37 years ago today, John Lennon and then-girlfriend May Pang looked through the window of his New York apartment and allegedly spotted an UFO. Lennon was so convinced of the sighting that he added the liner note “On the 23rd August, 1974 at 9 o’clock I saw a U.F.O.” to his recently finished Walls and Bridges album and referred to the incident in 1980′s “Nobody Told Me” with the line, “There’s UFOs over New York and I ain’t too surprised.”
Lennon may have been the most vocal believer, later giving a radio interview detailing the incident, but he’s hardly the only musician linked to extraterrestrials. Here are five more artists who have claimed to see, or been abducted by, UFOs.
In 2005, UFO researcher Michael Luckman published Alien Rock: The Rock ‘N’ Roll Extraterrestrial Connection, a book detailing the King’s numerous alleged encounters with UFOs. Larry Geller, Elvis’ friend and hairdresser, told AOL News that he and Elvis had numerous UFO encounters, one time seeing “a set of weird lights circling the skies” and another in Graceland when the pair noticed “odd lights in a field moving back and forth.”
2. Mick Jagger
Luckman also reported that the Rolling Stones frontman had numerous alien encounters, including a 1968 spotting at Glastonbury with then-girlfriend Marianne Faithfull and another encounter a year later at the band’s disastrous show at Altamont Speedway. Luckman claimed that Jagger subsequently installed a UFO detector in his home, and that it would always go off everytime Jagger left. Hmm.
3. David Bowie
It should surprise no one that the man behind such cosmic-themed songs as “Space Oddity” and “Starman” as well as the lead role in The Man Who Fell to Earth had an interest in outer space and other life forms. Bowie allegedly told author Peter Koening that he was traveling around the British countryside when he noticed “a strange object hovering above a field.” Bowie viewed it as “not the actual object, but a projection of my own mind trying to make sense of this quantum topological doorway into dimensions beyond our own.” Okay.
4. Will Smith
Take this for what it’s worth: According to UK tabloid The Sun, the Independence Day star witnessed an UFO while driving with friends. Though we’re guessing more than one tabloid reported stories like this after the 1996 blockbuster. Smith would go on to battle aliens in the Men in Black series, penning the film’s titular song, “Men in Black,” which hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The lesson here: Channeling your (supposed) alien sighting into a hit song is possible.
5. Sammy Hagar
At the risk of tooting our own horn, any discussion of aliens and musicians has to involve Sammy Hagar. Earlier this year, the Red Rocker told MTV Hive that two decades ago, he not only saw aliens but was abducted by them. “[Aliens] were plugged into me,” he said. “It was a download situation. This was long before computers or any kind of wireless. There weren’t even wireless telephones. Looking back now, it was like, ‘Fuck, they downloaded something into me!’ Or they uploaded something from my brain, like an experiment.” His memoir RED went on to become a New York Times bestseller.