If you were old enough to watch TV in the 70’s then you remember the world renowned psychic and magician Uri Geller, who bent spoons with his mind for the entertainment of audiences all over the world. Here is a story about Geller and John Lennon that fits in with the Halloween theme this weekend of ghosts, witches, aliens and magic.
Uri Geller says he believes he is on a mission to prepare the world for the formal appearance on earth of extraterrestrial life forms (he’s from a planet named Hoova). Geller met Lennon and May Pang at Elton John’s Madison Square Garden show in 1974, and has a whopper of a story: that Lennon later told him he was visited by aliens who gave him a magical egg.
This is the subject of this article.
To be clear, alien visits were not implausible to Lennon. He openly admitted in interviews (and the liner notes to Walls and Bridges) to have seen a UFO hovering over his New York City apartment building August 23, 1974, six years before his death in 1980. We have interviewed May Pang about that occurrence several times, and she confirms the incident. There have been those that suggest erroneously that John felt he was being “stalked” by aliens. “No, he never saw another one”, she says. “He did like to read UFO magazines—I still have them, they’re in my closet–he was fascinated with the subject, but certainly not obsessed with it.”
That perspective alone makes this story—a little too “out there” for my taste, and probably yours—-but because Geller’s claims are quite fantastic and readily available on-line in detail, I decided it was time to do some follow up to see if there was any truth whatsoever to the story.
According to this website, Geller’s story ran in December of 2004 in the London Telegraph, and it has appeared in other publications as well. He currently writes columns for a number of major new outlets, such as the London Times, the Weekly News, the Mirror and the Jewish Telegraph.
After reading the story I contacted May Pang, as she was still close friends with Lennon in 1975; so if this happened, John would have certainly told her. From her interview we discovered that it wasn’t just the egg story that was questionable, but Uri’s memory of the night he met John as well.
I also interviewed Steve Roseta, a former magician himself who had very interesting and surprising knowledge of the magical egg and its origins.
Here is a brief synopsis of the story (you can read the full text here), quoting Uri Geller:
There is an egg-like object in my pocket. It was given to me by John Lennon….John started talking about UFOs. He said he believed life existed on other planets, that it had visited us, that maybe it was observing us right now…
He said, “…About six months ago, I was asleep in my bed, with Yoko, at home, in the Dakota Building. And suddenly… there was this blazing light round the door… I leapt out of bed..and pulled open the door. There were these four people out there.
“… They were, like, little. Bug-like. Big bug eyes and little bug mouths and they were scuttling at me like roaches… (Suddenly they were gone.) After a while (I woke up) and I had this thing in my hands. They gave it to me…You have it. Maybe you’ll know (what it is).”
I 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.”
“Keep 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.”
Geller ended with, “….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. And 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.”
Uri Geller recalls the night he met John Lennon
“When we first met on November 28, 1974, 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.
He 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.
Finally, 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 me.”
Like 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.”
Fact? Or Fiction? Here’s the truth:
May Pang recalls the details of the night of November 28, 1974 and the meeting of Uri Geller very vividly. As you’ll see, they vary significantly from Uri Geller’s recollections.
She said, “That was the night he did the key trick; he bent the key and John was fascinated. John grabbed Peter Boyle and had Uri repeat the trick. Peter handed him a key and he bent it, but there was one problem. Uri couldn’t unbend the key, and Peter had to break into his own apartment since that was his only house key. What’s interesting is that Uri sensed that I was on to him. He knew I was suspicious of him and he refused to do the trick for me. He also did a ‘psychic drawing’ trick for John. But he wouldn’t deal with me.”
She took issue with Uri’s recollections, saying, “First of all, Uri’s sequence of events is wrong; we didn’t meet him till after the show! John and I met him at the after party at The Pierre. John had agreed to perform on stage with Elton long before. It was not possible for Uri to have anything to do with that decision.”
In regards to Uri “willing Yoko to call John through mind control”, May scoffed, “I guess he didn’t realize that John and Yoko talked all the time! But also, Yoko was there at the concert, and she was there at the after-party as well! So she was already talking to John.” And concerning a “recent miscarriage”, May said, “What recent miscarriage??” (Yoko’s last miscarriage was known to be in 1968-69.)
What about the mysterious alien visit and the “alien egg?” May said, “If something strange like that happened…I would have known since I was seeing John quite often, especially during the first 2 years after we broke up (1975-76).”
We received evidence about the origins of the egg from Steve Roseta, (manager of Seattle’s Beatle tribute band Apple Jam and producer of the play “(Just Like) Starting Over”.)
Steve wrote me over email and said “I have something to show you. I think it will answer your question about where the alien egg came from.” Meeting at Tully’s Coffee he put a little a box on the table and opened it. Inside was…..a small, smooth, golden egg, exactly like the one that Uri Geller is holding up in this picture, the one he claims John Lennon gave him in 1975!
Called the “Super Egg”, Steve explained that they are readily available in magic shops. They are elliptically shaped so that the magician can make them appear to magically stand up on their own. The paperwork inside makes it clear that this is a “plaything, a sculpture and an amulet.”
Steve smiled and said “I’ve had this for many years. I used to be a magician when I was 14. I idolized Uri Geller at that time, and actually met him at a show in 1978 in Anchorage, Alaska. He bent a spoon for me. I still have it somewhere. But you know these tricks can be purchased in magic shops. People can learn how to bend spoons.”
In conclusion, I’m always up for a good story about the paranormal. But the story of Lennon and the “alien egg” is definitely fiction. Maybe Uri made the whole thing up. Or maybe Lennon pulled one over on Geller. John loved pranks. (Even Geller admitted above that John had a sardonic humor and liked jokes.) How funny is it that the purported “aliens” happened to be “four bug people” (i.e. Beatles?) Gimme a break.
Perhaps John found one of these eggs in a magic shop and decided to concoct a story that only Uri Geller would believe.
Uri Geller was debunked on the Johnny Carson show in 1973. Johnny Carson was also a former magician and knew how to prove he was a fake. This infamous video has now been removed from You Tube, apparently for copyright infringement. But there’s a great video by James Randi , the most notorious Uri Geller debunker, who shows you how easily trickery can be done. Also Kriss Angel had some criticisms (see this video), about Uri Geller’s claims that he has supernatural powers. He said in one video, “we are all magicians. Plain and simple. We are not supernatural.”