In 1977, a headline article (“Could Klaatu Be Beatles? Mystery Is A Magical Tour”) by Steve Smith in the Providence Journal started a rumour that the debut album (3:47 EST) by then unknown band Klaatu was, in fact, an undercover side project by The Beatles. With songs like “Sub Rosa Speedway” (a song about Alfred Ely Beach, the inventor of the first subway system in New York City) you can kinda sorta see why:

If Steve had bothered to check YouTube, he could have found this clip below which predates his article by a couple of years - here is Klaatu playing “California Jam” on Keith Hampshire’s tv show Music Machine from 1974 (it’s more Beach Boys than Beatles imo):

Klaatu hailed from Toronto - formed in 1973 by John Woloschuk, Dee Long and Terry Draper. Their first album had no names, photos, biography info or songwriting credits which fed into the Beatles rumour mill. At that time, the band was in the UK working on their second album (Hope) and were amused more than anything, but by the time it was all over lots of people thought they had staged the whole thing in the first place. Hope was released in 1977 and was the last album to chart; the last couple weren’t that well received and they finally called it quits in 1982. From the third album (Sir Army Suit), here is “Perpetual Motion Machine”:

Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft” from the first Klaatu album was covered by The Carpenters in 1977 and it was a massive hit (#1 in Ireland!):

Klaatu Albums:
- 3:47 E.S.T. (1976)
- Hope (1977)
- Sir Army Suit (1978)
- Endangered Species (1980)
- Magentalane (1981)

BTW, 3:47 EST is the time the alien ship landed in the movie The Day The Earth Stood Still from 1951 (the alien emissary being named Klaatu).