Not only was John Lennon the founding member of the Beatles, and one half of the most successful and critically acclaimed songwriting teams the world has known. He was also a political free thinker, who challenged the world with his anthem "Give Peace a Chance", when America was engulfed in the war in South East Asia.
So powerful was Lennon's political voice, that when he attempted to emigrate to the United States in the early 70's, he was considered such a revolutionary that the United States Intelligence community put him under constant surveillance.
This consisted of phone tapping and constant knowledge of his whereabouts at all times. The full extent of Lennon watching the FBI, CIA and NSA got up to, is still not completely known as facts are still coming to light.
The fact that Lennon was so famous and controversial at that time, makes his apparent UFO sighting all the stranger. On August 23rd, 1974 Lennon walked out on to the balcony of his New York apartment, and witnessed what he later described as a "Flying Saucer" hovering closely, just above his window.
Lennon became so completely fascinated by the event, that he talked incessantly about the incident, and even included the encounter within two different songs on different albums.
"Like a UFO you came to me, and blew away life's misery..." - Out of the Blue, from the album Mind Games.
"There's UFO's over New York, and I aint too surprised..." - Nobody Told Me, from the album Milk and Honey.
I remember I was just inside the bedroom getting dressed when John started shouting for me to come out onto the terrace. I yelled back that I would be right there, but he kept screaming for me to join him that instant. As I walked out onto the terrace, my eye caught this large, circular object coming towards us.
It was shaped like a flattened cone, and on top was a large, brilliant red light, not pulsating as on any of the aircraft we'd see heading for a landing at Newark Airport. May says she and John stood there mesmerized, unable to believe what they were in the process of observing.
When it came a little closer, we could make out a row or circle of white lights that ran around the entire rim of the craft - these were also flashing on and off. There were so many of these lights that it was dazzling to the mind.
Spellbound, the couple watched the UFO move directly over the building next to where they resided. It was, I would estimate, about the size of a Lear jet and it was so close that if we had something to throw at it, we probably would have hit it quite easily. - May Pang
Presented here for the first time is the only radio interview Lennon ever gave about his close encounter. The sound bite is brief, but informative, and can you certainly hear Lennon's excitement as he relates his experience. Also included is a sound bite of Lennon's then girlfriend May Pang, relating what she remembers about the event.
A year or so after his New York UFO encounter, Lennon also claimed to have had a visitation with aliens, at least according to physic Uri Geller.
Lennon told Uri he was visited by extra-terrestrials when he was in bed with wife Yoko Ono in 1975. He explained to Uri, who told Britain's Sunday Telegraph newspaper in 2004: "I was asleep in my bed, with Yoko in the Dakota Building. And suddenly, I wasn't asleep. There was this blazing light, shining through the door.
It was like someone was out there with searchlights, or the apartment was on fire."I leapt out of bed and there were four people. They were little, bug-like creatures, with big bug eyes and little bug mouths and they were scuttling at me like roaches."
Lennon insisted he wasn't on drugs and definitely saw the 'aliens'.
He added: "I wasn't high. I've been high a lot of times, and I never saw anything on LSD that was as weird as those fuckin' bugs. I wasn't dreaming and I wasn't tripping."
Lennon also claimed the beings had given him a metal, egg-like object before they left, which he gave to Geller, saying: "It's too weird. If it's my ticket to another planet, I don't want to go there."
Strange days indeed...