On March 27, 1968, Yury Gagarin, the first man in space, died at the age of 34 in a shocking flying accident. The cause of the disaster remains a mystery to this day.
A usual training flight on board the reliable Mig-15 aircraft ended when the plane crashed in the middle of a think forest. After a detailed investigation by specialists no conclusion was drawn as to the cause of the accident. Theories have emerged as to why the aircraft crashed, killing Gagarin and co-pilot Vladimir Seregin. At first foul play was suspected, as no parachutes were found at the crash site. However it was later discovered that they had been stolen by local villagers who discovered the plane first and took them for the value of the fabric. Another theory is that the aircraft lost control when it entered the vertical stream of a passing plane, but no evidence has been found to support this claim. It is also possible that the Mig-15 was worn-down and had a technical fault and this, together with bad weather conditions, caused it to crash.
Gagarin was the first human being to travel to space in 1961. He returned to earth, alive and unharmed, to worldwide glory, love and admiration. According to his friends, Gagarin was not affected by his fame and remained as everyone knew him before the historic space flight – modest and kind to the people around him. He dearly loved his wife, Valentina, and his daughters were the apples of his eye.
Adored by his county, almost every boy who was born the year he travelled into space was named after Gagarin – Yury. Every year on the anniversary of his death, astronauts, pilots and people who remember Gagarin gather near the crash site to honor and commemorate his legend.