FAKE BAIKONUR CANCEL STORY UNCOVERED
Ray E. Cartier (SU-1055)
Several years ago, Les Winick did an extensive study of covers such as the one shown above. He did not believe that the Baikonur cancellation was used during the time frame in which covers from Lollini were being sold. His mail responses from the Kniga Agency supported his beliefs, but an aura hung over the French Space Dealer, Lollini, as the suspected source of the fraudulent covers..
A chance meeting at PACIFIC 97 with Professor Oleg L. Vaisberg, Ph.D., the Solar Wind Interaction Laboratory Chief for the Space Research Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, has finally filled in the last of the information needed in this story. We met while waiting for the show to open on Saturday, June 7th. He was going through a notebook that had a mounted copy of a MIR Flown Space Cover which opened our conversation. Later in the day, we met again at a dealer's booth. As we rummaged through boxes, I came across the cover shown above and pulled it out to show him.
"Do you know anything about these early cancels from Baikonur?", I asked. "The Space Unit believes that these were counterfeited", I continued.
He smiled and took the cover. "Oh yes, I know this cover very well. A very good friend of mine, Boris Korichev, produced these himself, not in France but in Moscow. I believe that he sold all those that he made to a Frenchman. Boris died about fifteen years age."
Bob Boyd and Bob Glass were on hand to hear the response with me. And with that, the mystery of the origin of the so-called Lollini covers was solved.
Think of the odds of finding one of the handful of people in Russia who knew the secret, at the same time as finding an example of a cover while talking to him, and then thinking to ask the question. A one in several million chance finally puts an end to the questions surrounding these covers.