Robert Heinlein discussed some of the legal nicities of selling extraterrestrial real estate in an entertaining (and fictionl) work, “The Man who Sold the Moon.” No doubt the modern scam artists read too much science fiction in their misspent youths.
International agreement has determined the status of heavenly bodies to be extranational territory (I think that’s the term) not unlike Antarctica. So you can visit, even live there, but it ain’t yours for the selling.
This is why when Americans pitched their flag on the moon, they also included a plaque which read “we came in peace, for all mankind” (or something like that). No territorial claim, just a sort of “Earth Was Here” message.
That having been said, I can say from personal experience that my father and many of his rocket scientist pals fully believed that it was the Soviet Union’s intention to send humans to Mars, colonize it, and claim it as their own. I know this sounds completely whacked, but I heard them say it when I was a kid. It may not have been without basis.
The Soviets did announce their intention to go to Mars in the early 1970s. They radically altered their program at the same time to focus on long duration missions and construction, repair and maintenance in space, all skills that would be essential for a cheap space-launched mission to Mars. Prior to the Viking landings, Mars looked to be a more hospitable place than we now perceive it, and was thought to be able to supply fuel and provisions enough to support an infrastructure for missions and mining in the outer solar system (many still think it can). And the track record of the Soviets with regard to treaties and international agreements certainly implied that if the Soviet Union found it expedient to deny the use of Mars to other nations, they would not have hesitated to do so.
Then again, maybe my dad and his buddies were taking that whole “Red Planet” thing too seriously.
Having read the site, I’ve come to one conclusion – it’s a scam.
The person doing the selling states that he can sell the moon because he registered for ownership of it with the state of California and then sent letters to China and Russia saying that he was claiming ownership of it and they never responded with a “no you’re not.”
Problem #1: Registering with California means nothing. The moon never belonged to the U.S. so it’s not for the U.S. to give away just because some knothead wants to fill out the forms.
Problem #2: Russia and China aren’t obligated to tell some guy “no” since he couldn’t register for the moon legally anyway. See #1. Further more, he says he waited a “reasonable time” for them to respond. What’s the statute of limitations on denying ownership of a lunar body?
Problem #3: Since it’s doubtful that the U.S. would accept his ownership of the moon (or Mars, Venus, Io, or wherever else) as valid, you have no recourse through the courts when Beijing decides to build luxury condos in Mare Tranquilitatis.
All in all, you might as well have a star named after you.
“I guess one person can make a difference, although most of the time they probably shouldn’t.”
Back in the 70’s I remember an uncle of mine had a title deed framed and hanging on his wall, to the effect that he owned a small piece of the moon’s real estate. I’m sure he never intended to build on the site.
Yes ! I’ve seen them interviewed on “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central(the only place for REAL news). Both real-estate salesmen are clearly not all there (which is the primary prerequisite for Daily Show interviewees) The interviews are curious but tedious.
P.S. Winklereid, Bien fait avec votre recherche a ce sujet et aussi au question des mosquitos.