The Beatles, for all their utopian good vibes, were no strangers to the dark side of the ’60s. They were, of course, at the center of a rather obsessive conspiracy theory — the first one after the JFK assassination to indicate that conspiracy theory had joined the flow of the times, and that it wasn’t just limited to the murder of a president. That theory said that Paul McCartney was dead, that he’d been killed in a car crash in 1966 and replaced by an imposter. (The incident that touched this off was a traffic accident, early in 1967, that involved McCartney’s Aston Martin.)
If the Paul Is Dead rumor was true, then an awful lot of people had to be in on pretending that the fake Paul was the real Paul. To me, though, the ultimate proof that the conspiracy theory was false always came down to Paul McCartney’s eyes. Just study them sometime; they’re among the most distinctive set of celebrity peepers of the 20th century. They are ever so slightly, and beautifully, cockeyed — Paul’s left eye slopes down, and his right eye tilts up just above the other one. They’re the special soul of his Cute One factor. Does anyone really think that a replacement Paul McCartney could have been found who had those exact eyes? As is so often the case, there’s only one thing you should ever lean toward believing about conspiracy theory, and that’s that when you look at it closely, it tends to fall apart.
Yet “The Sixth Beatle,” a documentary about the group’s earliest days, is rooted in a conspiracy theory.
Via: SiriusXM Blog
“I was gonna rap with you about Paul McCartney being dead,” said a caller named Tom, a local student who had tuned in to DJ Russ Gibb’s show on WKNR-FM in Detroit, on Sunday, October 12, 1969. “What’s this all about?”
So it began. There had been a few murmurs around London of Paul McCartney’s death in 1967, but the rumor never really caught on. It had made its way to the States, first with an article in the Drake University paper, which then got picked up by a few college outlets and spread its way east. Now people were beginning to take note.
What fascinated them weren’t necessarily the facts of the death itself — though grisly, it was unremarkable: a car crash on an icy road in the early hours of November 9, 1966, which allegedly left the Beatles’ bassist lifeless and partially decapitated. It wasn’t even how the band had kept his death a secret, finding a look-alike bassist and continuing on as if nothing had happened.
What drew suspicious fans into obsession were the baffling clues that the remaining members supposedly slipped into the visuals of their album covers and in the lyrics and music of the songs.
So with Tom’s call on October 12 — and the on-air discussion that followed, along with the hour-long radio special WKNR produced later that week — the rumor of Paul McCartney’s death would become a phenomenon.
However, it was mostly accepted as a hoax the following month, when Life Magazine trekked to the McCartney country home in Scotland. After a brief bout of rude behavior, a frustrated Paul consented to an exclusive. He refuted many of the clues with perfectly reasonable explanations, and pled with the public to let him “live in peace.” So it was put to rest, Paul McCartney was alive and well. If only you could stop seeing the clues everywhere you looked.
How the Rumor That Paul McCartney Died in 1966 and Was Secretly Replaced by a Look-Alike Got Started
On Tuesday, the political fate of America was once again put to a vote. But for the millions of Americans who believe in lizard people, this vote had bigger implications — like thwarting an ongoing plot of world domination.
The idea of shape-shifting lizards taking human forms in a plot to rule America and the world has become one of the most majestic and marvelous conspiracy theories created by mankind (or lizardkind, if you will). In 2008, “lizard people” found its way onto the Minnesota’s midterm ballot with some controversy.
As pundits extrapolate on what the Republican win in the midterms means for the country, there are people around this country who hope their votes did something crucial — kept the country safe from lizard people for the next few years.
Here is a brief guide to this world of lizard people true believers.
What is a lizard person?
It’s just what it sounds like.
Lizard people are cold-blooded humanoid reptilians who have the power to shape-shift into human form. According to David Icke, a new-age philosopher and one of the most prominent theorists in the lizard people game, these creatures have had their claws in humankind since ancient time, and world leaders like Queen Elizabeth, George W. Bush, the Clintons, and Bob Hope are all lizard people.
“Encroaching on other conspiracy theorists’ territory, Icke even claims that the lizards are behind secret societies like the Freemasons and the Illuminati,” Time reported.
