Dead men don't sweat.
That's one reason the Presley Commission - a sleuthing group of Elvis fans - claims to have proof the King lives.Threats from organized crime forced Elvis to fake his demise and stage a phony funeral replete with his perspiring wax likeness inside a coffin so he could enter the federal witness protection program, a commission report said Friday.
Since then, Elvis has moved from place to place, living in disguises and using a dozen aliases and, presumably, validating at least some of the sightings reported in supermarket tabloids, the report contended.
After working on the conspiracy theory for 21/2 years, the commission's writers, researchers, unidentified federal officials and other assorted gumshoes unveiled their report at Camper's Paradise Resort in Moneta.
Phil Aitcheson, a freight trucking broker who put the commission together, did it all with a straight face.
"This was a very serious effort. A lot of people spent a great deal of money and time and effort to determine the truth," he said.
Joan Clark, president of the Looking For Elvis Fan Club, drove 900 miles from Mobile, Ala., to pay $29.95 for a copy of the inch-thick report and repeatedly nodded her head in accord as Aitcheson summarized the contents.
The 25 members used materials from several best-selling books purporting to show that Elvis faked his death and obtained hundreds of new government and medical documents under the Freedom of Information Act.
And here, the Presley Commission maintained, is the shocking truth:
The body found in the bathroom of Presley's Memphis, Tenn., mansion, Graceland, on Aug. 16, 1977, actually was the cousin of the King's manager.
What mourners passing the King's catafalque saw was a wax dummy cooled by an elaborate system of dry ice and battery-powered, soundproof fans concealed inside the casket.
That, the commission said, explains why a dead Elvis sweats.
Aitcheson and the investigative coordinator performed their own experiment by cooling a wax candle in the freezer, then taking it out into room temperature. Condensation formed on the candle's surface.
Elvis wanted people to think he was dead to protect himself and his family from death threats stemming from his top-secret role as a government agent.
In 1970, President Nixon named Elvis an honorary special agent at large for the agency that would become the Drug Enforcement Administration. Rumors about Elvis' drug use were spread to support a cover-up, the aftermath of which continues to this day, the commission said.