Entertainment Music On This Day: John Lennon reports seeing a UFO in New York City
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On This Day: John Lennon reports seeing a UFO in New York City

John Lennon Yoko Ono
John Lennon said he saw a UFO flying outside his apartment in New York in 1974. Photo: Getty
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On this day 47 years ago, musician John Lennon reported seeing a UFO in New York City.

Lennon, who enjoyed outsized success as a member of The Beatles, said he saw the flying object from his apartment in the city.

“It wasn’t a helicopter, and it wasn’t a balloon, and it was so near,” Lennon said.

The singer-songwriter said the round object was black or grey in the middle with blinking white lights wrapped around it and a red light on top.

He said it flew past his window on a warm summer night and was so close he could have thrown a brick at it.

“The thing I noticed was there was no noise, and I could hear the freeway down below – all the cars going. So I realised, ‘Oh, it’s not a helicopter, so then it must be a balloon’,” Lennon said.

“But it was so close to the rooftop that it couldn’t be a balloon.”

The incident took place during Lennon’s “lost weekend” separated from Yoko Ono. (He was having an affair with May Pang, who was with him at the time and shares her version of the story here.)

He was abusing drugs and alcohol at the time, but said he was completely sober when the sighting took place.

He took photos with two different cameras but no photos came out.

He then called the police, who reportedly said they had received similar calls that evening.

Lennon made a note of the incident in the liner notes of his album Walls and Bridges.

The inscription read: “On the 23rd Aug. 1974 at 9 o’clock I saw a U.F.O.”

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