Case For Elvis Being Alive”
Since August 1977 the Elvis world has been a fertile
ground for the promotion of numerous stories and theories. Those
that have captured the imagination or interest of fans and non-fans
include Elvis’s alleged illegitimate children, Elvis being murdered
or having committed suicide and Elvis being abducted by aliens.
However, since the late 1970s there has been one area
of interest and belief that has existed continually in the Elvis
world and periodically assumed prominence in the media. It is an
issue that refuses to go away – the intriguing idea that perhaps
Elvis Presley didn’t die on August 16, 1977. The ongoing interest
in this idea parallels the level of interest and fervour exhibited
regarding the deaths of JFK and Marilyn Monroe.
The possibility of Elvis still being alive continues
to fascinate and frustrate many Elvis fans. The subject is probably
the most discussed ‘special interest’ topic on the numerous Elvis
message boards with several boards devoted solely to it and a vibrant
Elvis ‘underground’ continuing to thrive today. The postings on
the message boards number in the hundreds with a similar number
of threads, while the ‘underground’ network has produced several
regular newsletters on the subject. There are also competing groups
within the Is Elvis Alive? sub-culture with one group referring
to its members as “Gatheringites”.
Gail Brewer-Giorgio’s book ‘Is Elvis Alive?’ reached
the top ten of the best seller lists in the USA and sold more than
1 million copies, making it one of the biggest selling Elvis books
of all time! In total, at least 10 books have so far been published
on the subject since the publication of the novel, Orion, in 1979.
Is it the truth?, wishful thinking?, delusionary minds?,
misguided fans? Whatever the truth, there is no doubting that the
subject of the death of Elvis Presley is a fascinating one with
many plot twists and turns, and one that clearly divides the Elvis
The following represents a prepared list of questions
from EIN directed to Phil Aitcheson, the Executive Liaison, and
retired Director of The Presley Commission. Certain matters regarding
the work of the commission from 1992 through the current day, are
of a confidential nature. As a result, answers to some questions
are limited in nature to maintain the security of the group’s ongoing
activities, with regard to the life and times of Elvis Aron Presley.
The Presley Commission was formed in 1992 to undertake
a serious examination of the death of Elvis Presley and based on
inconsistencies surrounding reports of his death, consider the theory
that perhaps Elvis didn’t die on August 16, 1977. The Commission
is composed of a network of individuals who had been interested
in Elvis’s death for some time. The Commission differentiates itself
from other believers in that it has always adopted a professional,
research based approach to its subject matter and does not engage
in the ridiculous and vindictive personal attacks that typify many
believers active on the Is Elvis Alive? message boards.
The Commission’s research resulted in the publication
of The Presley Commission Report in 1995 (now out of print). The
Report received minimal publicity but independent journalists lauded
it for its structured, bureaucratic style and inclusion of copies
of actual documents to support its case. Since 1995 members of the
Commission have continued to work on core issues in the report,
in particular the controversial issue of DNA samples. In this detailed
and challenging interview with EIN, Phil Aitcheson takes us into
the world of the Is Elvis Alive? movement, particularly The Presley
Commission, its findings and current work.
EIN: Phil, many thanks for taking the time to talk to
PA: I am pleased to be here today, and appreciate the
opportunity to talk with you.
EIN: Can you tell us about the genesis of the Presley
Commission and who its principal members are?
PA: While the Presley Commission members have requested
that their identities be kept largely confidential, I can say that
the beginning of their investigative research activities started
in March 1992, and that I am the former Director, and now Executive
Liaison. The commission is totally independent, and is not directly
associated with Graceland Enterprises, other than being supportive
of their continuing efforts to portray the memories of Elvis’ brilliant
entertainment career and life.
EIN: What are the credentials of those involved in The
PA: The Presley Commission utilized the personal and
professional talents and abilities of a large number of individuals,
who were capable of providing information and assurances that the
evidence, both the previously obtained, and the ongoing, were researchable
and verifiable. This included a number of professional people, from
the fields of law enforcement, paramedical, medical, and literary
areas of expertise. Most of the people already were maintaining
activities in their respective careers, and assisting the commission
on a voluntary basis. Their mere interest and respect for Elvis
Presley brought them together, to assist in this historical effort.
