Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Times (South Africa): Gimme some space

The Times, a South African newspaper, revives (after a rather long absence from the international mass media!) the story of the Lunar Embassy. Albert Buhr takes a precautionary approach: "Be warned, however: buying lunar land on the Internet may be just one small step, but it’s a giant leap into a world of legalistic controversy and downright, well, lunacy. ... Hope’s argument also rests on being the first person to lay claim to the moon. This is not true" .
The South African journalist offers his readers a piece of advice: "But before you start looking at other celestial bodies with an entrepreneurial glint in your eye, first take some legal advice from the self-proclaimed owner of our sun, Professor Virgiliu Pop. A space law expert at the University of Lille in France, Pop publicly claimed ownership of the sun in 2001 to expose what he calls “the phoney extraterrestrial real estate industry”.". And he offers - "Where our moon is concerned, you may well conclude as I have: it belonged to Jenaro Gajardo Vera. After all, as Vergiliu Pop relates, even President Nixon acknowledged Gajardo’s ownership when he sent him a letter in May 1969, prior to the first lunar landing."
Three little corrections - I am no longer in Lille, I am not a Professor, and President Nixon did not acknowledge Gajardo's lunar ownership. As stated in my book, "Unreal Estate", this pertains to the legend.