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Paul is dead

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"Paul is dead" is an urban legend and conspiracy theory suggesting that Paul McCartney of the English rock band the Beatles died in 1966 and was secretly replaced by a look-alike.

In September 1969, American college students published articles claiming that clues to McCartney's supposed death could be found among the lyrics and artwork of the Beatles' recordings. Rumours declined after a contemporary interview with McCartney was published in Life magazine in November 1969.

Popular culture continues to make occasional reference to the legend, and McCartney poked fun at it with a 1993 live album titled Paul Is Live, whose cover parodied "clues" allegedly on the cover of the Beatles' Abbey Road album.

The evidence

The legend is based on a range of ideas. One theory says that facial recognition proves that a different person "became" Paul after 1966.[1] The Abbey Road cover clues include[2]:

  • The Beatles walking across the road look like a funeral procession
  • Paul is out of step with the others
  • Paul is barefoot
  • Paul is smoking a cigarette, sometimes called a "coffin nail"
  • Paul is holding the cigarette in his right hand, even though he was left handed
  • A car number plate "LMW 28IF" means that he would be 28 had he lived
  • The LMW means Linda McCartney Weeps


  1. "Paul Really Is Dead". 2004 [last update]. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  2. "“Paul Is Dead” Clues on Abbey Road | Turn Me On, Dead Man". 2014. Retrieved 8 November 2014.