samedi 4 août 2012
Silk and Mystery
I bought these beautiful scarves in Phuket. They are made of Thai silk by Jim Thompson Company. Qualitatively they are comparable to Hermes scarves ( I plan to write a post about Hermes scarves as they are my favourite) at a fraction of their price however.
Before coming to Thailand I had no idea who Jim Thompson was and how he got into the silk business. I found out that he was a former OSS staff (OSS became later the CIA) during the Second World War. After the war he settled in Thailand were he discovered the silk articrafts specific to this country. The silk industry and craftmanship was however in dire straits at that time. Through his enthusiasm and skill Thompson contributed to successfully relaunch the industry and make it a world wide known asset for Thailand.
Thompson disappeared mysteriously from the house of friends one afternoon in 1967 at the age of 61. His body was never found and no information surfaced about his whereabouts. Some times after his disappearance his sister was assassinated and her house searched,
There are several hypotheses about his disappearance: that he continued working for the CIA and that the silk business was just a cover up; or that he had powerful enemies in his business. Until today the mystery remains unsolved.