At the urging of a Miami disc jockey, Dr. Henry M. Truby, director of the university's language and linguistics research laboratory, put the McCartney riddle to a "sound fingerprint" test.
After 20 hours of running experiments on dozens of Beatles records dating from the early 1960's, the professor said there is "reasonable doubt" that three voices popularly atrributed to McCartney are produced by the same set of vocal chords.
"I hear three different McCartneys," Truby said.
Speculation that McCartney died in an automobile accident in November 1966 has touched off a world wide controversy in pop music circles.
The furor prompted Apple Corp, Ltd., the Beatles London office to issue a brief statement from Paul: "I am alive and well and unconcerned about the rumors of my death. But if I were dead, I would be the last to know."
But Truby, an audio expert, insists, "I heard three different McCartneys."
Truby said experiments on a sound spectograph machine indicated there were six different voices on the records he tested. Three were clearly identified as those of Beatles John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. The three others sound "roughly" like the same person, the professor said, but the spectograph - which makes sound "fingerprints" - show a different authorship.
"I cannot conclude that the same voice appears in these early late passages," said Truby, who has spent 20 years in scientific audio studies.
~UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL