Was Beatle Paul McCartney killed in 1966 and replaced with a double? For those unfamiliar with the Paul is Dead (PID) mystery, this must sound like a ludicrous conspiracy theory. The rumor started in 1969 in the UK and US, spread globally with articles published in corporate media sources. The November 7, 1969 Life magazine cover story “Paul is Still With Us” settled the issue in the minds of most people.
Establishment sources that perpetrate the official explanations on controversial issues like the JFK assassination and 9-11 such as Wikipedia call PID a conspiracy theory or urban legend while others, for instance Snopes, dismisses the phenomenon as a false rumor. More than a decade ago, the topic started back up in a big way on the internet with web sites, YouTube videos, podcasts, radio interviews, as well as books. The metrics on public opinion? A survey of comments left on YouTube videos about PID or Paul Was Replaced (PWR) reveals about 50% believe Paul never died; 25% believe he did die; and 25% are undecided. Comments on sites simply providing news reports on McCartney reveal a much lower acceptance that Paul died.
For those who have heard of PID and/or spent some time researching this mystery, the most prevalent reason to dismiss it is because there is a man alive today, the most famous musician in the world, who calls himself Sir Paul McCartney, still performing concerts and recording music. How is it possible that a musical genius like Beatle Paul McCartney could be replaced by another musical genius – and left-handed bass player – who resembles him? As a lifelong music lover – The Beatles is my all-time favorite band – a truth seeker, and a person with an awareness that we live in an upside-down world where truth is a lie and a lie is truth, this subject has both mystified and perplexed me for many years. Could it really be possible that the Sir Paul we know today is not the original Paul of the Beatles? Could this “stand-in” for Paul – nicknamed “Faul” or fake or false Paul by PID believers – have successfully carried out one of the longest-running masquerades of all times?
The rumor that Paul died in a car crash and was replaced by a double began circulating in 1969. The PID story broke in the U.S. on September 11, 1969 when the Drake-Times Delphic at Drake University, Ohio published the article, “Is Paul McCartney Dead?” My older sister and I were just two of the millions of Beatles’ fans around the world who studied the song and album cover clues, read the news articles and listened to the radio broadcasts. Many believed the explanation that it was all a marketing ploy to sell more records. This defies common sense because entertainment at the time, thanks to the Beatles, was the most profitable industry in the U.K.
Fans began flooding DJs in the U.S. with phone calls. PID became a worldwide news topic, with articles appearing in the Washington Post, Billboard, Variety, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and many others. Few noticed that in the lower left-hand corner of the 1969 Life magazine cover featuring Sir Faul, his wife Linda and their children, their daughter Heather held a hook-like object identified by many as an ancient artifact called a soul catcher.
The basic views on PID:
- Paul never died and the clues in albums, artwork and films were placed there as a joke and/or marketing ploy to sell records and provoke interest in the Beatles. A smaller consensus thinks the clues are part of an occult initiation for fans. Family and friends were in on the joke/game.
- Paul died in a car accident and replaced so his female fans would not commit suicide and to continue the massive revenues the Beatles generated for the UK. The clues were placed to relieve the consciences of the Beatles and to tell their fans what happened. His family and friends kept quiet because they did not want to lose Paul again.
- Paul was murdered for political reasons because he was going to bring worldwide attention to the view that JFK was killed by a conspiracy; he refused to take LSD, a drug promoted by the MK-ULTRA program; and he spoke out against the Vietnam War. The clues were left so Sir Faul could be acknowledged for the musical contribution he made to the world. For metaphysical reasons the truth could be told in an indirect way and this truth must be disclosed or else there will be karmic consequences. Family and friends kept quiet out of fear.
This article explores the third view which requires an understanding of political assassinations, metaphysical laws, doppelgangers, secret societies, social engineering, and an open-mindedness to psychologically process the possibility. I believe it is likely Paul was killed on September 11, 1966 and replaced by a double, the former William Shepherd, a.k.a. Billy Shears. (Shears was introduced at the end of the song “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”) The Beatles never toured again after 1966 possibly because Bill, an accomplished studio musician, had not yet learned to play bass left-handed and since this was before his plastic surgery, he didn’t yet look enough like Paul to go public. Sir Faul admits in the book “The Memoirs of Billy Shears” he underwent facial surgical reconstruction and was injected with fillers to more closely resemble Paul. A few inches taller than Paul, Sir Faul’s height would be noticeable standing next to John Lennon on stage.
On October 12, 1969, Detroit disk jockey Russ Gibb fulfilled a caller’s request to play the song “Strawberry Fields” backwards (this is one of the most well-known of the clues; many hear “I buried Paul” at the end). (A few years ago, in an interview Gibb said after all these years he still really didn’t know what to think about whether Paul had died or not.)
