The Strange But Compelling John Lennon UFO Sighting

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
January 9, 2024
Last Updated
January 7, 2024
Estimated Reading Time
7 min read
Posted in
UFOs, Sightings

Many people, both inside and outside the UFO community, are aware that the one-time Beatle, John Lennon saw a UFO while in New York in the mid-1970s, but the finer details of that encounter are not often explored or discussed, just that the singer-songwriter saw a craft potentially from another world. And what makes the sighting even more intriguing, is claims years later that Lennon may have even been abducted by the occupants of this apparent otherworldly craft.

Indeed, with this last point in mind, some have contemplated whether Lennon, like other gifted people throughout history (if the accounts are to be believed) would be a desirable target for these apparent visitors from another world. Perhaps his gift and overall outlook on life were a result of other, previous encounters. Whatever the truth of the matter, the UFO sighting of John Lennon is perhaps one of the most interesting of such incidents involving a celebrity, not least because of his openness about the incident.

Just to set the background here, during the time of the sighting, Lennon was living, and in a relationship with his one-time assistant, 22-year-old May Pang following a temporary break-up with Yoko Ono. In fact, it had been Ono who had sent Pang to live with Lennon in the spring of 1973. It was with Pang that Lennon had his seemingly otherworldly encounter.

A Strange “Coasting” Object That Was “Dazzling For The Mind!”

According to most versions of the event, at around 8 pm on the evening of August 23rd, 1974, following what had been a particularly hot and muggy day, Lennon and Pang were in their penthouse apartment on 52nd Street in New York City. [1] Although the temperature had cooled somewhat, it was still stiflingly hot, causing Pang to open the windows of the apartment, hoping that the breeze from the East River would aid in cooling the apartment. Within moments of doing so, both Pang and Lennon noticed something a little out of the ordinary outside.

Lennon would later recall that he was standing by the window that led to the roof, unclothed due to the oppressing heat, when he noticed something strange hovering over the next building. He claimed that this bizarre object was “no more than 100 feet away” and appeared to have “ordinary electric light bulbs flashing on and off round the bottom” with “one non-blinking red light on top”.

He elaborated that the object appeared to be simply “coasting” calmly, with the potential occupants seemingly unconcerned who might see it. Lennon watched the object for around 20 minutes as it headed off into the distance, eventually disappearing over the East River near the United Nations building.

Pang, meanwhile, had ventured out onto the terrace, where she too saw the strange aerial object. She recalled it as a “circular object” that was “coming towards us”. She further stated that the object was “shaped like a flattened cone” and also recalled that “on top was a larger, brilliant red light” which was “not pulsating as on any of the aircraft we’d see heading for a landing at Newark Airport”.

She also recalled seeing a “white circle of lights” around the underside edges that “ran around the entire rim of the craft. She stated that there were “so many of these lights that it was dazzling to the mind”.

The “Missing” Pictures

During the encounter, Lennon attempted to take pictures of the UFO with his Polaroid camera. However, he soon realized that it was broken (the result of an accident during a recent interview) and so was unable to do so. Pang, though, did manage to capture multiple pictures from the rooftop with her 35mm camera. And given how close the pair were to the craft (Lennon offered that it was so close to them that he could have “seen it even without my glasses, and I’m very shortsighted”), they were confident that they had captured some crystal clear images.

After the object had disappeared, John immediately reached for some paper and also made a sketch of the futuristic craft he had just seen while it was fresh in his mind.

Sketch by John Lennon

Shortly after the incident, a friend of the pair, Bob Gruen, arrived at the apartment, and the pair wasted little time in telling him what they had seen. They even gave him the 35mm roll of film and asked him to have them developed as fast as possible.

Gruen would later recall that he “took the film home and put John’s roll of film between two rolls of film” he had taken earlier. He then took them to be developed. According to Gruen, while his rolls of film “came out perfectly”, John’s roll of film was completely blank. When he returned the film to Lennon and Pang, he stated he had no idea why the film was blank, but that it appeared as though it had “been through the radar at customs”.

We have to ask what the chances were that the one roll of film Pang used was simply a “bad film” (remember, she used hundreds of films for her work and had not had such problems previously). Was it merely an unfortunate coincidence? Or might the UFO, or more to the point the occupants, have utilized some kind of technology that simply rendered the film useless?

