There have been many mysterious and spooky things caught on camera since our technological sophistication has allowed us to do so, giving us eerie glimpses into the unknown. Yet there are also just as many caught in audio recordings, snippets of sound forever captured and etched into posterity for us to peruse and listen to to our liking. However, just as with video footage, these sound recordings often do little to fully bring to light all that we hear, and there are often questions left to float about these strange recordings. Here we have some audio evidence of some of the more sinister and scary events out there; the haunting recordings of disasters, murders, and voices of killers, which often serve to baffle, puzzle and indeed disgust as much as they do to inform and offer glimpses into tragedy.
One great tragedy that has not occurred outside of Japan but which seems to loom ever closer on the horizon is the prospect of a nuclear strike. While of course this has not happened since 1945 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, the feeling of the horror of what it must feel like to await the rain of fire can be in a way experienced by listening to the incredibly creepy nuclear emergency broadcasts that were produced in the United States during the Cold War to warn civilians of imminent death and destruction. One such similar recording can be heard here, in this case for a nuclear attack from North Korea, and is extremely unsettling as it plays out a mock nuclear strike, describing the targets that have already been obliterated and the ones which are moments from it, including estimated arrivals for the blasts. It is tense listening for sure and can be heard here.
Other spooky audio recordings have nothing to do with killers, but remain just as creepy nonetheless. One is the last known transmission of an unidentified female Russian cosmonaut from 1961. At the time there was a fierce space race going on between the United States and the Soviet Union, and during this time there were legions of amateur radio enthusiasts listening in on what was going on up there. One pair of Italian brothers by the names of Achille and Giovanni Judica-Cordiglia were well-known for making myriad recordings with their homemade equipment of high-profile space events such as the dog Laika on the one way Soviet Sputnik 2 voyage, among others, but perhaps their greatest and spookiest accomplishment was a recording they made with relation to the space race was one which seems to feature the voice of who would have been at the time the first female cosmonaut in space.
The recording apparently details a transmission between the unidentified woman and mission control. During the exchange, the woman seems to be aboard her spacecraft and describing what she sees around her, but things take a turn for the scary during the final moments. In these moments the increasingly panicked woman says, “Isn’t this dangerous? Talk to me! Our transmission begins now. I feel hot. I can see a flame. Am I going to crash? Yes. I feel hot, I will re-enter…,” after which the audio goes dead. It seems as if these are the last haunting words of a mysterious woman and pioneer of space just before she burnt up as her doomed craft reentered the atmosphere in a fiery end. We don’t know who she was or what exactly her purpose on the mission was, but it is an extremely haunting recording of a woman facing death in the face during an era in which space was still largely an uncharted territory that was a stranger to human presence. You can hear it and see the translation of the transcript here.
Does any of this bring these events any closer to our understanding? Are there hints buried within these soundscapes that offer new insight or understanding of what we are hearing? This seems debatable to be sure, but these pieces of our tragic history still linger on these recordings and beckon to us somehow. Here we have moments in time and from history held suspended forever in these often troubling sound recordings. We hear what these people heard, feel in a sense what they felt, and gain some form of insight into these events through these clips, but ultimately we are left to wonder just what really transpired, and struggle to put a visual reference to what we hear. It can be frustrating to say the least, but even if there are no new answers to be gleaned from such recordings and no new evidence to be obtained they still seem somewhat important, if only to serve as aural testament to some of the worst tragedies and most sinister events we know of. These tapes have saved these instances from being lost to history, and as hard as they are to listen to they have a purpose, no matter what that may be.