Another infamous song clue was in “Revolution #9” on the White Album where, “Number 9” played backwards” sounds like “Turn me on dead man”:
In December 1966, “A Collection of Beatles’ Oldies…But Goldies” album was released, with a cover illustration of a man not resembling any of the band members. The back-cover photograph of the Beatles shows Paul in the background wearing a black shirt surrounded by smoke.
What most convinces me that Paul may have been replaced is, first, “The Memoirs of Billy Shears,” the underground book that is, in effect, Sir Faul’s autobiography but for legal reasons it can’t be called that because it would violate a non-disclosure agreement he signed when he replaced Paul. Also compelling are the forensic and legal evidence; the alarming cryptic comments by Sir Faul’s ex-wife Heather Mills on television; the clues in the Beatles’ music, artwork and movies; and the motives to kill him: powerful special interests were concerned that Paul was a loose cannon who had to be silenced and he wouldn’t go along with the agenda to push drugs on the youth. As one of the Beatles, the most influential cultural force in the world in their time, Paul could influence the masses with his views. And their time was the 1960s, the decade of political assassinations: JFK, Malcolm X, MLK, and RFK. Paul intended to publicly expose the Warren Commission report on the JFK assassination as a lie. He opposed the Vietnam War. He refused to take LSD, the psychedelic drug promoted in the 1960s by the MK-ULTRA program. But in early 1967, his replacement revealed he was taking LSD.
Whereas Paul publicly stated he would not take LSD, Sir Faul did. In “Memoirs” he states, “I actively promoted LSD…I networked with MK-ULTRA, a joint CIA-British intelligence task force, to provide free distribution during the First Annual Monterey International Pop Festival.”
In his book “Citizen Lane,” attorney Mark Lane wrote that he met the Beatles in 1966 when he had just finished writing “Rush to Judgment,” the seminal work arguing that JFK’s assassination was the result of a conspiracy. Paul sang Lane a new song he had written, “Eleanor Rigby,” placing the time of their meeting in June 1966. Paul asked Lane if he could read the manuscript. Paul read it and told the attorney, “Oswald couldn’t have done it.” The two discussed the topic in great detail over dinner. When Lane told Paul he was making a film based on the book, Paul offered to write music for the movie. Lane warned the Beatle: “I cautioned him that the subject matter was very controversial in the United States and that he might be jeopardizing his future.” Paul responded, “One day my children are going to ask me what I did with my life, and I can’t just answer that I was a Beatle.” “Clearly,” Lane surmised, “the 22-year-old was not impressed by his accomplishments.”
Paul was outspoken against the Vietnam War: “It seems anyone who feels that fighting is wrong should have the right not to go.” The never officially released infamous butcher album cover showing the mop tops posing with disembodied baby dolls was thought to be a critique of the war or an expose of Satanic ritual sacrifice. In 2008, perhaps in an attempt to rehabilitate himself as he turned 70 years old (if we believe Sir Faul when he said his age was 30 in “Magical Mystery Tour,” he is five years older than Paul), he did interviews on “The View” and with other corporate media outlets claiming he had opposed the Vietnam War after meeting Bertrand Russell. Sir Faul is an activist against land mines which each year kills 26,000 people, one-third of them children.
It is interesting to note that Sir Faul appears to be ideologically a classical liberal. From “Memoirs”: “Governments should exist for the people, not to enslave them…citizens naturally adopt whatever prejudices that their trusted leaders present, hating whomever they are told to hate, not realizing that their own leaders may also be war criminals.”
Many online videos and photos compare the physical differences between Paul in 1966 or before and Sir Faul from 1967. Here is a video comparing Paul at a Beatles press conference in 1966 (on the Vietnam War: “You can’t say too much, that’s the trouble”) with Sir Faul in 1967 talking about the rules of society vs. individual rights.
Several years ago, my curiosity compelled me to revisit the subject. I listened to online interviews, reviewed web sites from independent investigators, and watched videos. In 2006, The Rotten Apple series posted by iamaphoney began on YouTube, comprised of a series of unconnected and often subliminal clips, some flashing so quickly on screen that frames had to be frozen to identify them. Many PID researchers believe the series has been approved by Sir Faul since it uses the official iconic green Apple logo. Rotten Apple described the series as “a film that tells the true and final answer from the dead man himself.” It included archival footage that many believed could only have come from insiders. For instance, one document pertained to Linda’s primary physicians and treatment on the letterhead of the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
In 2010, “The Winged Beetle” a one hour video published by iamaphoney, again featuring archive clips, appeared on YouTube. “The Winged Beetle” was also a book by Satanist Aleister Crowley, whose photo appeared on the Sgt. Pepper album cover, in videos played during Faul’s concerts, and other music videos in which Sir Faul’s likeness appears.