Icke’s 1998 book, The Biggest Secret, is considered an important tome in lizard people theory.
Wait. People actually believe in this stuff?
How many Americans believe in lizard people?
Back in April of 2013, Public Policy Polling conducted a poll about conspiracy theories like aliens, an impostor Paul McCartney, and, of course, lizard people. And the polling organization found that 4 percent of Americans believe in lizard people, while another 7 percent were unsure. Taken to its absurd extreme, that would imply around 12 million Americans, Philip Bump, a lizard person scholar and writer at the Washington Post, found. (Public Policy Polling is a serious outlet, but it’s also known for some trolly polls, so these results have to be taken with a grain of salt.)
Keep in mind that this might not be counting all the people who, in their heart of hearts, believe that lizard people exist but are nervous that they will be found out if they publicly disclose their beliefs.
How do those who believe in lizard people know when someone is a lizard person?
There are many differing theories. If you look at the forums on Icke’s site, there are numerous posts either telling people how to spot lizard people or asking how to pick a lizard person out from the crowd.
Bump, one of the top lizard person journalists in the field, made a handy guide last year that culled lizard-person identifiers. Here’s the list of lizard person tells:
I always find conspiracy theories to be the most interesting aspect of the information age. The thought process fascinates me. I also love to see how conspiracy thinking breeds conspiracy thinking. There was a national telephone survey questioning 1247 registered US voters on 20 of the “Most Famous” conspiracy theories The response was, lets say, entertaining.
In no particular order.
- 13% President Barack Obama is the “Anti-Christ”
- 14% 1980′s Crack Cocaine epidemic was created by the CIA.
- 30% believe aliens visit us.
- 21% of voters say a UFO crashed in Roswell, NM in 1947 and the US government covered it up.
- 28% of voters believe secretive power elite with a globalist agenda is conspiring to eventually rule the world through an authoritarian world government, or New World Order.
- Voters are split 44%-45% on whether Bush intentionally misled about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
- 9% of voters think the government adds fluoride to our water supply for sinister reasons (not just dental health)
- 4% of voters say they believe “lizard people” control our societies by gaining political power.
- 51% of voters say a larger conspiracy was at work in the JFK assassination, just 25% say Oswald acted alone
- 14% of voters believe in Bigfoot.
- 15% of voters say the government or the media adds mind-controlling technology to TV broadcast signals
- 5% believe exhaust seen in the sky behind airplanes is actually chemicals sprayed by the government for sinister reasons
- 15% of voters think the medical industry and the pharmaceutical industry “invent” new diseases to make money.
- Just 5% of voters believe that Paul McCartney actually died in 1966.
- 6% of voters believe Osama bin Laden is still alive.
- 28% of voters believe Saddam Hussein was involved in the 9/11 attacks.
- 7% of voters think the moon landing was faked
- 20% of voters believe there is a link between childhood vaccines and autism.
- 37% of voters believe global warming is a hoax.
- 11% of voters believe the US government allowed 9/11 to happen.
To be generous this is a small number of people and may not be representative of the US as a whole. MY TAKE ON THE FINDINGS:
- President Obama been pretty ineffective as the Anti-Christ, I mean a whole first term and no nuclear holocaust. I guess you also have to believe in Christ to be concerned about the anti-Christ.
- Crack epidemic Sure why not? I mean all government agencies love it when their funding is stolen by competing departments…DEA?
- Aliens? Possible but I think it is nothing more than human arrogance that makes us believe that we would be interesting to advanced cultures.
- Conspiracy Theory Poll Results (publicpolicypolling.com)
- 28 Percent Of Americans Believe In Global New World Order Conspiracy (secretsofthefed.com)
- I dote on Conspiracy Theories (professorbainbridge.com)
- Poll Taps Into America’s Paranoia (miami.cbslocal.com)
- Conspiracy Theory Poll Results (wired.com)
- The craziest conspiracy theories (lunaticoutpost.com)
- Obama the antichrist? Global warming a myth? Lizard people controlling the world? Conspiracy theory research reveals bizarre beliefs prevalent in US (thetruthseeker.co.uk)
To some observers, it looked like an ordinary grilled cheese sandwich. But to the Miami woman who put it up for sale on eBay, and to some people who viewed it, there was an image of the Virgin Mary seared on this seemingly run-of-the-mill snack.
