Insane, and maybe untrue, stories about famous people have been around for ages. Still, as you'll see in our list of 25 Totally Crazy Music Conspiracy Theories, this subgenre of celebrity buzz has really taken off in the internet age.

Some fans have long wondered whether Paul McCartney was replaced by a lookalike in the run up to 1967's Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. In the modern era, that's just the tip of the iceberg: There's actually a conspiracy theorist who thinks the Beatles never existed in the first place.

Of course, some nutty things have always been totally true – yes, Keith Richards did, in fact, snort his father's ashes – but more often these rumors follow a similarly outlandish line of inquiry until they are debunked. Still, as message boards and chat rooms gave way to social media, pop-culture paranoia abounds. Which stories are true, and which aren't? Read on, as we sort through 25 Totally Crazy Music Conspiracy Theories.

25. Dave Grohl Never Broke His Leg

Dave Grohl memorably broke his leg during a Foo Fighters concert in June 2015 — and then continued the tour by using a custom-built throne. Or did he?

A quickly spreading rumor that summer charged him with faking the injury in order to boost ticket sales. Grohl eventually addressed the accusations during a September 2015 stop in Portland, Ore. "I'm really into the idea of a conspiracy theory," he said. "I think it’s fuckin’ rad. What if — what if I didn’t break my fuckin’ leg? What if I jumped off stage and I fell on the ground, and I made it all look like it was a fuckin’ emergency? And then they dragged me off to the side, and the band keeps playing, and then 10 minutes later, I magically fucking reappear onstage? And then I get somebody else’s X-Ray of a broken leg, and I make it into a T-shirt, and we make millions of fucking dollars. And I design this fucking awesome throne, so I don’t have to fucking stand up any more! Imagine that!"

Others, meanwhile, seem to think Grohl and Andrew W.K. – a singer-songwriter who rose to fame with the U.K. Top 20 song "Party Hard" – are actually the same person.

24. Iron Butterfly's Bassist Was Kidnapped and Murdered

Phillip Taylor Kramer joined Iron Butterfly in 1974 and appeared on the albums Scorching Beauty and Sun and Steel, both released in 1975. Later, he returned to college to earn a degree in aerospace engineering and – after dropping "Phillip" from his name – worked for the U.S. Department of Defense and then his own high-tech multimedia startup company. He became a family man along the way too. Then, authorities say, he suddenly committed suicide. The details remain darkly intriguing.

Kramer went to LAX to pick up an associate in 1995, while reportedly in the midst of developing a groundbreaking method of transporting information and matter through space. Soon after, Kramer suddenly called 911 to report that he intended to kill himself – then vanished. Four long years passed, as family members strenuously argued that foul play was involved. Finally, Kramer's 1993 Ford Aerostar van was found by hikers at the bottom of a Malibu ravine with his remains inside.

Police ruled it a probable suicide, but others weren't so sure – in particular, because of the revolutionary work Kramer was then going. "Taylor had told me a long time before, there was people giving him problems," Kramer's father argued. "They wanted what he was doing, and several of them had threatened him. He told me, 'If I ever say I'm gonna kill myself, don't you believe it.'"

Gustavo Caballero, Getty Images
Gustavo Caballero, Getty Images

23. Depeche Mode's Singer Is a Vampire

Dave Gahan has admitted to sleeping in a coffin-shaped bed, and once even allegedly bit a journalist on the neck backstage during Depeche Mode's 1994 tour with Primal Scream. "I definitely could have been a vampire," Gahan told Uncut in 2001, before adding an important caveat: "In my own head."

He's since chalked this strange behavior up to a combination of depression and drugs. "I remember reading about it afterward, but I don't really remember doing it," Gahan added. "In all seriousness, I was really starting to move to this place where I really believed what I was creating. ... My whole life was Spinal Tap at that time."

An actual coffin was apparently later delivered to Gahan while Depeche Mode were playing South American dates ... as a joke. He supposedly took naps in it before performing.


22. David Bowie Predicted the Rise of Kanye West

This conspiracy begins with David Bowie's 1972 album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars. The album cover finds Bowie standing under a sign that says "K. West." Inside, the album-opening track, "Five Years," finds Bowie predicting a grisly end to the world unless a mythical "Starman" descends to save Earth from itself. Five years after the album dropped, Kanye West was born.

The theory doesn't end there. Bowie's final album, Blackstar, is thought to confirm West as his chosen successor. "Something happened on the day he died," Bowie sings on the title track. "Somebody else took his place, and bravely cried, 'I'm a blackstar, I'm a blackstar!'"

