When Paul Was Declared Dead

Paul McCartney

In 1969, the Northern Star newspaper of Northern Illinois University ran a story claiming that Paul McCartney had been killed in a car crash in 1966 and had been replaced by a look-alike. Russell Gibb of WKNR-FM in Detroit picked up on the claim and the story went worldwide. By late October 1969, the hoax was so well entrenched that McCartney came out of seclusion at his Scottish farm to deny the story. When McCartney was asked to comment by a reporter visiting Macca’s farm, he replied, “Do I look dead? I’m as fit as a fiddle.”

One of the greatest urban legends ever, this story just grew and grew. The more people talked about it the more believable it became.The Beatles themselves and especially McCartney must have been highly entertained! The myth had more legs in America then it did in the UK, for one simple reason. People had seen Paul leaving his house in St John’s Wood or arriving at Abbey Road. The Beatle would also be spotted out on the town, attending gigs and the theatre.

We knew it was him. Paul wasn’t dead.

American college students had published articles claiming that clues to McCartney’s death could be found among the lyrics and artwork of The Beatles’ recordings. Clue hunting proved infectious and within a few weeks had become an international phenomenon.

But who was the imposter? To spare the public from grief, the Beatles replaced him with “William Campbell”, the winner of a McCartney look-alike contest. Where and when did they hold that then?

At this point the rumour included numerous clues from recent Beatles albums, including the “turn me on, dead man” message heard when “Revolution 9” from the White Album was played backwards.

You see, in this digital age you can’t do that, any hidden backwards messages would be lost. That’s why I still listen to vinyl. I’m forever listening for hidden messages, and mysterious voices crying out from the grooves.

The Michigan Daily published a satirical review of Abbey Road by University of Michigan student Fred LaBour under the headline “McCartney Dead; New Evidence Brought to Light.”

Paul Is Dead Hoax

The theories were first class: The cover of Abbey Road has the four Beatles crossing the road, in a manner that is supposed to symbolize a funeral parade. John is wearing white, which is supposed to be a colour of mourning in Eastern religions, and Ringo is wearing funeral black. Paul McCartney is out of step, and holding his cigarette in his right hand when he is left-handed. Imposter!

Also, on the sleeve you see a girl in a blue dress walk past. Some people felt that this represented “lovely Rita”, the hitchhiker Paul was supposed to have been with at the time of the accident.

Paul was also shoeless on the Abbey Road sleeve, reminding us of the custom to bury people without their shoes in some cultures.

And the best one – in the background on Abbey Road is the Volkswagen Beetle with the number plate “LMW 28IF”, which is supposed to say that Paul would be 28 if still alive… However, Paul was 27 at the time. Some say that some cultures count you as 1 when you are born, and so that he would be 28 in their customs.

More clues were found in “You Never Give Me Your Money”. The words “1,2,3,4,5,6,7, all good children go to Heaven” – is “go to Heaven” a reference to Paul being dead? Curiously, the numbers here add up to 28.

Well, I’ll tell you what – the remaining Beatles must have been exhausted keeping the secret about Paul’s death and on top of that, writing clues in songs. Clever sods, these Beatles.

Anyway, I’m very pleased Paul isn’t dead; we’ve lost two Beatles and that’s two too many already. But Ringo, now he’s been behaving a little strange now for a few years, but that’s another story.

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  1. Of course Paul died November 1966. Too much evidence to support this. Tragedy. As for Billy Campbell the liar it’s time he told the truth. It’s a sin to pretend to be Paul. Paul RIP.

  2. This is honestly the most sarcastic and most funny article I’ve read. He isn’t dead. It’s been proven because I’m the supposed day of the accident Paul was on vacation, and on that exact time of the accident Paul was in a different car and the person driving his car was some guy he knew or something. So that’s a little debunking. Also footage shows that for photos and the stuff said backwards in the albums were just coincidences or mishearing stuff.

