Paul is Dead

In the Fall of 1969 a rumor swept around the world alleging that Paul McCartney, singer and bassist for the Beatles, was dead. In fact, that he had died three years ago on November 9, 1966 in a fiery car crash while heading home from the EMI recording studios. Supposedly the surviving band members, fearful of the effect his death might have on their careers, secretly replaced him with a double named William Campbell (an orphan who had won a Paul McCartney lookalike contest in Edinburgh). However, they also planted clues in their later albums to let fans know the truth, that Paul was dead.

Beatles fans, who came to be known as "cluesters," spent countless hours searching for clues hidden in the albums, eventually locating hundreds of them. Numerous articles appeared in magazines pondering the likelihood of Paul's Death. John Chancellor even discussed the issue on the NBC evening news, concluding that "All we can report with certainty is that Paul McCartney is either dead or alive." McCartney only inflamed the rumor by refusing to appear in public to deny it. Finally photographers for LIFE Magazine tracked the singer down to his Mull of Kintyre country house where he was on vacation and took a photo of him which it ran on its cover, thereby throwing some cold water on the rumor. But not killing it entirely. To this day a few diehard cluesters still persist in their belief that McCartney died in 1966. It is the most persistent and elaborate false death rumor in history.

How the Rumor Got Started

On January 7, 1967 McCartney's Mini Cooper really did crash, and as a result a few newspapers did report he had died. However, McCartney wasn't in the car when it crashed. He was safe at a party in Sussex. The man driving the car (who didn't die either) was Mohammed Hadjij, who allegedly was using the car to transport drugs up to the partyers in Sussex. After this incident, a few scattered rumors of Paul's death and replacement by a double were reportedly overheard at London parties.

But it was two years later, in the American midwest, that the rumor really took hold. Researcher Andru Reeve has traced this midwest origin of the rumor to a song titled "Saint Paul" that received heavy airplay in the midwest in May 1969. The song, penned by Detroit-based Terry Knight, spoke of Paul being in heaven. Knight might have been speaking metaphorically about the imminent breakup of the Beatles, but the lyrics must have suggested the idea of McCartney's death to some fans. Whatever the case, the idea was planted, and the rumor began to spread around college campuses.

The first appearance of the rumor in print occurred on September 17, 1969, in Tim Harper's article for the Drake Times-Delphic (the student newspaper of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa) titled "Is Beatle Paul McCartney Dead?" But this article didn't receive much attention at the time. Instead, the real beginning of the Paul-Is-Dead rumor, as a pop-culture phenomenon, dates to October 12, the day Detroit DJ Russ Gibb took a call on-air from Eastern Michigan University student Tom Zarski. Zarski laid out the whole rumor for Gibb and, as proof of its truth, urged him to play "Revolution Number Nine" from the Beatles' White Album backwards. Gibb obliged and, much to his surprise, could distinctly hear the words "Turn me on, dead man" being spoken repeatedly. Gibb was astounded by what he heard. This was the spark that ignited the fire.

Fred LaBour, a student journalist at the University of Michigan, heard Gibb's broadcast and wrote up an article for the Michigan Daily outlining the theory and detailing many of the most sensational clues. The article electrified readers, and was soon reprinted in numerous university papers throughout the country. LaBour's article, more than anything else, spread the rumor to a national audience.

The rest was history. The mainstream media, now fully aware of the rumor, latched onto it with a fervor. Planeloads of journalists were dispatched to England to find Paul. For three weeks the musician's supposed death was one of the main topics of conversation in America. It wasn't until LIFE printed the picture of McCartney on the cover of its November 7 issue that the excitement began to die down.

A Few of the Clues

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

1) The foreground scene on the front cover shows a floral arrangement, as if for a funeral. The white flowers on the bottom right either form a left-handed bass guitar (Paul's instrument), or they spell out Paul.

2) "Beatles" is spelled out in red flowers on the cover. But there's an extra letter, an "o" that is mysteriously placed at the end of the name. Perhaps the band was sending a secret message: Be At Leso. Leso was the name of a Greek Island that they had supposedly bought. Were they inviting fans who had figured out the mystery to join them there?

3) A toy Aston Martin convertible can be seen on the lap of a rag doll on the right-hand side of the cover. Paul supposedly died in an Aston Martin.

4) If you use a mirror to bisect the phrase "LONELY HEARTS" that appears on the drum, the phrase "I ONE IX HE ◊ DIE" can be seen. If "I ONE" is 11, and "IX" is the roman numeral 9, then this might be decoded to mean "11 9 HE DIE" (i.e. November 9, He Die).

5) A hand is held up behind Paul's head, a raised hand being a mystical symbol of death. (In some religions, it actually is.) A hand raised behind Paul's head is a recurring clue in many photos of the band.

6) On the back cover Paul is wearing an arm patch that says "OPD," which is British police jargon for "Officially Pronounced Dead." (The patch actually reads "OPP," which stands for Ontario Provincial Police. Paul was given the patch while on tour in Canada.)

Magical Mystery Tour

7) If you look at the starry letters of the Beatles name in a mirror, or upside down, they supposedly form a phone number. If you call this number, someone will answer and provide another clue. Or perhaps William Campbell himself will answer. This clue inspired an urban legend alleging that a student dialed the secret phone number and reached someone who quizzed him about Beatles trivia. The student answered all the questions correctly and was then told he had won a trip to Pepperland. He subsequently received a letter instructing him to lick the stamp on the envelope. When he did so, he experienced an LSD trip. While under the influence of the LSD, he jumped out of his dorm room to his death.

8) Paul is wearing a walrus suit on the cover. This is significant because Walrus means Corpse in Greek. (Actually, it doesn't.)

