This book may interest ATSers because it documents how intrepid private invesigators can dig out big official government secrets.
I take immeasurable pride in having been one of this team of several dozen private detectives of outer space, so I've added some flattering comments
from the book about my own contributions, as a brag that I hope you'll tolerate.
And I hope our success will encourage others with modern parallel pursuits....
Cold War Space sleuths – The Untold Secrets of the Soviet Space Program.
Dominic Phelan, editor // Springer – Praxis, New York, copyright 2013
Editor Dominic Phelan:
The publication of James Oberg's book Red Star in Orbit in 1981 can be seen as an important event in the history of space sleuthing because it
served to inspire a new generation of researchers with its gripping chapters... As Brian Harvey recalls, 'His book is a terrific read and I read it
twice through in six hours! Somebody had actually put the whole thing down in writing and persuaded a publisher to take it – that was the
significant bit'.” [p. 18]
Harvey, space author, had also commented: “[Oberg[ is provocative, interesting, adversarial, and controversial but he does have a basic respect
for the facts.” [p, 12]
Foreword by William Barry, NASA Chief Historian [p. xiii]: “As a professional pursuit, the study of the Soviet/Russian space programme in the
West didn’t exist until the people who contributed created it. It was not easy, but these pioneers developed the necessary techniques and persevered
in the face of deliberate obfuscation on one side and disheartened ignorance on the other to pursue their passion for understanding [it]…. Each of
the sleuths developed skills that allowed for remarkable insights with the limited data available. With his doggedly inquisitive mind, Jim Oberg set
the early standard for close reading of the published sources. … Whatever talent they brought to bear, each of these sleuths showed remarkable
tenacity in pursuing a better understanding of the Soviet/Russian space programme.”
Bart Hendrickx [Belgium], p. 185. “What especially whetted my appetite for the sleuthing business was James Oberg’s 1981 book Red Star in
Orbit, which I even partially translated into Dutch as a thesis project for school. I was amazed by the amount of evidence for the Soviet manned lunar
project, the military Salyuts, and those ‘missing cosmonauts’. It was the beginning of a passion that has never faded since.”
Asif Siddiqi, p. 221: “In 1981 [at age 14] my parents bought me a copy of Red Star in Orbit by James Oberg. It would be an understatement to say
that my world view was transformed. I practically memorized the entire book, and re-read a hundred times the end section where Oberg listed still
unanswered questions.” [p. 234] “The significance of this book cannot be overstated because it drew a large audience into the study of Soviet
space history,... What distinguished Oberg’s work was a certain flamboyance coupled with assiduous and exacting research. He was also not afraid to
tell a good story – although not at the expense of the facts.”
David Shayler, p. 259: “James Oberg of the United States was one of the first researchers to pose questions or offer theories on the early Soviet
manned space flights. Jim did not merely report the facts or repeat the official line, but advanced his own conclusions and theories. His letters and
articles … were a catalyst for other writers to take a deeper look at the programme. The ‘golden years’ of space sleuthing were about to
Phelan, p. 28, “Perhaps the last word should be given to James Oberg, the man who more than most became the archetypal Cold War Space Sleuth.:
'I'm astonished we got so much right, and I'm delighted that we missed so much that our post-Soviet Russian colleagues still had a lot to teach us.
I still get chills remembering how I lived long enough, and the USSR died soon enough, for me to stand on the scoured concrete apron in Area 41 where
Nedelin's team perished, or to hold in my hand a fragment of the July 1969 N-1 failure, or to shake the hand of a cosmonaut erased from early
photographs. Awesome beyond belief. Of all the futures anticipated by me as a young man, none of these events were within range of even the wildest