Preacher Selling Elvis Museum on eBay One lucky bidder will walk away with the contents of the roadside Elvis is Alive Museum in Wright City, Mo. Owner Bill Beeny has spent the past 17 years compiling evidence that the King is still kicking.

Preacher Selling Elvis Museum on eBay

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ALEX CHADWICK, host:

Okay. Now a story that may be sounds like a joke, but it is real, and it's an opportunity for you. On eBay there's an entire roadside Elvis museum for sale. It's Bill Beeny's Elvis Is Alive Museum in Wright City, Missouri. Billy is 81. He wants to quit. So tomorrow a lucky bidder could walk away with all of his Elvis memorabilia, including evidence that The King is still alive.

NPR's Jason Beaubien reports.

JASON BEAUBIEN: Bill Beeny is a Baptist minister, an evangelist who dresses like an aging rock star. Standing outside his museum on the main highway between St. Louis in Kansas City, he's wearing a black satin jacket with raised red lettering that says Elvis. His thinning hair is dyed jet black and slicked back.

Mr. BILL BEENY (Founder, Elvis Is Alive Museum): We, as you can see, are right alongside Highway 70. They can look over and see the Big Elvis.

BEAUBIEN: The Big Elvis is a two-story plywood cutout of Presley. The paint is faded, but even in silhouette it's recognizable as The King. Beeny is leaning against the long white Cadillac that's parked in front of the museum.

Mr. BEENY: This is a replica of a car that Elvis rode in a lot. He would ride in the back on the right hand side, and we used it as an attention getter so people would see it and identify it with the Elvis Is Alive Museum.

BEAUBIEN: The car hasn't started in years, but it's up for sale along with the rest of the museum.

(Soundbite of song, "Baby, Let's Play House")

Mr. ELVIS PRESLEY (Singer): (Singing) Come back, baby. I wanna play house with you.

BEAUBIEN: Inside the one room museum, there are photos of Elvis from his various phases. There's Elvis the airbrushed movie star; Elvis the rhinestone-studied king; and then there's the loose-hipped rocking rebel.

(Soundbite of song "Baby, Let's Play House")

Mr. PRESLEY (Singer): (Singing) Come back, baby. I wanna play house with you.

(Soundbite of cheering)

BEAUBIEN: In the back of the museum, a mannequin that even Beeny concedes doesn't really look much like Elvis is laid out in a casket. Beeny's had a colorful and at times controversial life. In the 1960s he was involved in anti-communist campaigns and had several unsuccessful bids for public office. And recently he spent more than a decade and a half arguing that Elvis isn't really dead.

Mr. BEENY: And we have here thirty-five hundred pages of FBI files, and these chronicled the activities of Elvis.

BEAUBIEN: And they prove, Beeny says, that Elvis was an undercover FBI agent. His theory of Elvis's disappearance goes like this. Elvis helped the FBI with a mob sting. The mafia got angry and tried to kill him, so Elvis staged his own funeral and went into the witness protection program. To support this theory, Beeny has two human tissue samples. One Beeny insists is from Elvis and the others from the corpse in Elvis's grave. He's had the DNA tested, and you guessed it, they don't match.

In addition, the high bidder will also get this scratchy recording allegedly of Elvis four years after his funeral talking about his new secretive life.

(Soundbite of a recording)

Unidentified Man: I started traveling around the world.

BEAUBIEN: Beeny's collection also includes stacks of National Enquirers and other tabloids, a grainy photo of Elvis with Mohammad Ali four years after his supposed death. Beeny says he'd like to keep the museum running, but he's getting too old for it.

Mr. BEENY: Yeah, a little bit of my heart will probably tear out and go with it when it's loaded up.

BEAUBIEN: But Bill Beeny hopes the winning bidder will carry on the legacy of this most unusual museum and keep spreading the word that Elvis is alive.

Jason Beaubien, NPR News.

(Soundbite of song)

CHADWICK: He'll live forever, and DAY TO DAY continues.

(Soundbite of song, "So High")

Mr. PRESLEY: (Singing) Well, I ain't been to heaven but I'm, I'm told the streets, the streets are pearls, you know, the mighty, mighty, mighty gates are gold, and he's high, so wide, he's so low, the mighty lamb. Well, he's high, and he's wide...

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