Called On John Lennon
came in the darkness and had bug-like faces. Stranger
still, they left a weird egg-shaped object behind.
Uri Geller recalls his friend John Lennon's encounter
with the unknown
is an egg-like object in my pocket. It was given
to me by John Lennon. And it was given to him
by . . . well, I'll come to that.
object: Geller with Lennon's 'alien egg'
were eating in a restaurant in New York City.
Yoko was with us, so this was after their big
break-up and reconciliation. Yoko was expecting
their child, Sean, and John was excited - he was
going to love this baby day and night: feed him,
change him, teach him to talk, teach him to love
did all of that. And he was going to watch him
grow into adolescence, through the tumbles from
bicycles and terrors of schooldays, from reading
to dating to college. He never got to do that.
John started talking about UFOs.
said he believed life existed on other planets,
that it had visited us, that maybe it was observing
us right now. He took me to a quieter, darker
table, lit a cigarette and pointed its glowing
tip at my face.
believe in this stuff, right?" he asked me.
"Well, you ain't f---in' gonna believe this.
six months ago, I was asleep in my bed, with Yoko,
at home, in the Dakota Building. And suddenly,
I wasn't asleep. Because there was this blazing
light round the door. It was shining through the
cracks and the keyhole, like someone was out there
with searchlights, or the apartment was on fire.
was what I thought - intruders, or fire. I leapt
out of bed, and Yoko wasn't awake at all, she
was lying there like a stone, and I pulled open
the door. There were these four people out there."
I asked him.
they didn't want my f---in' autograph. They were,
like, little. Bug-like. Big bug eyes and little
bug mouths and they were scuttling at me like
broke off and stared at me.
told this to two other people, right? One was
Yoko, and she believes me. She says she doesn't
understand it, but she knows I wouldn't lie to
her. I told one other person, and she didn't believe
laughed it off, and then she said I must have
been high. Well, I've been high, I mean right
out of it, a lot of times, and I never saw anything
on acid that was as weird as those f---in' bugs,
Lennon and Geller in conversation
was straight that night. I wasn't dreaming and
I wasn't tripping. There were these creatures,
like people but not like people, in my apartment."
did they do to you?" Lennon swore again.
"How do you know they did anything to me,
man?" "Because they must have come for
right. They did something. But I don't know what
it was. I tried to throw them out, but, when I
took a step towards them, they kind of pushed
me back. I mean, they didn't touch me. It was
like they just willed me. Pushed me with willpower
don't know. Something happened. Don't ask me what.
Either I've forgotten, blocked it out, or they
won't let me remember. But after a while they
weren't there and I was just lying on the bed,
next to Yoko, only I was on the covers.
she woke up and looked at me and asked what was
wrong. I couldn't tell her at first. But I had
this thing in my hands. They gave it to me."
was it?" Lennon dug into his jeans pocket.
"I've been carrying it round ever since,
wanting to ask somebody the same question. You
have it. Maybe you'll know."
took the metal, egg-like object and turned it
over in the dim light. It seemed solid and smooth,
and I could make out no markings. "I've never
seen anything like it."
it." John told me. "It's too weird for
me. If it's my ticket to another planet, I don't
want to go there."
we first met on November 28, 1974, almost exactly
30 years ago, he was suffering terribly from his
separation from Yoko. His drug abuse and drinking,
linked to the sorrow of Yoko's recent miscarriage,
had driven them apart, and John desperately wanted
to mend the relationship.
just didn't know how to make the first move. The
night Lennon and I were introduced, Elton John
was playing at Madison Square Gardens. Elton was
trying to persuade the ex-Beatle to get up on
stage with him, and John was torn - he wanted
to perform but he was scared.
he turned to me and offered a deal, as though
I were a negotiator sent by God: "I'll sing,"
he said, "but you have to make Yoko call
all of John's jokes, this one was a plea from
the heart, wrapped in a sardonic quip. Yoko phoned
John out of the blue, 36 hours later. I think
John always believed I had beamed a mind-control
ray at her. For my part, I think that of all the
synchronicities that have shaped my life, that
was one of the strangest.
Lennon was a compulsive doodler. The last autograph
he ever signed, 15 minutes before Mark Chapman
gunned him down outside his home at the Dakota
Building, on December 9, 1980, features a double
portrait of himself and his wife, Yoko Ono. The
drawings are done in a couple of lines - the style
is unmistakable and so are the faces.
always marvelled at John's skill as an artist.
There is no doubt that, if he'd been tone deaf
and tuneless, the boy who created The Beatles
could have become a successful painter or illustrator.
During the last year of his life, we met most
weeks to chat over a coffee in one of the hotels
near our New York homes.
John would bring Sean, who was about four years
old then. The rocker had put his music career
on hold while the child was small. John once told
me how bitterly he regretted that while his first
son, Julian, was a toddler, he himself was devoting
his energies to the stage or the studio, or would
be out partying with friends.
don't get those years back," he said. "I'm
not going to miss a minute while Sean is growing
is the greatest tragedy of my friend's death.
He had finally learned what made him happy, and
then he was robbed of it. What really interested
me about John was not his incredible life, his
fame or his talent, but his deep spirituality.
too was working out what made me happy - I'd realised
at last that buying watches and eating six helpings
of dessert before making myself throw up was not
the path to nirvana.
shock of Lennon's murder was one of the powerful
forces that drove me to quit New York and spend
a year in Japan, undergoing a spiritual detox.
John spoke with passion about Japanese views of
life, and I am certain that Yoko's philosophies
were at the core of his last years.
was woken on the day John was shot by a call from
a friend, Roland, a publisher who lived opposite
dead," Roland sobbed. "They killed John."
I dressed in a few seconds and ran across town:
somehow I had to see the house to believe the
news. The radio reports weren't enough.
John really were dead, if this wasn't some sick
media hoax, then there would be people outside
his home with candles and prayer bells. They were
there, in their hundreds already.
didn't have to push my way through the crowd;
I simply stood and stared across the road, and
then walked away through Central Park with the
tears running down my face.
24 years on, when I hold the cold, metal egg in
my fist, I have a strong sensation that John knew
more about this object than he told me. Maybe
it didn't come with an instruction manual, but
I think John knew what it was for.
whatever that purpose was - communication? healing?
a first-class intergalactic ticket? - it scared
him. I wish I could have warned him . . . that
however scary aliens seem, it's the humans you
have to fear.