The ‘Paul is dead’ myth

The 'Paul Is Dead' myth began in 1969, and alleged that Paul McCartney died in 1966. The Beatles are said to have covered up the death, despite inserting a series of clues into their songs and artwork.

Life magazine with 'Paul is dead' coverThe story goes that at 5am on Wednesday 9 November 1966, McCartney stormed out of a session for the Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album, got in to his Austin Healey car, and subsequently crashed and died.

Somewhat improbably, McCartney was said to have been replaced by a lookalike, called variously William Shears Campbell or William Sheppard. William Campbell allegedly became Billy Shears on Sgt Pepper, while William Sheppard was supposedly the inspiration behind The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill (actually an American named Richard Cooke III).

In fact, the crash never happened. Between 6 and 19 November 1966, McCartney and his girlfriend Jane Asher were on holiday, travelling through France and Kenya.

However, a couple of relevant incidents did take place. On 26 December 1965 McCartney crashed his moped, resulting in a chipped tooth (seen in the videos for Paperback Writer and Rain) and a scar on his top lip, which he hid by growing a moustache.

Additionally, on 7 January 1967 McCartney's Mini Cooper was involved in an accident on the M1 motorway outside London, as a result of which it was written off. However, the car was being driven by a Moroccan student named Mohammed Hadjij, and McCartney was not present.

Hadjij was an assistant to London art gallery owner Robert Fraser. The pair turned up at McCartney's house on the evening of 7 January, and were later joined by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones and antiques dealer Christopher Gibbs.

The party decided to head to Jagger's home in Hertfordshire, before moving on to Redlands, Richards' Sussex mansion (and scene of his later drugs bust). McCartney travelled with Jagger in the latter's Mini Cooper, while Hadjij drove in McCartney's Mini.

The two cars became separated during the journey. Hadjij crashed McCartney's Mini and was hospitalised with injuries. The heavily customised car was highly recognisable, so rumours began circulating that McCartney had been killed in the incident.

The following month a paragraph appeared in the February 1967 edition of the Beatles Book Monthly magazine, headed "FALSE RUMOUR":

Stories about the Beatles are always flying around Fleet Street. The 7th January was very icy, with dangerous conditions on the M1 motorway, linking London with the Midlands, and towards the end of the day, a rumour swept London that Paul McCartney had been killed in a car crash on the M1. But, of course, there was absolutely no truth in it at all, as the Beatles' Press Officer found out when he telephoned Paul's St John's Wood home and was answereed by Paul himself who had been at home all day with his black Mini Cooper safely locked up in the garage.
Beatles Book Monthly

Although the magazine downplayed the incident, and claimed the car was in McCartney's possession

The origins of the myth

Belief that Paul McCartney may have died in the mid 1960s began in 1969. The first known print reference was in an article written by Tim Harper which appeared in the 17 September edition of the Times-Delphic, the newspaper of the Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

Harper later claimed that he wasn't the original source for any of the claims in his articles. He said he was writing for entertainment purposes only, and said he got the information from a fellow student, Dartanyan Brown. Mr Brown is said to have got the story from a musician who had heard it on the Californian west coast, and that he also read the story in an underground newspaper.

The rumours gained momentum on 12 October 1969, after an on-air phone call to radio presenter Russ Gibb, a DJ on WKNR-FM in Michigan. The caller, identified only as 'Tom', claimed that McCartney was dead, and instructed Gibb to play Revolution 9 backwards, where the repeated "number nine" phrase was heard as "turn me on, dead man".

Listening to the show was Fred LaBour, an arts reviewer for student newspaper The Michigan Daily. LaBour used clues from Gibb's programme along with others he had invented himself - including the name of William Campbell, the alleged replacement for McCartney.

I made the guy up. It was originally going to be Glenn Campbell, with two Ns, and then I said 'that's too close, nobody'll buy that'. So I made it William Campbell.
Fred LaBour

The Michigan Daily published it on 14 October, under the title McCartney Dead; New Evidence Brought To Light. Although clearly intended as a joke, it had an impact far wider than the writer and his editor expected.

Shortly afterwards, Russ Gibb co-produced a one-hour special called The Beatle Plot, giving the rumour greater prominence; by then it was well on its way to become a national, then international, talking point, inspiring fans to pore over their albums for further clues.

A British version of the rumour is believed to have existed prior to the American one, with fewer details. The sources are unknown, but the notion of McCartney dying in a road accident appears to have originated there.

The Beatles' responses

Although The Beatles and their press office at Apple were initially bewildered and somewhat annoyed by the story's refusal to die away, there is evidence that the group members themselves found it amusing.

In an edition of Life magazine dated 7 November 1969, McCartney reassured fans that "Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated," paraphrasing Mark Twain. "However," he continued, "if I was dead, I'm sure I'd be the last to know."

The magazine's cover featured Paul and Linda with their children, in a picture taken on their Scottish farm. The cover featured the words "The case of the 'missing' Beatle - Paul is still with us". Shortly after the issue went on sale the rumours started to decline.

In his revealing Rolling Stone interview in 1970, John Lennon was asked about the death story. He responded in a typically forthright fashion:

I don't know where that started, that was barmy. I don't know, you know as much about it as me... No, that was bullshit, the whole thing was made up. We never went for anything like that. We put tit-tit-tit in Girl. It would be things like a beat missing or something like that, see if anyone noticed - I know we used to have a few things, but nothing that could be interpreted like that.

Lennon referred to the myth in 1971's How Do You Sleep?, his vitriolic attack on McCartney from the Imagine album. The song contains the lines: "Those freaks was right when they said you was dead, the one mistake you made was in your head".

