Lecture: The Mysterious Disappearance of Jim Thompson, “The Silk King of Thailand”

Dr. Llewellyn Toulmin, co-founder of Missing Aircraft Search Team

When Jim Thompson vanished fifty years ago, he was the best-known American in Thailand. Rumors still swirl around his disappearance. Thompson had set up the Bangkok Office of Strategic Services and later served as a CIA asset in Thailand, but it was his beautiful Thai silk that made him famous. He revitalized the industry, amassed a huge art collection, and built a magnificent house by piecing together elements from traditional Thai homes. So what could have happened in March of 1967, when he went for a short walk in the high jungles of Malaysia and never returned? Why were the CIA, Department of State, the US Army, and the FBI involved in the massive search? Join Dr. Llewellyn Toulmin, the co-founder of Missing Aircraft Search Team, as he analyzes the case from a scientific search and rescue point of view; discusses Thompson’s CIA connections; and suggests a solution to this famous mystery. 

As a prelude to the discussion, curator Lee Talbot will briefly comment on Jim Thompson’s pivotal role in revitalizing the Thai silk industry and the ongoing legacy of his entrepreneurship and art collecting.

This lecture is co-sponsored with the International Spy MuseumAdvance registration is required; space is limited. Register with the International Spy Museum online or at 202-654-0991. Museum members should contact Shana Oltmans at soltmans@spymuseum.org for tickets. Fee: $8/museum members; $10/public.