West, working as producer, also sampled Bowie's chart-topping "Fame" on the Jay-Z single "Takeover," providing another hint to some that he was meant to -- get this -- take over for Bowie. West was thought to have accepted the mantel while paying tribute to Bowie on the day he died in January 2016, saying, "He gave us magic for a lifetime." The fact that K. West was actually a tailor based in London at the time? Details, details.

21. Prince's Death Was Foretold by 'The Simpsons'

The Simpsons have already been credited with predicting everything from new Apple products to the presidency of Donald Trump. So why not Prince's death too? Eight years before Prince accidentally overdosed and died in April 2016, The Simpsons killed him off.

But the details don't really match up this time. Homer Simpson was actually paid to murder Prince with his own guitar. "Then we thought, Who'd be good at killing celebrities?" a mysterious military-industrial complex-type asks the Simpsons' patriarch, who promptly answers, "Me!" Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer" plays while Homer does the dastardly deed – rather than, say, Prince's "Let's Go Crazy," "Anotherloverholenyohead" or "I Would Die 4 U."

Elsewhere, The Simpsons have predicted the longevity of the Rolling Stones as a touring act (there's a 2010 poster in Lisa's future dorm room from an episode created 15 years earlier), and still-to-be-invented tech items (an intercom in a 1996 episode looked exactly like the first-generation iPod; Homer received a jacket in 2002 emblazoned with "Guitar Hero," before the game existed).

Bob Marley
Gary Merrin / Keystone, Getty Images

20. The CIA Killed Bob Marley

Even the official account of Bob Marley's death is pretty weird. He died in May 1981, after a toe injury from a soccer match revealed a lesion under the nail. Diagnosed with malignant melanoma, Marley refused to have the toe amputated. The cancer spread throughout Marley's body, eventually killing him.

Conspiracy theorists say it wasn't that simple. The CIA supposedly set their sights on Marley, whose growing influence and message of peace went contrary to its goals. The son of former CIA director William Colby reportedly gave Marley a pair of boots adapted with a poison-coated copper wire near the toe. Some believe Marley tried on the boots and inadvertently sealed his demise.

Others believe the CIA had already tried to take Marley out with sharpshooters, who missed their target. Marley had, in fact, survived a 1976 assassination attempt by three gunmen at his home in Jamaica.

19. 'Hotel California' Was About Devil Worship

The Eagles' chart-topping 1977 single "Hotel California" has long been associated with Satanism in certain circles. The lyrics – dotted with a vain attempt to kill a beast, specific references to hell and an admonition that guests may never leave – probably got this rumor started.

The gatefold image inside certainly didn't help. There, Eagles members and a group of fans are seen standing in the courtyard of a Spanish-style inn. Above them, on a balcony, looms a mysterious figure who some theorize is Anton LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan. The photographs, according to one theory, were taken on the church grounds. Some of the elements of this theory even made their way into mainstream media sources, including the Milwaukee Sentinel.

The shadowy figure was, in fact, a woman hired for the photo shoot – and they were definitely not at LaVey's church. The cover shot is from the Beverly Hills Hotel, while the gatefold photo was taken at a then-newly renovated inn called the Lido on the corner of Yucca Street and Wilcox Avenue in Hollywood. The hotel was later turned into an apartment complex.

18. Michael Hutchence Died of Erotic Asphyxiation

Many people think INXS singer Michael Hutchence hanged himself playing a sex game, but "there is no forensic or other evidence to substantiate this suggestion," according to coroner D.W. Hand, who examined the body. "I therefore discount that manner of death."

This particular rumor seems to have grown from an outburst by girlfriend Paula Yates, who linked him with erotic asphyxiation before Hand could rule that Hutchence committed suicide while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. He was in the midst of an intense custody battle over his daughter, 16-month-old Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily Hutchence, and had spiraled into a depression during a drug-fueled stay in a Sydney hotel room.

Yates apparently shouted out graphic details of the sex games she and Hutchence played in a conversation with detectives. ("I thought, 'How embarrassing is this?'" investigator Michael Gerondis admitted.) She later reiterated her erotic-asphyxiation claim during a 60 Minutes interview. The coroner didn't see it that way, but the rumor had already taken hold in the public consciousness. "On consideration of the entirety of the evidence," Hand added, "I am satisfied Hutchence was in a severe depressed state on the morning of Nov. 22, 1997."

