They don’t quite believe it over there in Muslim land. After so many years, the sudden denouement to the long and murderous saga of Osama bin Laden strains their credulity. This, in a part of the world that has no difficulty accepting the idea of an afterlife that includes “gardens and vineyards, and high- bosomed virgins.”
“The Americans have not shown any credible evidence of Sheikh Osama’s death, and his death has not been confirmed or denied by the sources close to Osama bin Laden,” say the Taliban. In Abbottabad, former home to the defunct terror master, locals speculate that Sunday’s U.S. operation was as bogus as some think the moon landing in 1969, a ruse hatched by Barack Obama’s nefarious Together We Strive team. “They’re just making it up. Nobody has seen the body,” argued attorney Owais Khan, a man obviously familiar with habeas corpus. Said Haji Liaquat, a local printer, “It’s not the reality that Osama was present over there. This is just a drama to show how Pakistan is protecting Osama.”
- “He was working the drive-through at a Hardee’s in Little Rock. We ordered hamburgers and he asked us if we wanted fries with that. Then he said thank you, thank you very much.”
- “He works at the gap in the North Shore mall. He goes by the name of Ed.”
- “I saw Elvis in Collingwood in JULY. His name was Trent Carlini but I’m pretty sure it was Elvis.”
Jim Morrison, one time military brat turned psychedelic lyricist and lead shaman for the 1960’s rock group The Doors, was discovered naked and lifeless in a Parisian bathtub in 1971. Or was he?
- Walt Fleischer, a bank teller at Bank of America in San Fransisco says a man resembling Jim Morrison completed a bank transaction, in the singer’s name, AFTER his death. Walt commented that he can’t be positive it was Jim as he never ID’ed him. Having dealt with Jim in the past, and having his ID on file, it wasn’t common practice to ID customers they were familiar with, especially rock stars that were easy for them to remember and identify.
- Paris Airport – There were numerous reports and rumors floating around Paris that Jim and Pam were spotted saying goodbye to one another at a Paris airport where Jim was seen boarding a plane. These sightings took place the day before Jim’s death.
- A filmmaker claims The Doors’ frontman is alive and raising horses on a ranch in southern Oregon. Rodeo photographer Gerald Pitts insists Morrison didn’t die in July of 1971 and he has current photographs and film footage of the rocker to prove it. Pitts, who met Morrison in 1998, says the rocker staged his death because of a French conspiracy to kill him, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix with narcotics because they were all Vietnam war protestors. These days, Morrison isn’t the drug user he once was, although Pitts says when he goes over to Jim’s house he’ll “maybe have an occasional beer.”
John Edgar Hoover, the late FBI chief and originator of the Top Ten bad guys list, suspected that Adolf Hitler had faked his suicide in 1945, escaped from the demolished Reich aboard a convenient submarine, and had been living at various times since on a Argentine ranch, in a Dutch hotel and in a New York City flophouse. According to informants, one of whom was a physician who reportedly treated him for severe constipation in 1954, the Fuehrer had grown a beard and suffered from asthma and stomach ulcers. Previously, an eagle-eyed observer had spotted the former head Nazi leisurely dining on lamb chops in a Washington restaurant in 1946.
In 1865, the hurried and somewhat secretive burial of Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth gave rise to the rumor that the Feds had gunned down the wrong guy in that barn in Virginia. Booth sightings began shortly thereafter and continued until the turn of the century.
In 1882, the outlaw Jesse James was murdered by the coward Robert Ford, shot in the back of the head, his lifeless corpse photographed for posterity. Nonetheless, rumors of good Jesse’s survival persisted up until the exhumation of his remains in 1995, after which mitochondrial DNA typing finally placed the ex-Confederate train robber in his grave for good.
It’s a recurring phenomena, this unreasoning belief in the survival of the notorious, and reveals more about the muddled psyches of the living than the imperishability of the dead. So the next time you spot Osama bin Laden behind the counter of a falafel shop in L.A. or driving a gypsy cab in Manhattan, remember–always ask for I.D.