Elvis Presley managed to cement himself in pop culture and the hearts of people to the point where, 40 years after his death, his contribution to the arts continues to influence other singers and the music industry as a whole. Sadly, he died on August 16, 1977 after being found unresponsive in his bathroom. Since then, fans have been having a hard time accepting his passing, and numerous accounts of supposed appearances have been going around the internet.
A story appeared recently about Elvis reportedly showing up for his birthday cake-cutting ceremony in January 2017. This brain-freeze-inducing report got me thinking about all the supposed sightings of the singer throughout the decades, so I compiled a list of the most significant ones:
1. Elvis Visits Muhammad Ali In The Hospital - 1984
In 1984, Muhammad Ali was hospitalized. On September 23 of that year, when he was exiting the building, the picture shown above was captured. Fans were quick to point out that the caucasian man in the middle of the picture was the King himself:
Elvis and Ali were good friends, so conspiracy theorists took this picture as a confirmation that the singer - who had been dead for seven years by that point - came out of retirement to be next to Ali when he needed a friend.
Don't get your hopes up for that though, as (spoilers) the man in the photo is not him. During a TV special focused on Elvis theories hosted by Bill Bixby, the picture was brought up. A week after the special aired, a man named Larry Kolb - a former CIA agent and Ali's advisor - called them and stated he was the Elvis look-alike in the photograph.
So, the show came back for a sequel, in which Larry made an appearance. Explaining the events leading to that picture, Kolb recalls:
"I had checked Muhammad Ali into Columbian Presbyterian Hospital in New York two or three days before that picture was taken in September 1984 [...] It was six weeks before the presidential election [...] Jesse Jackson came to visit Muhammad; I suggested the two of them should go downstairs and announce that they were gonna run for president together. So they couldn't resist that and they went downstairs and... saw the people."
Now, I don't know if it's because I have 5/15 vision since I was little, but I can't see any resemblance to Elvis in the picture. But regardless of what we see, the man in the photograph is not Presley.
2. Elvis In 'Home Alone' - 1990
Home Alone is an incredible movie full of heart, action, comedy and... Elvis? That's right, according to some fans out there, Elvis Presley came out of "retirement" for a quick cameo in the '90s classic.
His supposed appearance comes when Kevin's mom is trying to get a plane ticket to Chicago but is unable to. Check it out:
According to conspiracy theorists, the man in the still is Elvis' spitting image. A noticeable thing about this individual is that his hair is slightly lighter in tone than the King's. That continuity error can easily be fixed however, because Elvis had dirty blond hair, which was evident in his appearance in the 1969 musical, Charro!:
If thats's not enough for you, fans discovered the ultimate proof that Home Alone was Elvis' secret return to the spotlight: If you rearrange and take out a few letters from "Kevin McCallister", you get "I. Mr. Elvis. Act"...
In case it's worth anything to you, director Chris Columbus disproved that theory during the Home Alone DVD commentary:
"Look at this guy. He’s not Elvis Presley!"
It's safe to say Elvis did not throw his carefully crafted plan to disappear from the spotlight out the window for a quick cameo in the film.
3. Elvis Was Secretly A Homeless Man In Witness Protection - 2015
According to a report from Empire News, an 80-year-old homeless man was found dead in San Diego California. Because friends referred to him as "Jesse", investigators took a DNA sample and tested it to see if something appeared in the DNA database. And the result came out as Jessie's DNA being an exact match as Elvis'.
Supposed lab technician, Robert Brensdale, said this of his and his assistant's reaction to the news:
"We thought somebody, somewhere, somehow in the system pulled the greatest and most elaborate prank on us. We both laughed with hysteria for about an hour."
So, why would Elvis fake his death to become a homeless man who died under an overpass, you ask? Well, according to "FBI spokesperson", Philip Hunter, he was in the witness protection program:
"Mr. Presley was placed in the program under a voluntary basis. He was not a witness to any crime or anything like that. Once he had met President Nixon, the two became great friends, and Mr. Presley wanted out of his life. He wanted to be an unknown, so President Nixon made this possible."
Right from the get-go, there's an inconsistency in this report, as Richard Nixon stepped off as P.O.T.U.S. in 1974 and Elvis passed away in 1977. But, if that still isn't enough to convince you that Elvis did not fake his death, how about the fact that the report itself is fake?
Empire News is a satirical website. They even provide this description in their disclaimer page:
"Empire News is intended for entertainment purposes only. Our website and social media content uses only fictional names, except in cases of public figure and celebrity parody. Any other use of real names is accidental and coincidental."
So yes, this was just a hoax to create a viral sensation.
4. Elvis Celebrates His 82nd Birthday - 2017
Every January 8, People gather in Elvis' Graceland home to celebrate his birthday, and it was no different in 2017. What was different though, was that fans swear the King was right with them as they cut his cake.
There is a Facebook page called, Elvis Presley is Alive, and its content is described as:
"Evidence on this page proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that "Elvis Aron Presley is ALIVE"!"
According to the page, this man is an aged Elvis Presley, which is made evident by the fact that security guards are guarding him... instead of being there for a legion of fans who could become agitated at the slightest sign of trouble. Even a user in the comments stated:
"Must be our Elvis. The bodyguards are so obvious. Wish I was there so much. I would have noticed him."
I noticed some changes in their narrative though, as the page later states that the man in the picture is Elvis' twin brother, Jesse, who was a stillborn. Can we all just agree that the man in the picture is just a fan trying to keep Elvis' memory alive?
As you can see, it's very hard for some people to accept the passing of a beloved artist. What catches my interest about Elvis' case though, is his fans's fervent efforts to prove that he is still alive; a sign of how big of an impact the King had on the world.
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Do you think Elvis is still alive? What was the craziest story in this article? Let me know in the comments!