9) The song "I am the Walrus" is supposedly about Paul's death. The lyrics "Stupid bloody tuesday" refer to the last time Paul was seen alive. And the eggman refers to Humpty Dumpty, who cracked his head open, as did Paul.

10) At the end of Strawberry Fields, the voice of John Lennon can be heard saying "I buried Paul." (John does say something at the end of the song, but it's not "I buried Paul." He says "cranberry sauce.")

The White Album

11) One of the images on the poster inside the album shows Paul soaking in a tub of water. Many people have commented that it kind of looks like Paul's decapitated head floating in blood.

12) The song "Glass Onion" contains the lyric "looking through a glass onion." The DJ Russ Gibb claims that "glass onion" was old british slang for the handle of a casket, because in the nineteenth century caskets had round glass handles that looked like glass onions. Paul is looking through a glass onion because he's in a casket.

13) If you play the song "Revolution 9" backwards, you will hear the words "Turn me on, dead man" being spoken. (It's true, you will... or, at least, you'll hear a phrase that sounds a lot like "Turn me on, dead man.")

Abbey Road

14) On the cover John, Ringo, Paul, and George are walking across a zebra crossing. Fans argue that this represents a funeral procession. John (in white) is the priest, Ringo (in black) is the undertaker, Paul (barefoot... because people are supposedly buried barefoot in Italy) is the corpse, and George (in jeans) is the gravedigger. It's also believed to be significant that Paul is out of step with the others, and that he's holding a cigarette in his right hand (because the original Paul was left-handed). Finally, it's said that this picture was taken at the site where Paul crashed his car on November 8, and that the Beatles are shown walking out of a cemetery which is located on the left side of the street. (In reality, there's no cemetery there.)

15) Also on the cover, a white volkswagen can be seen parked in the background. Its license plate reads "28 IF." This could mean that Paul would have been 28 if he were alive. (He actually would have been 27.) This Volkswagen was tracked down years later and sold at auction in 1986 for over $4000.

Was It a Rumor or a Deliberate Hoax?

Most people can agree that Paul McCartney didn't actually die in 1966, but the question remains: was the rumor of his death a deliberate hoax? Were some clues purposefully placed in the albums? Was an elaborate hoax engineered either by Capitol Records or by the Beatles themselves?

Both Capitol Records and the Beatles definitely had a financial motive to devise such a scheme. The Paul-Is-Dead rumor led to massive sales of all the Beatles' albums. People were actually buying multiple copies of the albums in order to play them backwards to listen for hidden messages. But Capitol denies having started the rumor, and it does seem farfetched to think that record executives would have been imaginative enough to dream up and pull off such a hoax. Although it is undeniable that once the rumor took hold, Capitol didn't do much to discourage it.

More suspicion is usually focused on the Beatles themselves because they had the creativity to pull off such a thing, and were well-known for their mischievous sense of humor. And intriguingly, one piece of evidence does link the Beatles to the start of the rumor. The Terry Knight song "Saint Paul" that got the whole ball rolling was published by none other than MacLen Music, McCartney and Lennon's publishing company created in 1963 to publish their own music. Why would MacLen publish this one non-Lennon/McCartney work? All of Knight's other songs were published by Storybook Music. Perhaps it's because Lennon or McCartney suggested that Knight write it. Andru Reeve writes:

"The enigma of a virtually-unknown musician's original song being published by the Beatles may be a greater mystery than the "Paul-Is-Dead" rumor itself. Would its inclusion in the Beatles' catalog (and its recent and mysterious disappearance) have something to do with Terry Knight's visit to Apple in early 1969? Was the song instigated by none other than Paul McCartney himself?"

However, even if one of the Beatles did prompt Knight to write Saint Paul, it's hard to imagine they could have predicted this song would in turn have inspired the most widely circulated death-hoax rumor in history.

Actually, if there is one hoaxer at the heart of this mystery, it's the college student Fred LaBour. His article in the Michigan Daily was the main vehicle for the dissemination of the rumor. But he freely admits that he invented many parts of the rumor, such as the claim that a Scottish orphan named William Campbell replaced McCartney. LaBour stated in an interview: "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."

One final question remains. If McCartney didn't die on November 9, 1966, what was he doing on that day? It turns out that he was on vacation with his girlfriend Jane Asher. From November 6 through the 19th they were travelling through France and Kenya. But November 9 is a significant Beatles date for another reason. It was the day that John Lennon first met Yoko Ono. So metaphorically it could be seen as the date that the Beatles, as a group, began to die.
Paul is Dead Haiku (Submitted by Hoax Museum visitors)
So many fake clues
The three, the hand, the flowers
Paul is so not dead
(by Kathleen)
Paul is a dead man
You can see it everywhere
Why don't they beleive?
(by Jacob)
They were four, now three
Untimely death, who can say
Turn me on dead man.
(by mcmickey)

Links and References
  • Andru J. Reeve. Turn Me On, Dead Man: The Beatles and the "Paul-Is-Dead" Hoax. AuthorHouse. 2004.
  • R. Gary Patterson. The Walrus Was Paul: The Great Beatle Death Clues. Simon & Schuster. 1996.


