The Umbrella Man (right) and the Dark-Complected Man
Most of the assassination researchers prefer this first theory. But there is another one that cannot be dismissed. Researcher Robert Cutler claimed that the umbrella may have been a dart-firing weapon. This is supported by the testimony of a CIA weapons developer in 1975 (1). He told the Senate's Intelligence Committee that such an umbrella was in use in 1963. He described the weapon as looking like an umbrella. He explained the dart gun was silently operating and fired through the webbing when the umbrella was opened. He also said that the CIA ordered about 50 of such guns and that they were operational in 1963. Furthermore, Cutler theorized that Kennedy's throat wound could have been a wound caused by such a dart, but that it was altered during the Bethesda autopsy. This would also explain Kennedy's lack of motion during the shooting sequence. Many researchers think that since such a weapon existed and its operation is consistent with the actions of Umbrella man, this theory can not be ignored completely.
Zapruder film frame showing the umbrella
"Coincidently", the Umbrella Man was suddenly identified in Dallas just shortly after this national appeal. An anonymous caller told researcher Penn Jones Jr. that the wanted man was the former Dallas insurance salesman Louis Steven Witt. Jones contacted some local newsmen and together they confronted Witt. Although Witt refused to talk to a newsman, he confirmed that he was in Dealey Plaza when Kennedy was killed. Jones later wrote (2):
- I felt the man had been coached. He would answer no questions and pointedly invited us to leave. His only positive statement, which seemed to come very quickly, was that he was willing to appear before the House Select Committee on Assassinations in Washington.
- I think I went sort of maybe halfway up the grassy area (on the north side of Elm Street), somewhere in that vicinity. I am pretty sure I sat down....(When the motorcade approached) I think I got up and started fiddling with that umbrella trying to get it open, and at the same time I was walking forward, walking toward the street....Whereas other people I understand saw the President shot and his movements; I did not see this because of this thing (the umbrella) in front of me....My view of the car during that length of time was blocked by the umbrella's being open. (4)
- They done shot them folks.
(1) Jim Marrs: Crossfire - The Plot That Killed Kennedy. p. 30.
(2) Jim Marrs: Crossfire - The Plot That Killed Kennedy. p. 32.
(3) Robert J. Groden - The Killing Of A President. (4) HSCA Vol. IV, p. 432f.