Vladimir Aksyonov was a pilot-cosmonaut of the USSR who participated in the Soyuz-22 flight as a flight engineer. The USSR had the most rigorous selection process and thorough training for individuals entering the space industry, making his statements particularly credible.
In his interviews with journalists, Aksyonov recounted two mysterious phenomena he experienced during his astronaut career.
One of these incidents took place on board the Soyuz T-2 spacecraft in 1980. Aksyonov piloted a unique device, the first in the USSR controlled by an on-board computer. During the flight, several instruments, including the on-board computer, malfunctioned, requiring a manual docking—a task never before performed by a cosmonaut.
It is crucial to note that any emergency situation in space poses incredible risks. Specialists may succumb to panic and take incorrect actions, further worsening an already precarious situation. Aksyonov claimed that, during this critical moment, he heard the voice of an unknown man.
Surprisingly, he received instructions on the algorithm of actions not through his ears but directly to his brain. The information was transmitted directly to his mind, a phenomenon that the flight engineer could not explain.
“When approaching the orbital station, the commander Yuri Malyshev, who was controlling the spacecraft, could not reach the calculated trajectory in order to dock,” Aksyonov later said. — The ship’s energy reserves for maneuvers are limited. There was, as they say, nothing left. If another correction had failed, we would have flown past the station and returned to Earth without completing the mission.
“I could not help in any way, since control of the ship is the exclusive prerogative of the commander. As a flight engineer, I could only worry silently, sitting next to me in the chair. Suddenly, at some point, a command rang out in my head: “Take control!” Later, when analyzing what happened, I was still unable to accurately determine whether it was someone’s voice or not.
“I simply perceived someone else’s mental order, which for some reason I could not ignore. And what’s completely surprising is that the commander, without any objection, handed over control of the ship to me. Then he said that he had not heard any commands, but only suddenly realized that he had to behave this way, although this went against all instructions.
“I didn’t lose consciousness any further, but I seemed to be in some kind of trance and obediently followed the commands that arose in my mind. Only thanks to them the docking was successfully carried out.“
Upon returning to Earth, Aksyonov shared his experience with management and colleagues, but his incredible story was met with skepticism. People cited altered perception during a critical situation as a potential explanation.
Aksyonov’s colleagues, Valery Ryumin and Leonid Popov, who were on board with him, confirmed the story. They mentioned that they did not communicate the details at that moment, and the connection with the control center was interrupted.
Regardless, the astronaut remained puzzled by the unexplained incident. In retirement, he revisited the event multiple times but, unfortunately, was never able to unravel the mystery of what happened back in 1980.
The second incident, which Vladimir Aksyonov also cannot explain, occurred in 1992 on Earth. One day he was driving a Moskvich to his country house. The car was in good working order, but like everything in those days, sometimes it malfunctioned.
While crossing the railroad tracks, the car stalled. At that moment, a speeding train appeared from around the bend about 50 meters away. In a second or two it was supposed to crash into the car. Even if the driver tried to open the door and get out of the car, he still wouldn’t have time.
But Aksenov didn’t even try. Instead, he pulled it out of the socket and then reinserted the ignition key and gently pressed the starter. The engine immediately started, and the car drove off the rails when the speeding electric train was already a few meters away.
Moreover, as it seemed to Aksenov, the carriages floated in front of him, as if in a slow motion movie. Moreover, he was able to see the chalk-white face of the driver, who did not even have time to start braking because the car was too close at the crossing.
No matter how many times he turned to his familiar colleagues, physicists, engineers, everyone answered him that this simply could not happen.
It is believed that time always flows at the same speed, which neither nature nor man can change. However, there are many cases where it seems to stop. At least, that’s what it seems to a person in such situations.
As an example, we can cite the stories of front-line soldiers about how they survived only because they saw bullets and shells flying at them and managed to take cover.
At first glance, this is impossible, since the human eye is not capable of perceiving objects moving at such speed. But you can’t help but believe the storytellers.
After all, there were often witnesses that a soldier suddenly dived to the bottom of a trench, and the next second a bullet or shrapnel plowed up the parapet right in the place where his head had just been.
As for voices in Earth’s orbit, space has also been studied extremely superficially in terms of its impact on the brain. Returning astronauts often report hearing strange music or voices.
Both phenomena that Vladimir Aksenov spoke about are real and poorly studied, so today few can explain the nature of these events.