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Space-man's Special Training

The above newspaper clipping from the Huntsville Times featuring the story of Major Yuri Gagarin, the "first man in space", is now under review after an ISWWR investigator noticed his TIE fighter pilot's helmet!

On 12 April 1961, Gagarin became the first human, supposedly, to travel into space in Vostok 3KA-2 (Vostok 1) and return. His call sign in this flight was Kedr (Cedar) (Russian: Кедр). During his flight, Gagarin famously whistled the tune "The Motherland Hears, The Motherland Knows" (Russian: "Родина слышит, Родина знает"). The first two lines of the song are: "The Motherland hears, the Motherland knows/Where her son flies in the sky".

Gagarin, however, may have recieved special training as a pilot in the Imperial Navy.  If he was, in fact, an Imperial TIE Pilot, he represented the elite of the Imperial Navy, having undergone grueling physical and psychological conditioning to achieve his rank. TIE pilots were an elite corps, only 10 percent of TIE pilots successfully navigated the intense training and testing of the Imperial Navy. The rest were reassigned throughout the Navy as combat gunners, crewmen, and other personnel. Gagarin's famous space flight may have been a  simple routine for a man of his background.

TIE pilots were trained to be fanatically loyal to the Emperor and willing to sacrifice their lives to complete their assigned missions. To ingrain the concept of placing mission and Empire above self, TIE pilots' names were replaced with identification numbers (such as DS-61-2).

Gagarin, had other plans... after the flight, Gagarin became an instant, worldwide celebrity, touring widely with appearances in Italy, Great Britain, Germany, Canada, and Japan to promote the Soviet achievement.  A  40-meter  titanium monument was erected in his honor in Moscow as seen below.

 In 1962, he began serving as a deputy to the Supreme Soviet. He later returned to Star City, the cosmonaut facility, where he worked on designs for a reusable spacecraft. Gagarin worked on these designs in Star City for 7 years. Gagarin became Lieutenant Colonel (or Podpolkovnik) of the Soviet Air Force on June 12, 1962 and on November 6, 1963 he received the rank of Colonel (Polkovnik) of the Soviet Air Force. Soviet officials tried to keep him away from any flights, being wary of losing their hero in an accident. It is possilbe that the Soviet government was aware of an Imperial plot to have Gagarin executed for his behavior. Gagarin was backup pilot for Vladimir Komarov in the Soyuz 1 flight. As Komarov's flight ended in a fatal crash, Gagarin was ultimately banned from the space program.

Gagarin then became deputy training director of Star City. At the same time, he began to requalify as a fighter pilot. On 27 March 1968, he and his instructor died in a MiG-15UTI on a routine training flight near Kirzhach. It is not certain what caused the crash, but a 1986 inquest suggests that the turbulence from a Su-11 'Fishpot-C' interceptor using its afterburners may have caused Gagarin's plane to go out of control. Weather conditions were also poor, which may have contributed to the inability of Gagarin and the instructor to correct before they crashed.

In his book, Two Sides of the Moon, Alexei Leonov recounts that he was flying a helicopter in the same area that day when he heard "two loud booms in the distance." Corroborating the above hypothesis, his conclusion is that a Sukhoi jet (which he identifies as a Su-15 'Flagon'), flying below its minimum allowed altitude, "without realizing it because of the terrible weather conditions, passed within 10 or 20 meters of Yuri and Seregin's plane while breaking the sound barrier." The resulting turbulence would have sent the MiG into an uncontrolled spin. Leonov believes the first boom he heard was that of the jet breaking the sound barrier, and the second was Gagarin's plane crashing.

ISWWR investigators are well acquainted with the weaponry of the Imperial Navy, and "two loud booms" could easily have been the sounds of laser fire from either land or space craft belonging to the Empire. With Gagarin's violation of TIE pilot procedure and his quest for fame, this theory is quite plausible.

One other interesting observation of this newspaper clipping is the secondary article "Red-5 Deny Spacemen Have Die" Could this be referring to the famed X-Wing squadron of the Rebel Alliance? The investigation continues...

Evidence #: ISWWR0000040 

Submitted by: J. Lamb

Below: An illustration of a TIE Pilot


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