Drunk on truth to stupid baby power.

“Paul is Dead” Conspiracy Theories Have Only Gotten Way Crazier


I like a good conspiracy theory as well as the next person. It’s fun to think that aliens not only landed in Roswell, NM, but are also secretly running our planet from afar. It’s amusing to speculate about preserved dead aliens laying ensconced in liquid tombs deep under the ground at Area 51. Some people will tell you that aliens messed with human DNA around, oh, thirty thousand years ago, which explains the otherwise unexplainable burst of human consciousness that took place then. Why? To transform our ape-like ancestors into more intelligent beings to mine gold for them. Giorgio Tsoukalos, from the History Channel’s Ancient Aliens, will tell you.


We like theories to help us explain what we don’t comprehend.  That transformation into human from a stone-age creature? Why? How? We don’t know, so we make stuff up. Since there’s been no reasonable explanation for the Roswell incident, and since humans like answers, we imagine some. It doesn’t matter if what we imagine is truth.

What I don’t get is why people invent and believe conspiracies that answer non-existent questions. For instance, in the sixties, a bunch of people made up a rumor that Paul McCartney was dead.

Rumors of Paul’s death were based on Paul having bare feet on the Abbey Road album cover picture, where the Beatles walk in single file near a car with the license plate, “28IF,” possibly meaning that had Paul lived, he’d be 28 on his next birthday. But was anyone baffled as to why Paul had bare feet in the first place? Not really. People in the sixties were used to pretty casual dressing. It hardly mattered. The theory spread, and was fed, conspiracy theorists say, by clues from the Beatles themselves, in their lyrics and on the cover of Sgt. Pepper.


For a comprehensive and kind of trippy documentary on the subject, see below:

Of late I have been investigating this rumor / theory (PID for short. PIDers also call the alleged second Paul, ”Faul,” for False Paul,) and I have found something startling: not only do some people contend to this day that Paul died in a car crash (“He blew his mind out in a car / He didn’t notice that the lights had changed.” See what they did there?,) and was replaced by a look-alike Paul who had undergone plastic surgery, but the theory has grown over the years to encompass many other conspiracy theories, such as:

1. The Beatles were formed by the Tavistock institute.

2. The Beatles were made up  – and there were multiple Beatles throughout the years, look-a-likes who shifted in and out of the band – by The Illuminati to cause havoc in America.
3. Mark David Chapman was a member of the Illuminati.

4. John Lennon was assassinated because he was going to expose the Illuminati.

5. In the same video as above, the guy posits that the Illuminati also manufactured Charles Manson to destroy America. (How does this relate to the Beatles?  The Manson Family scrawled the words ”Helter Skelter” in blood on the walls during the Tate/LaBianca murders. Conspiracy theorists also note that when the Beatles went to India to study with the Maharishi, Mia Farrow joined them, and Mia Farrow was in the movie Rosemary’s Baby, directed by Roman Polanski, husband of Sharon Tate, murdered by the Manson Family. Rosemary’s Baby, not so coincidentally (they say), takes place in the Dakota in NYC, where Lennon and his family lived.  He was shot in front of the Dakota building. So it’s all connected. For rock and roll devil-worship, see this video, but that’s another whole conspiracy theory.

6. Stu Sutcliffe, did not, as previously believed, die young in Germany– he changed his identity and became ANDY WARHOL.

Here again, the loss of a young and talented artist seems senseless, so we make up comforting theories that it never happened.

7. Something that actually is rather eerie and real is the story of John Halliday, who became the caretaker of 20 Forthlin Road in Liverpool, Paul’s childhood home, now in the possession of Britain’s National Trust. Theorists say, based on this man’s startling resemblance to Paul, that he is the ”real” Paul who left the band and took on another identity because he could no longer withstand the pressures.  When you see this man, you do wonder, could it all be true?

In real life, Halliday became an alcoholic, was fired, and has disappeared. The true story may be more like this: Someone in McCartney’s family spread around the McCartney gene pool, resulting in people who resemble Paul. There are probably more folks out there who share Paul’s features.

8. Here’s the best one of all: Paul McCartney is OBAMA’S MOTHER.

Just as we can’t make sense of tragedies (especially those that seem random, such as Lennon’s murder,) neither can we comprehend the miraculous. Miracles are too enormous to grasp, and what our brains can’t cope with winds up being replaced with conspiracy theory. The phenomenon of the Beatles is nearly supernatural. That Paul McCartney met John Lennon at a little church fete all those years ago is still mind-boggling in its immensity, so we want to think God caused it.  What other explanation is there except that is was a miracle? Course, if we believe that God had a hand in their creation, that means we have to believe in God, also incomprehensible, so we make up stuff that seems easier to process, such as the Tavistock Institute inventing this band. Conspiracy theory would have us believe that Tavistock’s influence and power stretched all the way from California to two little guys in Liverpool, who were then put into a band to destroy America’s traditional values. That’s just nonsense, and the only appropriate response is: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Yvonne Surette teaches English at the high school and college level. She has MA’s in Creative Writing and Literature. Mostly she loves the Red Sox and her grown kids. And the Beatles. She is currently working on a novel. You can reach her at litknit@aol.com.

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