For Starters, Elvis's name is spelled wrong on his headstone. Elvis's full name is Elvis Aron Presley, but on his grave his middle name is spelled incorrectly with two a's. His father would not have let this happen. When Elvis was born, his name was misspelled on his birth certificate, and his father went to great lengths to get the error corrected. The unique spelling of Elvis's name was important to the Presley family.
Elvis's current "resting place" is in between his father and his grandmother and not next to his mother where he had adamantly requested. It is doubtful that the people close to him would allow these things to happen. Elvis is a superstitious man - enough so that he wouldn't tempt fate by putting his real name on a tombstone, or violate the ground next to his mother until he was ready to be placed there for good.
Elvis was very vain, and he was embarrassed about his recent weight gain - an astonishing 50 pounds in the month before his so-called death. Even though he weighed about 250 pounds at the time of his "death," his death certificate lists him at a spry 170 pounds. The original death certificate disappeared, and the current death certificate is dated two months after his alleged death.
The Wax Body Theory.
This argument is very convincing when the facts are considered. Elvis's coffin required several pall bearers because it weighed 900 pounds. Attendants of the funeral reported that the air around the coffin was rather cool. It is suspected that the coffin contained an air conditioning unit to keep a wax body cool - a wax body that was a replica of the King designed to fool funeral-goers. And how did the Presley family get a 900 pound, custom made coffin ready for a funeral that was held on the day after his death? It takes a lot of time to build such an elaborate coffin.
And why have the funeral so quickly? Some speculate that the immediacy was intended to make it as difficult as possible for the people who were Elvis's biggest fans (heads of fan clubs, etc.) to attend the proceedings. It could be a concern that they might recognize the flaws in the wax replica. Elvis was an 8th degree black belt whose hands were rough with calluses, yet the body in the coffin had hands that were soft and pudgy. The body in the coffin had a pug nose and arched eyebrows (unlike Elvis) and most importantly, one of the sideburns on the "corpse" was loose and falling off. A hairdresser later reported gluing the sideburn back on the body.
Two hours after Elvis's death was announced publicly, a man who reportedly looked remarkably like Elvis purchased a ticket for Buenos Aeries, paid in cash, and used the name John Burrows: the same name Elvis had used as an alias several times before.
Elvis had a few books that were considered to be his most prized possessions. He had a bible, several pharmaceutical books, books on death, and most importantly Chiro's Book of Numbers and The Autobiography of Yogi which I will explain more about later. After Elvis's death was announced, these books disappeared and were never recovered.
In the weeks preceding his alleged death, Elvis's actions were not those of a man who was about to embark on an extensive US tour. He ordered no new suits despite having gained 50 pounds since his last tour, and he bid "adios" at his last show in Hawaii. He had never done this before. Adios, like the French adieu, has the significance of being a final good-bye as opposed to an "I'll be seeing you on my next tour" kind of good-bye.
Others were intrigued by the King's decision to sign a lucrative TV deal with NBC that would cover the tour. It was unprecedented for a network to pay such a large amount up front, in cash, for such a deal. Many wonder why Elvis even agreed to the deal since his vanity discouraged him from making public appearances due to his obesity.
RCA showed uncanny (and unbelievable) foresight by mass-producing millions of Elvis's current and previous recordings and merchandise. This is standard practice for an act that is about to go on tour, but the numbers in this case were beyond reasonable expectations. The announcement of Elvis's death caused record sales to skyrocket.
Elvis did other unusual things that created suspicion.
First, he fired several employees that he had relied upon for a long time. Also, two days before his alleged death, Elvis telephoned a friend of his named Miss Foster. He told her that he wasn't planning on going on the upcoming tour. She asked him if he had canceled it, and he said that he had not. When she asked if he was ill, he said that he was fine, and that she should not ask any more questions or tell anyone anything, and that she should not believe anything she read. He told her that his troubles would all soon be over, and that he would call her in a few weeks. The author of Elvis Where Are You? writes that Miss Foster took a polygraph test regarding this story, and that she was not lying. The day after Elvis's alleged death, a woman named Lucy De Barbon, a former lover of Elvis, received a single rose in the mail. The card indicated that the flower was from "El Lancelot." This had been her pet name for Elvis, and it was a name that no one else knew. Flowers can't be sent from beyond the grave. This was Elvis's way of letting her know that he was not dead, even though he didn't want to be found.
Chiro's Book of Numbers.
Elvis had a fascination with numerology - an interest he fed by reading Chiro's Book of Numbers. The theory that the King orchestrated his death is further supported when considering the significance of the date of his alleged death. The date in question is August 16, 1977. By adding the numbers in the date, 8, 16, and 1977, you get 2001. This is the title of Elvis' favorite movie in which the hero plans his immortality in the bathroom. Elvis spent a considerable amount of time doing the same: planning his afterlife on the john. Elvis spent so much time in the bathroom that he had his toilet converted into a reclining comfy chair. Coincidentally, the bathroom is also where Elvis's body was reportedly found.
Given Elvis's religious affiliation (Christianity), he had a fascination with things that come in threes i.e. father, son, and holy ghost. The sum of the digits from his favorite film (2+0+0+1) is three. Let's consider the triad of the repetition of the number 24. 2001 (favorite film) less 1977 (year of death) is 24. The two numbers from the day of death (8/16) when added up equal 24. The sum of the digits in the year of death (1+9+7+7) also equals 24. That is 3 occurrences of the number 24 which is divisible by 3, and when divided by three the result, 8 has a perfect cubed root (2x2x2=8). Elvis loved numerology, and when you consider the numeric significance of the date of his alleged death, it is clear that if indeed he did plan to fake his death, he could not have chosen a better date.
