Imagine this: a young reporter is in Dealey Plaza at the time of President John F. Kennedy's assassination. Frantic as shots are fired and the president is hit, the reporter runs inside to find a phone and file a report -- only to run smack dab into Lee Harvey Oswald. Unfortunately, though, the reporter isn't aware of the man's importance. He asks for directions to the nearest phone - the man jerks his thumb in response - and he hurries on his way.
That's the remarkable story of Pierce Allman, who says the encounter still causes him grief.
TheBlaze TV's Andrew Wilkow caught up with Allman for an exclusive interview at an event at The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, which will air as part of a one-hour JFK special Friday at 7:00 p.m. ET.
"The guy was very calm. Not out of breath. Not stressed," Allman told Wilkow, recalling his run-in with Oswald. "The follow-up to that is about three weeks later, the Secret Service called and said, 'We'd like to visit with you.' And they started off by asking where I was standing and what I did ... and they asked about the guy in the doorway."
Allman said the Secret Service asked about his actions and those of the man he ran into "four or five times" before saying, "Are you familiar with the testimony of Lee Harvey Oswald after his arrest?"
"(Oswald) states that as he was leaving the depository building, a young man with a crew cut rushed up, identified himself as a newsman, and asked where a phone was," Allman said the Secret Service told him. "And they said that's obviously you."
Allman said the Secret Service asked if he could provide any additional information, but he said he could not because it would be "power of suggestion."
"After they left, I didn't run down the hall and tell anybody. I didn't tell anyone. I sat there and I started to try to remember as hard as I could, that encounter," Allman continued. "And I realized it was fruitless, because by that time I had seen the photographs."
Allman paused in thought, saying slowly: "I don't think about that consciously ... it kinda becomes part of you. Now and then you get the 'what-if'... If I had looked up earlier. If I had gotten a good look..."
"In my haste to get to the phone, would I have recognized him?" he asked. "Would I have said, 'You're the guy in the window? Would I have put an arm out or called someone, or could I have saved Tippit's life? It's one of those what-ifs ... now and then I get a little twinge of guilt about not recognizing him and maybe having saved another life."
Watch a sneak peek of the interview below:
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