40 years ago today the legend that is Elvis passed away, or did he? Official records show that Presley had a heart attack and passed away on August 16, 1977; but fans have always adamant that he actually faked his own death, so that he could enjoy a more relaxed life free of fame.
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Over the years there have been countless alleged sightings – from right after Elvis’ death up until the present day. Here’s some of the most farfetched theories and Elvis spottings.
Read more: How did Elvis die?
The first sighting
Shortly after Elvis’ death, a man headed to Memphis airport and purchased a one-way ticket to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Reportedly the man looked like the pop star, and gave the name ‘Jon Burrows’ an alias of Elvis used when booking hotels for him; could it have actually been him?
The Headstone Theory
On Presley’s gravestone his middle name Aron is spelt Aaron. Although Aaron is Elvis’ genuine middle name – but allegedly either his parents or himself wanted to change his middle name to Aron, possibly so it was more similar to Presley’s stillborn twin, Jesse Garon Presley; but some fans believe that the misspelling was intentional, and way of letting us know that Presley faked his own death.
The pool house photo
Taken on December 31, 1977, is was rumoured that a photo taken by Mike Joseph (who was visiting Graceland with his family) showed Elvis sitting in his pool house. In an interview with Larry King, Joe Esposito then declared that the person in the photo wasn’t actually Elvis, but Al Strada, but not everybody is convinced.
Elvis was connected to the mafia
Gail Brewer-Giorgio, author of the 1988 book Is Elvis Alive, explained to TIME that after looking at tonnes of FBI documents, she had concluded that Presley had had to go into witness protection, after the FBI enlisted him to help take down a criminal organisation called “The Fraternity”. Elvis had to fake his own death when he was found to be a mole. Brewer-Giorgio told TIME: “Elvis faked his death because he was going to be killed and there was no doubt about it”
On his 82nd birthday
What would you do on your 82nd birthday if you were one of the biggest stars in the world and had been pretending to be dead for almost four decades? Head to Graceland, obviously. A photo appeared on the Elvis Presley Is Alive Facebook page in January of a man with a white beard, and with security personnel in the top left hand corner of the picture, who fans speculated could be guarding Elvis.
In ‘Home Alone’
There’s a mad theory, discovered by Noisey, that points towards Elvis making an appearance in the 1990 film (so, 13 years after he died). As Kate checks flight availability, a bearded man is seen in the background – and the theory claims that the bearded fella is actually Elvis.
He looks around the right age (in 1990, Elvis would have been 55), there’s some similarity in the eyes – and the hair colour is Elvis natural shade (he died his blond hair the trademark black). I mean, it’s pretty tenuous, but stranger things have happened right? RIGHT?