Graham Morris, Getty Images
Graham Morris, Getty Images

17. Debbie Harry Was Abducted by a Serial Killer

Blondie singer Debbie Harry is certain she was picked up by somebody she swears was Ted Bundy, during a late-night walk on New York City's Lower East Side in the early '70s. "I took the ride 'cause I couldn't get a cab," she told ABC News in 2003.

But Harry immediately began to sense something wasn't right. "I looked down and there were no door handles," she said in a 2010 interview with the Telegraph. "The inside of the car was stripped. The hairs on the back of my neck just stood up." Increasingly concerned about the man's demeanor, Harry reached out of the window and opened the door, then "almost got run over by a cab" after jumping out, she told ABC.

Harry didn't decide that her strange encounter was actually with Bundy until 1989, when he was executed. She began sharing the story with the news media not long after. The problem: Bundy wasn't known to have visited the Big Apple then, or any other time in his life. He didn't officially begin his abduction and murder spree until early 1974, and those first crimes took place on the West Coast. Later, Bundy escaped to Florida from a Colorado jail, before he was finally caught again in the late '70s.

Jeff Kravitz, Getty Images
Jeff Kravitz, Getty Images

16. The Dead Paid for a Final-Show Rainbow

Something amazing happened at the conclusion of the Grateful Dead's first 50th-anniversary farewell show in 2015: A rainbow curved over the entire stadium. The timing – at the end of a 17-minute, set-closing rendition of "Viola Lee Blues" – seemed a little too convenient to some conspiracy lovers.

A supposed "insider" even alleged that the Dead paid $50,000 to beam a fake rainbow into the sky at just the right moment. The source noted that Santa Clara, Calif., where the concert took place, is in the heart of Silicon Valley — a place "full of Deadheads with more money than they know what to do with."

This begs the question of whether manufacturing a fake rainbow is even possible. The Grateful Dead's lighting director, Paul Hoffman, got in on the fun – joking that they created the effect with "600 Varilites on a building two miles away." More seriously, he added, "Guys. The rainbow was real."

15. Kiss' Blood Ended Up in 'Sports Illustrated'

Kiss have never been shy about merchandising, publicity stunts or a bit of very dark humor (Kiss Kasket, anyone?). So, the idea that they added vials of their own blood to the vat of red ink before publishing the Super Special Kiss comic book in 1977 made its own kind of Kiss-y sense.

The story went that they flew to Marvel's printing facility in upstate New York, had their blood drawn by a registered nurse and then added it before a notary public, who served as an official witness. But then, it got weird. (Or weirder.) Supposedly, a mix-up with the red ink meant that the blood-tainted red ended up being used for a run of Sports Illustrated magazines instead.

There's no proof that the special ink was ever used for any other purpose. Also, while we're here, "Kiss" is not an acronym for Knights in Satan's Service, and Gene Simmons didn't have a cow's tongue grafted onto his own.


14. Supertramp Predicted 9/11

Were the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, hinted at as far back as 1979 – on the cover of Supertramp's hit Breakfast in America album? If you study the image, as one conspiracy theorist did, there are certain clues to be found.

The album features a depiction of the New York City skyline as seen from an airplane; a waitress substitutes for the Statue of Liberty, holding a glass of orange juice instead of a torch. The juice is positioned in front of the Twin Towers and just happens to be the same color as fire. Hold the record in front of a mirror, and the “u” and “p” in “Supertramp” look like a “9” and an “11.” Furthermore, the title Breakfast in America tells everybody when the attacks would be coming: The first plane struck One World Trade Center at 8:45AM ET. If that’s not enough evidence, a plane is seen flying toward the skyline on the back cover.

Need more “proof”? Stanley August Miesegaes, the Dutch millionaire who financed the band in its early days, appears to be wearing a Masonic pendant in a photograph. Freemasons have been regularly accused of trying to bring about the New World Order. No word, however, on why it took 22 years after the release of Supertramp's Breakfast in America for the 9/11 plot to come to fruition.

Cass Elliot
Central Press / Hulton Archive, Getty Images

13. Mama Cass Choked on a Sandwich

A false pre-autopsy comment provided to news media, including The New York Times, helped spread the rumor that Cass Elliot of the Mamas and the Papas died after choking on a ham sandwich. She was stricken by heart failure at age 32, while sleeping in Harry Nilsson's apartment in London.