R. Gary Patterson, one of the authors cited in this article, was my high school English teacher
Posted by loafo  on  Sun Dec 18, 2011  at  02:43 PM
You completely missed out on the white album clue at the end of "Im so tired". When you reverse it you can actually hear john say "paul is dead, miss him, miss him." That's easily the biggest clue ever.
Posted by Jake  on  Sun Jan 08, 2012  at  08:37 PM
The "Paul is dead" thing is still alive on the Internet; below is a link to a WFMU "Beware of the Blog" post which mentions the 80 minute "The Apple is Rotten" collage film of Iamaphony. In this version, the Paul replacement is an immortal android possibly brought to life by Aleistar Crowley or using his magick, and that an Illuminati-style group is behind it all.
Posted by mr. mike  on  Fri Apr 20, 2012  at  02:03 PM
Erm... if the Pepper cover really does say "11 9 he die", then he should've died on September 11th. The Beatles were English, not Colonial. They'd write November 9th, 1966 the logical way, as 9-11-1966, not 11-9-1966, the inside-out way. Not even Lennon would make that silly a mistake.
Posted by Richard Bos  on  Wed Jun 12, 2013  at  05:12 AM
what if it wernt a mistake. what if he put 11 9 he die and not the british way so he could reach out to more people
Posted by shay  on  Sat Sep 28, 2013  at  07:43 PM
What about the song "A Day in the Life" - He blew his mind out in a car, he didn't notice that the lights had changed.
Posted by Daniel  on  Wed Oct 30, 2013  at  04:40 AM
Richard Bos, you are SO right! Only in America do we (for some strange reason) number the month before the date!

Back when the news first came on that Paul was, supposedly, dead, I didn't know what to think! I was only 15. Since then, I've studied about it quite a bit and I think it's absurd that anyone thinks that there has been a man who has worn extensive make-up to make him look like Paul, has played and sung like him, written songs, etc..
Posted by Noelani  on  Sun Nov 03, 2013  at  12:50 AM
There were so many dozens more clues too, so it obviousy, was a great hoax engineered by Paul & John.
Paul gave interviews years later & was asked about this, & he always denied that he'd been behind the hoax, but come on now - we just don't believe your denial Paul.
Posted by Bobo  on  Wed Nov 13, 2013  at  07:35 AM
I spent 10 hours doing research on the possible death of McCartney. At 9 hours, I wasn't convinced, but by hour number 10, I was. What convinced me the most was the forensic analysis of Paul and his replacement. The eyes (Paul had brown eyes and William 'Billy' Shears Campbell has green eyes), the nose, the ears, the hair color and texture, the alignment of facial features, the height difference, etc. Also, Paul's voice was different. I've never heard the new guy sing "Yesterday" but would expect it to sound a bit off. Everyone should listen carefully to each song in Sgt. Pepper's and especially to "A Day in the Life". Thirty five seconds after the song ends, you can hear a strange repeated sound which says, "Never could see any other way" or something similar. The date, 9 Nov, on Sgt. Pepper's is made by using a mirror. That is the only way you can write 9 Nov based on the reflected words. On Letterman, Billy slipped and agreed he is an imposter. Look at his face when he realized he slipped and then the relief when Letterman did not pick up on the mistake. No one should make a judgment without doing the research.
Posted by Mike  on  Wed Nov 13, 2013  at  09:39 AM
How about the most obvious one - from Glass Onion: " Here's another clue for you all: The walrus is Paul" - by that point even the Beatles themselves wanted to join the fun.
Posted by Aubrey  on  Wed Nov 13, 2013  at  09:57 AM
Isn't it simply that McCartney had a very serious car accident and then underwent, what we would now consider fairly primitive plastic surgery to rebuild his face. All we are looking at is continued maintenance over the last few decades, which explains why his features alter, especially his earlobes where the skin would be continually reattached following 'skin lifts'. ...And also why he now resembles someone's aunt with a purple rinse.
Remember the car accident Mark Hamill had between Star Wars, and Empire... Look at how much he changed.
Posted by Simon  on  Sat Nov 16, 2013  at  10:22 PM
Yeah, but how do you explain the height difference? I mean, that is a really good point that bec of the accident he had plastic surgeries and would want more sales for their albums to make such a rumor since they don't want to tour anymore. But, the height difference? Really? AND I SWEAR TO GOD, i found paul really really handsome, until now, well, Faul, but there was something off about his face in A Fool On The Hill, he wasn't smiling with his teeth much and it just didn't seem right. I don't know
Posted by Ardiana  on  Tue Nov 19, 2013  at  09:52 AM
And the fifth angel sounded and i saw a star fall from heaven. this is in refrence to satan coming to earth in revalation 9-11.nov means 9 sept means 7 comining from heaven 9-11.when you add 1+1+0+9+1+9+6+6=33 and this points to the masons and when you add 0+9+1+1+2+0+0+1=14 now you just added together eight digits. now add the last two 1+4 and now you have the fifth angel number 5 sounding her trump.Numbers are very important to the illuminatti.satin is boastfull of his plans
Posted by Daniel  on  Thu Dec 05, 2013  at  01:54 PM
Unfortunately, none of this debunks strange idea there are clues or Paul died (separate q's).

4 provably planted items called clues, no matter why. The 4: text reference, 1967 February Beatles Monthly (ostensibly=disclaimer), 2 "OPD" clues, 1967 (made from an OPP patch) -- one well known, where P. becomes D. on slight cylinder (upper arm, impossible) & 1 nearly unknown (fully frontal OPD), both from versions of Sgt P gatefold on album -- & 1995 (after 1969 brouhaha) "Free as a Bird" video: death head Paul, as if leafy reflection, on back of 1960s police van. (Camera pans on stationary window, reflection, van, but no blur on reflection, optically impossible to be natural). & The other thematic clues = grisly, clever, sad.

Clue date, even if didn't die = Sept 11 (1966) not Nov 9. Clue date comes from the front of the Sgt Pepper album, on the drumskin (use a mirror image 1/2way thru central text "Lonely Hearts"). Reads "I ONE IX ^ HE DIE" or 11 9 He die, which would mean 11th day, 9th month He die, for UK, Canada, etc. numbered dating. When USA got the rumour (late 1969), the US assumed 11th month, 9th day. -- & On 1-year anniv., Mag Myst Tour movie started filming, w/ lots of PID clue & on 2nd anniv., John Lennon recorded "Glass Onion", which pleaded (or seemed to) to "listen to me" & stated there were clues & Walrus image meant Paul in the clues.

