Elvis Presley is one of the most distinguished and powerful artists of the 20th century, who transformed not only the face of music but the customs and traditions of the entire country.
So, imagine how stunned the music industry was when he was found dead in his bathroom on August 16, 1977 – leaving millions of fans around the globe devastated.
Today, more than four decades after his death, the King of Rock’ n’ Roll’s music lives on. Elvis Presley songs are still fresh in his fans’ minds, and new generations even continue to enjoy them. But as his popularity carries on, more and more people believe that Elvis might still be alive and well, after all.
Here is everything you need to know about it.
How Did Elvis Presley Die?
Sometime in the afternoon of 1977, Elvis Presley was found lifeless on a bathroom floor of his Graceland mansion by his then-girlfriend, Ginger Alden. He was only 42.
Elvis was hurriedly taken by ambulance to a local hospital, and, following several revival attempts, he was proclaimed dead at 3:30 pm.
The dispute of what truly happened continued making a fuss. The chief medical examiner of Tennessee at the time, Jerry Francisco, wrote Hypertensive Cardiovascular Disease as the cause of Elvis’ death on his report, which basically means he died of a heart attack or heart failure.
Others say the music icon’s excessive drug use was a factor in his death. When the toxicology report of Elvis’ blood came back from analysis some weeks after his death, it reportedly contained high doses of opiates Dilaudid, Percodan, and Demerol, among others. However, Francisco stated that “Had these drugs not been there, he still would have died.”
Right after Elvis’ passing, his family also requested a private autopsy to verify what could have really caused his death, but the full findings were sealed after the procedure.
Elvis Presley Death Theories
In the forty-four years since Elvis’ death, a lot still have chosen not to believe the story – and instead, they turned to conspiracy theories, with some even claiming to have proof of various sightings of the “Suspicious Minds” singer.
Here are the most far-fetched theories we’ve found.
1. A black helicopter holds the key to his disappearance.
Some conspiracists had claimed that Elvis faked his own death to escape the pressures of fame and that a black helicopter – that landed in Graceland hours before his body was found – holds the clue.
Theorists are steadfast that the music icon was picked up from his home and flown to Bermuda, to disappear and live anonymously.
In the 1990 documentary The Elvis Files, a police officer had stated that he was approached by one of Elvis’ employees and showed him photos of the singer getting in what looked like a government helicopter.
2. Others believe he was tied to the mafia.
Another massive theory on why Elvis may have faked his death is because he needed to escape the mafia. The theory solidified with Gail Brewer-Giorgio, the author of the 1988 bestselling book Is Elvis Alive? She narrated how she went over thousands of FBI documents and discovered that the agency enlisted the singer as an undercover agent to help break into a criminal organization.
But when Elvis was suspected of being a mole, he was placed into the witness protection program. “Elvis faked his death because he was going to be killed, and there was no doubt about it,” Brewer-Giorgio said.
3. Some pointed out his tombstone as proof.
Some conspiracists believe that a clue about Elvis being alive and well is just right on his tombstone on his grave at Graceland – where his full name reads Elvis Aaron Presley instead of Aron.
They argued that Elvis’ middle name was intentionally misspelled as the singer is superstitious enough, he wouldn’t want his real name on a grave when he’s really alive. However, those debunking the theory contend that Elvis, later in life, began spelling his middle name as Aaron instead of Aron.
Is Elvis Still Alive?
There are still many more bizarre theories that suggest the King of Rock’ n’ Roll is alive and just lying low somewhere. But one thing is for sure, Elvis – who would have been 84 years old this year – will be remembered and forever be alive through his music and movies.