the Faul Factor"You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all
of the people some of the time, but you can not fool
all of the people all of the time!"

Paul McCartney in 1966 (left) - Paul McCartney in 1967 (right)

Was Paul McCartney Replaced?
The pros - The cons - The odds!

Above are two screen captures taken from news footage posted as video on youtube.com where, on the left (above), Paul is being interviewed with the Beatles in America in 1966 and, on the right (above), Paul - or someone posing as Paul - is being interviewed individually in 1967 by the BBC in Britain. What is noteworthy is first, that he is not with his fellow bandmates - this is a solo interview, and second, that despite the two interviews taking place within the period of only a year - that there seems to be a difference in Paul's appearance or, according to some, that the difference in appearance is readily apparent - striking even!

OK - are there really any differences? Well, the second one (right) looks pale and somewhat drawn - even somewhat jowly - compared to the first (left) where he seems quite robust and his "cheeky" self, pre-mullet Beatle hairstyle - one of the most-photographed if not the-most-photographed individual on earth! Given that, for all intents and purposes, the above two instances of "Paul" accurately-enough represent the individual(s) appearing in the interviews - the most obvious question might be, "Could they look this different and yet still be the same person?"

Paul McCartney in 1966 (left) - Paul McCartney in 1967 (right)

In the 2nd interview we see "Paul" - yes supposedly the Beatle Paul, you know, bass player in a rock-n-roll band - as the defacto spokesman for the Tavistock-affiliated network of the Aquarian 'movement' that promoted free love and the use of LSD (a la Timothy Leary, Aldous Huxley, Bertrand Russell, Alan Watts etc) couched in euphamistic terms - of course! Nothing incriminating or conspiratorial in nature, mind you, but perhaps just Paul taking on an unexpected and controversial role as apologist. Of course it is possible he is simply either defending his own progressive viewpoints or that he was asked a provacative question by an interviewer. It's not clearly defined either way. Whatever the case, many people believe that this "Paul" is the replacement or substitute for the real Paul McCartney who was supposedly either murdered or died in a car crash sometime in 1966!

Beatle Paul McCartney (left) - Post-Beatle Paul McCartney (right)

Typically a double would be briefly deployed as a diversionary tactic and in a temporary context where scrutiny, and the chance of detection - due to limited exposure - aren't very likely, but here we are talking about the wholesale replacement of one human being with another, and if Paul really did die then who is the person taking his place? And for whatever the reasons, when it has been determined that there is a need to perpetrate such a hoax for more significant amounts of time and with greater frequency there is a corresponding need for media management and damage control through agressive rebuttal and plausible deniability tactics. Thus setting in motion a vicious cycle of unprovable claims and counter claims that can go on interminably. So invariably it seems that a case can be equally made for both the pros and the cons. Take your pick!

Yankee great Lou Gehrig (left) played by Gary Cooper (right)

Celebrity Replacement: Fact ... or Myth!

The above quote (attributed to Abraham Lincoln) seems to suggest, at the very least, that for every practitioner of deceipt, fraud or manipulation that there is always the risk of potential - even inevitable - discovery for the perpetrator of the hoax! And Celebrity Replacement is a very specialized type of hoax with its own bulit-in Catch-22 conditionality i.e. the more famous the person and the more well-known and recognizable they are - the greater the chance of discovery! And conversely - if there exists a need to replace anyone, chances are that would be a famous person!

Was Mikhail Gorbachev replaced?      

Litmus Test - Which One's the Impostor?

There are, of course, inherent problems in trying to duplicate the uniqueness of individuals - for example, let's say, a political figurehead (no pun intended) like Mikhail Gorbachev, who may have become severely incapacitated, has died or has "gone missing" and for the sake of expediency it has been determined that a substitute - one who closely-enough resembles that individual - should be recruited to serve as "stand-in" for the purposes of trading-off on that person's credibility. Other than the assumed necessity of some plastic surgery modifications - the addition of the (tattooed) signature port-wine stain on the head and forehead potentially becomes a very convincing tool in selling the ruse. Or take the case of Saddam Hussein vs. Osama bin Laden, for example, where one is more ethnically "typical" - as compared to a 6'5" atypical mid-eastern type from a mixed ethnic lineage - where the potential success rate of impersonation for the latter becomes exponentially lower!


Yankee great Babe Ruth (left) played by John Goodman (right)

Caricature Exaggeration! Can Uniquely Talented People Really Be Replaced?

So let's consider a hypothetical replacement scenario for a famous sports hero - namely Babe Ruth. An ideal replacement would need to be someone who looked and preferably sounded like him, be close-enough in both height and weight (6'2"/225 lbs.), be capable of consuming large quantities of alcohol but still go out and play big-league baseball the next day while hitting a higher percentage of home runs than anyone else in the game. Furthermore a certain number of those home runs would need to be hit out of the stadium - something no one else but Babe Ruth could do - and he would need to do it all ..... left-handed! (Also - all of his teammates would have to be complicit in the coverup!)

The Plausibility of a Faul: FAIL!

Replacing people of legendary status -- where, in most any given situation, that famous persona will likely be recognized by most people anytime or anywhere, and by their unique characteristics including facial features, their hair and eye color, their nose, their teeth, their height & weight, their mannerisms, their speaking/singing voice, their intelligence & wit, their special skills and their habits etc etc (the list goes on and on - not to mention the requirement that a "double" must willingly forfeit their own identity in the process of becoming someone else) -- is an extremely delicate proposition with a likelihood of success only in proportion to how convincingly and for how extended a period an actor can successfully impersonate an entirely different human being. And ultimately - in such a context - implausible!