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In his "testimony" to the HSCA, Witt says more than once that immediately after the shooting he was "standing on the retaining wall and that he sat down on it ." Are there any photographs/film footage actually showing him doing this? How could he possibly confuse the curb of the sidewalk with the retaining wall, for cryin' out loud?

I think he clearly meant the curb. At one point he said he may have been "over and possibly standing on the retaining wall." If you're over the retaining wall, there is no doubt you're standing on it.

At the time Witt referred to "the retaining wall" in his testimony, the photos of him and DCM sitting on the curb were exhibits on easels, so Witt obviously knew the difference between the curb he was shown sitting on and the wall that was over by the steps on the knoll.

Why would he call the curb the "retaining wall"? I can hazard a guess. He had been interviewed by a staff member prior to his testimony, and the staff member may have referred a time or two to the "retaining wall." Witt may not have known what he meant and assumed he was talking about the curb between the grass and the sidewalk, and so he used the term in his testimony.

I can relate to this possible confusion, because I had never heard of a "retaining wall" before I got into JFK research. Maybe Witt had never heard of one either.

Edited by Ron Ecker

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[....] For that matter, are there any images of him opening his umbrella, etc before the shooting started?

Just curious, Thomas :)

________________________________________________

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Thomas,

I believe that the earliest that UM is seen is in the Willis photo that also shows Black Dog Man, around Z202. UM is standing still at the curb with the umbrella open and over his head. He is also seen standing still with the umbrella open and held high over his head in the Bronson photo around Z220-225.

Ron

Edited by Ron Ecker

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[....] At the time Witt referred to "the retaining wall" in his testimony, the photos of him and DCM sitting on the curb were exhibits on easels, so Witt obviously knew the difference between the curb he was shown sitting on and the wall that was over by the steps on the knoll.

Why would he call the curb the "retaining wall"? I can hazard a guess. He had been interviewed by a staff member prior to his testimony, and the staff member may have referred a time or two to the "retaining wall." Witt may not have known what he meant and assumed he was talking about the curb between the grass and the sidewalk, and so he used the term in his testimony.

I can relate to this possible confusion, because I had never heard of a "retaining wall" before I got into JFK research. Maybe Witt had never heard of one either.

____________________________________________

Ron,

I'm still wondering why in the world none of the members of the HSCA corrected him on this during his "testimony." (OK, I'm gonna give them the benefit of the doubt-- Maybe they just assumed that the public would automatically realize that what he really meant to say was "sidewalk" or "curb.")

FWIW, Thomas :)

____________________________________________

Edited by Thomas Graves

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So let's see, the three tramps were really tramps, Witt was really UM, and I'm having serious doubts about Badge Man. I'm getting worried. Is this how people become lone nutters?

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Thomas,

I believe that the earliest that UM is seen is in the Willis photo that also shows Black Dog Man, around Z202. UM is standing still at the curb with the umbrella open and over his head. He is also seen standing still with the umbrella open and held high over his head in the Bronson photo around Z220-225.

Ron

_______________________________________

Ron,

Thanks for that.

So..., since Mr. Witt was standing at the curb with the umbrella open and over his head around Z202, as well as around Z220-220, he either lied (for whatever reason) or was seriously confused at the HSCA hearing about whether or not the umbrella blocked his view of the fatal head-shot(s). But since he doesn't come across as being confused about when and how he opened the umbrella, in my humble opinion he's simply lying, and not really doing a good job of it....

His "testimony" would have been so much more believable if he had simply said, "I'm sorry, I really can't remember if I saw Kennedy's head get blown away. I do vaguely remember opening my umbrella... I'm sorry I can't remember... I was in such a state of shock afterwards!!! Maybe I've just blocked it all out of my mind.... Or maybe I was trying to get that damn "thing" open and it blocked my view!!! I'm sorry I can't remember what I did or what I saw....."

Instead, he states clearly and in no uncertain terms that he was opening the umbrella and that it blocked his view of JFK right at the critical moment! Hogwash!!!!!!!!

IMHO, Thomas :)

_______________________________________

Edited by Thomas Graves

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Witt's testimony is bizarre. In addition to the confusion regarding whether or not he stood on the curb/retaining wall etc before the shots, there's also his statement that he sat somewhere on the grassy knoll prior to the shots. It would be interesting to see if any of the photos taken prior to the assassination confirm this (and whether DCM can also be seen).

