Monday, November 20, 2017

Q. How did the "Paul is dead" rumor begin?

This PID article about the death of Paul McCartney disappeared off of the Internet, but has been retrieved from the archives at

For more information about the real story, read Plastic Macca: The Secret Death and Replacement of Beatle Paul McCartney by Tina Foster.

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Q. How did the "Paul is dead" rumor begin?

From Robert Fontenot,
Your Guide to Oldies Music.
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A. Several factors led to the development of a "Paul Is Dead" rumor that began in London, moved to Los Angeles, and then spread into the heartland of America and around the world:
  • January 7, 1967: Paul McCartney's car crashes en route from London to Sussex, driven by one Mohammed Hadjij, a Moroccan student who'd been invited to Paul's home in London for a party (Hadjij was assistant to gallery owner and socialite Robert Fraser). McCartney, however, is in Mick Jagger's Mini Cooper, which Hadjij is following in Paul's own Mini; the convoy is leaving Paul's house to travel to Keith Richards' Sussex home in order to continue the party. Paul's Mini crashes when another car drives over a hanging seatbelt, causing Hadjij to crash into a pole. He survives with only minor injuries, but since Paul's car is custom-made and well-known to Londoners, bystanders at the scene assume it's Paul that's been hurt. Partiers around town begin to circulate (and elaborate on) McCartney's "crash," going to far as to speculate that he has died and been replaced with a double. (Paul was also involved in a moped crash on December 26, 1965, in which he broke a tooth, but this doesn't seem to have started the original rumor. However, PID theorists sometimes use the accident and its aftermath in embroidering the rumor.) 
  • August 23, 1968: Former Detroit DJ and current musician/producer Terry Knight, who has just signed with Capitol, is inivited to attend the Beatles recording sessions. Knight picks up on the tension within the band, which is due largely to disagreements over management in the wake of Brian Epstein's death. Knight, who sides with McCartney in his mind, goes home and writes his next single, "Saint Paul" (Capitol P-2506, May 1969). Lines such as "Sir Isaac Newton said it had to fall" -- actually about the death of the Apple dream -- further fuel the fire of "Paul is Dead" rumors. (Knight would go on to manage Grand Funk Railroad.) 
  • September 17, 1969: Tim Harper, student at Drake University in Des Moines, IA, pens an article titled "Is Beatle Paul McCartney Dead?" for the Drake Times-Delphic student paper. Harper, who does not believe in the rumor, nevertheless reports the latest West Coast college gossip -- that Paul McCartney has died in a car crash, perhaps as far back as 1966. Six days later, Barb Ulvilden recounts the rumor in Northern Illinois University's Northern Star.
  • October 12, 1969: Tom Zarski, a student at Eastern Michigan University, calls WKNR in Detroit, MI, and informs DJ Russ Gibb of the rumor, on-air. Zarski tells Gibb that by playing a section of the band's "Revolution 9" backwards, a clue emerges: the phrase "Turn me on, dead man." Gibb proceeds to do just that. Listeners are stunned. 
  • October 14, 1969: Fred LaBour, entertainment reviewer for the University of Michigan student newspaper The Michigan Daily, turns his assigned review of the new Beatles album, Abbey Road, into a satirical piece headlined "McCartney Dead; New Evidence Brought to Light." In the article, LaBour repeats the musical "clue" and adds several of his own. He also invents the name "William Campbell" as Paul's "replacement." This finally causes the mainstream press to take note, and when contacted by other media outlets, LaBour furthers what he thinks is a joke by validating every rumor within the rumor. 
  • October 21, 1969: The London Times publishes its own report on the rumor. The very next day, both The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times cover the story. 
  • November 7, 1969: Having tracked down Paul and wife Linda at their farm in Glasgow, Scotland, to disprove the rumor, Paul is the featured cover story of this week's edition of Life magazine, which carries the headline "Paul Is Still With Us." In the interview, Paul debunks several "clues" and adds: "Perhaps the rumor started because I haven't been much in the press lately. I have done enough press for a lifetime, and I don't have anything to say these days. I am happy to be with my family and I will work when I work. I was switched on for ten years and I never switched off. Now I am switching off whenever I can. I would rather be a little less famous these days."


  1. Once you see the pictures of before and after , there is no going back. All the clues and lyrics are secondary. My problem is the fake ears on Sullivan in 1965. That made it difficult to draw the line at Sept 11 1966. Why in God's name would anyone need those fake ears unless something was up? Check out I feel fine from 1965. Is that the same guy from 1964 Sullivan with different ears ? Or were there two of them ? Dude from NOV 1966 Def isn't the same as original Paul either. Help me to understand Tina. Please

    1. Wow, I see what you mean, I never noticed this until you pointed it out...I'm torn between the sharp contrast of his Jawline to where it meets his ear to it being make-up color not being extended to also cover his ear, and then, you see this little curve line from the ear itself, like it is a fake ear..., then another shot shows a smooth surface... But definitely two colors between his ear and jaw....hmmmm

    2. So maybe somebody doctored the video to make Paul look more like Faul earwise ?

  2. I think Paul Began using A double In 1965 For touring and Public Appearances. This would have been a Different Double Than Bill Shepherd\Campbell Who repalced Paul In August-October 1966

  3. there Were PID rumors going Around London as early As The Fall And Winter of 66-67

  4. This is loose but my impression without diving too deep. I couldn’t even get passed January 7, 1967. This date is too close to the 1966 Beatles American tour where Paul was not to be seen again so we know this car crash is a set up. Right away this story starts to fall apart. First, does this guy Mohammed Hadjij look like a student or recent student? I went to a university and grad school, he wouldn't have fit in, too old and too well dressed. And why does he appear to have two names? 99% of people only needed one.

    Mohammed Hadjij
    Mohammed Chtaibi

    Look at this photo for my money he looks older than Keith Richards and it looks to me like Mohammed is the main man here and not Keith. How does a student trump a Rolling Stone?

    More interesting stuff, a Moroccan student ends up with a wealthy member of British society and peerage like Robert Fraser? Furthermore how did it all end?

    Mohammed Chtaibi first met Robert Fraser in the early 1960s. He was a young Moroccan student, and he quickly became Fraser’s live in lover and personal man servant.

    We are told Paul's Mini crashes when another car drives over a hanging seatbelt, causing Hadjij to crash into a pole. Really is that possible?

    I smell a spook here; he appeared on the scene and then disappeared. I’d like to know where he was August 1966.

  5. Here's another write up on the PID rumor. All it took was for Faul to appear on the cover of spook connected magazine "Life" to quell the investigation.

    Richard Nixon  —  The American People Don’t Believe Anything Until They See It On Television

    Well back in the 60's add Life magazine to the list. BTW - the moon landings were broadcast on TV in 69 with RMN as pres. I'll leave it there.

  6. What a steaming pile of horseshit. In January 1967 Paul had been gone at least four months already. In any event that write up in "life" Billy was asked" Are you alive?" as opposed to "Are you James Paul McCartney. We have the forensic evidence from Wired Italia and for myself it's all in the comparison pics from pre and post 1966. Paul died and was replaced, I persinally subscribe to the assertion he was snuffed for his political views (Anti war, anti tax, maybe that Butcher album cover exposing child sacrifice?

    1. Absolutely. Plus, Paul wanted to help exposed JFK assassination lies...

    2. According to The Beatles Photographer for Help. I can't remember his Name. He Says there was PID rumors Going Around England As early as the Fall Of 1966

  7. RINGO STARR said PAUL DIED IN 1966 plain and simple

  8. Ringo Starr says Paul died in 1966...that's good enough for me .....


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