USSR: The Myth of Soviet Cosmonauts Seeing ‘Angels’ in Space! (1984)

Soviet Cosmonauts Leonid Kizim, Vladimir Soloviev & Oleg Atkov (1984)

Translator’s Note: Contrary to US Cold War disinformation and the forces of US anti-intellectualism – ‘religion’ was never ‘banned’ in the USSR. On the contrary, unlike the Czarist system that preceded it – the Soviet system ‘guaranteed’ freedom of religion (See Muhammed Ali’s 1978 visit to the USSR). Like the Constitution of the USA, however, the Constitution of the USSR separated Church from State and the Classroom from the Church. Like in the USSR – the State of the USSR was ‘secular’ and its development guided through the progression of rational science. Although the military men and women who were selected to be trained as Cosmonauts were chosen for their Socialist morality and stability of character – there was nothing stopping any single individual personally professing a belief in a religion as a ‘private matter.’ Not all Soviet Cosmonauts were from a military background, as the first woman in space – Valentina Tereshkova (Валентина Терешкова) – was selected because of her solid proletariat background, as she worked in a factory. This extraordinary woman was granted an honorary Soviet Airforce Commission as part of her reward. ACW (18.11.2020) 

Salyut 7 – 1984

The general story (translated into English from the original Russian) surrounding this issue of supposed Soviet Cosmonauts encountering angels in space is as follows: 

‘This is what happened in the summer of 1984 in space. It was the 155th day of the manned flight of the Soviet space orbital station ‘Salyut-7’, where the Commander – Oleg Atkov – was serving with the Cosmonauts Vladimir Soloviev and Leonid Kizim  Suddenly, the station was flooded with a sparkling orange light, which was so strong that it blinded the occupants for a time, and they thought that there was a fire or an explosion on the ship. The Cosmonauts reported the incident to the Mission Control Centre. When their ability ‘to see’ returned, the Cosmonauts looked through the portholes and reported that they could ‘see faces.’ 

Seven angels seemed to be hovering next to the spaceship. They had human faces and bodies, as well as wings. The angels accompanied Salyut-7 for 10 minutes, repeating the ship’s manoeuvres, before finally disappearing. A ‘group hallucination’ was the only sensible explanation for what had happened. The Cosmonauts logically assumed that they had all suffered from a temporary episode of madness brought-on by stress and tiredness.  

Later, on the 167th day of the flight, three of their colleagues joined these Cosmonauts – Svetlana Savitskaya, Igor Volk and Vladimir Dzhanibekov. Once again there was a bright orange light and seven angels. According to the eyewitnesses, each was the size of an airliner. This time all six Cosmonauts reported to Earth that they had seen ‘smiling angels.’ 

If it were only about the first crew – which set a record of 237 days in space orbit – this episode could be logically attributed to the ongoing stress accumulated during the long space travel. However, how would this explain the meeting of the second crew with the angels?’ 

Soviet Archive documents reveals the following reliable data: 

Three Crews – Landed on Salyut 7 by Soyuz Rockets: February – July – 1984 

Arrived by Soyuz T-10 (Team-Crew 10) February 8th – October 2nd, 1984 – Third Main Expedition 

Leonid Kizim 

Vladimir Soloviev 

Oleg Atkov 

Arrived Soyuz T-11 (Team-Crew 11) April 4th – April 11th, 1984 – Third Visiting Expedition 

Yuri Malyshev 

Gennady Strekalov 

Rakesh Sharma (India) 

Arrived by Soyuz T-12 (Team-Crew 12) – July 18th – July 29th, 1984 – Fourth Visiting Expedition 

Vladimir Dzhanibekov 

Svetlana Savitskaya 

Igor Volk 


On the official Russian language pages regarding Salyut 7 – there is no mention of any of the Cosmonauts involved in the 1984 mission reporting the seeing of ‘angels’ – or any other oddity. Furthermore, the fictional story above that conveys the ‘angels’ mythology omits the three Cosmonauts Yuri Malyshev, Gennady Strekalov and Rakesh Sharma (India) – all of whom visited Salut 7 before other three (involved) Cosmonauts arrived to the repair the craft. Supposedly these extra characters failed to ‘spy’ these elusive creatures! The nonsense of Soviet Cosmonauts seeing ‘angels’ is used in the West to disparage Soviet history. I initially speculated that this story might have had its origins in the Polish science-fiction novel Połowa Nieba (‘Half the Sky’) by Bartek Biedrzycki (2018), collected in Zimne Swiatło Gwiazd (‘Cold Star-Light’) in 2020 – a book I have not read. However, this is ‘incorrect’ on my part. The author kindly contacted me today, and provided this important information:

‘It couldn’t really come up from my story, as it was published years after the original “angel incident” was already well spread all over the internet. Also, there is totally no mention about angels in it, and it presents event on a fictitious “Europa” space station involving a Polish and a Chinese cosmonaut even though it’s based on the Soyuz T-13 rescue mission. So, basically, this is good for recognition, but mentioning me here is rather unrelated ;)’

Bartek Biedrzycki (20.11.2020)

Thank you Bartek Biedrzycki for your kind and informative advice. I apologise for the misunderstanding.

Russian Language Sources: 

https://forum.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/index.php?topic=8971.0

https://info.wikireading.ru/99767

https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Салют-7

4 comments

  1. It couldn’t really come up from my story, as it was published years after the original “angel incident” was already well spread all over the internet. Also, there is totally no mention about angels in it, and it presents event on a fictitious “Europa” space station involving a Polish and a Chinese cosmonaut even though it’s based on the Soyuz T-13 rescue mission. So, basically, this is good for recognition, but mentioning me here is rather unrelated 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Friend – thank the clarification. I will adjust this post to reflect your comments and advice. Thank you for your help.

      Liked by 1 person

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