Torre Bert Listening Station – Turin, Italy - Atlas Obscura

Torre Bert Listening Station

Some people believe that this makeshift space monitoring station received transmissions from clandestine cosmonauts. 


During the 1960’s a number of amateur radio enthusiasts began trying to hear the unguarded transmissions from the brave ships being sent into space, but the two brothers who established the Torre Bert Listening Station in Italy are believed by some to have stumbled upon a conspiracy involving who was truly the first man in space.

Achille and Giovanni Batista Judica Cordiglia built their makeshift listening station in a disused German bunker which gave the site its name. Using improvised and found parts the self-taught engineers created an independent monitoring station that could pick up both Russian and American satellite signals. In the end utilizing around 21 antennas, the brothers were famously able to listen to such well known probes as Sputnik 2 and Explorer 1, but if the rumors are to be believed, they also listened in on some things they shouldn’t have.    

As the conspiracy theorists would have it, sometime in the 1960’s Torre Bert began eavesdropping on some secretive Russian intelligence broadcasts that eventually led to them hearing the dying breaths of a shadow cosmonaut who had been sent to space prior to Yuri Gagarin and had simply been left to float out into the cosmos.

Some versions of the story have the cosmonaut headed for the moon, while others have him burning up in a fiery reentry to Earth, but almost all of the believers in the theory of the secret lost cosmonaut(s) look to the Torre Bert recordings as proof that space has not been as far away for as long as we thought. 

Know Before You Go

Quadrivio Raby, Belvedere del Bossola - Torino

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