McCartney parodied the rumours with the title and cover or his 1993 album Paul Is Live. The artwork was based on the Abbey Road cover photograph; instead of the 28IF number plate, a car shows 51 IS instead. To reinforce the cycle of life, he is pictured being dragged across the famous zebra crossing by one of the offspring of his sheepdog Martha.

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158 responses on “The ‘Paul is dead’ myth

  1. Doctor Bur

    You know what, Doctor Lev from paul-is-dead.com is dead!

    When you take the first and last letters of his name and put them together, they spell Devd!

    And v ist an ancient way of writing the letter a in India. So it really is “Dead”.

    Scary, eh? Probably he died years ago and was replaced by an cyborg. I’ll be back with more clues soon…

    1. Ken9091

      Doctor Bur – Nice call with Doctor Lev. Also, if one rearranges those letters, one could come up with “rode clot.” This, obviously, is a reference to as Paul rode down the road and had the accident, he might have lived had his blood clotted and he not bled to death. Oh, this doesn’t use the “v”. I figure that was included just to confuse us, so I ignored it. By the way, if we take your name backwards, it is “rub rot cod.” Which, I’m sure, indicates that if one were to try to rub what would be in Paul’s cod piece, it would be found to be rotted. Hummmm… clotted and rotted rhyme. Are you two in league with one another? Are you two really the same person? Are you really alive?

  2. leo

    Hindu god Shiva, the destroyer. HER hand is pointing directly at McCartney.

    Not too important for Beatles fans maybe, but George would have known that it should be HIS hand…

  3. George Alvarado

    So was Paul dead?..because I’ve heard about this theory…yet was it true?
    This site is awesome! how can I learn more?

    1. Gabriel

      After investigating this thing for days & days & days, I’m still fascinated with it. This theory is new to me. But it would explain the music change in late 60′s, their spiritual quest for truth in India & the dark & meaningless lyrics (which seem to either point @ Paul’s death or nothing @ all. There is a lot of deliberately mis leading info on the web, yet there are some books on the topic. The “nay sayers” have nothing to say about the Italian Wired Magazine reports which conclusively showed that Paul of 1966 & Paul of today are different people completely.

      1. Joe Post author

        That Wired article doesn’t really “conclusively” prove anything – just reports as fact a study written by a couple of scientists, which may or may not have been peer reviewed. I haven’t seen the original study but I’d like to read it.

        The Wired article is outlined here (apologies for the insane anti-Jewish stuff at the end – I don’t condone any of it, though it does say something about the type of person who believes in these mad conspiracy theories). There’s a bad translation of the original article here, and another outline of it here.

        Having read the reports, I don’t think it’s conclusive at all. There’s some hearsay, some analysis of photographs clearly taken at different angles (though the similarities between the pre- and post-1966 pictures are more remarkable than the almost imperceptible differences). I don’t know about the dental work, but I’d imagine records of any work done would still exist – he did need some work after the moped accident, after all. And the claim that the DNA test may have been done by an impostor is laughable – why give credence to someone in Germany with an axe to grind and possibly an eye on a lot of money (sadly the imposter bit is blithely reported as fact in the Wired article). I’d like to read the original report, because the Wired analysis doesn’t seem particularly good.

        One last thought: if anyone has been impersonating McCartney since 1966, I bet they’re absolutely terrified of the massive fraud they’ve been perpetuating upon various parties (not least EMI and its shareholders) for many years being discovered. Also, anyone with inside knowledge of the fraud would be looking at prosecution too (accessory to a crime). It simply doesn’t stand up.

        1. mclarekuehn

          See my post to Gabriel, showing below this, for more on the Wired arguments and the ears. But as to your point about wanting a better translation: the original report is now available, as well. You need to understand that all aspects of the faces change in opposite ways, so it’s not mere lens distortion. The Hufschmid translation you used is smoother than the one now up on Plasticmacca (which has some other great thoughts in posts, but some way off-base thoughts, too, at times) — and yes, unfortunately, Hufschmid has the idea all big conspiracy is by or for Meyer Lansky-style Zionist Jewish networks. But the points raised by the forensic scientists in the Wired article do not need peer review for you to be a “peer” and understand: the work is ignored formally by other forensic scientists through initial prejudice, but you can understand the basic points. On my page here, I have the links about PID which have come up since you wrote your post, but also info on a drawing which I argue is a PID clue (as distinct from a proof of Paul’s actual death). Finally, your idea that the handwriting and DNA sample differences complained about by the woman in the paternity suit in Germany HAVE to be due to mere greed, is a prejudiced conclusion. We have no way of knowing her claims are false and PID is proven elsewise. Since the latter is true (when properly understood), her claims are likely indeed the DNA proof we need. Since Paul died, knowable from the forensic work properly done (and voice morphs and mostly bad copying of body language, once one notices), we can appreciate the fact that people shut up — for many reasons, including getting on with their lives and loyalty, but possibly also money and threats in some cases. Enjoy John’s out-of-character drawing of a two-way split-headed dead guy.

      2. Joe Michaels

        Gabriel: I was alive when this occurred. I remember it vividly. You can forget all about this “conspiracy.” It was totally contrived. In fact, I met (and discussed this with) Russ Gibb, the DJ who “broke” the story. Please, please don’t spend another minute on this. It’s not true.