EIN: How did you, personally, become involved with The
PA: As a principal founder, it was my responsibility
to enrol the assistance of these professionals in an effort to establish
a team, that would ultimately explore, process, or classify the
evidence exhibits, and results of numerous interviews. My office
moved forward to establish a non-profit effort to determine the
facts and further educate the public about Elvis’ life, only after
my professional colleagues approved the effort.
EIN: Is it a fair comment to say that the Commission
was largely unknown to most fans and operated largely as an ‘underground’
PA: While the Commission’s efforts were not widely publicized
at first, there were a number of members of the media who held interviews
with my office to determine the logistics of our intentions and
efforts. So in essence, it was publicized fairly much, from the
standpoint of interviews, but the organisation mainly operated ‘semi-covertly’,
maintaining great caution, and respect for the people who ultimately
would come to be known as ‘involved’.
EIN: Why did you choose to operate away from the public
gaze (so to speak)?
PA: The Presley Commission operated in this manner so
as to maximise the level of results in direct proportion to investigative
efforts. It was critically important that our people did not compromise
the safety and security of Elvis, or his family, during our interview
efforts. As a result, more information became available to the Commission
to analyse and process throughout the initial stages of their research.
EIN: For those not aware of the essential concerns or
issues of The Presley Commission can you outline them?
PA: Some of the primary concerns of commission investigative
researchers dealt with the events of 1970 to 1977 in the early stages,
but later, their attention turned toward continuing events and incidents
that occurred after Elvis’ alleged death, i.e. “Fountain Pen” investigations,
document studies, and sightings, as well as physical evidence such
as handwriting exhibits, voice prints, and many other matters. The
Commissions’ intention was to be a clearing house for information,
within legal and logistical parameters.
EIN: What process(es), research and activities did The
Commission follow in developing its case and preparing its report?
PA: The Commission conducted a wide range of interviews,
and collected documentation, with regard to items of evidence that
had come to our attention. In addition, each person was assigned
to research items and incidents that required official attention.
In some cases, interviews were carried out ‘in person’ whenever
possible. All investigative research efforts were managed by the
Executive Co-ordinator’s office, and verified by my office.
EIN: The Presley Commission Report was published in
1995. What did the Commission want to happen at that time?
PA: It was important in our view to educate the public
about the findings, and to further explore the questions that were
prevalent at the time concerning Elvis’ disappearance, as the commission
later ruled. Our main interest was to see the end of a great controversy
that had mesmerised Elvis’ public since his leaving in 1977. We
felt that it was vital for Elvis’ privacy to be protected and respected.
The Commission opened up the field ‘so to speak’, for further debate,
but serious consideration of the facts. All research was conducted
for this purpose.
EIN: Did you promote the report, and if yes, how and
to what target audience(s)?
PA: The report was primarily promoted to the news media
and to fans who had maintained an interest in this case. It was
not promoted however, as a profit making venture. It was not tied
to the parties of Elvis’ estate as some of my critics would have
you believe. It was provided to the public, in the public interest.
However, continuing events have called for further action in the
case (discussed later). The media did make gestures of reporting
EIN: Was the report sent to President Clinton (as had
been mooted in the lead up to its publication)?
PA: Yes, the White House was informed of the release.
In addition, other governmental organisations were informed of the
publication of the report.
EIN: Did The Presley Commission find that the “alleged”
death of Elvis Presley on August 16, 1977 was in fact a conspiracy?
If not, what were the principal findings of the report?
PA: While many would like to consider the “conspiracy
factor” a major part of the case, it certainly is an aspect of our
analysis effort. It’s important to remember ultimately, the causes
of events in August of 1977, that brought about the announcement
of his reported demise. Elvis’ activities outside of his entertainment
career, were a large part of those causes and concerns.
EIN: If Elvis Presley is still alive who was in on the
conspiracy from day one?
PA: While we never liked the word ‘conspiracy’, a plan
was formulated to remove Mr. Presley from the property that day.
It is the primary directive of this organisation to not jeopardise
individuals who were knowledgeable. I can tell you however, that
it was a relatively small group of people close to the entertainer
who were aware of a distinct and deliberate plan. There is also
great probability that key figures in the government and close family
members were also entrusted.
EIN: Did members of his family and entourage know –
Priscilla, Lisa Marie, the Stanley brothers, Joe Esposito?