Dr. Anthony Greenburgh, the first physician to examine Elliot after her death, was the source of the falsehood. He noted that she was eating "while lying down — a very dangerous thing to do," in an interview with the Daily Express. "This would be especially dangerous for someone like Cass, who was overweight and who might be prone to having a heart attack." Problem: Inspector Kenneth Humm later confirmed that the sandwich by Elliot's bed was untouched.

Nilsson's flat was also the scene of Keith Moon's accidental death; the Who drummer took too much clomethiazole, a drug meant to combat alcoholism. In fact, Moon died in the same bed as Elliot, convincing Nilsson that the apartment was cursed.

12. Stevie Wonder Isn't Blind

The idea that Stevie Wonder can actually see, that he'd only been pretending to be blind as a publicity stunt, was nothing more than a fringe sentiment before 2010. That's when Wonder, onstage for a Paul McCartney performance at the White House East Room, nonchalantly caught a mic stand that the former Beatle knocked over.

Wonder was reportedly blinded as a child, when he spent an extended period in an over-oxygenated incubator after being born six months early. For some, the mic stand only confirmed that this oft-told origin story was a ruse. After all, Wonder is a regular at basketball games, and has even expressed an interest in photography and buying airplane.

It seems that's just an example of his offbeat sense of humor. Wonder has even had some fun with all of this conjecture about his sight. In 2017, he said he intended to tell all: "This year, I will reveal the truth." Which turned out to be that Stevie Wonder is actually ... blind.

Evening Standard, Getty Images
Evening Standard, Getty Images

11. Jimi Hendrix Was Murdered

Jimi Hendrix's 1970 death was mysterious from the beginning. An ambulance crew found his body in the hotel room of a woman's he'd just met, with the door wide open. An autopsy, however, was far more straightforward: The coroner suggested – but did not confirm – Hendrix's cause of death as barbiturate-inducted inhalation of vomit. He was 27.

Fast-forward a few decades, and a former roadie put forward a conspiracy theorist's dream scenario: James “Tappy” Wright said former manager Michael Jeffrey admitted to killing Hendrix by purposefully giving him pills and wine. “I had to do it," Wright said Jeffrey told him, in a 2009 book. "Jimi was worth much more to me dead than alive."

Fearing that Hendrix was about to drop him, Wright had taken out a life-insurance policy on the guitarist, according to Wright. Meanwhile, a counter-theory (of course) blamed his murder not on Jeffrey, but on the mafia.

10. Klaatu Were Really the Beatles

When Klaatu's self-titled debut arrived in the late '70s, "the idea of a reunited Beatles wasn’t far-fetched at all," drummer Terry Draper told Goldmine in 2013. But was it possible this new and initially anonymous Canadian band was actually the reformed Beatles in disguise?

A 1977 review in the Providence Journal didn't just compare the two bands. The piece actually suggested that Klaatu were, in fact, a secretive project from the erstwhile Fab Four. The LP had been released on Capitol, the Beatles U.S. label. But there were no other obvious clues leading fans to believe Klaatu were actually a disguised reunion: Their debut album didn't list band members, and included no photos and no producing or songwriting credits.

Still, the album – which was titled 3:47 E.S.T. in Canada – rose to the Billboard Top 40, based largely on the Beatles buzz. Once their true identities were eventually revealed, however, Klaatu's career quickly stalled. "I think it is true that the Beatles rumor did us as much harm as good," guitarist Dee Long said. "It got us noticed, which was great, but also led to a situation where we could not ever really measure up to expectations." By 1981, Klaatu had broken up.

9. Phil Collins Let a Man Drown
For many, the true meaning of Phil Collins' Top 5 debut solo single "In the Air Tonight" remains shrouded in mystery. A principal hypothesis involves Collins' inability to save a drowning man, based on a key line from the song. In one version, a friend falls out of a boat; in another, Collins witnesses the tragedy from far away and can't come to the swimmer's aid. Another suggested something much darker was unfolding -- perhaps a sexual assault.

In many of these theories, there was someone closer to the horrific events, but he refuses to help. Some have even imagined that Collins revealed the man's identity, perhaps by shining a spotlight on him during a concert, and that the perpetrator was driven to suicide by the revelation.

A bemused Collins has admitted he simply made the words up as he went. Despite the number, and specificity, of rumors, that's all there was to it. "I was just fooling around. I got these chords that I liked, so I turned the mic on and started singing," he once told the BBC. "It's so frustrating, because this is one song out of all the songs probably that I've ever written that I really don't know what it's about."