      3. mclarekuehn

        Yes, there are many mistakes out there. And yes, properly understood, the 2009 Italian team forensics work, combined with earlobe and ear prosthetics evidence, are the proofs. (Aside: on their own, prosthetics themselves could be used out of vanity, to cover for regular plastic surgery improvements, but in this context of different earlobes and faces, etc., they are sinister — suggestive of surgery for adjustments b/c new fellow, double, is getting the surgery). ………. The people here, claiming that the Italian forensics team proved nothing, are being uncareful: all aspects of the face *oppositely change always* (one thing up, one down, one in, one out), not mere lens distortion rational changes. — The Life mag article from 1969 on PID went to the trouble not to show photos of Paul from before 1967. And of course, Time and Life are known from other cases to be, in extremis situations (cover up situations) to be arms of intelligence propaganda. Why cover for the Beatles too? Intel would have to be involved in such a cover-up, even if the death wasn’t a murder; they are protecting themselves or their brethren abroad. As well, it’s likely the new member, nice as he may have been to John overall, was also an infiltrator in the sense of being more on side with drugs, mass “consciousness” raising as a control (such as Timothy Leary, who admitted to being CIA as well, was promoting). Such persons do not tend to think of their work as evil, but as a subtle control and good thing at the same time. I have posted here recently (Apr 2013) about a drawing John did, which seems to be another PID clue. Check it out; and on the same page are links to the info you mention as well, which is the more direct proof of the case itself. Best wishes.

  4. John

    If you hold that Life magazine cover up to the light, the auto for the advertisement on the other side of the page goes right through Paul’s chest.

  5. Riley

    Whether he is dead or not, it’s still a really fun conspiracy to research. Those who go on saying “he is!” or “He isn’t!” are simply crazy. No one knows the truth, and he himself said “I will not ruin that fantasy for those who are piecing together the clues.”

  6. max moose

    As typically cynical kids growing up in New York, we had little interest in the details of the death story, but we were wild about playing the turntable backwards and hearing things like “hah hah Paul is dead” (where forwards it plays “everybody smoke pot” in “I am the Walrus.”) We admired the backwards technology of the messages, which were — by the way — absolutely clear, despite what some claim. We also thought it was a fantastic, clever prank. We assumed at the time it had to be Lennon’s doing, since he was openly fooling around with stuff like that. Even the vocals at the end of “Rain” are backwards. We also were amused that the CIA was wasting time playing Beatle records forwards, backwards and even sideways (according to Newsweek, as I remember).

    I was always disappointed that Lennon and McCartney would both treat this as someone’s illusion, when someone with access to master tapes had to spend a good deal of time doing this. Vinyl records still exist, turntables still exist, and anyone who wants can still go and listen to an entire, clear, soap opera about Paul’s “death” on Revolution 9 — backwards.

    Note to the above: actually, I have no way of knowing that every pressing of the record was the same, so I can only say what was on MY copy. I gave up vinyl over 20 years ago, despite the fact that it sounded a lot better than CD’s.

    1. McLerristarr

      The backwards messages that people claim are in there are very vague. The line in I Am The Walrus is “everybody’s got one” which backwards says “no tog sydobyreve”.

  7. Robert

    In order to believe the Paul is dead story – you would have to subsequently believe that all Paul McCartney work done after 1966 was done by the substitute for the real Paul. This would include all his Pepper work, Mystery Tour, White Album, Let It Be and Abbey Road and all his solo work.

    You would have to believe that John Lennon had a bitter feud with someone he knew was a stand in.

    In the end you would have to agree that the Paul replacement was actually more talented than the original Paul – thus Paul’s death was a good thing.

    Still it is fun to research. I was a teenager when it all came out in the ’60s and we loved it.

    1. Gabriel

      Your right about every assumption one would have to make if they believed in Paul’s death. the thing is Faul is much more talented, the group did feud often, the group began breaking apart after Paul’s death. Faul & John went on to do solo work knowing that Beatle Mania was dying away. John got together with Yoko because he was not afraid of a break up from a band which in which he truly just, quit trying. John put most of his creative efforts into trying to right the wrong of Paul’s death cover up in the lyrics and album art. John was killed for planning to uncover the scheme in 81′(according to some sources)

      1. Joe Post author

        OK, with that last comment you’ve clearly lost the plot. Not only is it an enormous leap of imagination, it’s also a highly offensive suggestion.

        1. mclarekuehn

          Offensive suggestions exist in the world, Joe, but it’s not an accurate statement to say something is offensive when one is unfamiliar with the reasons anyway. As to John’s death — some have suggested that PID played a part in the killing. Whatever the motives, it is demonstrably highly likely to have been done by an alternate shooter than Chapman, for purposes of having accurate shots. Either way, there are 3 shots (per police) in doorway, 2 of those showing in photos. If you wish more info on the anomalies of the case specifically about the death (evidence forensic and circumstantial), have a listen to radiofetzer.blogspot.com/2012/12/clare-keuhn-total-info.html —- But back to PID: it’s not an enormous leap of imagination when one’s studied PID itself as a forensic case properly: how frontal head/facial position bony features change contrary to lens distortion, and earlobes change, among other things. (Don’t skip what I just said there. Re-read it.) For info links on those issues (the REAL PID CASE, which is not about circumstantial clues), see this, in section **PART 2**. Most of the post is about a clue, but Part 2 goes into the PID physical case. —- So, if Paul died and John was getting ready to tell, it could contribute to his death. However, it’s more likely to be a general change in political climate (GHW Bush cronies coming into power with Reagan during the change-over between administrations) which saw him killed. British power groups in intel would also have known, or they’d have had some explaining to do after.