  3. He’s dead. Your all fooled if he died and it got out there would be hesteria. Itwouldhavebtought the world down. So they keep it quiet. You can see it’s not the same guy. Eye color and so many other features. Don’t be fooled. Sorry if you are

  4. Second Tina’s comments above. In addition to what’s already been said, the mannerisms during interview and performance/playing styles are very, very different. You only have to watch live performances pre and post ‘66 to realise this. I’ve read many books on this subject and compared and contrasted many videos and images. Without a doubt, they are two different people. Listen with your eyes and ears.

  5. I’m almost 64 and my older brothers and I remember this like it was yesterday. It was no joke. Come together right now over me. The facial forensics comparisons can’t be faked. His eye span, and ear lobe size are there to see. So do your work. His ear lobes became smaller after the crash. Unfortunately Paul died that day..

  6. If McCartney really died in a car accident in 1966, then that only leaves Ringo Starr alive, and he only was the drummer.
    The Beatles are definitively dead then.
    They remain a legend.

  7. In fact, when I think about it, Paul Mac Cartney produced gems after 1966; he was not just looking like the former Mac Cartney, he also had his genius, his talent as a composer and singer.
    And his father should also have been an accomplice.
    It’s really too hard to believe.
    When you want to find clues of something, you can always make them up.

  8. As a kid at the time who was obsessed with Paul, I noticed a difference. I didn’t know about a car crash. I used to play the records over and over, knew every word and album cover. Something had changed about Paul, I knew that: his voice very slightly different, personality, the fact that he suddenly was the main singer whereas he had always been second to John who he idolized, but no more. As a kid I didn’t suspect that he’d been replaced, I just instinctively knew something had changed but accepted it. It was until a few years ago that I saw Ringo’s article and the penny dropped! It’s possible I think.

  9. yes I do believe Paul did die in a rta while driving his mini in1966 but what a coverup and what a talented replacement supposedly William Campbell? Surely Ringo will spill the beans one day maybe?

  10. Paul is probably dead. But there is no real proof he is dead or alive. He could be still alive. But we just have to remember The Beatles as a wonderful band. ❤️❤️❤️

  11. First, I want to apologize for the long script. I don’t know if Paul is dead or alive; however, I do know the Beatles, as a band, were very intelligent and it shows in their songs. They really played this up on at least three of their LPs. Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band Album shows a lot of dead people on the cover. The foreground is supposed to represent a grave and under the writing “Beatles” are yellow flowers and 4 strands to represent a bass; Paul played bass. On the inside, Paul is the only one sitting and he has a crest that reads “OPD” to represent where his replacement worked before. On the back cover, Paul is turned away from the photo. The Beatles (White) album has a couple of songs referencing Paul, in Glass Onion John sings about ‘strawberry fields where nothing is real’ and his imaginary friend the walrus and how close they were. Then the line, “Well, here’s another clue for you all, the walrus was Paul.” Also a few other songs with death references, not the least of which is Revolution 9 when played backwards. Then the pinnacle, Abbey Road with the cover showing Paul in bare feet and cigarette in his right hand when he was left-handed. What I had heard many years ago was, George represented a grave digger, Ringo a pallbearer and John a minister. VW on the left with the 28IF on the plate and on the right the paddy wagon representing Paul’s replacement. If nothing else, the books were very interesting and the Beatles very intelligent.

  12. what I’d like to know is…what happened to all the people who knew this William Campbell aka Billy Shears? Are all the people he knew in on the secret and no one has spoken? Did they all just think he vanished? Is there a death hoax about him as well? All the people that knew Paul…were they told to keep quiet about their loved one’s passing? Does he not have a grave, was he cremated? Did their friend Paul simply vanish and a person who looks like him fooled them too? Family and friends…too many open gaps in all this…

  13. Until yesterday, and Scarlett Moffatt in the Daily Mail, I’d never heard anything about the ‘Paul is dead’. But then I thought ‘Ah!’ because I’ve noticed over the years how curious it is that none of his children – especially his son James – look anything like the young Paul. If the new Paul had some plastic surgery then they would look like their father before plastic surgery and he did disappear off to Mull all those years having bought it in 1966 the year of his apparent death.