Alibis & circumstance & reason:
Didn't play instruments on film (played air guitar, so to speak) for 1.5 years after Sept. 1966: leaves room for right-hander to learn good left-handed bass for public appearances. If Paulie died by accident or murder, cover-up would include intelligence circles and loyalty to helping the band continue without noticeable interruption. It would be too long to discuss people around the issue here, such as family, friends, etc., but not impossible.

For anyone who doesn't see a difference in pre-/post-Sept. 1966 Paul images, arguments from forensic imaging aren't likely to *feel* like arguments, but: Careful assessment of the distance between eyes, to forehead width, to chin distance, to under-nose distance, etc., show radically different enough measurements, to be another person. Also, the ears differ, in ways incommensurable with mere foreshortening (perspective) difference. He also wore false ears at least 9 times, in film&video; (not an absolute proof like the others here, but is required if surgery and natural ear difference were being covered up). Voice prints suggest (professional: Dr. Henry Truby, and amateur: modern computer programs) the voices differ between 1966/after in songs, but no-one has done a study of morphing they did, or what or how that would affect the voice print harmonics, or done a study of the speaking voices.

Further sources: some pages at and the page (being rewritten at present, but more complete in one page)
Posted by Clare Kuehn  on  Tue Dec 17, 2013  at  06:59 PM
Paul is Paul.

Lee Harvey Oswald alone killed JFK.

Bush did not know about 9/11 in advance.

The world is wonderfully fascinating enough, you don’t have to resort to make believe.
Posted by Dick Starky  on  Thu Dec 19, 2013  at  09:28 AM
I think it's not "I buried Paul" but it's more likely "I'm very small".
It's also in a portion of the mix, buried in reverb where heard on headphones would give that impression both to the performer and the listener.
Posted by Rob Holland  on  Wed Jan 29, 2014  at  09:50 PM
Summer-camp counselor gave me the deluxe lecture on this in 1974, was like a ghost story to us kids

Sgt Peppers, Day in the life:
"He blew his mind out in car he hadn't noticed that the lights had changed, a crowd of people stood and stared , they'd seen his face before but nobody was really sure if he was from the House of Lords."
Paul had been recently Knighted, was told to me.

The Walrus was Gaelic symbol of death, not Greek as said in this article.
From MMT: Glass Onion
"You know the Walrus and me man? We're as close as can be man. Well here's another clue for you all. The walrus was Paul. Looking through the bent back tulips to see how the other half lives, trying to make a dove tail joint? Looking through a Glass Onion."
The glass onion was explained to me as another gaelic/celtic term describing how the dead could see through the ground out of their graves.

Many photos with the band except paul facing backwards and also paul dressed in white with the others in black.

I'm pretty sure McCartney is alive. Friend of mine in his band currently. I've never liked Wings or any of his solo stuff and his new material is bloody terrible.

I generally agree with the poster named "Dick Starkey" above. But reserve the right on this single issue.
Posted by Jon  on  Thu Jan 30, 2014  at  07:38 PM
Or how about the back of Sargeant Pepper's, where George is pointing at the line "Wednesday morning at 5:00" ( Nov 9, 1966 was a Wednesday, and Paul supposedly died at 5am.
Posted by Les Granderson  on  Thu Jan 30, 2014  at  11:45 PM
Sir Paul is not Sir Paul. Lee Harvey Oswald is a separate case; he was being framed; he was doubled to get him in trouble at the end, & for fake backyard photos in Life (the chin is not LHO's and the body is composite).

Sir Paul bass playing comment(though musicians disagree, note the exact points raised here at a radio show Feb 2012: -- a worthwhile radio show to hear is there, too, and on the same site for Jan 2014 and Jan 2012 as well):

kjaze Feb 28, 2014 at 11:43 AM

First, I've been a bass player for over twenty years. Paul impressed me in the early days with the complexity of the bass parts that he wrote and played. Even more impressively, he hit the part harmonies while playing and rarely looking at his hands. Inexplicably, in performance videos after "Rain", Paul looks at his hands as often as a less-skilled player like myself would. During the rooftop concert, he plays nothing difficult while singing; and still looks at his hands now and then. Actually his playing then wasn't terribly interesting. I'm a fan, but I have to be honest about that.
Secondly, Ringo declares himself the last living Beatle in a article. Even the most lackadaisical Beatles historian knows that JPM co-founded The Beatles, long before Ringo joined them as "...a setup affair" [as Sir Paul made the mistake or clue of saying once about himself, which, if he's Paul, is not true]. Is Ringo just having a joke, or just letting some truth out in a deliberately casual context? I would think the latter. Especially after watching the Letterman [Sept 2009] interview. Anyone can recognize an "oh shit" moment if they care to.


To realize something MAY be going on with Paul vs Sir Paul -- start with Sir George Martin's COAT OF ARMS, 2004. Remember: it's for his family forever. If this is related to a mere hoax from a money ploy or cruelty from John (unfair to John anyway), this would be forever for his family.

Next comment will contain the coat of arms info.
Posted by Clare Kuehn  on  Sat Mar 01, 2014  at  05:04 AM
(The photo on this page, by the way, is Sir Paul, stretched by a lens and cropped, to make him seem more "baby faced", but it's distortion and no stretch alone achieves Paul's particular friendly "baby-cute" face shape.)

To realize something MAY be going on with Paul vs Sir Paul -- one place to start is near the end of the story of the Beatles' circle of people, with Sir George Martin's COAT OF ARMS, 2004. Remember: it's for his family forever. If this is related to a mere hoax from a money ploy or cruelty from John (unfair to John anyway), this would be forever for his family.