PA: In determining the involvement of certain family
members in a plan to implement Elvis’ exit, it is understood that
anyone else closely associated with Elvis, would normally not be
responsive to questions about their knowledge of matters. It is
assumed, that certain members of the family closest to Elvis would
know not to be alarmed at what would develop during the week of
August 16th, if in fact they were involved or knowledgeable. Anyone
close to the entertainer would automatically have the responsibility
of keeping the secret, about the events of that time.
EIN: How active is the Commission in 2003?
PA: The Presley Commission is continuing to monitor
matters pertaining to Elvis’ disappearance in 1977, and is active
in maintaining intelligence related to the entertainer’s whereabouts,
as well as his intentions for future public contact, if desired.
EIN: And in 2003 who are the Commission’s principal
PA: The Presley Commission is a small nucleus of researchers
who are credited with the progress being made to answer questions
surrounding current circumstances. Their identities are withheld
to protect their sources and works. The group has been reduced in
size to accommodate a more concentrated effort.
EIN: Does The Commission still publish its newsletter
PA: No, the newsletter is not being published. Occasionally
letters are written to answer inquiries about Commission materials,
but that is all.
EIN: Phil, can we discuss a few of the major issues
or indicators The Presley Commission believes point to Elvis not
dieing on August 16, 1977. Firstly, the spelling of ‘Aaron’ (not
‘Aron’) on the gravestone. Why is this important?
EIN: The Death Certificate. Tell us about that.
PA: The actual death certificate for Elvis Presley was
not even signed until approximately two months after the alleged
occurrence. However, the Pre-Autopsy Report by the Medical Examiner
in the case, Jerry Francisco, was considered shortened at best,
and has been confirmed to contain consistent handwriting of the
‘alleged deceased’. The Commission concurs with these findings.
EIN: Much has been made regarding the weight of the
coffin with suggestions that a wax body was inside. What are your
PA: The Commission became aware of an incident involving
a wax figure that was purchased by a prominent member of the family,
and was to be used for some bizarre purpose. An interview was conducted
with an eye witness who was on the premises when this sale took
place. What the figure was intended for is unknown, but comments
were made at the time of the sale that raised eyebrows. The contention
is that the weight of the coffin was caused by the presence of the
wax figure and potential cooling equipment, which would cause it
to be heavier than an autopsied human cadaver in the same type of
EIN: There were rumours of an underground escape tunnel
at Graceland. What can you tell us about that?
PA: Several individuals informed the Commission about
the ‘alleged’ tunnel. There was even some discussion about it being
part of the ‘Underground Railroad’ during the Civil War, but no
evidence has since surfaced confirming its actual existence. If
it’s really there, it’s probably impassable, but the Commission
has no official position to convey at this time.
EIN: Another interesting part of the Elvis is Alive
argument centers around his Lloyds of London insurance policy. Was
a claim ever made?
PA: The Commission is not aware of any such claim ever
having been filed.
EIN: EIN understands that Elvis actually had three life
insurance policies and that a claim was made against two of them.
What were the amounts involved in these two and as they were claimed
against why wasn’t a claim made against the third policy?
PA: It is the Commissions’ understanding that the two
policies in question were paid up policies, and Elvis was the owner
cashing them in. The third policy was never filed against to our
knowledge. Elvis was entitled to the funds, since the policies were
EIN: Elvis, the Mob (‘The Fraternity’) and the Witness
Protection Program – the Operation Fountain Pen argument. What did
The Presley Commission uncover?
PA: The Commission can only take partial credit for
assembling some of the information concerning The Fountain Pen investigations.
The original court documents were examined by questioned documents
experts. The findings indicated handwriting consistent with the
‘alleged deceased’. The Commission and others determined that the
Witness Protection Program as stated by the U.S. Marshalls Service
was not the program Elvis would have entered. As a Federal Agent
at Large, another in house program would have been explored. There
is no question that Operation Fountain Pen was an integral part
of the reasons for what happened on August 16, 1977. The Commission
again concurs with the findings and discussions that also seem to
implicate government involvement.
EIN: Phil, many fans are highly dismissive, even critical,
of the Is Elvis Alive? sub-culture. What reactions have you experienced
when your participation in the subject becomes known?
