Elvis and fake news have gone hand-in-hand for years. Everyone has seen the stories of sightings, the rumours and questions around his death. But a few years ago, a story caught my eye. It was going viral, claiming that Elvis had only just died. But was it true?
For years and years, fans of Elvis Presley have claimed that The King was still alive. Aliens were blamed for abducting him, the CIA had him in jail, the FBI had him in witness protection, and the President had helped with hiding him somewhere. The conspiracy ran amuck while people flocked to the gates of Graceland and sightings of Elvis were reported all over America. I enjoy a good conspiracy theory here as the next member of the tin-foil hat brigade, but for once the fans who have claimed that he was still alive may have been right. Or were they?
Recently there was a viral story which came from Empire news website which claimed that Elvis had been alive all these years and was living as a homeless man. When the homeless man was found dead under an overpass in San Diego California, and DNA results proved that the elderly man was Elvis Presley. A spokesperson for the FBI explained that Elvis was placed in the Witness Protection Programme by President Nixon when he was fed up with the celebrity lifestyle and very few people knew about it.
Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Elvis walking around all these years, maybe he sat beside you on the bus, or asked for some spare change? Well, unfortunately, it’s not true. The website that the story is from is known for its satire and humour, but not for the truth. The truth is the article that started it all was nothing more than a tongue-in-cheek joke about Elvis being alive and no-one noticing. There is even a disclaimer on the Empire website saying that the site is for entertainment purposes only, it’s in the “About” section. The site has shut down since the story went viral.
As nice as it would be to have the Elvis story being true, it’s not. And if it was, the fact that he put himself into Witness Protection because of the fans and lifestyle, to live the rest of his life as an anonymous nobody, it says a great deal about the media attention surrounding him at the time. Elvis was alive but he died back in 1977, sorry. The articles on Empire are meant as a joke, or at least we hope they are. I have no desire to see the Stephen Hawking sex-tape.