Is the real Paul McCartney dead? And if he is dead who is the guy usurping his place? Or was it only a publicity stunt?
Once upon a time, in November of 1966, after arguing with his band mates Paul McCartney left the studio and drove to a friend´s house, apparently Paul picked up a female hitchhiker, who got so excited when she knew who he was, she caused him to lose control of his Aston Martin crashing into a stone fence, the car exploded and burst into flames, he was decapitated and both died, burned in the aftermath. It was impossible to verify their identities.
Throughout 1967 there was speculation that Paul McCartney was dead, the conversation same debate circulated from the streets of London to the boroughs of New York, in student dorms and dinner tables alike. The rumor said that Paul McCartney had been replaced by the lookalike actor William Shears Campbell.
The rumor of his car accident was acknowledged by The Beatles Book Monthly, a magazine of the official Beatles Fan club and says:
“The seventh of January was very icy, with dangerous conditions on the M1 motorway linking London with the midlands, and towards the end of the day, a rumor swept London that Paul McCartney had been killed in a car crash on the M11. 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. Johns Wood Home, and was answered by Paul himself.”
In October of 1969, a man identified himself as “Tom” called Russ Gibb in the WKNR-FM´s, in Detroit Michigan. The caller claimed that Paul McCartney had died on November 9 of 1966 in a car crashed and explained with detail how there were many clues hidden in Beatles´ songs. People around the world started asking, mourning and questioned the truth or lie behind it. This argument was supported by Tim Harper, who wrote an article for the newspaper Times-Delphic from Drake University, about the claim that Paul McCartney was dead. Mr. Harper said later that the main source of information was Dartanyan Brown, a fellow student.
When “Tom” called he instructed Russ Gibb to play “Revolution 9” backwards, where he would hear “number nine”, where a phrase was heard “turn me on, dead man”. Later on, Mr. Gibb co-produced a special of one hour called The Beatle Plot and the rumor gained more attention, fans around the world began looking for clues and pieces of the puzzle.
The topic inspired the attention of art student John Summer, who became so intrigued by the story that he gathered enough evidence to support his investigation. The United Press International carried the story, but nobody seemed very interested about it at the time. However, slowly the story was gaining momentum as an urban legend within the college campuses of United States.
The climax of Paul´s death crested with the TV special “Paul is dead”, aired on Thanksgiving weekend of 1969. The program received a vast audience, and it was reported later that all videotapes of the program disappeared without a trace. However, the soundtrack was preserved by a fan who taped it off his TV set. It only took a few days for the rumor to spread and become an international scandal. Important newspapers and magazines covered the story, for example, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Variety, Billboard, Time magazine and the Times of London.
A new urban legend had been born; the band released various songs with titles such as, “Brother Paul”, “The Ballad of Paul”, “We´re all Paul Bearers”. The scandal became an instant success, especially with the sales of the album “Abbey Road.”
There were many clues about his death, hidden messages were perceived if the albums were played backwards. One often cited example was the suggestion of John Lennon in the final section of the song “Strawberry Fields Forever” saying “I buried Paul”.
Another clue is the interpretation of the Abbey Road album cover, which is a symbol of a funeral procession, where John Lennon wears white (the preacher or heavenly figure); Ringo Starr dressed in black (undertaker or mourner); George Harrison (in denim jeans and shirt, symbolizes the gravedigger; and McCartney, barefoot and out of step is the corpse.
Another clue is in the song “Taxman”, where Mr. Harrison gives his advice for those who die. In the Sgt. Pepper´s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, they formed a new band featuring a “new” member with the name “Billy Shears”, supposedly the usurper or Paul McCartney; the album also contained “A day in the life”, with the lyrics “he blew his mind out in a car” and the recorded phrase “Paul is dead, miss him, miss him”, which is evident when the song is played backwards. The original cover of 1966´s “Yesterday and Today” album featured the Beatles amid raw meat and dismembered doll parts as symbol of Paul McCartney´s tragic accident. If cover of Sgt. Pepper is place in front of a mirror the words “Lonely Hearts” on the logo can read “1 ONE 1 X HE DIE 1 ONE 1.”
Theorists claimed that the other Beatles covered up his death, but remorse eventually got to them and they hid clues in their album covers and their songs. Other experts claimed The Beatles used it as a publicity stunt and took advantage of the urban legend. To silence the old rumors and to silence conspiracy theorists once and for all, Paul McCartney released a live album in 1993 called “Paul is Alive”.ir
In 2009, an Italian article in the magazine Wired Italy explained with detail the truth behind the conspiracy, the study was made by forensic pathologist Gabriella Carlesi and the specialist in computer analysis Francesco Gavazzeni, together tried to put an end to the ceaseless rumors with real forensic evidence, about the apparently fatal accident of Paul McCartney in 1966. They used a computer to measure Paul McCartney´s skull from various photos of his face. The features of our skull, teeth and ears could not be modified by surgery until recently. They used photos of Paul from before and after the “accident”; photos taken prior to 1966 matched one another perfectly, and pictures after 1967 matched each other perfectly, while they discovered that the photos prior to 1966 did not match the photos taken after 1967. They were shocked by the results. The point where the nose detaches from the face was different in both skulls. The positions of the ears were also different and they concluded that they cannot be modified through surgery. The shape of the palate was also very different one from another. The teeth from both pictures were similar. Apparently Paul McCartney never wanted to take a DNA test with his father or brother to end the rumors. In the article Gavanezzi admitted that the results of their analysis was pointing in the opposite direction of what they wanted to demonstrate. Carlesi said that she decided to get involved in the analysis because she thought it would take minutes to prove that Paul McCartney´s death was a lie.
Believers of this theory explain that the Beatles were very successful at the time, Paul´s cover up was necessary in order to maintain financial security; the Beatles contributed millions to England´s tax coffers.
In 2010, a documentary of the events was released, “Paul McCartney is dead: the Last Testament of George Harrison”, which had audiotapes of a voice claiming to be George Harrison explaining that the rumor was true; however, critics suggested that the audio was a parody and a joke.
In 1997 Queen Elizabeth knighted Paul McCartney in London, and President Obama gave him a lifetime achievement award at the White House. During those two big events nobody mentioned that he was actually a usurper. Because He wasn´t…Or was he?
By: Oskar Guzman
Sources: ludix.com; beattlesbible.com; www.time.com; www.erichufschmid.com;