  14. The Paul Is Dead thing is much bigger than a few clues here and there. There is also clear photographic evidence that there are two or perhaps even more look-alikes. Billy is taller too (look at the cover of SPLHCB or pictures of him with Jane Asher before and after 66). Billy has a longer face (you let your face grow long). Their voices and attitudes are different. Listening to songs like Get Back, Dear Boy, Dear Friend, Too Many People, Lady Madonna, you can hear that the voice IS NOT THE SAME AS PAUL’S. There is not one pre 1967 song that has a similar voice. Pre 66 the Beatles loved each other, and Paul, after that they all had huge issues with the guy. Apple is one of Lennons wordplays. The new Beatles would be on “A Paul” records. Why would they call their company Apple? That’s got nothing to do with the Beatles. There is the Japan bust where there was an alledged controversy that Pauls prints did not match the prints from his Hamburg bust. There is the paternal issue if non-conforming blood types, etc. The list is virtually endless. Paul did not die in an accident, he was taken out and the replacement was ready for the job. Billy Shepherd was in the Beatles circle early on, and even penned one of the first official Beatles bios: “The True Story Of The Beatles”, as well as articles in their monthly mag (Beatles Book). Being an accomplished musician he was probably in on songwriting sessions and perhaps worked as a decoy during Beatlemania. He had his own album releases under the name Billy Pepper during the Beatlemania years (you might say Sgt Pepper, because when he entered the group Billy was the new leader of the Beatles, and the only trained musician). Half of the tracks on the Billy and the Pepperpots albums Beatle tracks and half were penned by Billy Shephard. The new phase of the Beatles with their new Paul is marked by SPLHCB, where the New Different Beatles and the old Beatles are standing side by side by a Beatles grave. The old vs the new phase was marked again with the Beatles red and blue albums (1962-1966 was with Paul, red signifies blood/death and is also masonic symbolism, while the 1967-1970 was with Billy, blue symbolizing that they were blue and in mourning). Look how different Pauls face looks in comparing the two albums. Paul has a wider nose, to start with.

  15. You have it wrong. John in the pastor, Paul the corpse, Ringo the undertaker and George, the ditch digger. lol — being around 11 or 12 this time we played things backwards and listened intently to all the “clues”! A Day In The Life is supposed to be about the accident. I also remember my brother coming in one evening and saying he heard on the radio that Paul was dead well before all the album conspiracies started up. Fun times!!! :D

  16. the real Paul is in the upside-down. have you ever seen the movie ‘the prestige’? as part of his greatest trick the magician kills himself, but lives on in a duplicate body. this is similar to what happened to Paul. He is sort of in the body we see, but only part of him. the true Paul is ‘dead’ to the world. he isn’t dead, but he no longer has any residence in the world we can see, he resides in the upside down now. that is part of the deal he and the Beatles made, the same deal that stipulated the murder of John Lennon by a mind control victim.

    let me give you some connections: ‘Triggers’ (embedded words or symbols) were commonly used by MK Ultra, the CIA’s mind control program during the 60s and 70s, to activate sleeper agents remotely. John Lennon was murdered by someone who claimed a book triggered his actions, his assassin was more than likely a victim of MK Ultra. Charles Manson was a 2 bit criminal when he was treated at a free clinic in 1967 by none other than MK Ultra doctor Louis Jolyon West. Manson emerged as a murderous cult leader claiming the Beatles’ music inspired his race-war ideology. In prison interviews Manson has referred to a world that runs parallel to our own, but is an exact mirror image of it, he claims that the true souls or entities of famous people reside there, while their doppelgangers take their place. An upside down world, if you will.
    In a show I’ve noticed is pushed very hard by the media, ‘Stranger Things’, one of the characters is the child of someone who was a victim of the MK Ultra program. A big part of the show is also ‘the upside down’. For some reason the upside down and mk ultra are connected here again, completely separate from Charles Manson talking about the upside down after being treated by an MK Ultra doctor.

    to recap, the connection goes: MK Ultra Sleeper Agent > Beatles Lennon > Manson Helter Skelter > MK Ultra Clinic Manson > Upside Down World Manson talks about > Upside Down World in Stranger Things > MK Ultra in Stranger Things

    If you can honestly believe those full circle connections are coincidence… well then you’re as stubborn as an ox!

