Fans around the globe were left devastated when Elvis Presley was found dead in his bathroom on August 16 1977.
The King of Rock, morbidly obese by the time of his death, was found dead in his Graceland bathroom, having fallen off his toilet and attempted to crawl to the door for help.
He was morbidly obese, having feasted on a diet of his favourite banana, peanut butter and bacon sandwiches, and was suffering from poor eyesight, high blood pressure and an irregular heartbeat in the months leading up to his death.
Despite his ailing heath, fans have become increasingly intrigued by the circumstances of his death.
The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll died at the age of 42, but much like a number of late stars with his level of fame, some people are convinced he’s still alive and well.
Conspiracy theorists think Elvis, who would have turned 86 this week, escaped his all-consuming fame by faking his untimely death.
In the 43 years since his death, many have refused to believe the story – and resorted to conspiracy theories instead, with some even claiming to have proof of numerous “sightings” of the Hound Dog singer.
Here are the most bizarre theories.
Elvis changed careers to become a background actor
Some people even claimed Elvis appeared as an extra in the 1990 blockbuster Home Alone and say he appeared in the background of the scene when Kevin McCallister’s mum unsuccessfully attempts to fly to Chicago.
It’s quite far-fetched, but rearrange the letters in Kevin McCallister and you’ll be able to spell ‘I. Mr Elvis. Act’.
Mafia involvement and witness protection
Some believe Elvis was connected to the mafia.
According to Time Magazine, one of the biggest theories on why Presley may have faked his death is because he had to in order to escape the mob.
Gail Brewer-Giorgio, the author of the 1988 bestselling book Is Elvis Alive, said in an interview with TIME that she pored through thousands of FBI documents to come to the conclusion that Presley was an American hero who had to go into witness protection.
« Do I know if Elvis is alive today? No, I don’t know, » she said. « But I know he didn’t die on August 16. »
Apparently he was friendly with mobsters and used to help the FBI – and when the criminals found out, he had to go to ground forever.
Spotted in a restaurant
Another theory, reignited in 1992 with the release of documentary Live Special: The Elvis Conspiracy, claims several people had supposedly come into contact with Elvis since his death.
One “witness” gave a testimony on the programme claiming, on the night of August 23, 1991, claimed she saw a man fitting the description of the singer in a restaurant with two “bodyguards”.
She quickly whipped out her camera and took two photos of “Elvis” which apparently “shocked him”.
Her snaps show a man vaguely resembling Elvis – sporting his trademark sideburns – trying to cover his face with his hand.
“When I took my first picture and the clip went off, I shocked him,” the “witness” recalled on the documentary.
“The bodyguard ran towards me and then he ran around the side and grabbed the stuff from the table and then they started running out to the back door.
“I thought, maybe I can get a couple more good shots.”
Signed his own death certificate
A letter between The King to US president Richard Nixon might hold the key to unravelling the mystery.
Elvis’s death certificate has been made public with conspiracy theorists saying the document proves a vital link that the legendary rock and roll star did not die on August 16, 1977.
In the letter to Nixon written in 1970, Elvis asks the president to make him a Federal Agent at Large and then signs off with his signature.
Handwriting experts have carried out an analysis of the signature on the letter and the one on Elvis’s death certificate and suggest the writing was by the same person.
Footage of a 1990 documentary has re-emerged after Elvis’s death certificate was recently released to the public.
Gail Giorgio, who wrote a best-selling book called Is Elvis Alive, says in the programme the two documents are crucial pieces of evidence The King faked his own death.
She appears in the documentary – The Elvis Files – holding a letter in her hand and a copy she had obtained of Presley’s death certificate.
Ms Giorgio says the evidence is « mind-boggling » adding: « If I check this letter against Elvis’ death certificate, which had to be filled out after he died, I would find out he filled out and signed his own death certificate.
« It has never been revealed and I was told by a member of the family to have it checked out. »
As part of her inquiries, Ms Giorgio sent the letter, the death certificate and two medical reports to a graphologist to examine.
Paul Weist, the expert she sent the documents to, claims the writing slant, letters and size of the writing were all the same.
The weird mis-spelled grave
In his resting place at Graceland, Elvis’ gravestone gives his full name as Elvis Aaron Presley.
But his middle name is actually spelled Aron – a pretty huge error for whoever was working on his tombstone – and conspiracists believe it was done deliberately because putting his real name would have been taboo since he was really alive.
Sighting at his own vigil
Hundreds of Elvis fans flocked to Graceland in 2019 to commemorate the anniversary of his death as part of the annual vigil.
But some conspiracy theorists reckon Elis himself also attended.
In a livestream of the event, a white-haired man in a red shirt can be seen walking through the crowd, before another, similar looking man is seen wearing a blue shirt and sporting a white beard at the back of the stage.
Fans have bizarrely suggested that one of the men is Elvis and the other is a brother.
