Paul McCartney died and was replaced by orphan lookalike, claims wild conspiracy theory

Paul McCartney died in a road accident and was replaced by an orphan lookalike, according to a wild conspiracy theory.

Believers reckon the Beatles frontman suffered a painful death when his car skidded off an icy road and hit a pole in the early hours of November 9, 1966.

And as the story goes, his bandmates John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr were so worried that his death would derail their success that they covered it up and hired orphaned lookalike Billy Shears to replace him.

Billy gets a mention at the end of the title track of their June 1967 album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, where the lyrics say, “The singer’s going to sing a song
/ And he wants you all to sing along
/ So let me introduce to you
/ The one and only Billy Shears

Paul pictured with the band in June 1966

The group pictured a year later after the crash which supposedly saw Paul replaced by ‘Faul’

This sent the rumour-mill into overdrive, with many convinced that Paul had been replaced by Faul – fake Paul – and that his head shape and size, ears and chin were markedly different to the orginal’s.

They reckoned the band felt guilty about their actions and so dropped hints in their album covers and song lyrics.

The cover of Sgt Pepper’s featured a line-up of the band’s heroes, younger Beatles dressed in black and a mound of freshly-dug earth in the foreground, prompting suggestions that it depicted a funeral.

Did the cover of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band depict Paul’s funeral?

Some claimed that if you played their 1968 track Revolution #9 backwards, you could hear a voice saying, “He hit a pole! Better get him to see a surgeon.”

I’m So Tired in reverse apparently said, “Paul is dead, miss him, miss him,” and a slowed-down Strawberry Fields Forever supposedly had John saying, “I buried Paul”, although he later clarified that he was saying “cranberry sauce.”

Conspiracists saw yet more evidence on the cover of their 1969 album, Abbey Road. John’s white outfit was interpreted to be that of a priest, Ringo’s black attire that of a pallbearer and George’s denim representative of a gravedigger, while Paul’s bare feet apparently suggested he was dead.

The Beatles Abbey Road album gave conspiracists food for thought
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The cover of their 1967 album Magical Mystery Tour also held ‘clues’, with the black walrus said to symbolize death in some Scandinavian cultures.

Then on the subsequent White Album track, Glass Onion, John sang, “Well here’s another clue for you all – the walrus was Paul!”

For Paul’s part, he’s happy to keep people guessing.

“To the people’s minds who prefer to think of them as rumors, then I’m not going to interfere,” he told Life magazine in 1969. “I’m not going to spoil their fantasy.”

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