Jason Merritt, Getty Images
Jason Merritt, Getty Images

8. Courtney Love Was Involved With Kurt Cobain's Death

The death of Kurt Cobain remains a point of contention for some Nirvana fans, who insist his widow, Courtney Love, had something to do with it.

They contend that Love convinced a friend to kill Cobain, then arranged things so that it looked like a suicide. The theory here is that she was worried Cobain was going to divorce her, so she arranged his murder in order to retain his fortune. An investigation by the Seattle Police Department, however, determined there was no foul play.

A 2014 documentary called Soaked in Bleach explored these conspiracy theories; theaters showing the film were met with a cease-and-desist notice from Love's law firm. "There is simply no credible evidence to support any of these defamatory claims, as has been publicly known for years," the letter said.

Also, Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo – and this is apparently actually a thing too – is not Kurt Cobain in disguise.

Rowland Scherman / National Archive, Newsmakers
Rowland Scherman / National Archive, Newsmakers

7. Bob Dylan Stole a Signature Song From a Student

Bob Dylan's second single, 1963's "Blowin' in the Wind," became a career-defining moment. But did he write it? The answer, my friend, is no – at least according to a New Jersey high-school student named Lorre Wyatt, who claimed, in an article for his school paper, that he composed "Blowin' in the Wind" – and the timeline almost fits.

This newspaper item followed a 1962 school performance by Wyatt's band. The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, which featured "Blowin' in the Wind," wasn't released until May of the next year. Wyatt later acknowledged that he found the lyrics and music in the folk magazine Broadside, then passed off Dylan's work as his own. His admission came in 1974, after Wyatt said he'd spent more than a decade telling a tale so tall that it made "Pinocchio look like he had a pug nose."

In truth, only the words were Dylan's -- he based the melody on "No More Auction Block for Me," an old spiritual. Dylan sketched out the lyrics on April 16, 1962, and a musician named Gil Turner played it for the first time later that night at Gerde's Folk City.

Antoine Antoniol, Getty Images
Antoine Antoniol, Getty Images

6. Jim Morrison Didn't Die in That Bathtub

Count Jim Morrison among the countless dead celebrities who many think never died at all. (See Elvis Presley, later in our list of 25 Totally Crazy Rock Conspiracy Theories.) One of the principal points of conjecture – beyond claims that he's been seen everywhere from Paris to San Francisco – deals with the location of the Doors singer's supposed death.

Rather than overdosing in a tub at the apartment of his girlfriend Pamela Courson, Morrison was said to have actually died in the bathroom of a nightclub he frequented called the Rock 'n' Roll Circus. Friends and perhaps even the owner were terrified they'd be arrested, so they supposedly carried the body back to Courson's home, according to The End: Jim Morrison, which was published in 2007.

Meanwhile, Marianne Faithfull has said the late Jean de Breiteuil, a heroin dealer she was dating at the time, gave Morrison the lethal dose. Fans have also noted that Morrison deeply admired poet Arthur Rimbaud, who faked his death and disappeared into Africa. Solid details surrounding Morrison's death will remain a mystery, however, since no autopsy was ever performed.

Stephen King John Lennon
Evan Agostini / Keystone, Getty Images

5. Stephen King Killed John Lennon

If you were certain – really certain – that a famous horror writer (rather than the convicted Mark David Chapman) had actually murdered John Lennon, you'd want to shout it from the rooftops. Or, in the case of Steve Lightfoot, during a 2009 town council meeting in Sarasota, Fla.

Lightfoot's theory appears to have developed around a photo of Lennon, taken on the day of his murder, in which the onetime Beatle signs an autograph for Chapman. Lightfoot thinks the guy in the photograph more closely resembles Stephen King. He claims Lennon's murder was cleared by political figures like Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon, who'd long been angered by the outspoken artist's anti-war stance. This dovetails with a longstanding theory that the government killed Lennon; the FBI did, in fact, have a huge file on Lennon.

But what's Sarasota got to do with it? King has a home in Casey Key, which is in Sarasota County. "Stephen King is the worst criminal the state of Florida has ever harbored," Lightfoot exclaimed, before police chief Peter Abbott escorted him out of the meeting. Lightfoot outfitted a van emblazoned with a message about King: “It’s true or he’d sue.”

