Forty-one years ago Thursday, the world mourned the loss of the King of Rock ‘N Roll.
Elvis Presley died from a heart attack on Aug. 16, 1977, at his Graceland Mansion in Memphis. He was only 42 years old.
But on the anniversary of his passing, not everyone believes Elvis died. A best-selling author and former record producer living in Georgia said they have reason to believe that Elvis faked his own death.
More than four decades after losing the King of Rock ‘N Roll, Elvis fans haven’t missed a beat. Every August, a group of diehards put on their best Elvis attire and entertain a crowd of over 300 at the Big E Festival in the mountains of North Georgia.
“Elvis always lives,” said fan EJ Boyer. “Look at this, it’s amazing.”
“People still love him today,” said fan Ginger Cooper.
It’s a love that knows no limits and explains why fans were all shook up about Elvis Presley’s death in 1977.
“Elvis did not die August 16, 1977,” said author Gail Brewer-Giorgio.
Best-selling author Brewer-Giorgio believes without a shadow of a doubt that Elvis faked his own death, a topic she wrote about in her 1988 blockbuster book “Is Elvis Alive?”
“Elvis filled out the Medical Examiner’s report,” she said. “Elvis wrote on documents after his death.”
To prove it, she had an expert compare the handwriting on Presley’s medical examiner report to a 1970 letter Elvis had written to then-President Nixon. She said Certified Document Examiner Paul Weast confirmed a match.
She also reviewed hundreds of FBI files on Elvis Presley and thinks he faked his death because he had been targeted by members of the mom and duped during a transaction involving his Jetstar airplane.
“This was an FBI investigation,’ she said. “They were out to prosecute the people that elvis testified against. They had a contract out on Elvis’ life. He was scared to death, really scared.”
Then, a decade later in 1988, after her bestselling book was published, Brewer-Giorgio said she received yet another piece of evidence in support of her theory.
“I received a call from Elvis,” she said. “The call came in and I put the suction cup on and hit record and the rest is history, so they say.”
She claims Elvis called her in the middle of the night. During their lengthy conversation, she said they talked about her book and even discussed his whereabouts.GG: Well, do you mostly live on the west coast or Hawaii or…?
EP?: Now, don’t try to pin me down.
GG: (laugh) Okay, Hawaii. (laugh) That’s not pinning you down.
EP?: I’m living in Washington for…
EP?: …for the next several months.
EP?: But you can’t find me…
GG: Oh, okay. I wouldn’t know you probably.
EP?: If you saw me right now, you’d probably not recognize me.[Listen to portion of Brewer-Giorgio's call with Elvis. Full transcript below]
The idea that Elvis could somehow still be alive is part of an American phenomenon that some people with suspicious minds can’t let go of.
There is another piece of evidence some are obsessing about: the Elvis pool house photo.
Former record producer Mike Joseph said he met Elvis years ago and took his family to Memphis four months after Elvis’ death.
“I don’t believe he died that day,” Joseph said.
Joseph took several photographs during his trip to Graceland and noticed something unusual with one. After magnifying the image, he spotted what looked like Elvis sitting in a chair behind the glass door to the pool house just a few feet from his grave.
“Kodak verified that the picture is real and it hasn’t been doctored in any way whatsoever,” he said.
And back at the Big E festival in Clayton, Georgia, opinions vary for some of Elvis’ biggest fans.
“I think it’s up for debate,” said Beryl Bergquist.
“That was a hoax,” said tribute artist Obie Sparks.
“I truly will never believe he’s dead,” said Ginger Cooper.
No matter what you believe, one thing is certain: The spirit of Elvis lives on.
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