According to “Memoirs,” the Beatles liked Crowley not for his unoriginal teachings but for his global connections. John Lennon used Crowley verbiage for a line in the song “I Am the Walrus.”
Over the years, Sir Faul has provided ridiculous explanations for some of the 100s of clues. Just one: As the Beatles descend a staircase in their film “Magical Mystery Tour,” Sir Faul wears a black carnation while John, George and Ringo wear red carnations. Sir Faul claims he wore this rare dyed or genetically modified symbol of death because the film crew ran out of red carnations.
Sir Faul’s own words hint he is a double. A compilation of comments: “I in this shell, am I that guy I’ve read so much about? I try to disassociate myself from him a bit. Paul McCartney is the most successful bit of it all that I am very proud of, but I don’t imagine that I’m him, it would just blow my head off. I’m not actually dead…just a good replica. There’s me and there’s him. I don’t want to sound schizophrenic but I’m probably two people. I’ve always had this thing of him and me. He goes on stage, he’s famous and then me. Occasionally I stop and think I am Paul McCartney, that is a total freak out. I am neither Paul nor his clone. Am I really that guy that is in the same body as I’m inhabiting?” In the ‘70s he said he was a stand in because Paul is dead, of course. “I am some little kid masquerading as the famous guy. I’ve very good at forgetting who I am because as far as I’m concerned Paul is a name I was given.” On occasion Faul has on tripped up with his supposed historical past: “I had a couple of jobs in factories before becoming a Beatle” Faul once said, but Paul never did that type of work. In his daughter’s documentary “Wingspan,” he ponders what he was thinking before he formed Wings: “I didn’t know how to set up a band. I hadn’t done it before. When I joined the Beatles, it was already a set up affair” (at 30:12 – 30:26 in clip below)
Many report seeing a breaking news story during the September 12, 1966 television premiere of The Monkees about a Beatle being fatally wounded in an accident, and Paul specifically was mentioned on the West Coast broadcast as the victim, but the full story never aired and no retraction was ever issued.
The Beatles, family members and associates have made many comments hinting that Paul had died. Two examples: “I was still in a real big depression after (Sgt.) Pepper,” said John. “I was going through murder.” His ex-wife Cynthia Lennon: “The years 1966-7 were tremendous years of mental and physical change for the Beatles. Paul was rejuvenated.”
The mysterious deaths of key Beatle associates cast a long shadow over the band’s history. Brian Epstein, the Beatles’ manager, spent 10 days in a mental hospital in October 1966, the year before he died at 36. Mal Evans wrote a diary and a book, “Living the Beatles Legend,” both of which disappeared after the Beatle roadie and confidante was shot to death by police at his home in 1976. Evan also had a video film of Faul taken in Kenya in November 1966.
According to the book “The Life and Death of Paul McCartney 1942-1966” by Nicholas Kollerstrom, Sir Faul had obtained a new identity passport, indicating a high level (Masonic-governmental) connection. The main focus of the book by Kollerstrom, a historian of science who exposed the London 7/7 subway bombing, is on MI5’s interest in protecting the Beatles with regard to the national interest – financial and otherwise – to Britain.
The Kenya video showed up later in the YouTube Rotten Apple series. It is shocking to see how different the man in the Kenya video looks compared with Beatle Paul – thinner, taller, with a more elongated face, darker hair and mustache.
Evans’ book was never released and may have led to his premature death. Evans’ wife kept her husband’s diary for many years and then allowed The Sunday Times to review it. The published summary left out the year 1966. Neil Aspinall, the Beatles’ road manager, died in 2008, less than a year after he left the Beatles’ company Apple Corps. Cryptic comments dropping hints about Paul’s death and replacement posted under the name of Apollo C. Vermouth have been attributed by some PID researchers to Aspinall. The Beatles Book, a monthly magazine, ran columns by Aspinall, Evans and a “Bill Shepherd.” Dr. Richard Asher, the father of Paul’s girlfriend Jane Asher, was found dead at 57 in his house in April 1969, a supposed suicide. In a 2004 interview with the Telegraph, Jane, who later married, was a successful actress and still beautiful, said, “Life is bloody dark and awful…I don’t think there’s any meaning to anything. I have slightly more of an acceptance that you’re hurtling towards the abyss (than I had before).” Her novels are all about trauma, loss and broken love affairs. “Memoirs” states, “People close to Paul received some compensation. Conspiratorial silence was not for the money and was hardly ever enforced by violent threats as some have suggested. Exposing Faul would cause those who loved him to lose him again.”