Sir George Martin CBE was The Beatles' producer, arranger, mentor, signed them to EMI, worked on majority of songs.

The centre of his heraldic design is a car-tread which 'squashes' the 4th original 'beetle', but also includes the new bandmate.

3 beetles ("stag beetles") -- 3 remaining in 2004 as Martin pointed out, but that leaves out John, which is impossible for Martin to intend, unless it's a partial meaning
tire-track-like white design with a squished edge and tread lines (car crash implication)
5 lines (5 total Beatles & 5 lines for music notation).

If 3 beetles was for the "living Beatles" at the time 2004, which Martin tried to say, that leaves out John. Forever. No way.

it is, and it isn't.

White squash tire tread (double meaning: white car and squash).
3 REMAINING ORIGINAL Beatles & 3 Beatles when created in 2004.

And 5 marks (tire tread lines, also like musical lines, of course) for all 5.

White *(Beetle VW white: Abbey Road & other images & movies). Smush edge. (White car=what killed him and he was a Beatle?)

If they'd told, crest wouldn't have show this; could have 5 beetles.

So it's actually honour, not outrage to show such a thing & it's clever, forever recognizing and immortalizing the event, plus the multiple ways the band existed, Martin's favourite group.

It existed as 4 (3 and the place/1 manner of death for the 4th), it existed as 3 at the time of his crest and after the death, and existed as 5 in reality totally.
Posted by Clare Kuehn  on  Sat Mar 01, 2014  at  05:08 AM
The date can't be Nov 9. The song is deflecting the name of the day, but Harrison points to 5 o'clock, and that might be correct.

Nov. 9 in USA is Sept. 11 in UK numbered dating. The drum-skin clue would be UK dating.

Time to get the new bandmate and some initial plastic surgery in Kenya.

Note: John did an accurate drawing of Paul dead, privately. -- (See mentioned info below.)

General info on the case and a bit about the drawing: (Feb 2014 radio show -- right-click green name for show download or click to play)

Clues & John's ACCURATE DRAWING OF PAUL DEAD discussed in detail: (Jan 2014 radio show)

Context (intelligence coverup aspect) for the death of Paul and some info on the case details:

Images/ Info/ John's actual drawing with deep analysis of them and the forensics issues: (Dec 2013 page link: click at right)

Posted by Clare Kuehn  on  Sat Mar 01, 2014  at  05:19 AM
You guys crack me up.
Posted by Den.  on  Sun Nov 09, 2014  at  12:53 PM
Addendum to the comment about not playing on film for 1.5 years from Sept'66, you forgot to mention the "All You Need Is Love" satellite broadcast on 25/6/67...
Posted by Nigel Langridge  on  Thu Jan 01, 2015  at  01:15 PM
if you listen to 'a day in the life' on sgt. peppers after john says the last line 'Id love to turn you on' you can hear Ringos voice (on each beat between the piano) say:

"paul ... died ... car ... crash ... wednesday ... night"

before the song builds to its final abrupt end.
Posted by joe  on  Sun Mar 01, 2015  at  10:32 PM
About a year earlier there had been a rumor of a "Beatles contest" in the UK which generated many of the "clues" used in the Paul is Dead rumor. I had two friends living across the pond at that time, and one of them told me about this in the late spring of 1969. The thought was there were clues on the album covers and in the song lyrics, and if you "won" you got something, like a house on the Isle of Wight (or course). I noticed some of this material in your article.
Posted by Paul  on  Mon Mar 09, 2015  at  02:13 PM
all photos of mccartney and harrison until sgt.pepper showed them standing next to each other as the same height as the other.from pepper on he is 3 inches taller than is this possible that these pictures are still of paul?
Posted by marc smith  on  Mon Mar 23, 2015  at  06:25 PM
To Jon in California. Paul McCartney wasn't knighted until 1997 so your advisor was wrong.
Posted by Terry Wall  on  Wed Mar 25, 2015  at  07:53 AM
Actually, as a kid, I can remember a news bulletin - I can't remember the date that said Paul McCartney had died in a car accident and that he had been beheaded. It was a short announcement on news on the radio and over the next few days the news was changed to say that Paul hadn't died but had been injured. Can anyone shed light on that? That was a news story some years before I read about there being a theory that he had died in a car crash. So I would think Paul was at least in a car accident of some sort that was reported.
Posted by Teresa  on  Thu Apr 09, 2015  at  07:58 AM
Just re-read the last paragraph of this article and, interestingly, I am pretty sure that the radio news item I heard was that Paul had been killed in a car accident in France. I know the news bulletin was in the late evening and I lived in New Zealand, which is 12 hours behind UK time. I wasn't a fan of the Beatles but I told my mother about Paul being killed and, as I say, over the next few days the news was changed to say that Paul had not died but had been injured. I wonder if anyone else remembers this news item. I was at college when I heard it, in my teens, and so it would have had to be roughly '66 because I had left college by 1969 when I heard it and it was a straight news item not related to any rumours that Paul had died - a bald statement that he had died. There must be some record of such a bulletin somewhere - BBC no doubt would have it.
Posted by Teresa  on  Thu Apr 09, 2015  at  08:07 AM
McCartney canceled to perform the 2nd time in public for reason of the cold because Japanese Immigration Bureau had begun to investigate the person who will introduce himself as Paul MaCartyney by Passport Law violation suspicion false passport use. Investigation by DNA examination is being advanced, so to specify a person the truth would be done by Japanese judiciary clearly eventually.
Posted by Macbeth Merci  on  Thu Apr 16, 2015  at  09:11 PM
Should be quite easy to determine if Paul did die on November 9th 1966 - simply check the hospital admittance records or mortuary admittance records for that time.

