“There’s a UFO Over New York…”

On the night of August 23, 1974, John Lennon and May Pang were hanging out in their small penthouse apartment at 434 East 52nd Street, a 1928 Art Deco building that’s part of the Southgate complex just before the East River.

After walking out on the balcony to catch a breeze from the river, Lennon suddenly shouted for Pang to come see something in the sky—a flying saucer.



As Pang recounted in her 1983 book, Loving John: “My eye caught this large, circular object coming toward us. It was shaped like a flattened cone and on top was a large, brilliant red light. . . . 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.

“It was, I estimate, about the size of a Lear jet and it was so close that if we had something to throw at it, it probably would have hit it quite easily.”


Pang said that she and John called the police, who told them to relax—other New Yorkers called in the UFO sighting too.

Did Lennon and Pang really see a spaceship? The object zipped out of view and was apparently never spotted again or explained by authorities. So who knows? Strange days indeed.

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4 Responses to ““There’s a UFO Over New York…””

  1. Ricky Says:

    I almost bought an apartment in the Southgate, but the maintenance fee was astronomical

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    Well you have to be willing to pay extra if you want to see UFOs!

  3. gabu Says:

    Explains one of my favorite lines of one of my favorite songs… thank you.

  4. The most dazzling luxury apartment ads of 1935 | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] trend is toward the river,” proclaims this ad for Southgate, a “fashionable colony” of five Bing & Bing buildings on East 51st and East 52nd […]

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