4. Bon Scott Posthumously Wrote AC/DC's Next Album

AC/DC's first recording without the late Bon Scott emerged as their best-ever album, something that feels a little too good to be true for some longtime fans. Surely, Scott must have left the band with some road map to success on 1980's Back in Black, they argue. After all, it arrived just five months following Scott's death.

Stories abound that all of Scott's belongings were surrendered to his family except for a notebook of song lyrics. There are rumors that members of AC/DC's entourage broke into Scott's flat and took the notebook. Decades later, Jesse Fink's 2017 biography, Bon: The Last Highwayproduced some evidence that Scott contributions made it into "You Shook Me All Night Long," but apparently nothing more.

Angus Young sought to clear things up during a Reddit AMA in 2014. "Anything he left went back to his family – any notes he had ever left, or messages," he said. "Anything that was there that was his all went to his family."

Brian Jones
Larry Ellis / Express, Getty Images

3. The Rolling Stones' Brian Jones Was Murdered

Brian Jones was found face down at the bottom of his swimming pool, just a month after he was kicked out of the Rolling Stones. Drugs and booze were blamed, but questions still remained for some – including Janet Lawson, who discovered Jones' body. She later recanted her own original statement to the police, saying she was coerced into telling "a pack of lies."

So, who supposedly killed Jones? His girlfriend, Anna Wohlin, was among the many who pointed to contractor Frank Thorogood, since he was one of the few people at Jones' house on the night of the drowning, while others fingered former Rolling Stones driver Tom Keylock. The two are, in fact, inextricably linked in this tragedy now.

Thorogood reportedly confessed on his death bed to Keylock, saying, "It was me that done Brian." But that's Keylock's version of events – and he's implicated by some conspiracy theorists too. The band’s former road manager Sam Cutler said Keylock was seen removing or even destroying items at Jones’ house afterward. Police actually went so far as to reopen the investigation into Jones' death in 2009, but the circumstances continue to spark debate.

2. Paul McCartney Has Been Dead For Years

Paul McCartney has spent the third act of his career crisscrossing the globe on a seemingly never-ending tour. Or Paul McCartney's body double has, anyway. A very popular theory, dating back to 1969, suggests that the former Beatles star actually died in the mid-'60s, and they covered it up by hiring a lookalike. Then, for reasons that aren't completely understood, the Beatles began leaving clues for fans to figure out the whole scam.

Some fans think they hear John Lennon saying "I buried Paul" at the end of "Strawberry Fields Forever," that the car accident that took his life is specifically referenced in "A Day in the Life" and that the procession on the cover of 1969's Abbey Road is actually to McCartney's funeral. (Lennon is a white-clad clergyman; Ringo Starr is a mourner in all black; McCartney is dead, since he's wearing no shoes; and George Harrison is the denim-wearing grave digger.) Sleuths took to rewinding songs, and there they found other messages. (A portion of "Revolution No. 9 supposedly reveals the phrase "turn me on, dead man," when played backward.)

Initially, McCartney swiped a line from Mark Twain, issuing a statement that said "rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated." Later, in a BBC interview, McCartney pushed back harder – though, apparently to no avail. "If the conclusion you reach is that I'm dead, then you're wrong," he said, "because I'm alive and living in Scotland."

1. Elvis Presley Is Still Alive

Elvis Presley most certainly did not leave the building on Aug. 16, 1977, thank you very much. At least that's what scores of people believe to this day. They've even got a nickname: the Alivers. Evidence, in their minds, abounds – and shadowy appearances by a now-apparently aged Presley spring up with metronomic regularity.

Alivers point to the misspelling of his name on the tombstone at Graceland, which says "Aaron" instead of "Aron" as his middle name. And to a coroner's diagnosis of cardiac arrhythmia, which can't be determined in a dead body. And to the rumors of Presley sweating in his casket, proof that the figure was made of wax. And to the rumor that nobody ever cashed out his life-insurance policy. Then there's the curious fact that his autopsy was placed under a 50-year seal. What, the Alivers wonder, are they hiding there?

They suggest that Presley had become fed up with fame and was in ill health, so he faked his own death in order to go back to a simpler way of life. (Or that Presley, as a federal agent, was forced to go into witness protection.) It got more interesting: A man subsequently bought a plane ticket to Buenos Aires under the name John Burrows -- an alias Presley used for hotel reservations. But Presley wasn't an actual federal agent, and many of these so-called sightings don't really look like Elvis at all. So maybe we'll never know. That is, until the rumored 663-page FBI file on Presley is released. Supposedly, it contains correspondences from Presley on dates after his "death."

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