  8. max moose

    Maybe the prank was aimed at the distaff audience, for many of whom Paul was a heart-throb. After all, even to a bunch of boys who liked the music, “Paul McCartney” was just a name, like “John Paul Jones” became a name for John Baldwin of Led Zep, or “John Denver” became a name for John Henry Deutschendorf, Jr., or “Taylor Dayne” became a name for Leslie Wunderman, and so on and so on.

    “Paul McCartney” could have been “James Bond,” for all we cared — a virtual identity being fulfilled by some biological person at any given moment. What actual person was making that great music wasn’t worth debating, and as Robert observed, the music got noticeably better as the 60′s rolled on.

  9. McLerristarr

    The clue about Paul holding the cigarette in his right hand despite his left-handedness is a common one. In the Penny Lane music video, he is handed his bass and fiddles around with it until he turns it left-ways. People thought that meant an impostor was in his place and was about to hold it right-handed until he remembered not to. If the impostor was right-handed, how does he manage to spend his life being left-handed and being as musically talented as Paul using his weaker hand? Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t smokers hold their cigarettes in their weaker hand anyway so they can use their good hand?

    1. Gabriel

      I was a smoker for a long time. I used both hands. I had to train my left hand to be corrdinated (i’m right handed) while smoking. Faul, or False Paul was a better musician than Paul Mc. He would have been able to train himself to play a guitar left handed flawlessly in a matter of a year or so. We can train ourselves to switch hands to accomplish any thing (with time). I had to learn to play a base guitar right handed because I couldn’t change the strings around (it wasn’t mine).

      1. Joe Post author

        Nonsense. McCartney is one of the great bass players, and not too shabby a guitarist either. Do you really think it would take “a year or so” for a right-handed person to play Blackbird flawlessly with the guitar round the wrong way? Wouldn’t any of the studio staff have thought it was odd that this imposter was essentially re-learning his instruments during The Beatles’ creative peak? None of it stands up.

          1. Morgan

            I’m going to have to agree with Robert.
            However, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I’ve spent hours researching the conspiracy. And I personally don’t think he is dead. But no one can possibly know the truth now except Paul himself. I can’t tell anyone they are wrong when I can’t even prove that I’m right. This is just an amusing puzzle to me. I don’t think anyone should be offended when someone else disagrees with them. Be open.

    2. DrTomoculus

      That sequence at the table was also played back in reverse. Not sure why they did that, but anyone looking at Paul’s movements as he struggles with the bass as the table is turned over can see they are totally unnatural and show signs that it’s backwards.

  10. paul

    Interesting day the 9th of November 1966.
    Wikipedia references the Biography by Barry Miles(co-owner of the Indica Gallery) that claims Paul returned to Heathrow on the 9th. Of course, that’s not possible. He was in Africa.
    Also, it is widely written that John and Yoko met for the 1st time at Indica gallery on nov 9th, the night BEFORE her show opened. Strangely enough, International Times Magazine(printed out of the basement of Indica)advertises her show opening on the 8th. Meaning that John must have met her the night before on the 7th. This is the same day John flew home from spending six weeks Almeria. “Hi Cyn…Hi Jullian…well see you guys later… I’m going out.”
    If only the excerpts from Mal Evan diary would shed some light on this date. Oops, this part of the diary has never been released. All we are told is “Mal writes extensively about Sergeant Pepper sessions”. I’d love to see what he wrote.
    And let’s not forget what Paul said on the Howard Stern show. He said that John and Yoko had met nearly a year earlier. Makes sense. The 1st place I’d go after being in Spain for 6 weeks would be to go see my mistress.

    1. Julius

      Right, it is frequently ignored in compilations about the myth. Of course it looks like a John’s joke, in Glass Onion there is the line: “Well, here’s another clue for you all: The walrus was Paul”. Any clearance to this?

  11. Joe Michaels

    I’m old enough to remember all this when it was happening…listening to the DJs speculate on Paul’s mortality.

    It freaked me out — even as a youngster (seven at the time).

    Today, I read all of this with a smile. Conspiracy theorists have their field days with PID rumours, JFK assassination, Pearl Harbor, and 9/11.

    But, either it was contrived by the Beatles themselves (and perhaps Brian Epstein), or we’re all just reading into things.

    Let it go. Paul is very much not dead.

      1. Joe Michaels

        Yeah…I’ve thought about that. But some of the “clues” would’ve preceded Epstein’s death. And a few have suggested that, if the PID ruse was contrived by the Beatles, Epstein was not above such a concept. They wold have had to continue “planting” clues after his death. But, as mentioned, I don’t believe it was intended. And Macca’s very much alive anyway.

        1. Bogbrush

          At last some common sense! As an englishman it never fails to amaze me how people in other countries have over analysed eveything the beatles ever did and project their own fantasies into bizarre theories as a result. The beatles were not that clever. They were a bunch of working class guys who happened to grow up in an era of stupendous social change in the uk.They wrote songs about the people and places they knew, and these became the soundtrack to our youth. In any case it was the recording engineers under george martin who created much of the technical innovation approved by the band on later albums.
          The paul is dead theory has no concrete evidence to back it and there are plenty of people who know how it originally started. This is all easily referenced.
          If this were a real conspiracy do you not think the rabid and fearless english tabloid press would have covered it to death? These are the people who used to hack into celebrity and royalty telephones to find story leads.

      2. DrTomoculus

        The rumour actually started in 1967.Beatles Monthly February issue said rumours of Paul’s death were not true, and he was safe at home in his Aston Martin.

        What it failed to do in the article was get the colour of his car correct. It stated the car that crashed was Paul’s black mini cooper. Well he must have borrowed it from John or George, cuz they had black mini coopers. Paul had a custom, one of a kind in the UK, metallic green mini cooper.

