The Umbrella Man – Erroll Morris and Josiah “Tink” Thompson

November 28, 2013

This video, dated November 22, 2011, appeared in the New York Times online video section on November 23 this year. Documentary filmmaker Erroll Morris interviews Josiah Thompson, author of Six Seconds in Dallas about his view of “Umbrella Man”, a character he named in the famous Zapruder film who holds up and pumps an umbrella in Dealey Plaza in front of the JFK limousine as the shots ring out. Researcher Robert Cutler believed the umbrella concealed a weapon that fired a flechette, making the small wound in the front of Kennedy’s throat. Fletcher Prouty confirmed such weapons existed in the 1960s, having been shown a working model in his Pentagon office. Senator Frank Church revealed a similar weapon using a pistol with a rifle scope to aim accurately up to the length of a football field and using shellfish toxin to cause heart failure, but leaving little evidence of the disc/bullet or the toxin during an autopsy. He showed it on televised hearings of his Committee on CIA abuses. Thompson dismisses the claim, accepting instead the story told by Stephen Witt to the House Select Committee on Assassinations that he held up the umbrella as a protest to the Nazi appeasement policies of Joseph Kennedy and Neville Chamberlin prior to Hitler’s invasions of Western Europe, since Chamberlin carried an umbrella conspicuously. Cutler pointed out that the umbrella shown to the HSCA did not match the one in Zapruder’s film and other photographs in terms of number of spokes and other details. Other researchers felt the man was signaling shooters who could see him from many locations as he pumped the umbrella. He is seen after the shooting sitting briefly on the curb with another man holding a walkie talkie radio to his mouth. In a totally chaotic scene, they seem calm, and rise to walk east on Elm Street while crowds run towards the Grassy Knoll. View here:

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