Transcript of Dr Achille Judica Cordiglia’s interview on Italian national radio
"Golem" is a popular radio program which airs four times a week on RAI UNO, Italy’s most important national radio station. The program deals primarily with the "media" at large; in particular with the relationship between media-generated information and reality.
It compares reality as it is presented by today’s mass media and the same reality as seen by the people, who, for better or for worse, have to live through it.
The "Golem" broadcast that we have included in our web site begins with a commentary on the current NATO military action in Kosovo. For the last few days, "Golem" has been relaying information received via short-wave radio or via the Internet from "unofficial" Serbian radio stations.
These are voices of the people, voices that do not belong to any official news agency nor to a state-run information service.
Recent broadcasts have also mentioned web sites where it is possible to hear live radio conversations among NATO pilots involved in the war.
In the same spirit, Mario Abrate, webmaster of the "Lost Cosmonauts" web site, contacted the "Golem" staff to make them aware of the intercepts made by the Judica Cordiglia brothers in the 1960s and to create a sort of ideal link between those voices that came from space and these voices that are engaged in battle here on Earth.
Gianluca Nicoletti, the creator and presenter of "Golem" found a connection between the present situation in Europe and the early sixties, highlighting the role played by radio, then and now, in exposing the truth that lies hidden behind the curtain of officialdom laid by the mass media.
You can hear, obviously in Italian, the entire broadcast; it starts with some voices from the war zone: the announcement that the "B92" free radio had been shut down by the Yugoslav government. The topic then shifts to the "Lost Cosmonauts", starting in the fifth minute of the broadcast.
We are providing a transcription of the telephone interview between Gianluca Nicoletti and Achille Judica Cordiglia that was broadcast during the program.
Nicoletti (5:45): Doctor Judica Cordiglia, what do you think about this need that we feel to pick-up via radio and make known to our listeners these fleeting fragments of reality?
AJC: When you can spend entire days and nights at your radio listening station, the way we used to do with our receivers, it is possible to receive a more complete view of what is really happening…
Nicoletti: Have you ever been tempted, during the more recent and sophisticated conflicts to try and eavesdrop on what was going on?
AJC: Yes, indeed! At home, during the war with Iraq, I was able to receive two "unauthorized" radio stations.
Nicoletti: Are you still involved in this type of activity?
AJC: These days I have a different occupation; I am a cardiologist. In my home, however, I still have a room that I use for this. I still have all the equipment from the old days; all the receivers, one of them still works. In my garden I still have the antenna that was the key to our achievements. It is an eight-sided dish antenna, with a diameter of eight meters and it can be rotated in elevation and in azimuth. Back then it was the largest in Italy. It allowed us to receive those signals and it still works. I have it here by the house.
Nicoletti (9:00): What motivated you and your brother to listen for those sounds?
AJC: It was mainly a great passion for Radio communications. We were already Ham radio operators, but what really interested us was listening to transmissions from space. When Sputnik 1 was launched, on October 4, 1957, we set up our listening post and we were able to receive its signals. That’s when our passion for space radio really began.
Thirty or forty years ago we bought some surplus american airborne receivers; we adapted them and we began to listen to satellite broadcasts on that equipment. Then our activity really took off; from a backyard operation it grew into a real tracking station, located in the hills around the city of Turin. Later, for political reasons, given the type of signals we were receiving… a fact that was not appreciated by the Russians… we found a number of red flags… we were in the sixties, remember, the middle of the cold war… and we then decided to move our operation to San Maurizio Canavese, near Caselle airport, where we set up an efficient satellite tracking station, where most of these signals were eventually received and recorded.
Nicoletti: What would you consider the most remarkable and most tragic of all your intercepts?
AJC: In our opinion, there were 14 soviet astronauts who perished in space. It started in 1960 and went on until the early 70s. Fourteen astronauts, men and women.
I think the most interesting (I am not sure this is the right word) signals were the heartbeat and gasping breathing that we received on Februuary 2, 1961. These were clearly the heartbeat and breathing of a human being. We even recorded a systolic skip, that confirmed what we were witnessing.
AJC (12:52): We were quite sure of all the fourteen missions because, in addition to the direction in which the antenna was pointing and to the periodicity of the signals, which matched the orbiting period of an Earth satellite, we also detected the "Doppler" shift in the frequency of the received signals. This effect is typical of radio signals transmitted or received by a moving vehicle. The reception would last over twenty minutes, so we knew that it couln’t come from an airplane. The orientation of the antenna, the frequencies being used and, most of all, the character of the conversations left us in no doubt. In those days, we used the Berlitz School to translate the messages.
These events were later confirmed by NASA and, much later, some were even acknowledged from within the Soviet Union, after the fall of the Berlin wall.
Nicoletti: Did the Russians ever admit that there were missions that preceded Yuri Gagarin’s flight?
AJC: Some preceded Gagarin’s mission, some came later. It was typical of the cold war; mainly the race for the Moon.
Nicoletti: Did you ever receive anything more telling than a heartbeat?
AJC: Yes, we received voices, in Russian, both male and female. The transmission is from May 1961; two men and a woman. Together with several journalists who were with us at the time, we witnessed, in real time, the death of the soviet cosmonaut. Her name was Ludmila and we recorded her voice, her last messages while they happened.
Nicoletti: Was this ever aknowledged by the soviet authorities?
AJC: Absolutely not! They denied the whole thing and in April of 1965, TASS released a long communiqué directed against us, in very personal terms. They specifically mentioned our names; they said these things were totally untrue and that the names (we had provided names of the victims) belonged to people who had never existed.
At that point we responded through ANSA (the Italian national Press Agency, n.d.t.) saying that we didn’t just have their names, but also their pictures. We had seen their pictures in the magazine "Ogoniok", in an article published five years earlier that showed the rookie cosmonauts undergoing training. So, the voices between the capsules and ground control, the fact that the cosmonauts were addressed by their first name and the pictures with the names of the trainees allowed us to identify the victims.
At this point in the program, the voice of the female cosmonaut is broadcast.
Nicoletti: The female voice is reading back some technical data. Now she is saying that she feels hot. Later she will announce that her capsule is burning: "Visciu Flama!"- I can see flames!
Nicoletti: Now, forty years later, to hear the voices of people facing the flames of destruction we still have to rely on that old and venerable medium: the radio…