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The Bizarre Story of the 3 Martians

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Ravi loves writing within the cusp of relationships, history, and the bizarre, where boundaries are blurred and possibilities are immense.

Three Yemenis sued the space agency NASA in 1997 for trespassing on Mars saying they inherited it 3,000 years ago.

Three Yemenis sued the space agency NASA in 1997 for trespassing on Mars saying they inherited it 3,000 years ago.

Mars, the Final Frontier

In 1997, NASA scientists did something incredible that changed the history of space exploration.

For the first time, they used a small wheeled robot called a sojourner to study the surface of Mars. The sojourner was no bigger than a microwave oven, but it went on to share a lot of valuable information to scientists that gave a whole new perspective to the way we viewed planet Mars in general.

As the sojourner drove over the surface of Mars, it used its camera to send pictures of the Martian landscape. It sent back more than 1000 pictures of the Red Planet. It used instruments to study what the nearby Martian rocks and dirt were made of. Its lander also collected information about winds and other weather factors on Mars.

From Earth, Mars looks cold, dry, and rocky. But Sojourner's photos and information told a much different story. We learned that a long time ago, Mars used to be a warmer and wetter place. The mission finally concluded with a final transmission on Sept. 27, 1997, with the sojourner outliving its expected life.

NASA mission was a resounding success and needless to say it became the icebreaker, the defacto standard for all subsequent missions to the red planet. The sojourner was also immortalized in the blockbuster hit ‘The Martian,’ when astronaut Mark Watney (played by Matt Damon) digs up the old spacecraft to establish communications between his location on Mars and NASA personnel back on Earth.

But along with the bouquets, NASA also gets embroiled in a bizarre lawsuit, something that its scientists would never have even imagined in their wildest dreams. The lawsuit was filed by three Yemenis who claimed the red planet was theirs and NASA was exploring it without authorization or proper consent from its rightful landowners.

NASA mission was a resounding success and needless to say it became the icebreaker, the defacto standard for all subsequent missions to the red planet.

NASA mission was a resounding success and needless to say it became the icebreaker, the defacto standard for all subsequent missions to the red planet.

NASA Gets Sued for Unauthorized Invasion

The bizarre events unfolded after NASA’s sojourner landed on Mars to a thundering ovation from the world community. After the claps, came the lawsuit.

Three Yemeni men – Adam Ismail, Mustafa Khalil, and Abdullah al-Umari filed a lawsuit with the Yemeni Prosecutor General against NASA. According to the trio, they are direct descendants of the rightful owners of the red planet.

Most importantly the three insisted their lineage goes back to 3000 years which was enough to claim ownership and file a complaint arguing that Mars is actually their home.

As the ‘wronged’ men told the Arabic-language weekly newspaper Al-Thawri after filing the lawsuit.

“Sojourner and Pathfinder, which are owned by the United States government, landed on Mars and began exploring it without informing us or seeking our approval. We inherited the planet from our ancestors 3,000 years ago,”

And interestingly they allegedly had “evidence” to support their claim.

According to the men, they belonged to the lineage of the ancient Sabaean and Himyaritic civilizations that ‘existed’ on Mars for more than 3000 years. Their rich ancestry, they claimed preceded several millennia before the age of Christ.

According to the men, they belonged to the lineage of the ancient Sabaean and Himyaritic civilizations that ‘existed’ on Mars for more than 3000 years. Their rich ancestry, they claimed preceded several millennia before the age of Christ.

The Men Made Bizarre Claims

According to the men, they belonged to the lineage of the ancient Sabaean and Himyaritic civilizations that ‘existed’ on Mars for more than 3000 years. Their rich ancestry, they claimed preceded several millennia before the age of Christ and the Roman Civilization. It was their ancestors who instructed ‘humans’ to go and settle on Earth and make it ‘prosperous’ with their wisdom.

The trio demanded the immediate suspension of NASA’s Martian operations and an information blackout on data collected about the Martian atmosphere, gravity, and surface.

NASA was not amused as Brian Welch, at that time NASA director of Media Services told CNN.

“It’s a ridiculous claim. Mars is a planet out in the solar system that is the property of all humanity, not two or three guys in Yemen.”

Richard Cook, the Pathfinder mission manager at NASA also agreed.

"It's everybody's. Mars is for the whole world to explore and to understand. Just because we land on Mars first doesn't mean the United States owns it.”

Of course, the three men from Yemen were not happy with the ‘attitude’ shown by NASA and were hell-bent on ensuring that no ‘trespasser’ roams around their ‘private’ estate revealing crucial information to the public. They persisted with the bizarre lawsuit despite been advised by sane minds to stop their madness.

Needless to say, their petition was rejected. The chief prosecutor — the only official to see the ‘supporting evidence’ even threatened the trio with jail for wasting ‘official time’.

Needless to say, their petition was rejected. The chief prosecutor — the only official to see the ‘supporting evidence’ even threatened the trio with jail for wasting ‘official time’.

The Petition Was Dismissed

Needless to say, their petition was rejected. The chief prosecutor — the only official to see the ‘supporting evidence’ even threatened the trio with jail for wasting ‘official time’. While the lawsuit was laughed off by NASA, the three men did not even show the slightest indication of remorse.

In fact, they used to petition to convince gullible investors to purchase land on Mars at the best price possible; two dollars per square meter. We don’t know what their real motives were, but it is highly unlikely that ‘customers’ who would have opted to buy that ‘piece of land’ on Mars would have even got a proper legal property deed validating their innovative purchase.

And if at all, the trio did manage the deals ‘real’ somehow, NASA would have its hands full fighting the influx of claims that can be expected in the future, following its ‘misadventure’ (read audacity) of having trespassed Mars.

Sources

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Ravi Rajan

Comments

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on September 14, 2021:

Thanks Brenda

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on September 14, 2021:

Thanks Peggy

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on September 14, 2021:

Thanks Misbah

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on September 14, 2021:

Thanks John

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on September 14, 2021:

Thanks Bill

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on September 14, 2021:

Ravi

You definitely pulled me in & it was worth the read.

It's incredible, but I always wondered if there had been life on Mars that evacuated & moved to earth.

What a theory?

But I can see they thought they could make a quick buck...no real proof.

Great write.

I don't know how you find these things, but they make an interesting read.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on September 14, 2021:

With our litigious society, it is bizarre but not surprising that a lawsuit over ownership of Mars has taken place. Your articles are always informative and fun to read.

Misbah Sheikh from The World of Poets on September 14, 2021:

I had a great time reading your hub today. Thanks a lot for sharing this interesting and informative article.

Blessings always!

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on September 14, 2021:

So very very interesting. I am always learning new facts from your articles, Ravi. Great work.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 14, 2021:

You never disappoint. I am always drawn in by your outstanding titles, and the article is always worth the time to read. Well done!

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