Hundreds of people who believe in the right-wing conspiracy theory QAnon gathered in downtown Dallas on Tuesday in the hopes of seeing John F. Kennedy Jr. — a man who died more than two decades ago — reappear and issue support for former President Donald Trump.
Bystander video taken in Dealey Plaza on Tuesday showed people — many of them carrying QAnon flags or wearing QAnon apparel — gathered on the grassy knoll of Dealey Plaza. The Dallas Morning News and The Washington Post report that the crowd peaked in the hundreds just after noon local time.
John F. Kennedy Jr. died in a plane crash in 1999. However, the son of President John F. Kennedy has assumed a significant place in the QAnon lore.
While not all QAnon believers subscribe to JFK Jr.'s resurgence, Rolling Stone reports that theory is becoming "increasingly popular" among followers. Some proponents believe that Kennedy Jr. never died in the '99 plane crash and has since been living in disguise as a Trump supporter named Vincent Fusca.
That faction of QAnon conspiracy theorists believed that JFK Jr. would come out of hiding on election day 2021 in Dallas, the site of his father's assassination. He would then play a critical role in re-installing Trump as president.
The Dallas Morning News reports that the crowd dispersed after a few hours as rain entered the area. Some of the conspiracy theorists predicted a revelation at a Rolling Stones concert in the area that took place on Tuesday night, while others pledged to return to Dealey Plaza later that evening.
QAnon is a conspiracy theory that maintains that Trump is secretly fighting a cabal of leftist politicians and celebrities that are abusing children. The conspiracy took hold in 2017 on the message board 4chan, when a user began posting on the site claiming to be an anonymous high-ranking government official.
Even though the anonymous government official has not posted on 4chan or its sister site, 8kun, in over a year, the conspiracy has since spiraled onto more mainstream social media sites — despite platforms' efforts to suppress the spread of misinformation.
QAnon followers have already carried out violent acts in the real world. Q followers were prevalent at the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, and one follower was arrested and later convicted after brandishing a gun at the Hoover Dam in 2018.
Earlier this year, the FBI warned lawmakers that QAnon could become more militant in the months and years to come.