Secret voice recording
A secret recording taken four years after his funeral emerged of a man claiming to be a cultural icon talking about life on a remote island.
Die-hard fans claimed the voice of the man was identical to Elvis’s and proved that he faked his death to get out of the public eye.
In the tape the man says he has travelled all over the world in disguise, fearing eventual exposure.
He says: « I realise that sooner or later it’s probably going to end.
« You know I hate to think it’s going to end, but I know sometimes the secret [of being alive] has got to be let out and if it hadn’t have been for getting involved in what I’m involved in now, things and such, maybe it’d be different.
« As far as appearing nationally, I think it would be silly to get back into something that’s taken me this long to get out of.
« People ask me all the time where I’m living, and naturally I can’t say, but it’s a good place to hide.
« There was an island that I learned about a long time ago and I guess I always knew some day I’d probably have to use it.
« Anyway, I must have spent a year on the island.
« I started travelling all over the world and it’s been enjoyable but it’s been a constant battle of growing beards and this and that to keep from being recognised. »
Working as a gardener in Graceland
Footage captured in 2016 shows a gardener looking suspiciously like Elvis strolling across the green at Elvis’ Graceland mansion.
In the video, the man (who is wearing a blue polo shirt) stares at the camera briefly before tending to the garden.
The clip sparked yet another theory that the gardener is Elvis himself.
The YouTube channel behind the strange video was certain the man in the video was 86-year-old Elvis Presley.
His wife’s admission
His wife Priscilla gave an interview to Oprah Winfrey in America claiming she had talked to her husband « the other day ».
In the 2005 interview on the TV host’s show, Presley’s wife was addressing how Presley spoiled their daughter, Lisa Marie.
Priscilla said: “It’s exactly what he said the other day” before correcting herself and saying, “you said,” to Oprah.
They also say Lisa Marie evaded Larry King’s question during a 2003 chat when the host asked if she ever feels « communication » with her father.
Elvis took his own life deliberately
Elvis’ ex-wife Priscilla, who he divorced in 1973, made the bold claims ahead of a documentary into the legend’s life.
Opening up for HBO’s Elvis Presley: The Searcher, Priscilla said Elvis « knew what he was doing » with his drug addiction and refused to accept help from desperate family members who wanted to save him.
« He knew what he was doing and people go, ‘why didn’t anyone do anything?’ Well, that’s not true, » said the now 72-year-old.
« People there in the inner group did – but you did not tell Elvis what to do. You’d have been out of there faster than a scratched cat. They would try and – no way. »
Her comments fuelled the theory that Elvis was intent on suicide and had left two notes to that effect shortly before he died.
In recently discovered notes to his friend and road manager Joe Esposito Elvis wrote: « I’m sick and tired of my life » and « I need a long rest ».
His stepbrother Rick Stanley said: « To me, it’s a clear indication that suicide was on his mind. »
Elvis went into hiding to escape fame
A considerable number of people believe that the King did not die in 1977, but went into hiding for various reasons and is still alive.
Several people claim to have seen Elvis after he was supposed to have died. One rash of alleged sightings took place in Michigan in the late 1980s.
In 1988, the downtown Burger King attracted international attention after a story in the Kalamazoo Gazette identified it as one of two places that a local woman and her daughter claimed to have seen the late King of Rock and Roll.
A reporter interviewed Louise Welling, of Vicksburg, who said she had seen Elvis at the Felpausch supermarket in Vicksburg, and that her daughter had seen Elvis at the Burger King.
He faked his own death and was picked up by helicopter
A veteran policeman turned deceased rock star investigator has previously spoken of a mysterious photo that convinced him Elvis Presley is not dead.
Monte Nicholson, a veteran employee of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department for 19 years, claimed that soon after Elvis’s death the retired cop was approached by a man who claimed to have worked with the iconic singer.
Speaking on 1990 documentary The Elvis Files Monte described the 1977 encounter.
“One day, he showed up at work and had pictures of Elvis Presley getting in a helicopter which looked like a government helicopter, » Monte said.
« There were men surrounding Elvis also getting into the helicopter who looked like what we often see depicted as government agents, with the blazers and the wire in their ear and what not.
« That pictured in itself was not particularly suspicious as it is common knowledge that Elvis himself was involved as an honorary police officer with many police agencies all over the country.
« The interesting thing, the curious thing about this pictured is that this individual claimed it was taken several hours after Elvis allegedly died. »
Intrigued by the possibility Elvis faked his death, Monte contacted the man and asked to see the photos again.
He denied having them at first before changing his mind and asking for money to see the images.
Monte arranged a meeting with the mysterious contact and arrived at an arranged time and location, only to find an empty property with the man no where to be seen.
Despite the fact that neither man nor photos were ever seen again, and that his word was the only proof that the photos were taken after Elvis’s death, Monte was inspired to write a book about the encounter.