PA: Aside from the usual ribbing, that accompanies bewilderment
and normal questions, my experiences with the subject have brought
about many fine relationships. Of course there are those who wish
to ‘kill the messenger’, so to speak, and it is best said, “for
those who don’t believe, no explanation will suffice’, ‘and for
those who do believe, no explanation is necessary”, to paraphrase
one author on the subject. The majority of my experiences have been
positive and rewarding.
EIN: As a result of her books on the subject, Gail Brewer-Giorgio
is the highest profile proponent of the Is Elvis Alive? issue. Rightly
or wrongly, she is also regarded by many fans as ‘only out for the
money’. What would you say in response to this view and is Gail
still involved with the Commission in 2003?
PA: Gail Giorgio is both a friend and colleague. Her
works are based on honest and verifiable research. Her books were
a critical beginning point in the quest for knowledge about the
events of August 16, 1977. She is a kind and talented writer with
an outstanding grasp of the hard work and endurance it takes to
be in her business, and The Commission is thankful for her past
participation. The Commission takes no responsibility for processing
the opinions of others. We consider them, and they get classified.
The continued attacks on Gail Giorgio’s character or that of anyone
else involved in this story, are every bit unnecessary.
EIN: In Ms Giorgio’s last book, Elvis Undercover, there
was mention of a follow-up release focusing on Operation Fountain
Pen. What is the latest on this book?
PA: The book ‘Elvis Undercover’ was recognised as having
a great deal of information about Operation Fountain Pen, and the
case is so extremely complicated, because it involved many more
people than Elvis and his family, volumes could be written about
it. Gail’s primary concern, we believe was to portray more important
details that would enable her readers to follow the case more easily,
and understanding its overall importance in Elvis History. More
will be told in later publications.
EIN: Another prominent member of The Presley Commission
was Monte Nicholson, author of the now very rare and highly sought
after novel, The Presley Arrangement. Is he still involved with
PA: Mr. Nicholson is currently retired. I have no knowledge
of his current whereabouts. His works were very creative, and well
written. His previous private work in this case was exemplary.
EIN: Other proponents of the subject include Steven
Chanzes, aka Al Jefferies (author of Elvis, 1935…? Where Are You?)
and the late Major Bill Smith (author of The Memphis Mystery). Were
either of these authors involved with The Presley Commission. If
not, do you have a view or position on their stories?
PA: The Commission is aware of the works of the authors,
and is familiar with their writings. These publications were reviewed
and discussed briefly in The Presley Report, published in the nineties.
There is an acknowledgement of their works in the Commission files.
EIN: More recently, Dr Donald Hinton Md. has entered
the debate with his book’ The Truth About Elvis Aron Presley: In
His Own Words’. Is there a link or relationship between The Presley
Commission and Dr Hinton and what is your view on his claims?
PA: The Commission is also aware of Dr. Hinton’s book,
and the claims about the individual he feels is Elvis Presley. The
Commission has recently learned that DNA testing on the individual
did not match known DNA tissue of Elvis. The Commission’s position
on this matter is not yet determined.
EIN: For people familiar with the various Is Elvis Alive?
message boards on the Internet, the whole story and its permutations
is bizarre, reminiscent of the machinations and skulduggery of a
television soap opera – bloodletting, cover-ups, countless accusations
and counter accusations, vicious personal attacks, allegations of
fraud, involvement of the DEA, claims Jesse Garon Presley did not
die at birth but was institutionalised due to mental retardation
and so on. The Presley Commission has always projected a professional
stance regarding its subject while much of the antics on these message
boards is vindictive, malicious and unprofessional. What strategy
do Commission members adopt to operate in such a negative environment?
PA: The Presley Commission is not in this to judge people
who have their own views and opinions. They only ask that people
keep an open mind, and understand the facts. Those that wish to
be in on the “dark side” to this story, will relate their experiences,
as much as those in the “light:”. The Commission associates their
success by working with credible people. The message boards do not
represent evidence. They are only a sounding board for opinions,
right or wrong.
EIN: How active has The Presley Commission been in participating
in the online message board debate?
PA: The Commission monitors all activities of discussion
and debate when and wherever possible, but is not directly involved
in online forums. Our job is to analze, process, and deliberate
on factual and verifiable evidence as brought about by ‘Operative’
reports and other sources.
EIN: While we know the term “Gatheringite” does not
apply to members of The Presley Commission can you enlighten us
on its genesis and meaning?
