The Bogdanoff brothers: intergalactic stars, controversial scientists

(AFP) – Twin brothers Igor and Grichka Bogdanoff reached their peak in the 1980s with a futuristic anticipation TV show, before being criticized for the credibility of their scientific work and being taunted for their physique transformed which they themselves qualified as “extraterrestrials”.

Much mystery surrounds the biography of the famous twins, who had several times in conflict with the law.

A trial for “vulnerable person scam” targeting the two brothers is to take place on January 20, 21 and 27, 2022. They are accused of having robbed a bipolar millionaire to settle their financial woes and relaunch “Time X”, the show science fiction that made them famous.

Evolving in a spaceship decor, with their futuristic suits, their slight Russian accent and their laser gaze, in 1979 they launched this program on TF1 where until 1987, they talked about the train of the future, artificial intelligence, d astronomy or UFOs.

If everyone is not a fan – the magazine L’Express is ironic in 1985 about “these circus clones who invented the sanisette look, asexual” -, they are however propelled to the rank of icons by a whole generation that admires their brilliant talent: “at age 11, we passed tests which taught us that we are part of the 0.01% of the population with an intelligence quotient greater than 190”, noted Grichka.

“The case is rare but we are invested with all the advantages of twins – a physical, intellectual and moral resonance – without the major inconvenience that one installs his government on the other,” he added.

They then disappear from the screens for ten years, the time to study, to write their theses, to write popular works (under the name of Bogdanov since the beginning of the 1990s) like “God and science” , interview with the philosopher Jean Guitton (1991). They are then accused of plagiarism by the American astrophysicist Trinh Xuan Thuan.

– Low scientific value –

They return to television in the 21st century, with several shows, especially on aliens. Thus, in 2008, they presented on France 2 “Science X” but the program was quickly stopped.

They were born in the village of Saint-Lary, in the Gers, on August 29, 1949. Their father would be a Russian painter of Tatar origin, their mother the natural daughter of an Austrian aristocrat.

They are brought up by tutors, in the midst of the 15,000 works in French, Russian, English or German in the family library.

In 1999, Grichka validated his thesis in mathematics and, in 2002, Igor in physics. The controversy then began on the value of their work, especially since they took advantage of the title of “doctor” even before having passed their theses.

In 2010, the weekly Marianne published extracts from a CNRS report according to which these theses, and other articles, have “no scientific value”. In 2012, 170 scientists claimed their “right to blame” after the conviction of a CNRS researcher criticizing the writings of the twins.

Marianne will be condemned for defamation in 2014 but, shortly after, the brothers will however be dismissed of an action brought before the administrative tribunal of Paris against the CNRS.

Overall, it turns out that their work is not hoax but is just low value. The defendants consider that the scientific community finds it difficult to bear that they are media personalities, successful popularizers.

In recent years, they had especially hit the headlines through the mockery of comedians about their deeply transformed face. “We claim to have an alien mouth,” they said in 2010, without giving further details.

Passionate about flying devices (like his brother), Igor was fined for having falsified his helicopter logbook: he wanted to land in 2012 near a shopping center in order to promote the release of one of their books.

Igor has six children, from several unions. More discreet, Grichka was single, without children.