Spies in the sky

Soviet Su- 15 fighter flies toward the target . Once the object is within sight of the remote control from the wings of the plane break off two rockets . Trailing streams of fire, they sped toward the passenger jumbo jet . Missiles hit air – air giant Boeing 747 crashed in the waters of the Sea of Japan. Killed 269 people who were on board . ” Target destroyed ” – a calm voice reported fighter pilot . He was the morning of September 1, 1983 year. To this day it remains a mystery why this event occurred , which was the most tragic incident associated with flights spy during the Cold War . Boeing 747 flying from New York to Seoul, with a stopover in Anchorage, Alaska . The planned route of flight , designated KAL 007 was not going over the Soviet Union , but the plane veered off course shortly after taking off from Anchorage and for more than two hours was in Soviet airspace , in addition to nearby secret military facilities . The Russians initially denied that such an incident took place . After a few days , in response to the benefits of worldwide protests , said they acted in self-defense because the machine made ​​a flight Korean spy . According to them, the Americans had mounted on board a special camera designed to photograph secret base on Sakhalin and Kamchatka . That’s why I sent a fighter to get the remote to return or landing , which is the usual action in such situations. Attempts radio contact with a Korean crew failed. Boeing did not want to pay , so he had to be destroyed . In turn, the Koreans and the Americans claimed that KAL 007 crew simply got lost , and the Su- 15 pilot did not attempt to establish communication , just made ​​a ” cold-blooded execution .” Important for the explanation of the mystery could have an aircraft black box , a device for recording conversations in the cockpit . Both superpowers sent their ships exploration to find her . For the purpose of the first Russians arrived , but kept the discovery a secret, probably because I do not confirmed their version of events . Disclose them only in the early 90s From the record showed that the pilots were not fully aware that they fly over the Soviet Union. But if their conversations were not deliberate disinformation ? Why the plane got lost ? The answers to these questions still remain unexplained . It’s hard to believe that the Korean captain Chun Byumg In, which experienced flyer , could commit such a mistake . According to the most probable theory failed automatic pilot or navigation system . Self shot down was probably the result of a tragic misunderstanding. Earlier in the area circled American spy plane RC -135 . Because it is a variant of another passenger aircraft , the Boeing 707, the radar looked like . RC- 135 is not flew over the area of the USSR , was moving on the border of the Soviet radar coverage , so appear and disappear on the screen. At one time flew because he ended up fuel. Unluckily , that KAL 007 was released on radar near the place where he disappeared earlier EC-135 . Radar operator thought it was still the same plane . When the Russians saw that the alleged ” spy ” heading towards the secret objects , they decided to shoot it down . Therefore, the Su- 15 pilot was ordered not to contact the crew of his order , but immediately fire the rocket. There is a hypothesis that has led to the destruction of the Boeing presence of Russians on board U.S. Congressman Larry McDonald, known for his fierce anti-communism . Five years before the tragedy KAL Flight 007 came to a similar accident. Other South Korean airliner , the Boeing 707, by mistake flew over the area of the USSR. Despite firing by Soviet aircraft Korean pilots managed to make an emergency landing on a frozen lake near Murmansk. 3 people were killed and 13 were injured. Russians evacuated the survivors, but then told the government in Seoul to cover the costs of the rescue operation. In turn, 3 July 1988, given unintentional shooting down a passenger jet, ” showing off the ” Americans . USS Vincennes was attacked in the Gulf by several Iranian armed boats . A few minutes later the ship’s radar screen appeared an unidentified aircraft that did not respond to radio calls to change course . The commander of the ship found that the plane wants to attack him . He ordered the firing of rockets, although the radar operator pointed out to him that the object is too large for the machine battle . In fact , proved that it was the Iranian Airbus A300 with 290 people on board . No one survived . These are just some air dramas of the Cold War . Many of them are associated with reconnaissance flights . Air espionage , especially in the execution of U.S. aircraft , has played an important role in the superpower rivalry . The Russians and their allies have relied more on human history , that is work of spies. In open , democratic Western countries, it was easier to build efficient intelligence network than for ” curtains ” – Iron ( as it was called limit Soviet influence in Europe) and bamboo ( in the communist countries of Asia ) . Of course, the Americans and their allies also had their spies , who sometimes even supply them with invaluable information . Throughout the period of the Cold War lasted over international waters ” game of cat and mouse” between the two hostile airmen blocks. Sometimes , especially during international tension high in the 50 ” Fun ” these ended tragically. Western aircraft repeatedly flew into the Soviet Union and its satellite states to provoke defenses and get an idea of ​​the efficiency of its operation. Sometimes it turned out that the defense is very effective. Soviet and Chinese pilots shot down during this period many Western machines. Los some crews today is unknown, but certainly some of them ended life in Siberian gulags . The tasks , called in modern military terminology ” SIGNT ,” or collection from a safe distance of the effects of radar , radio -frequency calls , gave a reworked large transport aircraft or ships, for example, RC -135 . Military tempted but , understandably, the opportunity to see the air secret enemy objects . Until the emergence of reconnaissance satellites only such opportunity offered reconnaissance aircraft . Since the end of the 40s spy flights over the Soviet Union exercised ordinary reconnaissance aircraft the U.S. Air Force , the United Kingdom and other countries. However, this was not an easy task , because the Soviet fighter aircraft , and later anti- missiles were a formidable opponent . Meanwhile, every shot down the spy aircraft was associated with double the risk : on the one hand by an opponent to gain access to confidential information , and the second call of international conflict . To avoid this risk , in the mid-50s in the years 1955 – 1956 released 516 balloons with cameras . They were to fly over the Soviet Union , taking pictures of mainly military . To keep all the action in secret, while the CIA organized the action of sending the countries of the Eastern bloc own balloons with leaflets . Operation ” Genetrix ” did not succeed . For the purpose was heard little balloons , and the pictures were mostly fields , cities and forests . Discovered only one previously unknown nuclear research center . In the end, the action was stopped.