Skip to comments.Russian Cosmonaut Gagarin Never Mocked Faith, Friend Says
Posted on 04/13/2006 12:03:09 PM PDT by marshmallow
Moscow, Apr. 13 (CWNews.com) - Yuri Gagarin, the Soviet cosmonaut who was the first man in space, never made a comment that was attributed to him, mocking religious belief, according to an old friend.
In April 12, 1961, after making the first manned flight outside the earth's atmosphere, Gagarin was quoted as saying that he "flew into space, but I did not see God there." But Colonel Valentin Petrov has told the Interfax news agency that the quote actually came from the Russian President Nikita Khrushchev.
At the time Khrushchev was leading a propaganda campaign to discourage religious faith. He exploited Gagarin's enormous popularity to further that campaign, Petrov says.
"Yuri, just like every Russian, was baptized," his friend said. "He just could not say that."
Gagarin died in March 1968 in an airplane crash during a routine test flight.
There's been a lot of that going around in certain parts of the world for some time.
Some of those places are even outside of the United States.
The Soviet communist leadership was genuinely scared of Gagarin, as he was undoubtedly the most popular man in Russia sinch GeneralZhukov, a simple man of peasant stock who was remarkably brave and a genuine world hero. Russian friends of mine are convinced that the KGB sabotaged his plane on orders from above.
Your friends aren't alone. Gagarin was a threat to the commies, and it sure was convenient that he died a hero's death when he did.
I'm Russian and have never met any other Russian who thought differently.
Parse this sentence for a quick laugh.
The efforts of the Communists to suppress the truth of God merely proved the power of truth and of the human longing for oneness with God.
I had a Moscow guide for the Diamond Museum and other destinations that admired Gagarin, especially his cool bravery. But the guide said that Gagarin and the other pilot were both "very drunk" when they began the fatal flight. This drunk flight rumor may not be true of course. But...
Not only Russian pilots hit the bottle. The top scoring ace of all history, Erich Hartmann, was clouded up good by the sauce when he met Hitler the last time. While our American pilots pretty much follow the rules that they need 24 hours bottle to throttle, I've seen many an army pilot very but very drunk.
I remember the remark attributed to Gagarin about not seeing God in space. Someone on TV replied that if something went wrong with his space capsule, "then he'd see God, and real quick, too!"
I just had a really interesting thought. You don't suppose that Yuri was thinking of defecting do you?
It would have been a propaganda nightmare for the Soviets in 1967/1968.