“Paul is Dead” is among the wildest conspiracy theories of the 21st century. Theorists hold the belief that Paul McCartney was killed in 1966 in a car crash and was replaced by a lookalike called Billy Shears. As well as the usual “physical evidence” (just pictures of an aged McCartney that seems to baffle believers), people also picked up on a line said by John Lennon at the start of the track, Strawberry Fields that sounds like “I buried Paul”. Ringo Star later told an interviewer that Lennon was saying “I’m very bored”, not realising that they were in the process of recording.

In a 2013 survey, 5% of Americans said they were firm believers in the conspiracy theory.