        1. DrTomoculus

          “The “I ONE IX” is believed to refer to the date of Paul’s death — 11/9 — as it is believed that Paul died during November.”

          The only problem with this is — it’s a British band. And in Britain dates are reversed. 11/9/66 would be 11th September 1966. Not November. It’s more likely being a british band that they’d write dates the way it’s done in England, including cover art. No? Or is everything geared for America, even a hoax.

      3. mclarekuehn

        No, the announcement of the rumour was in Feb 1967 Beatles Monthly (then published only in England). Though Russ Gibb and Fred LaBour have denied later that they believe it, Roby Yonge not only believed it, but also said he’d noticed the difference (but refused to come to the conclusion at the time) in 1967. (See clip of him in “The Winged Beatle” movie.) But also, “Tom”, who was the caller to Russ Gibb, said later that he’d heard of it from a roommate who heard of it from LONDON — from a band from across the pond. So it seems, hoax or not, that 1969 was merely the first time the rumour got into the open record for posterity (other than the announcement in 1967, possibly indeed as containment of the rumour).

        1. mclarekuehn

          My comment here was to Joseph Brush, etc., not Dr Tomoculus, who also points out the 1967 issue of Beatles Monthly — and adds the fact that they may well have slipped up and told which car he really was found in: a black one. A black car is also implied in ‘The Winged Beatle’ by showing the ownership record for the black car. This would mean that the white VW Beetle image is a metaphoric one, not literal and that the ‘Free as a Bird’ car crash shown — an Aston Martin, I think — is obscuring the real death car but still making the death point. (Note they’ve even added John into the crowd peering at it).

  12. Matheus Luque

    PAUL IS NOT DEAD!!!!

    John lennon would never white sgt.pepper´s and white album and abbey road by himself, 28if is a wrong evidence, paul was 27 in 1969(Abbey Road year), he only got 28 in 1970, he was born in 1942. there are a lot of pictures in “whith the beatles” session photos that paul holds the cigar with his right hand. Paul is alive, how can you explain that his voice after 1966 and before 1966 is the same.

    If you still have any doubt about that wacth a youtube video called Paul is not dead, or go to http://www.paulisnotdead.com and http://www.tlcgraphic.com/paul.html

      1. chrs

        thank you joe, Paul is not DEAD!!!

        How dumb can u guys be? people have done the research and his voice is the same as please please me thru abbey road…same voice same paul.

        LONG LIVE THE BEATLES

        1. mr. Sun king coming together

          Rey whole Paul is Dead thing is yet another joke, something that is funny to see if the “clues” are legit. We all know Paul is alive. It’s a hoax that was create by a drunk college kid. What’s more shocking to me is that it got so much attention.

        2. Caroline D

          Have you guys not seen the show Rain? they sound JUST like the orginal Beatles WITHOUT lipsynching. No I don’t think he is dead, I just think people should take this less seriously and stop being so insulting to those who want to learn about this. I picked this as a school project and I can’t even fathom why everyone would be so rude. Just please consider all possibiltys before being so rude.

    1. Wendy Becerra

      I agree with you.I also saw pictures of him holding the cigar with his right.But that has absolutely nothing to do with this pathetic rumor.And he was 27 in 1969. I do know one thing though, that he was in a moped accident, but he did not die.

    2. mclarekuehn

      Your PIA (Paul is Alive) materials leave out info and distort other info, plus use bad or incomplete comps (even some by PID proponents where the comps aren’t perfectly done). As to Lennon, see March post at youcanknowsometimes on blogspot.

    3. mclarekuehn

      What does the fact that John would not have come up with Sgt P and White Album and Abbey Rd by himself have to do with anything? A new and talented band member is a new and talented band member. The claim under PID is that the double is a musician, talented, became a friend, was bossy, was resented and loved for his efforts. That’s all. It’s not as you are assuming: some idiot who walks out for cameras only.

  13. MeanMrs.Mustard

    You know, the thing that I always thought was the stupidest was the whole “backmasking” thing. I mean, is it even possible for ANY phrase to sound “naturally” sung or spoken when played both ways? It’s impossible even for a guitar (“I’m Only Sleeping”), which is a much simpler sound than a voice, to sound natural when played backwards.
    Luckily, nobody who actually uses his or her brain actually thinks Paul is dead. :)

    1. mr. Sun king coming together

      No it’s not. People heard what they wanted to hear, and made clues to fit. I might hear Go Sens Go, or this site rules, but You might hear Football’s lockout is still going. It’s all bull****

      1. supershark

        From Wikipedia:

        The backwards playing of records was advised as training for magicians by occultist Aleister Crowley, who suggested in his 1913 book Magick (Book 4) that an adept “train himself to think backwards by external means”, one of which was to “listen to phonograph records, reversed.”

        The Beatles were quite smitten with this guy and his ideas, enough so to put him on the cover of Sgt. Pepper.

  14. Dizzy Miss Lizzy

    This is really cute!
    I also was smiling the whole time I was reading this.
    Paul is alive. It’s fun to pretend to be one of those people that think he’s dead and research all the things put out there though.

  15. Joono

    I Think we need ot remember they were a bunch of young guys whos ambitions were to get rich. if someone thought i was dead and it made me money i would make an effort to keep that thought going and have a laugh with it, wouldnt you ?