The psychological phenomenon that causes some people to see or hear a vague or random image or sound as something significant is known as pareidolia (par-i-DOH-lee-a).
The word is derived from the Greek words para, meaning something faulty, wrong, instead of, and the noun eidōlon, meaning image, form or shape. Pareidolia is a type of apophenia, which is a more generalized term for seeing patterns in random data.
Some common examples are seeing a likeness of Jesus in the clouds or an image of a man on the surface of the moon.
Famous examples of pareidolia
A prime example of pareidolia and its connection to religious images is the Shroud of Turin, a cloth bearing the image of a man — which some believe to be Jesus — who appears to have suffered trauma consistent with crucifixion. The negative image was first observed in 1898, on the reverse photographic plate of amateur photographer Secondo Pia, who was allowed to photograph it while it was being exhibited in the Turin Cathedral.
Some visitors to St. Mary’s in Rathkaele, Ireland, say a tree stump outside of the church bears a silhouette of the Virgin Mary.
Damage to the Pedra da Gávea, an enormous rock outside Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, created an impression that many interpret as a human face.
Many people thought images taken in 1976 by the Viking 1 mission showed a face on Mars that could have been the remnants of an ancient civilization. [Gallery: Mars Illusion Photos: The ‘Face on Mars’ and Other Martian Tricks]
In September 1969, conspiracy theorists claimed some Beatles records contained clues to Paul McCartney’s supposed death. Many heard the words “Paul is dead,” when the song “Strawberry Fields Forever” was played backwards, a process known as backmasking. This is a common urban legend often repeated to this day.
In 1977, the appearance of Jesus Christ on a flour tortilla set the international standard for miracle sightings. It happened in the small town of Lake Arthur, New Mexico, 40 minutes south of Roswell.
Diane Duyser of Miami sold a 10-year-old grilled cheese sandwich, which she said bore the image of Jesus, for $28,000 on eBay in 2004.
In 2004, Steve Cragg, youth director at Memorial Drive United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas, discovered a Cheeto that looked like Jesus.
Donna Lee of Toledo, Ohio, saw an image of Jesus on a pierogi she was preparing on Palm Sunday in 2005.
In 2007 in Singapore, a callus on a tree resembled a monkey, leading believers to pay homage to the “Monkey god.”
A cinnamon bun bearing a likeness of Mother Teresa was first discovered at the Bongo Java Café in Belmont, Tenn. It was on display for about 10 years, until it was stolen on Christmas day in 2007.
In 2012, many people made a pilgrimage to a tree at 60th Street and Bergenline Avenue in West New York, N.J., to see a scar on the tree that some believed looked like the image of the Our Lady of Guadalupe depiction of the Virgin Mary.
Why pareidolia happens
There are a number of theories as to the cause of this phenomenon. Experts say pareidolia provides a psychological determination for many delusions that involve the senses. They believe pareidolia could be behind numerous sightings of UFOs, Elvis and the Loch Ness Monster and the hearing of disturbing messages on records when they are played backwards.
Pareidolia often has religious overtones. A study in Finland found that people who are religious or believe strongly in the supernatural are more likely to see faces in lifeless objects and landscapes.
Carl Sagan, the American cosmologist and author, made the case that pareidolia was a survival tool. In his 1995 book, “The Demon-Haunted World – Science as a Candle in the Dark,” he argued that this ability to recognize faces from a distance or in poor visibility was an important survival technique. While this instinct enables humans to instantly judge whether an oncoming person is a friend or foe, Sagan noted that it could result in some misinterpretation of random images or patterns of light and shade as being faces.
Leonardo da Vinci wrote about pareidolia as an artistic device.
MORE . . .
- What makes us see Jesus in a taco, or a human face on Mars? (io9.com)
- Apophenia, pareidolia and simulacra (brightonparanormal.org.uk)
- I Suffer from Pareidolia (chris.pirillo.com)
- Innoculated Against Illusion: Skeptics and Face-Pareidolia (randi.org)
- Why We See Jesus’ Face in Toast (livescience.com)