Of further interest, Gruen would contact the local police station and ask if they had received any reports of a UFO over the East River. To his surprise, he was informed by the switchboard operator that he was the third person to contact them that evening.

The Thought-Provoking Claims Of Uri Geller

Decades following the ex-Beatle’s unfortunate and tragic death (due to being shot by a disturbed fan outside his New York home in December 1980), Uri Geller, who had known Lennon well, claimed that the encounter from the penthouse apartment was not Lennon’s first UFO encounter. [2]

According to what Geller claimed Lennon told him, one night in the early-to-mid 1970s, he was lying in his bed in the Dakota apartment building in New York. Suddenly, Lennon claimed that an extremely bright light became visible around the edges of his bedroom door. Lennon claimed that this light was so bright and powerful that he thought someone was shining a searchlight into the apartment. He got out of bed and began toward the door. Then, without warning, it suddenly burst open.

The next thing he could recall was “four thin-looking bug-like figures” heading toward him while simply standing there, seemingly unable to move. Two of the figures reached for his hands, while the other two each got hold of one of his legs. He was then “guided into a tunnel of light”. He would recall, while in this strange tunnel, that he was shown his entire life, as if he was “watching a movie”. Geller offered that Lennon said the encounter was the “most outstandingly beautiful thing he’d ever seen”.

“Something Happened!”

The next thing Lennon realized, the figures were no longer there, although he couldn’t remember them leaving – they were simply there one minute and then gone the next. What’s more, he was no longer standing in the middle of the room but was back lying on the bed. Interestingly, Yoko Ono remained asleep throughout the entire episode. This is an interesting detail as many other apparent abduction encounters feature an abductee’s partner who remains completely oblivious to the bizarre encounter unfolding around them, almost as if they have been somehow incapacitated.

He would state to Geller that “something happened, either I’ve forgotten, blocked it out, or they won’t let me remember”. The account, though, would get even stranger.

According to Geller, Lennon reached into his pocket and handed him a strange, gold, egg-shaped object. Geller recalled that it appeared to be made of metal, and was “very smooth and very heavy”. He offered that Geller could keep the object, allegedly stating to him that it was “too weird for me”, and that if the object was his “ticket to another planet” he didn’t wish to go. Lennon told him that he recalled an alien hand stretching out of the light and handing him the object.

When discussing the account years later, Geller stated that the object was “not a rock” and that “nobody knows what it’s made of”. It is perhaps interesting to note the reasons Geller has given for not having the object analyzed so that it could be proven to be an object of unknown origin (something he claimed he received “thousands of emails” about each year). He offered that he simply didn’t “want to be disappointed” and find out the object was “made in China”.

Just what the object might be remains a mystery, but if we take the account Lennon gave to Geller seriously, then it perhaps forces us to view the sighting he had later with May Pang from a different perspective.

A Lifetime Of Alien Encounters?

Perhaps what makes Lennon’s UFO sighting all the more interesting is the potential that it was but one of many interactions with intelligence from another realm (although we should perhaps also be cautious and take such claims with at least a small pinch of salt).

It is worth our time here exploring yet another one of Lennon’s alien encounters, one put forward by May Pang. She claimed – and has persistently done so – that Lennon told her of an apparent early encounter with extraterrestrial entities when he was still a child living in the Woolton area of Liverpool. According to what Pang states Lennon told her, although he couldn’t remember the finer details, he came to with a strong feeling that he had been “abducted” and that he believed “that experience was responsible for making him feel different from other people for the rest of his life”.

This last comment is an intriguing one. Many other people who claim to have been abducted by aliens, particularly those who claim to have had repeat encounters, also state that they feel a strange detachment from people around them, similar to what Pang claimed Lennon told her.

Is it really possible that John Lennon was abducted by aliens at various points throughout his life, and was it these otherworldly interactions that were responsible for his creative output? He is certainly not the first gifted person in history who has such accounts attached to them. Was it merely coincidence that he was, at the time of the sighting, arguably the most influential musician on the planet? It is certainly an interesting possibility. And one, if true, that would suggest that at least some of the many alien abductions that take place are to influence the course of humanity.

The short video below examines John Lennon’s UFO sighting a little further.


1 The Night John Lennon Saw A UFO, Bryce Zabel, Medium
2 Uri Geller: On John Lennon’s alien encounter, crashed UFOs and recruiting citizens for his micronation, Bethany Minelle, Sky News

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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