The hoax arose at a prime time for conspiracy theories
1969 was the year that counter-culture took off and the mistrust of society became more widespread. Events such as the Warren commission’s report into JFK’s assassination, Watergate, and the Vietnam war were all occurring with no internet for people to corroborate stories. The ‘Paul is dead’ hoax began with playful misreporting and became entrenched as a conspiracy theory. In his article on the legacy of "Paul is dead" in January 2017, Anis Shivani described how the conspiracy narrative has expanded to include Lennon's assassination in 1980 and Harrison's near-fatal stabbing in 1999 – all due to forces that were protecting the "truth" behind "Paul is dead." Paul's explanation for the conspiracy theory was that "People may have taken too many drugs and started looking for answers in all the wrong places!"
[P1] The 1960s were a pivotal time for conspiracy theories. [P2] Therefore, the rumours that Paul McCartney is dead had traction.