TO VIEW A PICTURE OF THE RUSSIAN ICBM LAUNCH KEYS CLICK ON "COLD WAR / CIVIL DEFENSE EXHIBIT" PAGE BELOW.
I'd like to thank the show Pawn Stars for featuring our Russian ICBM Launch Keys. However, there is more to the story than what was shown. First of all, the "expert" Mark, super nice guy but he is not a Russian expert by any means. Nor would he ever profess to be an expert in things Russian. After taping the show I asked Mark whether he knew what the Russian ICBM launch keys would look like. He admitted he didn't know. He said on the show that they are not ICBM keys - but in truth he really has no knowledge of that.
Here is the the rest of the story that didn't make it on the air. The keys came from a man named Major General Yuri Glazkov (google him). He is a Russian hero and cosmonaut. He received these keys from a personal friend in the Russian military who had direct access to keys from decomissioned ICBM's (as per Yuri's account). I received the keys from a personal friend of Yuri's named Scott Mauldin who now lives in Texas. I know him, Yuri's friend, to have great integity. Yuri brought the keys to the United States while he was working directly with NASA sharing information between the two space agencies. He brought five pairs of ICBM launch keys and he also brought the actual key that launched him into space. The only difference between the launch keys (ICBM & rocket) is the size of the key. ICBM launch keys, for whatever reason, are a little smaller than the rocket keys. (ICBM key length is 7 mm and the rocket keys are 8mm).
Personally, I don't care if the keys I own are ICBM or rocket keys. I just needed to know exactly what they were used for since they may end up in the Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas which is a Smithsonian Affiliate Museum. More important, Yuri brought them to the United States to sell them (using his name to validate their authenticity). Yuri's motive was to earn money to help him finance his American shopping past time. He loved to purchase American products to ship back to Russia. I don't believe for a minute that Yuri Glazkov, a hero in the former Soviet Union, would defraud people here in the United States by selling his rocket keys as ICBM keys. He had no reason, no motive to say they were used for one purpose when the alternative would have been just as amazing - rocket launch keys. Just think about it - It would be like Neil Armstrong going to Russia and for no good reason defrauding people in Russia.
According to Scott, who saw all the keys Yuri brought to the United States, the keys I now own are in fact a little smaller but otherwise nearly the same as the rocket keys. I believe Yuri was telling the truth 100%. As per Yuri, the keys look the same only the ICBM keys are just a little smaller. Considering everything I know about the keys I would still bet on them being ICBM launch keys because I consider Yuri, who had personal knowledge of the origin of the keys, over Mark, great guy and very smart - but not a Russian ICBM hardware expert.
Believe me, I have nothing but respect for Mark. He is head of a museum of history for Clark County and a great guy. He stated on the show what he believed based on his opinion he gained by research on the internet. He didn't make his assessment with any understanding of the origin of the keys I presented or any research as to how I received them.
My name is Steve Ririe and I am Chairman of the Silent Heroes of the Cold War National Memorial committee. We are raising funds to build a memorial to the service men and women who worked in secret during the cold war; many of whom gave their lives in secret never to be recognized or honored. We have raised a little over half the funds we need to build the Silent Heroes of the Cold War National memorial. Construction begins 2011 and we were looking for ways to raise the rest of the money needed to complete our goal of finally having a memorial to recognize these heroes.
Donations to the memorial can be sent to: Silent Heroes of the Cold War National Memorial / 7501 W. Lake Mead Blvd. Ste. 106 / Las Vegas, NV 89128