This is a development story and will be updated.
Dozens of QAnon believers gathered in downtown Dallas Tuesday afternoon in hopes that John F. Kennedy Jr. would emerge, heralding the reinstatement of Donald Trump as president.
The supporters first gathered Monday night in downtown Dallas. Around 1 p.m. Tuesday, hundreds of people were at Dealey Plaza, the site where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.
Kennedy’s son died in a plane crash in 1999 at the age of 38, but some supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory believe he has spent the last 22 years in hiding. The group believes that John F. Kennedy Jr. will reappear on the square before midnight Tuesday, Newsweek reported.
A post from a widely followed QAnon account on social media said that after being reinstated as president, Trump would resign. The Post said JFK Jr. then would become president, Michael Flynn would be appointed his vice president, and Trump would eventually become “the king of kings,” according to Newsweek.
Experts who have been following QAnon since the start said even they were surprised by the amount of people who showed up for Tuesday’s event.
“Honestly, I’m a little shocked at how many people showed up for this,” said Jared Holt, a permanent fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, who researches domestic extremism. “This was not a widespread belief, even among QAnon supporters.”
The conspiracy theory centers on allegiance to Trump, which QAnon supporters believe will run a shady “Deep State” that they believe consists of left-wing politicians and celebrities who are pedophiles.
Law enforcement groups, including the FBI, have warned of the dangers of real-world violence from supporters of the movement. QAnon supporters have taken part in acts of violence and were well represented during the January 6 uprising near the US capital.
QAnon is an umbrella group where different segments of members do not necessarily agree on the same ideologies, Holt said. He believes Tuesday’s events began on chat channels obsessed with numerology.
Lookups in these channels indicated that Kennedy Jr. would reveal himself on Tuesday. Holt said he was unsure why the crowd thinks Kennedy Jr. would choose Dallas, the site of his father’s murder, among all places to expose himself.
JFK Jr. has previously been a popular figure among QAnon conspiracy theorists. In 2019, some QAnon members thought he would return on July 4 as Trump’s vice president, Forbes reported. Another theory claims that JFK Jr. is “Q”, according to the group’s anonymous leader Forbes.