Who cut the straps of Gagarin’s parachute

Gargarin's last photo. It's thought the photo was made on March 27 Forty years ago, the world’s first astronaut died. The Soviet State Panel’s conclusions about the incident, however, were never made public.

Every 5 years to the day, I meet with astronauts, engineers and pilots who investigated the fateful March 27, 1968 crash of the MiG-15UTI training flight manned by Yury Gagarin and Vladmiri Seregin. Time and time again, they recount their personal theories of how the tragedy unfolded.

How strange, indeed. One would expect a more uniform opinion. The Soviet State Panel launched a detailed investigation into the crash. Hundreds of specialists rushed to the scene to clarify how the world’s most beloved man died. But silence ensued. Their conclusions were never released to the public.

Why are the Panel’s conclusions still classified today? Why is a lone obituary signed by the Political Bureau the only official document about the death of Gagarin and Seregin? The obituary does not contain a single word about the reason for the pilots’ deaths, only: “As a result of a catastrophe while on a training flight……” What happened on that fateful March day? What caused the deaths of these two experienced pilots manning an aircraft that they knew well how to fly?

To a large extent, this article relies on materials gathered by Igor Ivanovich Kuznezov. READ MORE

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