Sometimes you don't see something right in front of you it you're not looking for it, especially if that something is so mind boggling that you would never even think that it could be a real thing. For years The Beatles had been hiding clues about Paul McCartney's death on their album covers, as well as in their song lyrics, and they even went so far as to include backwards messages that clear as day that told fans what had happened to him. The problem was that nobody was looking for them. It was all there, plain as day, but who would even think that something as incredible as Beatle Paul dying could even be a thing?
It took nearly three years before anyone in the press took notices of the clues. Tim Harper, a student at Drake University, had been hearing a buzz about McCartney from Beatle die hards and conspiracy theorists for a while. He wrote the first newspaper article about the death of McCartney in the September 17th, 1969 issue of the Drake Times-Delphic. In it he detailed all the known evidence that the Beatles had placed in their albums to communicate what had happened to their fans. It was all there, in black and white, and it caught the imagination of the world.
The rumors of McCartney's death gained so much traction that by October of the next month The Beatles were forced to acknowledge them. McCartney himself stated "I am alive and well and concerned about the rumors of my death. But if I were dead, I'd be the last one to know." Beatles Press Office Derek Taylor admitted that the inquiries about McCartney were coming in day and night, and that followed up Paul's statement by saying "Paul refuses to say anything more than that. Even if he appeared in public just to deny rumors it wouldn't do any good. If people want to believe he's dead, then they'll believe it--the truth is not at all persuasive."
On October 29th, 1969, calls began to flood the switchboard at New York radio station WABC regarding the rumors. Roby Young, a DJ who had recently been given his walking papers from the station, decided to present the clues to his listeners since he had nothing to lose. Students from across the country had been calling for days about what had happened, and he had never felt so sure about anything in his life. Something had definitely happened to Paul McCartney. Humorously, he advised that many of the clues could only be seen if one was "VERY HIGH", though there probably is some truth to that!
By November 30th, 1969, high profile lawyer F. Lee Bailey got into the game and hosted a television special that aired in New York. “Paul McCartney: The Complete Story, Told For the First And Last Time” aired on station WOR, and it presented all the information in a courtroom setting. Bailey cross examined the student authors of campus newspaper articles, as well as other figures that were key in perpetuating the rumor. Any conclusions were left up to the viewer to decide.
You would think Paul McCartney himself would have the final word on the matter, and he attempted to have it in the November 7th issue of Life Magazine. The cover story "Paul Is Still With Us" featured an interview with Paul where he explains what he has been up to in an attempt to lay the matter to rest. Did it do any good? Let's see... it's been 50 years since that November day, so...