PA: The term represents a casual organisation of fans
who believe Elvis Is Alive for the most part, and continue discussions
in that theatre. They are not part of any official structure of
The Presley Commission, but they are people who generally agree
with our findings, as I understand it.
EIN: Mary Smiley is a larger-than-life figure on the
Internet discussions. What is the relationship, if any, between
Ms Smiley and The Presley Commission?
PA: Mrs. Smiley is a self-appointed spokesperson for
viewpoints that are not in agreement with The Commission, as a general
rule. The Commission does not maintain contact with her, and has
closed the file. She had attempted contact with The Commission on
a number of occasions.
EIN: Phil, the role/involvement of Ginger Alden on August
16, 1977. Does the Commission have a position on this?
PA: As stated in a number of previously written books,
Ms. Alden was Elvis’ girlfriend at the time of his “alleged” passing.
In whatever the relationship entailed at the time, Ms. Alden is
currently married. Her presence in the home at the time of the finding
of the body, raises many questions, i.e. what did she do? How did
she feel? What was her initial reaction? Was she ever there for
any other reason?, and so on.
EIN: It has been reported that one of the Graceland
cooks saw Elvis in the mansion, alive, at around 4pm on August 16,
1977. What hard’ evidence exists for this claim - what is the cooks
name and is there a sworn testimony?
PA:The Commission has no comment at this time.
EIN: it was reported that shortly after Elvis’s death
was announced, a man looking like him, using the name Jo(h)n Burrows,
bought an airline ticket to Buenos Aeries. What ‘hard’ evidence
exists to establish the credibility of this claim?
PA: It is my understanding that the report of this incident
was mentioned in Gail’s book, ‘The Elvis Files’, and represents
a possible sighting. The Commission is aware of the matter, and
currently has some literary reference to it on file in the Commission
EIN: In her book, Elvis Undercover, Gail Brewer-Giorgio
published a photo of a person who looked very much like Elvis taken
at the Graceland pool house in early 1978. Has the photo been independently
examined and if yes, what were the findings?
PA: It is the contention of The Commission to acknowledge
the existence of the photo, and that it has been re-examined a number
of times. The photo first appeared in The Elvis Files, by Gail Giorgio.
It was taken, as I understand it, by Michael Joseph upon visiting
Graceland in late 1977. Based on the review of photo enhancements,
and other means, The Commission considers the photo to be authentic.
EIN: There are thousands of Elvis impersonators and
numerous Elvis look-a-likes. How can anyone be sure the person in
the photo is really Elvis Presley?
PA: The best way to ascertain who the individual is
in the photo in question, is to realise the importance of Elvis’
appearance at that time. The reports of a look-a-like being on the
grounds of Graceland at various times was discussed. The Commission
could not rule that out. Some interviews conducted with Memphis
locals indicated that the man in the picture was Elvis Presley.
Some say it was a look-a-like. More importantly, there was a reason
he was there…
EIN: Our understanding is that The Presley Commission
holds the view that Elvis was not affected by drugs and in fact
faked his ‘strung-out’ appearance. What evidence supports this view?
PA: In the matter of Elvis’ supposed decaying health,
the blame is too often placed on bad habits. There is no physical
evidence relating to an addiction to drugs. The medications that
were being administered at the time were a combination of pharmaceutical
items that were purchased for the two known conditions that Elvis
was legitimately being treated for. Glaucoma, and an impacted colon
problem had developed. Medications for the Glaucoma condition, are
said to have been ordered as well as Testosterone shots as suggested
treatment for the impacted colon problem. Contrary to popular belief,
Elvis did not have a colostomy. The medications that were ordered
to accompany the entourage on tour was for varied legitimate problems
that various members of Elvis’ entourage required. It is the Commissions’
view that polypharmacy did not figure into the equation.
EIN: And why then did Elvis check in to hospital in
1973 and 1975 for alleged drug detoxification?
PA: The reports indicate that he was in for basic testing
and rest. We do know there was a 1975 liver biopsy to check for
Hepatitus, due to his mother’s related condition, and they were
generally concerned about it at that time. This tissue would prove
to be important in later DNA determinations.
