Life of Paul McCartney is shrouded in the veil of mystery. According to a claim, his life actually ended in 1966.
For decades the British pop legend has captivated the world with his timeless hits, many of which he wrote and performed as bassist for the Fab Four.
The 74-year-old Liverpudlian returned to the limelight last week, reuniting with former bandmate Ringo Starr on the red carpet at the premiere of new Beatles documentary Eight Days A Week.
Yet one truth-seeker claims the real Macca died in 1966, suggesting the “new Paul” we see before us today could be merely an uncanny lookalike.
The barmy conspiracy theory has been doing the rounds since the 1960s with most Beatles fans dismissing it out of hand.
But following the release of director Ron Howard’s new Beatles flick, which charts the group’s meteoric rise to fame during the 1960s, fresh analysis of the theory has emerged on YouTube.
Ken Peters, of YouTube channel Mystery Decoders, has attempted to unpick the theory apparently using “evidence” from the Netflix film “Paul McCartney” is dead and “many different sources”.
The “Paul is dead” theory is a longstanding urban legend that alledges Macca was killed in a car crash involving an Aston Martin in 1966.
In 1969, American college students published a number of articles alleging that clues over Macca’s death could be found in Beatles recordings.
Within weeks, the theory became an international obsession among fans, with many scouring lyrics and albums covers for further clues.
McCartney has repeatedly rubbished the myth, and even mocked it by titling his 1993 live album Paul is Live.
But in a series of YouTube videos, Peters claims the “real Macca” is dead and was replaced by a convincing body double named Billy Shepherd.
According to Peter, Billy Shepherd was a talented musician who served as Macca’s body double during the height of his fame.
When “the real” Macca allegedly died in the car crash in Germany, Billy, who apparently mysteriously disappeared, took over from the star full time, Peter claims.
Billy Shepherd, or Billy Shears, is widely believed to be a fictional character referenced in The Beatles‘ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album.
However, Peter says the most convincing “evidence” the “new Paul” is in fact Billy is supposedly the shape of his ears and the height difference seen in pictures.
In the video he shows two images of Macca side-by-side, asking viewers to look at the “chin, the nose and the mouth”.
He says: “Do you know that Paul after 1967 is two inches taller than Paul in 1966. And check out the clear difference in eye colour.”
One of the main giveaways, Peters claims, is the discrepancy in the condition of Paul’s teeth before and after 1966.
He claims the “new Paul” may have had dental surgery to make his teeth appear crooked, despite having plenty of room in his mouth for all his chompers.
He also discusses differences in lip size, head shape and eye colour, saying experts judge these to be “considerably different”.
Even more tenuous is his analysis of Beatles album covers, which he claims contain numerous cryptic clues nodding to Paul’s death.
For example, on the cover of the Magical Mystery Tour album, Paul is wearing a walrus suit. In Greek, walrus means corpse, Peters says.
Peter concludes his video with analysis of unsubstantiated claims that Paul fathered a daughter named Bettina Krischbin in Hamburg in the early 1960s.
He faced a fraud inquiry after Bettina, now in her 50s, claimed the former Beatle faked a paternity test.
The paternity inquiry was quickly dropped by German prosecutors as it fell outside the statute of limitations.
She claimed that Sir Paul sent a body double to carry out a paternity test 20 years ago, which appeared to prove that he was not her father.
Peter claims this “strange twist” fuels speculation over Paul’s alleged death.
He also mentions a fake interview in which Ringo Starr reportedly reveals the real Paul McCartney died in 1966.
The interview, published by satirical news website WorldNewsDailyReport, was a spoof, but was widely believed at the time.
Peter says: “Please remember the plan to replace Paul was only meant to be temporary.
“Like a popular soap opera with no end in sight, the show has continued to this day.
“We are not putting Mr McCartney on trial, we just want to know the truth.”