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There's a Guy Who Claims to Own the Moon...and He's Already Sold Plots to Celebrities and Ex-Presidents

There's a Guy Who Claims to Own the Moon...and He's Already Sold Plots to Celebrities and Ex-Presidents

"Owning the moon is very interesting."

If you don't know Dennis Hope, you should. He claims to own that luminous object that orbits our Earth and graces the night sky in all its various phases.

That's right, Hope has laid claim to the moon. How? The 65-year-old from Nevada wrote the United Nations a letter in the 1980s saying the moon was his and challenging them to establish a legal reason as to why not. Hope says he never got a response. The loophole Hope believes he found in the 1967 U.N. Outer Space Treaty that says no country can claim ownership of the moon is that he's not a country -- he's an individual.

Dennis Hope (Image: YouTube screenshot)

Hope is no stranger to media attention, but earlier this month he was featured in the New York Times Op-Docs, which has begun circulating his story again.

"Owning the moon is very interesting. It's a tremendous burden, in some respects, to keep everybody happy," Hope said in the interview. "I know I have detractors. I know I have people who've said 'you can't do this.'"

"I've always looked at myself as a pioneer," he continued later in the video. "I've always thought differently. I think outside the box, actually now I'm thinking outside the planet."

Watch the New York Times Op-Doc:

Hope established a company -- the Lunar Embassy -- to sell plots of extraterrestrial land. His celebrity clients, according to Business Insider, include Barbara Walters, Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Nicole Kidman, George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. The cost per acre on the moon -- and other planets the company claims to be able to sell -- is $19.99 (total $24 with the added fees). So far, he has sold 600 million acres on the moon.

Although this might sound like a joke, the Lunar Embassy website assures you that it's not. Purchases of the plots are described as "novelty idea," but there's an explanation for that too:

 The first as defined in the American Heritage Dictionary; The quality of being novel: 1) something new and unusual and 2) a small mass-produced article. Well, a property on the Moon definitely falls into all of those categories. The second context is totally out of the Lunar Embassies own, personal paranoia, as our lawyers explained to us years ago when this all started, that this can help avoid any frivolous lawsuits from a foreign country. You should know that this does not diminish the value of the property that you purchase in any way, as every deed is recorded and registered in the Lunar Embassy's registration database and every owners information is listed with that registration. You own this property.

Ram Jakhu, a member of the International Institute for Space Law board of directors, told to Discover Magazine in 2007 the 1967 U.N. treaty is being misinterpreted and that "no one owns the moon" or any other property in space.

In his interview with the Times, Hope said he has plans for earthly governments to have embassies on the moon, but also other non-earth-based governments he has been in contact with that he can't speak about will have embassies as well.

Featured image via Shutterstock.com. 

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