  16. Nardo Cisija

    Yes. Of course he died. There just happened to be a secret car crash with only secret-keeping people involved, and The Beatles just happened to unanimously agree to cover it up, flawlessly. Then they just happened to find a look-alike that could play bass and guitar left-handed, sing like Paul, and make epic music. Then they all decided to give clues on his death, after covering up his death so well, in album pictures and music.
    That totally happened.

    1. Adjective

      No see, after the Beatles collectively sold their souls to the devil in ’63 to become world famous and rich beyond their dreams, they had no choice but to follow Satan’s orders. When McCartney tried to renege, he was ‘removed’ in a mysterious car crash and a replacement was forged in the fires of hell. When you are pyschically connected to the powers of darkness your secrecy is assured.

      …Or, like, Manson seemed to think, Revolution 9 is actually a reference to Revelation 9 in the King James Bible which discusses four angels with the hair of women and breastplates that sound like the thunder of an army of horses (electric guitars). So the Beatles are angels or demons or some type of supernatural beings (or maybe even aliens from another planet/universe/dimension).

      ..or they were just 4 extremely talented musicians who had an amazing chemistry when playing together and they peaked creatively and productively at the right time…nah (who would ever believe THAT?)

  17. suckerfly

    “However, a couple of relevant incidents did take place. On 26 December 1965 McCartney crashed his moped, resulting in a chipped tooth (seen in the videos for Paperback Writer and Rain) and a scar on his top lip, which he hid by growing a moustache.”

    As the promos were shot in may 1966, do you think it really possible that Paul McCartney walked around with a chipped tooth for 6 months, and the only evidence he had one shows up in a promo film, and not anywhere else? 6 months with a chipped tooth? Unless of course the tooth chipped off all that time later.

  18. BRNJNS

    :desrever lla netsil tsuJ
    evoL rebmemeR
    )tuO dnA nwoD er’uoY nehW( uoY sevoL ydoboN
    :nehT
    revo gnitratS )ekiL tsuJ(
    mmmmmmmmmmmm :retehgoT
    .sdneirf ym daed si yentraCcM luaP semaJ
    .ti tuoba stbud oN

  19. The Walrus

    Question:

    In the collage on the White Album, there is a photo of a strange man wearing glasses and bearing a moustache, with a faceless expression. This is said to be the only surviving picture of William Campbell before his plastic surgery.

    As we all know, it is not Campbell, nor was there ever a McCartney lookalike contest.

    But who is this strange man?

  20. lenmista

    its interesting to note that of all the little clues on beatles albums and songs,nobody points out the back of the magical mystery tour album.Hold the back cover in front of a mirror and the number 3 appears. pretty cool.meaning that there were only 3 beatles left at that time. obviously paul is alive!

  21. danerman

    Paul McCartney is clearly still alive and I think he is the greatest and most influential song writer of the 20th century. The question in my mind is did the Beatles have a running joke in the albums from Sargent Pepper to Abbey Road where they depicted Paul as dead and inserted clues in those albums. They deny ever doing that but looking at the artwork on Abbey Road and Sargent Pepper as well as many lyrics in the later Beatles’ songs, I lean towards the fact that they did use “Paul is Dead” as a theme. To me it is probable that they denied this once people were taking it too seriously and thought Paul really did die.

  22. eddy

    If Paul was not replaced in 1966- he grew 2 inches taller, his shoe size grew, the natural part in his hair changed sides, his eyes changed color, his earlobes became unattaced, his head shape got longer, when playing guitar or bass he looks at his hands a lot more (pre 66 he didn’t look much), plays a lot more piano, although left handed plays drums with right handed setup (just like ringo (who is lefthanded), but ringo is a RARITY- most left handed drummers play a left handed setup) and….drumroll…

    he stopped writing great songs like ‘yesterday’ probably the most covered song in history, ‘michelle’ etc

    Paul may not be dead, but IMO he was replaced. It was a fraud, the clues were deliberate – meant to create the illusion of a ‘hoax’ They had the expectaton of disclosure and a slap on the wrist. but Faul was SO good the fans refused to accept the truth.

    1. paulsbass

      FINALLY someone with a sane mind who knows how to read all the little signs – Paul is clearly dead, you’ve proven it again!

      And of course this Faul-guy didn’t do anything great – just Sgt. Peppers and many tracks on the and the cover concept FOR the White Album.
      And the “terrible” Magical Mystery Tour is another prove that the real Paul had nothing to do with it!

      Seriously, are YOU serious??

  23. PaulIsDeadFolks

    Oh come on, have you chowder heads listened to beattles music?, its simple bubble gum pop!, and wings was just…..awful!, You dont think that with all the power and knowledge M15 has they couldnt teach faul to at least look like he was playing left?, watch some videos and you will clearly see Faul pretending to play along!, hes pretty good at air guitar, but not perfect, watch him playing above the ed sullivan theater on letterman video on you tube, its supposed to be live!, there is no way hes playing!, his fingers arent even on the right notes for christ sake!, he is no better then milli vanilli, and dont forget my number! Faul the imposter!

  24. Tubescreamer

    I don’t think Paul is dead, but I do think the Beatles were behind the hoax. So many clues were quite a stretch, but a few were just too blatant to ignore. I’m guessing they all had a laugh and started dropping clues around Peppertime, and by the time Abbey Road was about to come out no one had caught on yet. I can imagine them laughing hysterically when the hoax finally came to life in ’69. It was probably Ringo’s idea.

  25. Dee

    It is futile to speculate about whether someone is dead or alive, when we do not know about such things as life and death. Who is to say you are not alive? Can you prove that you are? Can you be sure that you are alive on the premise that you can think? I think not, but what do I know, or anyone else? Having said that Faul is certainly a good satirical impressionist of James Paul. Whether that be a fictitious entity or otherwise.

