"Get off Mars, It's ours !"
Yemeni Men Tell U.S.
SANAA, Yemen (Reuter) - Two Yemeni men claiming ownership of Mars filed a law suit against the U.S. space agency, NASA, for trespassing during its current mission to the red planet. But the country's prosecutor general said Thursday they had withdrawn the case after he threatened them with arrest. Weekly newspaper, al-Thawra , said Mustafa Khalil and Abdullah al-Amri presented documents to prosecutor general Mohammad al-Bady which they said proved their claim. "They said they received the planet as an inheritance from ancient ancestors and therefore rejected the landing of the U.S. spacecraft on the planet without their prior notification and permission," the paper said. NASA's Pathfinder spacecraft landed on Mars July 4, setting the stage for unprecedented exploration of the planet by a dune-buggy-type vehicle called the Sojourner. The two men also asked al-Bady to bring to court U.S. ambassador David Newton, saying steps taken by NASA were the responsibility of the U.S. government. "The two men are abnormal," prosecutor general told Reuters. They had filed suit against NASA a few days ago, but by examining the case we found out they were only seeking fame and publicity. I threatened them with arrest if they failed to withdraw the case and they did," he added. Yemen's official news agency, SABA, quoted Mustapha Bahran, presidential consultant for scientific and technological affairs, as saying Fadl Salem al-Salem, a U.S. scientist of Yemeni origin, had contributed to the Pathfinder mission and findings on Mars.