In a very strange turn of events, a Russian scientist helped Americans land on the moon. In an even stranger turn, in 1969, that scientist had been dead for 27 years, having perished during World War II.
That scientist was Yuri Kondratyuk, who proposed the Lunar orbit rendezvous: the familiar figure-eight path that circles both the Earth and the moon. Kondratuyk even suggested using a smaller spaceship that would land on the moon and then return to the larger module that stayed in orbit. Amazingly, he thought of this back in 1919, when even basic aviation was still in its infancy. Still, Kondratyuk's LOR plan laid the basis for the American moon landing.
The above is not exactly correct, and not for the reason you might think. When Kondratuyk came up with the LOR, he wasn't yet Kondratyuk. He was Alexander Shargei, son of a converted Jew and a deserter from the czarist army. In 1921, in order to survive in Soviet Russia, he assumed the identity of a dead Ukrainian... Yuri Kondratyuk.
A strange turn of events indeed.