A photo from the Blacktip Island Historical Society archives that society officials say shows Elvis Presley (at right, with back to camera) and Doors singer Jim Morrison (at left, in background) alive on Blacktip Island in the late 1970s, well after both musicians’ alleged deaths. (photo courtesy of the Blacktip Island Historical Society)
Historians at the Blacktip Island Historical Society Thursday announced the discovery of a photograph that indicates Elvis Presley and Doors front man Jim Morrison were alive on Blacktip Island well after their reported deaths.
The photo, which shows the back of a man’s head officials say is Presley’s and part of the forehead of a man they say is Morrison, supports local legends that the two rock and roll icons lived out their later lives in seclusion on the small Caribbean island.
“You could have knocked me down with a feather when I found it,” island historian Smithson Altschul said. “I called in a couple of associates, and they were both gobsmacked.
“There’s not enough detail to use facial recognition, but we do have top-of-the-line head recognition software,” Altschul said. “And boy did it ping on those two figures.”
Many residents feel vindicated by the find.
“There’s been talk for years about Elvis and Jim Morrison coming to Blacktip to escape all the media ruckus,” amateur historian Doris Blenny said. “But there was only circumstantial evidence: lots of Skerritts with major sideburns, and all those shaggy-headed Bottomses running around.
“So many of us have wanted to believe for so long,” Blenny said. “It’s nice to finally find solid evidence. Or something close to it.”
Others agree the photo adds credence to the theory the two men spent their final days on Blacktip.
“Elvis dying on the toilet? Brother Jim dying of heart failure at 27? I don’t think so,” said resident Rusty Goby. “Daddy used to tell of a local scuba-ska band in the 80s called ‘El Viz and the Hatches.’ That can’t be coincidence.
“There’s no photos or footage of them playing, but them hiding out here makes way more sense than dying on the crapper,” Goby said. “And Morrison spent a ton of time on Blacktip before he formed the Doors. He called himself the ‘Lizard King’ after the island iguanas.”
Others, though, say too much is being read into the photo.
“The people in that picture could be anyone,” local Christina Mojarra said. “The back of someone’s head? Seriously? Smithson needs to lay off the white rum. He’s just looking for attention. And funding.”
Society officials denied claims the photo is a marketing ploy for an upcoming fundraiser.
“Sure, there’s a music festival next week to raise money for our archives,” Altschul said. “But it’s pure chance that we’re featuring Elvis impersonators and Doors cover bands.
“This photo has helped get the word out, though,” Altshul added. “We’re looking for a bigger venue. People can’t get flights to Blacktip, the planes are so full.”
Some residents can’t wait for the festival to start.
“I doubt either is still alive, but what if they are?” Blenny said. “How incredible would it be if Elvis and Jim Morrison showed up, maybe even sang together on stage?”
Tickets can be purchased at the Blacktip Island Historical Society.