(Still have to know more about Douglas Tompkins, another crazy gringo buying lakes and mountains).
"Cartoonist Robert L. ("Believe It or Not") Ripley believed last week that he was about to become the owner of a volcano. He had been negotiating for the purchase of Paricutin, the volcano which poked through the cornfield of Mexican Farmer Dionisio Pulido, on Feb. 20, 1943, and quickly grew into a 1,500-ft. mountain, belching flame, smoke and lava. This week the cartoonist, after delicate and mysterious negotiations, expected to clinch the deal.
During New Year's Eve festivities in Havana, somebody told Ripley that Paricutin was for sale. He already had a gilt telephone, an apartment crammed .with hundreds of statuettes, swords, costumes, paintings, vases and two secretaries—one American, one Chinese. But he did not own a volcano. He wanted Paricutin because: 1) as a boy he had always wanted a volcano; 2) it might fill a spiritual void; 3) it might (because of minerals) prove a good investment.
Skeptics pointed out several difficulties that Ripley might encounter. Farmer Pulido had disappeared. In any case, his title to the volcano was somewhat hazy. Mexican law frowned on foreign landowners and the Mexicans might want to keep their volcano themselves."