Something no-one seems to have considered ; if Paul had died, why didn't the other Beatles show signs of distress or grieving ? Their close friend and colleague had presumably just been suddenly killed, and yet none of them seemed shocked at all ? Also presumably, their professional and social schedule / engagements weren't affected at all either. No events abruptly cancelled due to this sudden "tragedy" ? Strange, eh ?

Even more unlikely that there's any credibility to this story, when you consider that they went into the recording studio the very NEXT MONTH ( December 1966 ) to start work on Sgt. Peppers. Now would they really feel up to doing that if they were supposedly mourning Paul ? And the "replacement" Paul just happened to be talented enough to contribute significantly to what would become their most famous landmark album ? And how would the "new" Paul have had time to rehearse with and integrate seamlessly, into the band ?

Not even taking into account the highly implausible likelihood that he would be a left handed bass player ! How common are left handed bass players, by the way ? AND, remember - who also just happens to be an almost exact physical clone of Paul as well ? And not only that, but to have to find someone with ALL these qualities at very SHORT NOTICE ? Come on, it's all too ridiculously fanciful to believe !!!
Posted by Spectrum  on  Sat Apr 18, 2015  at  07:50 AM
Does anyone else besides me think it's ironic, that after all is said & done, Paul will probably, one day, be the lone surviving Beatle.
Posted by Joe M.  on  Thu May 14, 2015  at  10:03 AM
I think it's true, would explain why he's not written a decent song since 1965
Posted by Dave Doubledecks  on  Mon Jun 15, 2015  at  01:24 AM
I have never seen anyone mention this clue. In the Magical Mystery Tour booklet, it asks you to join a Mystery Tour, then says something like "Splendid! the story begins on page 7....or 8".
If you go to page 7, the textual story begins. If you go to page 8, it's a photo of people sitting at a table. However, if you put that picture up and look at it from a distance, you can very clearly see a skull with the attached skeleton behind it - as though you are looking in a casket.
Posted by Dave Van Handel  on  Thu Jul 02, 2015  at  04:46 AM
The clue I have never seen mentioned anywhere is in the Magical Mystery Tour booklet. On the inside cover it says there are 4 or 5 magicians. Why 5 unless there is a 5th Beatle? Then it talks about a MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR and asks "Are you ready to go? SPLENDID! The story beings on Page 7 ... or 8 ...." In the booklet page 7 is the beginning text of the story. Page 8 is a distorted photo. If you rotate the photo 90 degrees clockwise and look at it from a distance you can clearly see a skull. The rest of the photo can be seen as a skeleton in an old coffin.
Posted by Dave Van Handel  on  Thu Jul 02, 2015  at  02:55 PM
It's very sad how smug people can be about this story when it is so obvious that the real Paul has been gone for nearly 50 years. The Beatles left over 400 clues. And here's another clue for you all-- the new guy doesn't look much like Paul. Take a good look and listen to some of the things HE says. He pretty much tells us the truth about himself again and again. "There's me and the other famous him". "When I joined the Beatles it was already a set-up affair". And, I worked in factories before joining the Beatles!!!??? huh?

"Nothing is real" is sung as the camera focuses on Faul's face not to mention yes the height and yeah oh, the different face!
Posted by Pam  on  Wed Jul 15, 2015  at  12:55 AM
put an end to it, let's have a DNA test of "paul" and his relatives, end of story...i'd be surprized that the most outspoken beatle, lennon, would had never said anything if there was a fake paul, after the beatles broke up and he actually had a grudge against mccartney....
Posted by carlos imperial  on  Thu Aug 20, 2015  at  06:16 AM
Anyone who thinks Paul is dead has to produce the following: A death certificate. A mortician's sworn statement that he either prepared the body for burial or cremation. A family in mourning. Statement's from people who were in the inner circle of the Beatles to verify same death.
If Paul is dead and some guy who just happened to look like him, sound like him, write like him, play instruments like him, remember and discuss the years before the death with such vivid and factual references, etc. was just hanging around like a piece of beef in a meat locker waiting to be called on stage, well if that really happened why can't we keep everything else as quiet as this?
And lastly, when John and George died and all that money was available for a reunion, where were their William Campbells?
Ridiculous if you believe this crap
Posted by Lori  on  Mon Sep 07, 2015  at  02:29 AM
Rarely have a read about or watched a bigger load of utter nonsense as this non story.

Even the so called photographic "evidence" is ridiculous. If you can't see that the photographs are of the same bloke just taken at different angles with differen lighting then you really need to get your eyes tested.

If he died, what happened to his body? It's against the law to conceal a death in the UK.

There is a picture of the so called replacement who is so obviously a picture of the real McCartney just made up to look like somebody else. It's just a joke.
Posted by David Bingham  on  Tue Oct 13, 2015  at  03:26 AM
The article is incorrect in stating that McCartney was on holiday with Jane Asher from 6-19 November 1966 "through France and Kenya" - as Jane Asher was playing the lead role of Juliet in "Romeo and Juliet" at the Theatre Royal, Bristol from 9 November.

Also, the article is incorrect to state that the "rumour" of Paul's death began in "the Fall of1969". It was already current in November 1966.
Posted by Jason Wilcox  on  Sun Nov 01, 2015  at  01:14 AM
This is what i think. The Beatles stoped touring on Aug of 1966. They thought of making up this story to sell records. There are diffenect clues on records and in songs from sgt pepper to let it be. When they knew that abbey road was their last album . they were breaking up they released the story. To make people excited and sell records. Why they waited for three years i dont know. But Mccartney is for sure alive. I listen to resent co certs of Paul doing old Beatles songs and he sounds exactly alike listen to ill follow the sun and others. What do you think. Do you agree.
Posted by edward gralla  on  Sun Nov 01, 2015  at  08:49 AM
The story is a great mind-f*ck, I'll grant you that.
Posted by johnisblind  on  Sun Nov 22, 2015  at  08:20 AM
Had to tell someone once i found out about this
LMW and 28IF: I just figured out that Linda McCartney was 28 years old at the time abbey road was released (in fact, it was released 2 days later). Linda McCartney Weeps and 28IF when she was almost exactly 28 at the time? Coincidence? Idk I just figured it out
Posted by Blah Blah  on  Tue Dec 08, 2015  at  06:44 AM
Glass Onion has a clue that is so overt I am surprised that it was not mentioned in the article itself. "Now here's another Clue for you all, The Walrus was Paul."
Not enough people were getting the joke.