  26. xxx

    He is dead,theres two different Pauls,you idiots are visually retarded.The original Paul has short round face, the double has a much longer face and taller than all the other Beatles.

    1. ArthurFiggis

      When you make a portrait there is always the question on the jaws: Open or closed? From the mid-sixties on Paul seems to have decided that he looked better with the jaws open or he was more relaxed when his picture was taken, whatever, cutting with Okham’s razor, this is way much liklier than that PID nonsense.

    1. Joe Post author

      Yes, if you believe that setting up a straw man (Brian running out of money, Paul’s fingerprints not being taken in Hamburg) and providing a counter-argument it is irrefutably proof of something completely different, go right ahead.

      I can’t really be bothered to engage with people who think McCartney was replaced in the 1960s. You’re all either trolls or idiots, possibly both.

  27. Maya

    John Lennon – How do you sleep at night – “Those freaks was right when they said you was dead..The only thing you did was Yesterday now you’re just Another Day”

    Yesterday was the last thing Paul Mcartney wrote, Another Day is a Faux Paul Wings track.

    In footage on youtube George corrects John to say the Fab 3 and mentions ‘Beatle Bill’ – Willia Campbell.
    Come together “1 and 1 and one is 3, got to be good looking cos he’s so hard to see…”

    The 28IF is correct, in hinduism the first year in the womb is counted as the first year of life, something John and George knew about from their time in India.

    The truth ALWAYS comes out.

  28. steve

    This is fun researching. But there is only one Paul. he just gained weight in the mid to late 60′s. The best way to tell is his mannerisms while singing. The way his legs move and eyebrows.

  29. Eric

    This can all be easily explained:
    In the near future, a rudimentary time machine will be invented (probably by Richard Branson)

    The future Paul McCartney will be one the few people with enough money to travel in it – one way.

    As a last wish he goes back to 1966 in order to tell his earlier self:- not to make “Bogie music”, not to get married to Heather Mills and to tell him to allow the engineers more time to make “wild Life”.

    The future McCartney, who still looks young for his age, dies in a car crash whilst being driven by a friend, before he is allowed to tell himself.

    1. Eric

      It has since been explained to me that the cost of a one way time trip will be too much even for Paul McCartney.
      It is therefore likely that he will have to go halves with Elton John.
      It is even more likely that the song “Helter Skelter”, found in the wreckage,
      was written during the time trip with Paul and Elton being crammed together in the cockpit.

  30. James T.

    There was a lot of this sort of thing going around Ann Arbor then. “Dead” was a metaphor for ego death, typically by acid.
    Thus the Grateful Dead etc. Russ Gibb was a really nice guy and DJ at WWWW in Detroit. Sprit came thru with “Mechanical World” about then with lirics like “Somebody tell my father that I died.” Just good clean counterculture fun you know. There were lots of UFO reports which were really dry cleaner bags, candles and McDonald’s straws. Rampant pranksterism was the rule of the day.

  31. peter

    ive just found out about this notion that paul is dead today,its an indescribable feeling as i love that song no more lonely nights more than any early beatles song so you totally rock faul

  32. rugbee

    well, i’ve done hours of research and found out that MAXWELL with MI-5 was in-fact alive from 1910 to 1998 and was part of the BRITISH SECRET SERVICE, so with that note there might be some truth to the story……… and yes i am still researching for the real truth,,, the truth is out their….

  33. DrTomoculus

    In the Death Cab for Cutie segment, the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band perform a song, accompanied by a stripper. The song tells the tale of a person killed in a car accident, Cutie being the victim. When the song finishes, John Lennon and George Harrison are seen applauding in the audience. Over the applause, Lennon can be heard yelling nondescript sounds. But? when you reverse the audio … he clearly says Paul’s Dead. Try it, it just takes snatching the audio from the film, which begins around the 47min mark.

    Marketing ploy? Hoax. Think about it. Here are The Beatles, the “biggest” band in the pop world by 1967. They’ve stopped touring, but their popularity shows no signs of waning. Does this band NEED a marketing ploy to sell records? Not really. They don’t need one at all, there were enough Beatles knockoff products by this point already. So we’re supposed to say The Beatles thought this Paul Is Dead game up one day, once they stopped touring. Well why Paul? Why Dead? With the prevalence of The Walrus on three albums (Sgt Pepper/Magical/The Beatles) wouldn’t a more harmless, less morbid game be “figure out who the walrus is.” Yeah that sounds like a lot of fun actually, and supposedly in keeping with The Beatles are fun, and happy, and peace and love. Yes! Let’s figure out who The Walrus is, and it’s a game we can play and they left us clues about the real identity of him.
    OR — let’s pretend one of our members got his head cut off in a car accident, and was replaced by a look-a-like. Let’s drop clues all over the place about this morbid, sick, quite disturbing joke. Maybe Paul’s dad will have a laugh too about it (no James, Paul isn’t dead really, it’s just a joke. Yes, I know his mom died when he was young, and maybe death isn’t all that funny to you, but hey, lighten up!)

    And when asked what would you like to be remembered for, do you honestly think The Beatles would all raise their hands up high and say, well, how about a rumour that one of us died horribly, and the rest of us covered it up. OR we can be remembered for the good music we put out there, and all the cool things we did when we got along. Who’s up for that.

    I bet it was Ringo that said, nah. Let’s go with one of us is dead. I elect Paul, who else says Paul? (George & John agree, Paul questions why him, they all say, you had it coming mate! Giggles ensue, and everyone had a hit of pot.)

