A bizarre conspiracy theory gaining traction online claims that photographic evidence indicates that the British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking died many years ago, and was replaced by a lookalike. The conspiracy theory began spreading online after some netizens claimed that analysis of photos of the theoretical physicist taken since the 1970s shows inconsistencies with regard to his appearance which indicate that the real Stephen Hawking was replaced in the early 1980s by an impostor, and that the public is being deceived to believe that he is still alive.
Miles Mathis, a notorious conspiracy theorist, appears to have originated the outlandish theory. Mathis is a "skeptic" who specializes in investigating every field of knowledge, including Mathematics, the Grand Unified Theory of physics, false flag events, and other "faked events."
He claims that his suspicion that Stephen Hawking died long ago was first aroused by the fact that he has lived unusually long for someone with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Experts say that the average life expectancy of patients with ALS is two to five years from the time of diagnosis of the illness. According to experts, only about 50 percent of patients with ALS live more than three years, and the vast majority of patients die within five years of diagnosis.
Hawking was born in 1942. He was first diagnosed with ALS at age 21 in 1963. He is now 75-years-old. This means that he has survived the deadly terminal illness for 54 years, although it is extremely rare for patients to survive more than 20 years after diagnosis.
Observers have noted that Hawking's lifespan could be a record longevity for his condition. The only other ALS sufferer known to have lived for more than three decades after ALS diagnosis is the Canadian Steve Wells. Wells was first diagnosed with the condition in 1980 and has survived 37 years, compared with Hawking's 54 years.
Another well-known long-term survivor is Jason Eli Becker, who was diagnosed with the condition in the 1990s when he was in his early 20s. He has survived 27 years after diagnosis. However, Hawking, Wells, and Becker, are extremely rare cases because virtually all ALS patients die within the first two decades after diagnosis.
According to Mathis, based on what we know about the life expectancy of people diagnosed with ALS, and results of the facial analysis he has conducted using photos of the famed British physicist taken over the years as his ALS condition progressed, it can be concluded that the real Stephen Hawking very likely died in the 1980s and that the person who poses as Stephen Hawking today is an impostor.
"It appears the real Hawking did beat the odds and live for about 20 years. But at some point he was replaced. I have no proof he died, but I assume that is why they replaced him. He was a very useful public relations entity for physics, and they didn't want to lose him."Mathis presents what he considers to be photo evidence that the current Stephen Hawking is an impostor (see photos here) and invites people to look at the evidence with an open mind.
"This paper is nothing more than presented evidence, evidence I find compelling," Mathis writes. "The picture under the title is the real Hawking. Notice the longish face and skinny neck. Also notice the dark brown hair."
Mathis argues that we can distinguish the real Hawking from the impostor in the series of photos. The real Hawking had a "longish face and a skinny neck." His teeth were also different. The real Hawking had brown hair that was turning grey, but suddenly, he became blonde, and his teeth changed dramatically.
Mathis insists that the photographic evidence suggests the real Hawking was switched for the fake one in the 1980s, most likely in the early 1980s.
"They found a guy with the same nose and big ears, but otherwise they don't look that much alike. [The real] Hawking might not have written A Brief History of Time, which came out in 1988. I haven't pinpointed the date, but that was about the time they made the switch. My current guess is early 80's, which—if true—would mean that book was a forgery."[Featured Image by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images]