When the Beatles stopped touring, their public appearances decreased significantly. By September 1969 the band had secretly split but this was kept quiet to ensure good sales on their two last albums, Abbey Road and Let it Be. McCartney retreated to his farm in Scotland with new wife Linda, stepdaughter Heather and new baby Mary and started preparing his first solo album. This retreat from the public eye fostered the rumours of his death. On January 7, 1967 McCartney's car was involved in a crash, but he was not in the car when it crashed. He was instead at a party in Sussex and the man driving the car (who was not badly injured) was allegedly using the car to transport drugs up to the party goers. The hoax is one of Time Magazine’s Top Ten most persistent conspiracy theories. However, it is nothing more than this - a hoax.
[P1] McCartney retreated from public life in the 1960s, leading to the myth that he was actually dead. [P2] While these rumours have persisted, there is ultimately no evidence they are true.