EIN: The element of music in the Elvis Is Alive conspiracy
theory is an interesting and diverse one. For instance, the masked
singer Orion (the late Jimmy Ellis) was an integral part of the
early narrative. What is the Presley Commission’s view on the suggestion
that that there were, as some fans attending Orion concerts contend,
actually two Orion’s, one possibly being Elvis Presley?
PA: This matter was covered adequately in The Elvis
Files, by Gail Giorgio, and The Presley Report. The Commission is
aware of the reports by Orion fans, and currently acknowledges the
stories. There is currently no physical evidence to suggest that
Elvis and Jimmy were connected, although there are rumours to the
effect that they were related, but no official ruling has been brought
forth on this.
EIN: The whole Orion conspiracy thing appeared to get
out of hand with theorists moving the goalposts beyond the singer
Orion, and seeing Elvis connections in films released by the Orion
Pictures organisation. To many disbelievers it seemed that all rational
thinking had flown out the door and an ‘anything goes, conspiracy
driven’ utopian mentality had taken over. What is your response
to this perspective?
PA: The Commission was informed some years back about
the “alleged” appearances in movies. Admittedly they do possess
a certain air of mystery about such possibilities. More importantly,
a recent appearance in another film, “Finding Graceland”, was examined.
The subject was also discussed extensively in Gail Giorgio’s book,
‘Elvis Undercover’. Consideration was given to all reports.
EIN: Phil, returning to the music element, Steven Chanzes
produced the album ‘Sivle Sings Again’ by Sivle Nora and later Major
Bill Smith’s record label released the song ‘Spelling On The Grave’.
Both became, for a time, important parts of the Elvis Is Alive conspiracy.
The singer on both the album and single sounded very much like Elvis
but was later revealed on national television to be a sound-a-like
by the name of David Darlock. Was the album/song ever part of the
Commission’s argument, and if so how damaging was the Darlock revelation
to the overall Elvis Is Alive movement?
PA: The best I can tell you is that Mr. Darlock was
interviewed later, and denied his involvement in the recording of
the ‘Sivle’ album. The matter of Major Bill’s single is considered
to be Elvis Presley by a number of fans. The Commission concurs
with these statements, although maintains a disclaimer on these
matters to protect the innocent parties.
EIN: Ralph Thomas, author of ‘How To Investigate By
Computer 2000’, is an investigator who decided to establish whether
or not Elvis was alive by performing a Master Death Claims Index
Search and Social Security Number (SSN) trace. On the first search
Thomas found that Elvis Presley is officially listed as having died
on August 16, 1977 and that a lump sum payment was made. Through
his SSN trace Thomas found a number of people having Elvis’s SSN
(409-52-2002), including a Jon Burrows who listed his address as
3797 Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee! Thomas argues
that if Elvis didn’t die and was placed under the Witness Protection
Program he would have a completely new identity, an identity that
in no way that could be linked to his previous life. The use of
Jon Burrows, an alias many fans know Elvis used during his performing
career wouldn’t make sense and therefore must be a hoax. Do you
or The Commission have a view on this?
PA: Mr. Thomas’ assessment is partially correct, in
that it wouldn’t be likely Elvis would use a name that he used in
his previous life, however The Commission contends that there were
a number of identities, possibly as many as 10 or 12, and at least
three SSN’s. No, I would not call the use of the Jon Burrows name
a hoax. It was, in fact, a plausible use of identity outside of
his entertainment career. Also, as discussed in a previous question,
the Witness Protection Program, sponsored by the U.S. Marshalls,
is not considered to be the correct program for Elvis’ situation.
More on this later.
EIN: In their book, ‘True Disbelievers: The Presley
Contagion’, Professors Denisoff and Plasketes contend that believers
in the idea Elvis is still alive have significant similarities with
those who interact or engage with cult, sect and more mainstream
religious movements. In particular they suggest that consistent
with the psychological theory of ‘cognitive dissonance’, believers
‘resist’ or ‘devalue’ information that contradicts their internal
beliefs. Similarly, a study of music fans published in the late
1970s found that compared to fans of The Beatles, Elvis fans “were
more likely” to exhibit the following personality traits: low self
esteem, greater need for control and greater use of both rationalisation
in making decisions/undertaking daily activities and engaging in
cognitive dissonance. What is your view on these suggestions as
they could apply to the beliefs of The Presley Commission?