    That’s an elaborate, intricate hoax then, and a long long way to go to do it. I don’t even think P.T.Barnum went as far as that. Maybe he just didn’t have the tools at the time to do so.

  34. DrTomoculus

    And IF it was a Joke/Hoax, who tells those things for 3 years running? Wouldn’t you get bored by it. I could see if it appeared on Sgt.Pepper/Magical and then kind of faded away, but it doesn’t. Each album from Sgt.Pepper onward takes great care to single Paul McCartney apart from the others. Were they this bored? With each album did they go in and say, okay, what are we going to plant on this one. Surely one or two of them would say after year no.2 of doing this, um, this is getting boring don’t you think? And with all the tensions going on during 1968/1969, do you think personally, any one of them would be bothered with “Come on lads, let’s pull together just for the sake of the joke about Paul’s head being cut off in some accident. Let’s rock!” The Hoax/Joke just seems to me something that would have an appeal for an album or two, maybe a year or so. But like George’s statement about liking jellybeans. You couldn’t say or allude to ANYTHING in this band, without it coming back on you in ways you might not like. With jellybeans it meant getting pelted on stage with them. Did anyone ever see that video of David Bowie getting something thrown accidentally at his eye? Looked like it hurt! I imagine jellybeans could probably get you in the eye and hurt as well. So taking Paul Is Dead ANYWHERE beyond the studio chatter seems like someone would say, ok, maybe that could be funny, but have you thought about when they ask you is he really dead? You might be asked that for years! And guess what, he has been. It has not gone away, and with the internet and tools, Paul Is Dead is more alive than ever. One hand over someone’s head is an accident. Twice is a coincidence. After that forget it, it’s deliberate and intentional. It has motive. How did they elect Paul anyway? Why was it to be him the Hoax was to be about. Who would volunteer for that anyway? I don’t believe he died, because I’d need to see it to believe it. At the same time, I don’t think this is a Joke/Hoax/Marketing Ploy either. How many albums did we sell last time? 1,000,000. How many would we sell if we pretend one of you died? Don’t know! Let’s try it out!

    1. mclarekuehn

      Glad you’ve changed your mind now, Dr T, from your other work more recently done. Dr Lev’s claim goes so far as to say that John met Yoko on the day Paul was supposed to have died — per AMERICAN dates (Nov 11) instead of ENGLISH dates (9 Sept) — and the date of his meeting her was also nicely refuted by your work on the conflicting reports of even when John met Yoko, on your blog (though some of the work there is more speculative, as you would admit): GREAT FIND. But as you know now, the English, not American date is likely what they put on the Sgt Pepper album drumskin as 1-1-9 He die (“I One IX He die”).

  35. Mister Hipster

    I don’t believe in this conspiracy theory in the slightest, but I have some doubts with Paul’s explanation (on the Late Show with David Letterman) of his being barefooted on the Abbey Road cover. Tarmac gets extremely hot to walk on without shoes in the summer, so why would Paul kick off his flip-flops (not hot enough to cause discomfort during the summer, and still protecting the feet from the hot surface of Abbey Road) and walk across the road-cross without shoes? And to those who say that Paul holding the cigarette in his right hand proves that the man on the cover isn’t Paul: what if Paul really, REALLY wanted the cigarette in the shot? He could have held it in his left hand, but then it would have been covered by his coat…

    1. mclarekuehn

      Well, yes, tarmac gets hot. Also, an early 70s interview with the tailor (famous, named Nutter — sadly) who did Paul’s suit, says Paul fitted the suit for no shoes by wearing none at the fitting session. Hear “The Winged Beatle” clip of that interview with the tailor. On its own, all it indicates is that maybe Paul died or maybe Sir Paul was just idiosyncratic, but indeed, he fitted the suit without shoes. Also note that the David Letterman show question — very rare for Sir Paul to allow such a question, and Letterman would be given questions in the case of McCartney, we can fairly assume — was aired the week of the Wired magazine release about the forensics, in Italy, which was never translated and published in English Wired. Paul’s eye-darting and lip-licking brief emotional reactions to his seemingly double entendre mistake in that interview with Letterman are also suggestive of a true slip-up. However, the direct proof is the forensic work properly understood.

  36. Arnold Palmer

    By the way, if you’ve written something on here over seriously thinking that paul is dead then you need to find something better to do with your life. Cheerio!

  37. Mike Edkins

    What a waste of effort. It was all a hoax. What is the point in all of this discussion. Sir Paul is one of the greatest Brits ever to have lived – let’s celebrate that and not dwell on a ridiculous joke that occurred so many years ago and is actually irrelevant in the serious research into the Beatles lives and music
    Happy Christmas and Let it Be!

    1. mclarekuehn

      Most people asked if he’s dead and he said no. Of course the person you’d be asking isn’t dead. — The question properly is “Are you a replacement or double for the original artist named Paul McCartney and whose name is the same as yours, at least publicly” so he can’t wiggle out of anything. Try that.

  38. GeofBrit

    We all had a great time with this back in 1969 (I was 11). Had the magazine, poured over the covers and ruined some songs spinning them backwards. And I can understand how new young Beatles fans (there will always be new young fans) have as much fun as we did.
    A Splendid Time Is Guaranteed For All!

  39. Armand DiPegio

    Wow, look at all the lonely smart asses making fun. Where do they all come from. “Paul is Dead” was a well planned and executed marketing maneuver designed (most likely by Lennon) to create mystery, fun, and intrigue for in-the-know fans who waited for the next clues as each new album was released. Absolutely Brilliant!