Feeble People, it is absolutely true, the Beatles did indeed create the hoax that Paul was Dead. Paul is not dead but the clues were there as though he was. Not sure if it was a reaction to the rumor, or if the rumor was caused by the clues, but the clues were intentional. What is more amazing about this story is that there are those who do not believe that there are any such clues. But Glass Onion has one that John says intentionally was a clue.

And, when Let it Be, the album, came out, I hated it. All that dang wall of sound that murder boy put on it later. When "Let it Be, Naked" came out, which is Let it be with the wall of sound taken out, I loved the album.
Posted by JClifford  on  Thu Dec 17, 2015  at  02:19 AM
I always thought of this as bs, but am starting to reconsider, especially based on photos of him in 1966 and earlier vs. 1967 onwards.

There's one piece of evidence that I've never seen anyone claiming that this is all a hoax address: the change in height. There were lots of photos taken during the early concert days--including 1966--showing that Paul was clearly about the same height as John and George. Then all of a sudden in 1967 onwards, any pics of them standing together (including the Sgt Pepper album cover) show Paul clearly being a few inches taller than John and George. How in the world do you explain this? Did he suddenly have a growth spurt in his mid-20s??

My original thinking was also that it's implausible, given that the 'imposter' would have to be a great bass player. But then again, he wouldn't, given that at the height of their live touring success in 1966--something they seemed to be perfectly comfortable with and truly enjoy doing--they inexplicably stopped touring--coincidentally the same time that Paul supposedly died. And in the videos that followed afterwards, isn't Paul generally playing piano rather than bass. Why would that be, given what an awesome and incredibly innovative/original bassist he had demonstrated himself to already be? Anyone could have been playing bass on the studio... Even the fact that he was all of a sudden playing so much piano seems perhaps fishy. In the Shea Stadium concert (1965?), I seem to remember it was John who took a keyboard solo. And someone else pointed out that in the Get Back rooftop session, Paul's bass playing seems way more basic than it had been in earlier videos, and he's often looking at his hands while playing (something a more experienced bass player wouldn't do and which Paul didn't do in earlier concerts). I have to go back now and watch that footage...

But regardless of my conjecture about bass vs. piano playing, the one part I really have trouble explaining is how in the world he could have had a growth spurt of 3 inches or so from 1966-1967, already in his mid-20s. Can any of those saying "this is all rubbish" provide an explanation?
Posted by Clifford Jay  on  Wed Feb 24, 2016  at  09:42 AM
A Day in the Life is about the death of Tara Brown the heir to the Guinness fortune who was a friend of Paul's. The House of Lords is a snide reference to Brown's father who was in the House of Lords,it's actually quite a cruel song by Lennon who might have been jealous of Brown's friendship with Paul. NB despite the name Tara he was a man.

All this was well known at the time
Posted by Val  on  Wed Mar 23, 2016  at  07:49 AM
" Can any of those saying "this is all rubbish" provide an explanation? "

This is all rubbish.

Rubbish is rubbish.

No explanation needed.
Posted by Tellus  on  Wed Apr 06, 2016  at  09:13 AM
has no-one ever noticed his teeth are different just look at the colour footage of paperback writer in the gardens his front teeth are chipped & the rest are uneven
Posted by ace79  on  Tue May 24, 2016  at  02:34 AM
Paul McCartney in the summer of 1966 wanted to tell the world that JFK had been killed in a conspiracy, according to the book "Citizen Lane" by attorney Mark Lane. Paul had read Mark's manuscript of his yet to be published "Rush To Judgment" and concluded the Warren Commission Report was not believable. Paul wanted to go public with his view and to write music for a planned documentary on the topic. He wanted children and wanted to be able to tell them he had done something important with his life and not just been a Beatle. The Beatles were a worldwide phenomenon at the time. Conspiracy theorists conclude Paul was murdered to shut him up.
Posted by Louise  on  Sun Jun 26, 2016  at  01:55 PM
The 'Paul is dead' thing is a good litmus test for conspiracy theorists: if you buy this one, you are completely insane. Period.
Posted by MikeO  on  Mon Sep 19, 2016  at  01:42 AM
This is all so much RUBBISH, any personal item he'd use could be tested for DNA, people you are really fooling yourselves here. The only way this argument holds up TEMPORARILY is by some woo-woo (twilight zone theme playing now) claim that he can't possibly have a DNA test.

A tip of the cap on my head to those who are wearing their hat as a seating aid.
Posted by Let Paul Be  on  Sun Oct 16, 2016  at  01:16 PM
Posted by John Paul Shutrump,Jr.  on  Thu Nov 10, 2016  at  03:03 PM
The Sgt. Pepper's "mirror clue" is obviously fake, as it hinges on the use of American date format; but Britain (like most of the rest of the world), uses European date format, in which 11/9 is the 11th of September. So although this could be interpreted (by the insane, anyway) as a foretelling by the Beatles (or by Peter Blake, who designed that cover) of the destruction of the Twin Towers 34 years later, as a clue to Paul's "death" it doesn't work.