PA: It is not The Commission’s position to agree or
disagree with the writings of these two authors. Their book is their
‘professional’ opinions, and are largely based on that, not a consideration
of real and factual evidence that pertains directly to Elvis Presley
case subject. The fact remains, that the evidence exhibits pertaining
to Elvis’ situation are real, verifiable, and based on sound research.
Any consideration otherwise does not cover the subject of validity,
in the Commissions’ view.
EIN: Phil, putting it another way, is it possible the
whole Elvis Is Alive conspiracy theory is simply a case of several
circumstantial strands of evidence being embraced by people with,
for whatever reason, a greater than normal need to believe in or
hang-on to the memory of Elvis Presley?
PA: No hardly…I believe I have already answered the
EIN: Is it a fair comment to say of the theory(ies)
of The Presley Commission that it/they are largely conjecture, where
a number of the arguments could reasonably have more than one possible
answer? For example, the spelling of ‘Aaron’ may simply be an error
made by a member of Elvis’s staff during a very emotional time rather
than a deliberate mistake.
PA: It is not likely that this is the case, however
there are many questions that have been asked that could take on
the appearance of having more than one possible answer. That is
what makes it a question. The Presley Commission continues to work
on the prospect of Elvis being alive because there are many of the
questions that have singular answers, that ultimately satisfy the
curiosity of the public interest. Our mission has been to try and
sort it all out.
EIN: Some parties have alleged that the Elvis Is Alive
Museum you own with Bill Beeny in Missouri is funded by Elvis Presley
Enterprises (EPE) and that EPE has also been behind other parts
of the Elvis Is Alive movement including funding the publication
of at least one of Gail Brewer-Giorgio’s books. The implication
being that EPE is actually a major player in the Elvis Is Alive
conspiracy, albeit for reasons tied to generating greater profits.
What is your response to these suggestions?
PA: Firstly, let me correct your assumption that I am
an owner of the Elvis Is Alive Museum in Missouri with Bill Beeny.
I am not, nor ever have been an owner jointly or otherwise with
Mr. Beeny in the museum. Bill Beeny is a respected friend and colleague.
His own work and individual efforts to sort out the details of the
Elvis matter were acknowledged by The Commission. EPE, to my knowledge
is not a financier of the museum, nor The Commission’s efforts.
They are also not a financier of the works of Gail Giorgio or any
of her constituents. Any public indications of this are fraudulent,
EIN: As EIN understands it, presently the key element
in the whole issue revolves around the issue of DNA. Our understanding
is that in The Commission obtained a tissue sample from a biopsy
Elvis had in the 1970s and that the DNA is different to DNA obtained
from Elvis’s 1977 autopsy. The issue is further complicated as a
DNA sample from the person known as Jesse (aka Elvis) in Dr Hinton’s
story is different yet again. Can you provide us with the history
and current status of this critical issue.
PA: Again let me clarify that The Commission was not
responsible for obtaining the tissue samples from Elvis’ archives
file. The tissues were obtained at the direction of the attorney
conducting a DNA check on a young lady claiming to be a sibling
of Elvis’. The DNA for the young lady failed to match the known
tissue samples from 1973 and 1975. The tissue sample from 1975 was
taken to check for Hepatitus, a condition that Elvis was concerned
about, due to heredity implications. The 1975 tissue, as I understand
it failed to also match a sample taken from the Autopsy tissue from
1977. An independent back up test was conducted by a major news
agency, and the results turned out the same. The autopsy tissue
purportedly Elvis’ did not match the known tissue from the 1975
sample. This summarily proves that the person autopsied was not
Elvis Presley, since it is probable that the ’75 tissue does in
fact belong to him.
EIN: Phil, the Presley Commission has previously declined
to say how it obtained the tissue samples facilitating the DNA test.
Critics argue that this is consistent with other structural and
operational flaws in the whole Is Elvis Alive? argument. No ‘hard’
evidence, that would stand up in a court of law, is provided, only
conjecture and circumstantial, alleged, vague and/or unsubstantiated
evidence. Are you able to tell us how you did obtain the tissue
PA: Those who allegedly claim the descriptive terms
used to explain flaws in the system, fail to understand fully the
importance of conducting verifiable and sound research. The fact
is, the majority of information that is publicly available about
Elvis Presley’s alleged death in 1977 is largely flawed in the explanation
by the media and others. As far as the tissue samples, I believe
I have already answered that part of your question.