Probably a hoax, but likely based on significant facts. The photos alone show major differences:
What if this hoax? spurred Ringo on to telling the truth for sure?
From: Before It’s News
Ringo says Paul died in 1966
Saturday, February 28, 2015
FORMER BEATLE RINGO STARR CLAIMS THE “REAL” PAUL MCCARTNEY DIED IN 1966 AND WAS REPLACED BY LOOK-ALIKE
… In an exclusive interview with the Hollywood Inquirer, Mr. Starr explained that the “real” Paul McCartney had died in a car crash on November 9 1966, after an argument during a Beatles’ recording session. To spare the public from grief, the Beatles replaced him with a man named William Shears Campbell, who was the winner of a McCartney look-alike contest and who happened to have the same kind of jovial personality as Paul.
“When Paul died, we all panicked!” claims Ringo, obviously very emotional. “We didn’t know what to do, and Brian Epstein, our manager, suggested that we hire Billy Shears as a temporary solution. It was supposed to last only a week or two, but time went by and nobody seemed to notice, so we kept playing along. Billy turned out to be a pretty good musician and he was able to perform almost better than Paul. The only problem was that he couldn’t get along with John, at all.” …
Mr. Starr alleges that the group did send out a lot of hidden messages through the years to prepare the population for the truth. …
“We felt guilty about the deception” added Ringo Starr. “We wanted to tell the world the truth, be we were afraid of the reactions it would provoke. We thought the whole planet was going to hate us for all the lies we had told, so we kept lying but sending subtle clues to relieve our consciousness. When the first rumors finally began about the whole thing, we felt very nervous and started fighting a lot with each other. At some point, it was too much for John and he decided to leave the band.”
Ringo Starr claims that he finally decided to tell the truth, because he was afraid that it was going to die with him.