And the "number 9" clip backwards? Paraeidolia, or as the Bible puts it "seek and ye shall find"; if you expect strongly enough to hear something, then you will, regardless of whether or not it's actually there. I hear that clip as "turn me o-" trailing off into indistinct mumbling.

I think the reason why the Beatles never denied (nor affirmed) rumours including this one is because, if you deny a rumour, then you feed it; it's best to let it collapse under its own weight.
Posted by Robert Baker  on  Tue Nov 15, 2016  at  05:59 PM
Silly how EVERYONE in the public STILL continues to not fathom the whole reason for what started out as a cathartic release for Paul. First of all, I assume that anyone like myself who came of age in the 60's either took LSD or at least knew about LSD, The most "classic" syndrome or effect, if you will, was the overwhelming feeling of DYING. If you ever did a large dose of the highly distributed (and even joked about by Dan Akroyd as Jimmy Carter on SNL) Orange Sunshine, you would know what I'm talking about. The actual doseages - like all illegal drugs - can vary greatly. Too much of the "25" and you are not going to have anything even close to tolerable as an experience and the undertakers seem to be walking your way,so to speak.
So, in summary, Paul did a hot dose of Acid, had the classic bad death trip, saw himself as having come back or "reborn" or whatever went on inside his head for days and weeks afterwards and ..... there you have it. Paul prior to that date when he did the "hit" was not the same Paul anymore.
After a period of time, some people never get over the experience. Paul was in fact the "Deadman" . As far as what followed , well, yes it was a unique little game that only something as big as the Beatles could pull off.
And they did pull it off. To this day. As mentioned, it's the same period in which John got into Yoko. That's sort of a "last nail in the coffin", if you catch my salty sea air drift! The bigger question is - and it's probably a legal issue - is why Paul himself has ever been willing to admit to what he experienced and what little hoax was pulled off. Are there legal problems with the true admission? It's OK Paul, if there are legal things attached to telling the truth. But for fans my age (late 50's to late 60's) it would be a great final laugh. And a feeling of the "Coming Together" of kindred spirits. Over Him. smiley face!!
Posted by crag keeper  on  Sun Jan 01, 2017  at  04:18 AM
I'm not sure if it's true or not but there'd be one simple way to discount it. Why hasn't anybody looked for Billy Shears? If it's a hoax then surely he's around or there's evidence of his existence for the past 50 years
Posted by Shazza  on  Mon Jan 16, 2017  at  06:53 PM
i've only come to this conspiracy late in life but here are a few things i'd like to add.... i don't think photographs are a good way to judge, in looking at this i saw a youtube video of paul being interviewed in 1964 , at certain points when he moved his head in certain directions his ears resembled some of the pic's i've seen of the "fake paul's" ears which i've seen posted to show paul with different ear lobes, i don't know why they look like this on the youtube clip but clearly features can look different from different angles....i've also seen pic's of a younger paul with a different hair style ( maybe about 18 years old or so at the time?) and he looks so different from the pre 1966 mop top even though there's no dispute about this being the same guy..... also the hight issue.... here are two pic's of geri haliwell and her husband taken on the same day..... in one not much height difference but in the other a marked difference, i can't explain it but these pic's clearly show how things can look different in a photo (logically assuming geri didn't shrink in the space of a few hours)
Posted by paul tye  on  Sat Jan 21, 2017  at  11:44 AM
Incoming message from the big giant head,.,.,

Questions rather ya...

Who stands to benefit from the events of Semptember 11th, 1966(Early morning Sept. 12) being a "Hoax"?

Where is the body of the man who died in said car crash?

Why did The Band stop playing live suddenly after this "hoax"?

Would Brian Epstien and the surviving members of the band benefit financially by replacing Paul with William Shears Campbell?

Why does the "new Paul" stand higher in stature than the actual Paul?

Why is his Jaw line and chin noticeably different?

Why a rooftop performance complete with the ability to escape by simply calling the police on yourself and allowing them to shut it down?

Have you ever really watched the rooftop performance attentively paying direct attention to the looks on Ringo, George and Johns faces? William Shears Campbell's expression is a stark contrast.

Did anyone ever notice that Paul was a delightful, Jovial and pleasant guy while Shears is a dick?

Why was Brian having such a hard time sleeping that it necessitated those pills that ultimately killed him? Could he not live the lie anymore and the guilt was eating him up to the point where he could not sleep and he subconsciously wanted out of the whole thing by ANY means?

You decide,.,. Todaloo
Posted by Dan Welch  on  Sun Jan 22, 2017  at  11:44 AM
There is one other thing you are forgetting. In the Early '70 a band came out called Klaatu. The songs on the four albums release, sound identity to what the Beatles would do. This band NEVER performed a concert. Their first LP Klaatu and the song called "Calling Occupants" sounds just what you would hear from the Beatles. On three of their LP’s it didn’t list the writers or give any clue who they were. “Calling Occupants” was covered right by Ms. Carpenter (I don’t remember her name). There were a lot of songs that I thought referred to Paul, but you were never quite sure. “Subway Rosa” sounds just like Paul to me.
To add another cog in the wheel, listen to the band Klaatu. You will be amazed.
Posted by Frank Bucalo  on  Thu Jun 08, 2017  at  09:15 PM
Now this is rather telling....!

Here's another 'oh shit' moment from Jimmy Fallon a few years ago which surprisingly hasn't been mentioned on here yet:

Posted by Luke  on  Wed Aug 08, 2018  at  03:06 PM
Oh, and how about Don't Pass Me By from the White Album:

I'm sorry that I doubted you,
I was so unfair.
You were in a car crash,
And you lost your hair.


Surely there are far too many references for this to be the band messing around.
Posted by LukeD  on  Thu Aug 09, 2018  at  03:54 AM