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The mystery object reported was almost certainly a unexpectedly large piece of debris from into Earth orbit with ground control radar also allegedly picking up something inexplicable, it is often believed to be true.However Cooper produced transcripts saying that on the Mercury flight he never saw anything.
Tesla was not hearing the signals from pulsars though and was completely unaware of the nature of what he had really detected (if indeed he picked up anything at all).
However, on more careful analysis this strange structure seems more like a piece of space debris.
In actual fact this black object is probably a thermal blanket (to be precise, a Trunnion Pin Thermal Cover) that had become dislodged during an EVA.
This was a time of deep suspicions held by the two superpowers on either side of the Pacific.
Neither the Americans nor the Soviets had the ability to place an object into any kind of an orbit at that time.