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Was Francis Gary Powers shot down or...

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posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 09:15 PM
I just got back from watching the movie "Bridge Of Spies". Seeing it renewed my long-time interest in this "incident".

Like most other events the OS almost never matches what really happened.

The most glaring question I have always had is: DID THE SOVIETS HAVE AN ANTI-AIRCRAFT MISSLE CAPABLE OF REACHING 70,000 FEET?"

From what I have read, the AA missles of the day (1960) had about a 50,000 foot range on a good day.

Does anyone here have better/more info?

posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 09:26 PM
a reply to: CT_Flyboy

I thought the same thing. This incident is interesting to me because of my interest in the JFK assassination. Oswald worked at Atsugi tracking the U2 and when he "defected" to Russia he offered information on the U2 flights. It's not clear if he ever divulged anything or whether he knew anything the Russians didn't anyway.

Oh, did you like the movie, forgot to ask?
edit on 10/17/2015 by wtbengineer because: to add

posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 10:19 PM
a reply to: wtbengineer

The movie was pretty good. I would give it 4 of 5 stars.

posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 10:26 PM
a reply to: CT_Flyboy
The Soviets always did make very good rocket engines.

When it comes to the performance claims for advanced weapons, your performance may not match those claimed. That applies to both sides of the curve.

I haven't seen the flick as yet but one does have to wonder about the survivablity of a missile strike on that platform, at that altitude, at that speed (right on the edge of VNE).

edit on 10/17/2015 by Phage because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 10:33 PM
whats the alternative story ?
he was never hit by a missile
and just bailed out...

posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 10:34 PM
a reply to: spoonbender
He landed.

posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 11:03 PM
a reply to: CT_Flyboy

Yes the russians did have a missile capable of 70,000 feet . 85,000 in fact . A little below .

The system was also deployed in Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis, where on October 27, 1962, it shot down a U-2 overflying Cuba flown by Rudolf Anderson, almost precipitating nuclear war.

Someone overlook this bit .

posted on Oct, 18 2015 @ 06:02 AM
Powers himself admitted that he thought had lost some altitude at the time, and may have not been flying at the correct height.

What also contributed was that the course he was flying was almost exactly similar to one that another U2 had flown earlier, giving the Russians time to track and plan missile shots.

posted on Oct, 18 2015 @ 03:39 PM
There is one theory that the US deliberately planted a bomb on the plane, so that the incident would derail any thaw in US-Soviet relations and continue the profitable cold war. A meeting between Khrushchev and Eisenhower was cancelled as a result of the incident.

Some even say that Powers' death on August 1, 1977 in a helicopter accident near LA was a murder.

posted on Oct, 18 2015 @ 03:55 PM
It would make sense to have your enemies underestimate the abilities of your anti-air defences.

posted on Oct, 18 2015 @ 05:33 PM

originally posted by: starviego
There is one theory that the US deliberately planted a bomb on the plane, so that the incident would derail any thaw in US-Soviet relations and continue the profitable cold war. A meeting between Khrushchev and Eisenhower was cancelled as a result of the incident.

from Tim Weiner's book "Legacy of Ashes: A history of the CIA" here is the beginning of the main relevant part about the U2 incident:


The president and Dick Bissell were locked in an increasingly intense struggle over the control of one of the biggest secrets of all—the U-2 spy plane. Eisenhower had not allowed any flights over Soviet terrain since his talks with Khrushchev at Camp David six months earlier. Khrushchev had returned from Washington praising the president's courage in seeking peaceful coexistence; Eisenhower wanted the "spirit of Camp David" to be his legacy.

Bissell was fighting as hard as possible to resume the secret missions. The president was torn. He truly wanted the intelligence that the U-2 gleaned.

He longed to bury the "missile gap"—the false claims by the CIA, the air force, military contractors, and politicians of both parties that the Soviets had a widening lead in nuclear weaponry. The CIA's formal estimates of Soviet military strength were not based on intelligence, but on politics and guesswork. Since 1957, the CIA had sent Eisenhower terrifying reports that the Soviet buildup of nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles was far faster and much greater than the American arsenal. In 1960, the agency projected a mortal threat to the United States; it told the president that the Soviets would have five hundred ICBMs ready to strike by 1961. The Strategic Air Command used those estimates as the basis for a secret first-strike plan using more than three thousand nuclear warheads to destroy every city and every military outpost from Warsaw to Beijing. But Moscow did not have five hundred nuclear missiles pointed at the United States at the time. It had four.

The president had worried for five and a half years that the U-2 itself might start World War III. If the plane went down over the Soviet Union, it could take the chance for peace with it. The month after the Camp David dialogues with Khrushchev, the president had rejected a newly proposed U-2 mission over the Soviet Union; he told Allen Dulles once again, bluntly, that divining the intentions of the Soviets through espionage was more important to him than discovering details about their military capabilities. Only spies, not gadgets, could tell him about Soviet intent to attack.

Without that knowledge, the president said, the U-2 flights were "provocative pin-pricking, and it may give them the idea that we are seriously preparing plans to knock out their installations" with a sneak attack.

Eisenhower had a summit meeting with Khrushchev set for May 16, 1960, in Paris. He feared that his greatest asset—his reputation for honesty—would be squandered if a U-2 went down while the United States was, in his words, "engaged in apparently sincere deliberations" with the Soviets.

short version:

Not only was it canceled as a result of the incident, but it was the culmination of a story of a long running struggle between Eisenhower and the CIA over the U2 flights themselves. It was no routine mission and oops it failed at just the wrong time; Eisenhower had suspended the flights for the 5 months since his previous, promising meeting with Khrushchev, precisely because any screw ups would botch the coming meeting in Paris.

Eisenhower had only agreed to the flight in the hopes of going to that meeting having established for fact that the buildup of the Soviet arsenal had been vastly overstated.

edit on 18-10-2015 by 11andrew34 because: clarification

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