Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Nothing new on "the umbrella man" of Nov. 22, 1963

In a post titled JFK assassination “Umbrella Man” mystery explained which appears on, Eric Pfeiffer does not actually explain the mystery of the umbrella man:

As Morris and Thompson both attest, the image of the Umbrella Man is "sinister." But there's an unexpected layer to the story. As it turns out, the Umbrella Man actually testified before the House Select Committee on Assassinations in the late 1970's and his true identity has been a matter of public record for decades. Without giving away the full saga of Umbrella Man, suffice it to say that it's like much of the stories that continue to spin out of that fateful day in Dallas: at once too strange, and too mundane, to seem entirely believable.

Thus, while plumping up the idea that a new revelation has appeared in November 2011, Pfeiffer doesn't give it. In fact, it's not a "new" revelation either. Wikipedia notes of the Umbrella Man

After an appeal to the public by the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations, Louie Steven Witt came forward in 1978 and claimed to be the Umbrella Man. He claimed he still had that umbrella and did not know he had been the subject of controversy. He said that he brought the umbrella to simply heckle Kennedy. John Kennedy's father had been a supporter of the Nazi-appeasing British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. By waving a black umbrella, Chamberlain's trademark fashion accessory, Witt claims he was protesting the Kennedy family appeasing Adolf Hitler before World War II. An umbrella had been used in cartoons in the 1930s to symbolize such appeasement.[2] Kennedy, who wrote a thesis on appeasement while at Harvard, Why England Slept, might have recognized the symbolism of the umbrella.

To believe this story, one has to be willing to believe that someone in 1963 wanted to heckle President Kennedy for actions by Kennedy's father in the 1930's? Furthermore, as to Witt, how did it happen that he was not interviewed by the Warren Commission in 1963-1964, with Witt coming forward fifteen years later, as if the Umbrella Man issue had not been identified in the 1960s? Hard to believe.

As to credibility issues in the matter, see previous IPBiz posts including

September 27: anniversary of 1964 declaration that Oswald acted alone

On Gerald Posner and "accidental plagiarism"

**For clarity, Kennedy's thesis (and book) titled "Why England Slept" is a play on the title of Churchill's book "While England Slept." John Kennedy's thesis DID DEFEND the appeasement policies of Chamberlain. Wikipedia notes the book "is notable for its uncommon stance of not castigating the appeasement policy of the British government at the time." Kennedy the son defended the policies of Kennedy the father, who paid to have the thesis made into a book.


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