian Dunning

Science writer Brian Dunning is the host and producer of the podcast Skeptoid: Critical Analysis of Pop Phenomena (, applying critical thinking to urban legends and popular pseudoscientific subjects promoted by the mass media. Skeptoid has a weekly audience of 157,000 listeners. Brian is also the author of four books based on the podcast. A computer scientist by trade, Brian uses new media to showcase the rewards of science and critical thinking. He has appeared on numerous radio shows and television documentaries, and also hosts the science video series inFact with Brian Dunning ( He is a member of the National Association of Science Writers.

The talk will be October 27 at 6:30 pm in Fisher Science(Building 33) Room 286. The talk is free and open to the public. This talk is cohosted by the Alliance of Happy Atheists and Atheists United San Luis Obispo.

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