Motive. Elvis had many reasons to fake his death. Elvis's life was in danger.
He had recently lost $10,000,000 in an airplane/real estate deal with a California based organization called the "Fraternity" that had links to the Mafia. It is speculated that he corroborated with the government to expose the organized crime ring in exchange for protection - perhaps in the form of a new life and identity compliments of the witness relocation program.
In addition, Elvis was a prisoner of his own fame. He had many other reasons to leave his life behind. Because of his incredible popularity, he was the recipient of several death threats, and he was concerned about the safety of his wife and daughter. Sometimes when he wanted to leave Graceland, he would send out look-alikes to distract would be followers. Elvis was also known to ride in the trunk of someone else's car to avoid detection.
Once, when he fell ill in Las Vegas, he couldn't get proper medical attention because the hospital was overwhelmed by fans.
At the time of his alleged death, Elvis was nearing the end of his career. He was 42, his hair was graying, he was grossly overweight, and his voice was starting to weaken. He was going down hill, and he was too proud to go out with a whimper. He would never want his fans to see him in such an unhealthy condition. Elvis had shown a fascination with death on several occasions. In the days leading up to his alleged death he was reported to have visited funeral homes at odd hours of the night with close friends. Was he doing research? Elvis once faked his death by setting up an elaborate shooting in which a would be killer fired blanks at Elvis who had a blood pack which he discharged. It was Elvis's intention to see how the people closest to him would react to his death. Perhaps what he learned convinced him to do it for real.
Finally, one of Elvis' favorite books is the spiritual Autobiography of Yogi. One of the central themes of this book is the relinquishing of one's wealth and earthly possessions to achieve spiritual oneness. Elvis could do this, as well as address his other concerns of sanity and safety by faking his death and living in exile.
Elvis had the means to fake his own death. He is accused of destroying himself with drugs. In reality, Elvis was a pharmaceutical expert. He took a lot of drugs, but he knew what he was doing and was extremely careful. He knew what drugs he could self-administer to create a deathlike state. Further, Elvis's experience with the martial arts was such that he could slow his heart rate and breathing in order to feign death.
Elvis's manager, Colonel Tom Parker, had once created a new identity for himself. He came to this county as an illegal immigrant from Holland, but through various connections managed to create an elaborate identity complete with a passport, birth certificate, drivers license, and social security number. He would have known how to give Elvis a second life.
In addition to Elvis's ties to the government through his testimony against the Fraternity, Elvis was known to interact with the President of the United States.
He was reported in government documents to use the name John Burrows as an alias when he wanted to travel. Some people believe that Elvis worked for the government as a drug agent. He did, after all have extensive contact with many people in the music business who, as we know, tend to dabble in illegal substances. (Remember Payola?.. ) And, of course, we must allow that Elvis's connections to the government gave him access to the Witness Relocation Program. If they can turn the Simpsons into the Thompsons, they can relocate anybody.
No New Music, Orion? Many believe that Elvis couldn't have given up performing cold turkey.
I imagine that after a while the desire to perform grew once he started his life in exile. The story of Orion supports the theory that Elvis attempted an incognito comeback.
Shortly after Elvis's death, a masked singer by the name of Orion emerged on the scene. He was big like Elvis, and he sang just like Elvis. Because of the mask, no one could tell his true identity. One fan described seeing Orion from near the stage. She claims that Orion left the stage between songs, and when he appeared moments later the sweat was gone from his armpits and back and she thought that his costume looked slightly different. After the song he left the stage, and the original Orion returned.
Another fan described how she rushed into a tour bus and an Orion show only to see two Orions in the back of the bus. She claimed that one ducked into the bathroom before she could get a good look at him, but he appeared to look like Elvis Presley.
What's even more remarkable is the fictional story called Orion that was written by Gail Brewer-Georgio about a legendary performer who had several identities and wanted to fake his death. The story was written and submitted to the William Morris Agency for publication consideration after Elvis's death and before the real Orion ever performed. As it turns out, there are many ways in which the real Orion mimicked the events as described in the book. For example, the performers' managers had the same name. Also, without knowing it, Brewer-Georgio wrote of events in Orion that had actually taken place in Elvis Presley's life. It was a case of life imitating art.
Picking up the Pieces. In 1981, 20/20 did an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the alleged death of Elvis Presley. The investigative report was very convincing.
Oddly enough, within two weeks of the report, the singer, Orion, disappeared and was never heard from again. The book, Orion disappeared from shelves across the country. It had been recalled by the publisher which was associated with the William Morris Agency. Incidentally, the William Morris Agency is the same agency that represented Elvis Presley.
I even tried to order a copy of the book, but was unable to. The woman at the book store said she couldn't tell me why.......
It seems that Elvis Presley is worth more dead than alive. By faking his death and relocating with a new identity, he is safe from his fans and the Fraternity, the government can make a solid case against the organized crime ring, and RCA, Elvis's family, and Elvis's management can all reap immense financial benefits from the attention.
That is... except for one benefit. No one has collected on his life insurance policy.