The story and encounters of Arkady Ivanovich Apraksin are intriguing, to say the least. Not least because there is debate as to whether or not the apparently decorated war hero even existed, or was “erased” from the records of history amid perceived anti-Soviet government sentiment.
Although Russia released many of its UFO files following the fall of its communist regime, during its reign, such matters would be very much under wraps. So much so, that interest in them (at the time) would equate to sheer stupidity at best or anti-government at worst. Many sightings were “explained” as being “test weapons of the evil United States and their allies!”
Reports of Apraksin first surfaced via the investigations of Voronezh University lecturer, Yuri Fomin, who then passed the details to Soviet scientist and (unofficial) UFO researcher, Dr. Felix Zigel. They were largely brought to the attention of those in the west through UK UFO researcher, Timothy Good, who then, in turn, would conduct his own research.
The Soviet regime certainly has proven themselves not at all to be above attempts of altering history and removing anything they deem undesirable. Might this be the situation here?
Before we look at the claims of Apraksin, check out the video below. It looks at some of the Soviet space disasters.
According to the details of the incidents in question, Arkady Ivanovich Apraksin was one of the most highly decorated Soviet Air Force pilots in history – as well as one of the most gifted. During service in World War Two, he received the Red Star award, the Red Banner award, and the Patriotic War First Class award, as well as numerous other recognitions for outstanding contributions in the defense of Stalingrad and the capture of Berlin. In short, he was a hero of his times for the Soviet people.
Following the war, Apraksin would test innovative and secretive aircraft for the Soviet Air Force. It was during one of these test flights on 16th June 1948, that he first encountered strange crafts in the skies with him. He would claim that while flying the test plane, a strange “cucumber-shaped” craft was clearly visible, and on a collision course with him no less.
“Cones of light” emanated from the oblong object, appearing to sweep the air around them. Radar control at the infamous Soviet military base Kapustin Yar also confirmed sighting of the object. They sent out a command to land, which it apparently ignored.
Apraksin received orders to approach the craft and engage it if it again refused to land. Before he could do so, however, when he was within ten kilometers of the airborne object, a cone of light fell upon his plane, immediately disabling it. While he guided the plane to an emergency landing, the bizarre craft vanished from sight.
Apraksin would face intense questioning by high-ranking officials from Moscow, and a statement was “prepared” on his behalf.
Leave and Interrogation
Following that first encounter, Apraksin received orders to take forty-five days leave from duty. Just ten days short of this leave period finishing, however, he would receive further orders to report back to his base for debriefing.
Just short of a year later on 16th May 1949, Apraksin would carry out another test flight. As he sped along at 15,000 meters above the ground, the “cucumber-shaped” craft appeared again. Once again his plane became caught in one of the cones of light coming from the object, although this time, he would lose air pressure and barely managed to make a crash landing. His plane would come to a stop almost fifty miles away from his base on the banks of the Volga.
The next memory he had following passing out in the cockpit, was of waking in a military hospital. Immediately upon waking he would give a detailed statement to his superiors, before receiving orders to undergo several months of intense “evaluation”, being subject to psychotherapy and even shock therapy.
In January 1950, a military medical board would declare him “Group One Disabled” – essentially deactivating him from further service in the military. He would apply for reinstatement the following year, which would be declined.
UFO researcher, Timothy Good, extensively researched this particular case, as well as Apraksin himself. He would find no mention of him in the mainstream Soviet history books, nor on books regarding Soviet aviation.
Good would even go so far as to contact the Soviet Central House Of Aviation and Space in Moscow. Their reply is interesting, to say the least. They would reply that they had “no information on the test flight activities of A.I. Apraksin. He is no hero of the Soviet Union!”
Using trusted sources he would determine that the case, and Apraksin, were very real, although there is no knowledge of his whereabouts following the early 1950s. He would eventually track down the original source of the story, Yuri Fomin. He explained he interviewed Apraksin purely by chance when they shared a train carriage in September 1951.
Fomin claimed he had attempted to locate the one-time Soviet war hero for almost two decades following his initial meeting but had always been unsuccessful. It is Fomin’s belief, that Apraksin was a victim of “the system” that simply would not allow descent, and would “alter” history to suit its own ends.
The video below looks at some of the secret Soviet space missions.
A Lost Cosmonaut?
We have written before about the legends of the Lost Cosmonauts. While there is no certainty either way as to the truth of these claims, it is not at all beyond comprehension that such encounters took place. The “space race” and the frantic attempts to make it into the vastness of the universe were very real. And with cosmic bragging rights up for grabs, it seems each side was happy to pay whatever price might be incurred.
There were very real and documented disasters on both sides of the Atlantic in the American and Soviet race for the stars. Given how secretive the Soviet regime was during the Cold War days – even with its own people – it is not that much of a stretch to think other such disastrous accidents would not make it into the public arena.
Might it be possible that such a pilot as Apraksin, if indeed he did exist, would have been preferable for such a program? His apparent expertise with testing cutting-edge aircraft combined with the “ravings” of strange sightings could well have made him both immensely useful and easily dispensable. In short, the Soviet regime could kill two birds with one stone – in theory of course.
As much as it is important to stress that these encounters, and indeed the man himself, may have been pure concoction, it is also important perhaps to keep such claims in the public eye, if only so they do not fall through the cracks of time – lost to history altogether, until proof surfaces one way or another.
Check out the short video below. It looks at the Lost Cosmonauts conspiracy in a little more detail.