  17. Helgeric, I thought for sure I was reading my OWN comment until the second paragraph. That’s when I saw that your research surpassed my own. Anyone who still thinks Paul McCartney wasn’t replaced is either deaf and blind, or is just plain in denial. I first came across this AGAIN after 50 + years earlier this year, and my head is still reeling. It’s true that the more I look into it, the more I realize I don’t know crap. It has become an obsession that I can’t seem to break away from. Nice to know I’m not the only one.

  18. Read what George Harrison Said before he died. He explains everything. Before you say anything stupid.
    Thanks you, I have always known this to be true…..

  19. I remember hearing on the radio that Paul was dead and then there was a Paul look alike contest and then after that if all seem to just fade away. Why would the world have made these announcements on the subject Paul was dead?

  20. This story has run and run.There is a simple way to resolve the issue. Compare DNA from Paul McCartney and his brother Mike Mcgear from the Scaffold.. Sorted…..or maybe not.

  21. I don’t personally believe tis urban legend, but I understand how people would go to such lengths to be right. I mean, playing a record backwards is a little desperate if you are looking for clues. But sill, I understand wanting to be right.

  22. ” But Ringo, now he’s been behaving a little strange now for a few years, but that’s another story.”

    Leave Ringo alone! Ringo has not been “behaving a little strange now for a few years”
    and you’re a cunt for saying so……but that’s another story.

  23. This story and the comments just make clear that people will believe what they want to believe, no matter how foolish it is (especially if they’re taking the right drugs). The Beatles had a lot of fun with this non-story. To Mr Partain, who writes “Read what George Harrison Said (sic) before he died. He explains everything.” Everything? George Harrison said many things before he died at the age of 58, so why don’t you just come out with it? As far as Ringo, he was a brilliant drummer with and after the Beatles. He’s 80 years old and wants to enjoy his life without idiots bothering him, hence his “no autographs” policy, etc. He’s not “behaving strange”, he’s gotten older, while McCartney is a extrovert showman by nature. To everyone seeking dire plots about Macca & Co, try getting a life — preferably your own.

  24. It totally makes sense that Paul died in 1966. Sane people just don’t make up a notion to create a hoax about something like that- there is absolutely no motive to do this and no motive to continue the hoax the way they did for so long? Why would you stop touring and doing live concerts especially when you were just arriving at the top like that?
    Ringo Starr has totally clammed up- he hasn’t said a word about it that I’ve seen- at least not publicly one way or the other. I think that Paul and Ringo should be forced to take a lie detector test.

  25. i think ringo may have cut pauls break cables – so he could start writing number ones as well – we all know professional jealousy can make someone lovable into a monster – shame on you ringo – i am burning goodnight vienna as we speak

  26. I like how the surgical procedure on William Campbell was so well done that it was passed on through his genes to make his children look so much like Paul as well!. Oh, and William just happened to be a left-handed bass player who could mimic Paul’s style so perfectly, and sing exactly like Paul – not to mention being one of the greatest songwriters ever! What a stroke of luck for John, George and Ringo!

  27. If Paul McCartney truly died in 1966, you have to admit that his replacement was a WAY BETTER SONGWRITER AND MUSICIAN. Just look at the songs after 1966. Sgt. Pepper, Fool on the Hill, Hey Jude, Let it Be, Maybe I’m Amazed…
    So if Paul died, we should be happy because we got even better music.