Nation of Celestial Space is based in Evergreen Park, Ilinois, USA. Founded by
James Thomas Mangan, the Prime Minister, who laid claim to all space on January 18, 1949.
Chartered on December 20, 1948. There
are two well known coins of Celestia. First one is called Joule which is
4.1500g 0.9250 Ag with 19mm diameter coin dated 1961.
Other coin is called Celeston which is 2.2000g 0.9000Au and minted from 1959
to1961. Both coins featured Princess Ruth Marie Mangan portrait. Beside this
a few weak strikes of Celeston coin have also been minted in copper with
14mm diameter during 1959 to 1960.
The coin shown in the picture is dated 1960 struck in 0.900 fine gold by James
Thomas Mangan. The obverse shows Ruth Mangan, James Mangan's daughter with
"MAGNANIMITY" on the head band. Initially sold for $6.50 each, but
the price was later raised to $10 each. See "Numismatic Scrapbook"
Feb 1960, page 571 and "The Numismatist" Dec 2001 for more
information. These coins are also unknown as UFO pocket change.
On December 20, 1948, James Thomas Mangan
(of Evergreen Park, Illinois) gave birth to Celestia, “claiming all space
in the sky as its sovereign territory”, in part because “we all travel
through the sky 1,500,000 miles each day; and we are basically sky people
— not earth people.” Mangan laid claim to on behalf of humanity to
ensure that no one country might establish a political hegemony there. As Founder and First Representative, he registered
this acquisition (the only one of its kind in all of history) with the
Recorder of Deeds and Titles of Cook County on Jan. 1, 1949. At its
foundation Celestia claimed to have 19 members, among them Mangan's daughter
Ruth. A 28-page
December 1958 booklet entitled “State of the Sky; Second Report to the
Universe” chronicles the entire history of this entity up until its 10th
anniversary. At that point in time, they had 19,057 participants according
to their census, a far cry from the 19 with which they started. These
“persons of unassailable magnanimity” indomitably cling to their thesis:
“A wholesome search of the human heart reveals the time-heavy longing of
all men for a country clean & free of the world's pressures &
During its earliest years, Celestia “formally and repeatedly informed the
State Department of every established Nation on earth of its existence, its
claims, its rights, its intentions, its nationhood.” Their first Map was
drawn in 1956 at a scale in which one-tenthousandth of an inch equalled
250,000,000 light years. In 1957, the U.S. Patent Office certified the name
Celestia, making it the sky's legal designation.
Because Celestia completely “owns all space”, they peacefully protested
several uses/abuses of the starry firmament as violations of their
sovereignty. In 1949, they notified the United States, Soviet Union, United
Kingdom and the United Nations that Celestia had “ruled against all further atom explosions
(atmospheric nuclear tests)”.
Their charter publicly forbade the use of the regions beyond our atmosphere
to any artificial object/activity (this would come to include radio and
television broadcast signals) without permission. However, the U.S. was the
only nation for which this ban was lifted. In 1957, it was “granted a
special license to send up man-made satellites”. It was also given
exclusive authorization to make the first expedition to the Moon. But
despite Celestia's strenuous objections to Andrei Gromyko (Foreign Minister)
and Nikita Kruschev (who was warned by cable), the U.S.S.R. committed an act
of trespass by launching Sputnik I. As a testament to his concerns over
national security, Mr. Mangan in 1958 even “spent one hour and a half in
spirited debate over the space claims” with the Second Secretary of the
Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C. Later, as the space race got underway in
earnest he sent angry letters of protest to the leaders of the Soviet Union
and United States on the occasions that their early space flights encroached
upon his "territory" - although he later waived these
proscriptions to allow for satellite launches by the latter. While Mangan
and Celestia were politely ignored by the superpowers, there is evidence
that at least some others were prepared to entertain his claims with a
greater level of seriousness.
On behalf of his heavenly cause, he toiled with “inflexible
perseverance”, lobbying and petitioning higher-ups in all levels and
branches of the government (Senators, Congressmen, Committees, the Pentagon,
the President, the FCC, etc...). But in his quest, he remained a
pro-American patriot who stood “ready to turn his claim to all space over
to the United States of America.” As Head of State, he would make “an
outright gift” of Celestia if it were to be used for national defense.
The first unfurling of the Celestian flag - featuring a blue hatch symbol within a white disc
against a blue field - was broadcast in June 1958 to a television audience
of millions across the US. The next day,
in front of the U.N. Building in New York City, it was flown alongside all
the flags of its member nations. In July of that year, they “issued a
Proclamation to the World, declaring the Moon, Mars, and her Two Moons, and
the Planet Venus protectorates” of the Nation of Celestial Space. Mr.
Mangan did so specifically to safeguard these bodies against unsanctioned
“rocket shots” intended for them. Individual copies were conveyed to all
the countries belonging to the United Nations. Despite these efforts, the
Nation of Celestial Space is thought to have become defunct with the death
of its founder. Its only surviving legacy is the series of solid gold and
silver coins and stamps issued in its name by Mangan from the late 1950s
through to the mid 1960s. References "State of the Sky; Second Report
to the Universe", James T Mangan, 1958 "Numismatic
Scrapbook", Feb 1960, p571 "Stamps", April 16, 1966, p129
"The Numismatist", Dec 2001.
I have seen a good place to look for Celestia coins is Mike Locke's
Web-site, a portion of which is devoted to gold coins he has for sale
They also contrived some Ergs of Celestia Energy stamps.
I purchased my 1 Gold Celeston 1960 Princess Ruth Marie Mangan
coin from John McCaugherty (Distinctive Coins / 422 W. 75th St. Downers Grove, IL 60516, USA
/ +1 630 968 7700). This coin is also listed as BR-X2 in Bruce's Unusual