The questioning of the witness by the members of the committee is also strange, IMO. The questions asked by the 'gentleman from Connecticut', Mr. McKinney, seem designed to make Witt confirm there was nothing unusual occuring near the picket fence or retaining wall area of the grassy knoll, as well as exculpate Witt. Additionally, little is known of Witt's background and little asked about it by the committee. This makes the task of determining the witness's credibility much harder. Again, the whole thing stinks. UM played a role in the assassination, IMO. Whether Witt is the UM is another matter.

The entire thing may have been a charade designed to bury the flechette issue.

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I believe that this is a telling resemblance, including the same hairstyle 15 years later:

wittdisplay2.jpg

I calls 'em like I sees 'em and believe that Witt was UM, just like I think Rip was at Main and Houston.

The problems with Witt's testimony will likely remain unresolved. UM's identity aside, I believe that the fletchette theory explains many questions. It is what scientists would call a very robust theory. It has explanatory power and has yet to be falsified.

If Witt was UM, and an umbrella gun was used, why Witt would have been chosen for such a role I have no idea. It would have to relate to his background which, thanks to the HSCA, we know nothing about.

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wittdisplay2.jpg

I calls 'em like I sees 'em and believe that Witt was UM, just like I think Rip was at Main and Houston.

Thanks to the HSCA, we know nothing about what Witt looked like in 1963. Isn't that the tiebreaker? If Witt was chosen, due to something in his background, to come forward and pretend he was UM, it stands to reason he was also chosen because he could pass for a more aged version of UM. If he was real, shouldn't we have 1963 photos of him to compare to UM. Maybe he was fat in 1963.

We know enough about Witt's background to qualify him as someone who could use an extra fifty thousand. Show me a thirtysomething married man, with only a middling income and children to raise and support, who could not use a nice injection of cash into his stressful life.

The last thing he said to the HSCA was that he belonged in the Guiness book of world records. Was this the consolation prize he gave himself for telling a few little fibs to a bunch of dummies in Congress?

BTW, Holding up protest symbols of any kind is an activity usually done in groups, and Mr. Witt was not a "joiner". If Mr. Witt's story is true, then he is a most unusual specimen of humanity, who just happened, at this particular moment in history, to act in a manner diametrically opposite to his habitual nature.

Edited by J. Raymond Carroll

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I believe that this is a telling resemblance, including the same hairstyle 15 years later:

wittdisplay2.jpg

I calls 'em like I sees 'em and believe that Witt was UM, just like I think Rip was at Main and Houston.

thanks to the HSCA, we know nothing about.

thanks to the HSCA, we know nothing about what Witt looked like in 1963. Isn't that the tiebreaker? If Witt was chosen, due to something in his background, to come forward and pretend he was UM, it stands to reason he was also chosen because he could pass for a more aged version of UM. If he was real, shouldn't we have 1963 photos of him to compare to UM. Maybe he was fat in 1963.

We know enough about Witt's background to qualify him as someone who could use an extra fifty thousand. Show me a thirtysomething married man, with only a middling income and children to raise and support, who could not use a nice injection of cash into his stressful life.

Good points. Although the facial resemblance is there, not enough additional evidence has surfaced to support the assumption that Witt is UM. We don't know what he looked like in '63 and information regarding his background is fragmentary at best. He just appears out of nowhere in 1978 with his aging umbrella, recites a story largely inconsistent with the film and photographic record, and then disappears again. His questioning by the HSCA could hardly be described as intensive and it left important issues unresolved, IMO. And he wouldn't speak to researchers.

I believe UM was involved. I believe a flechette was discharged to immobilise JFK. As you say Ron, this explains the throat wound and Kennedy's failure to react to the ambush. For Witt to be involved in the assassination, he must be a man of great hubris to brazenly front the authorities 15 years later and lie about his role. I don't believe Witt is a man of such hubris, so I don't believe he was the infamous umbrella man. The entire circus was concocted to kill the flechette idea and the HSCA were happy to participate, IMO.

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Guest John Gillespie

I believe that this is a telling resemblance, including the same hairstyle 15 years later:

wittdisplay2.jpg

I calls 'em like I sees 'em and believe that Witt was UM, just like I think Rip was at Main and Houston.

thanks to the HSCA, we know nothing about.

thanks to the HSCA, we know nothing about what Witt looked like in 1963. Isn't that the tiebreaker? If Witt was chosen, due to something in his background, to come forward and pretend he was UM, it stands to reason he was also chosen because he could pass for a more aged version of UM. If he was real, shouldn't we have 1963 photos of him to compare to UM. Maybe he was fat in 1963.

We know enough about Witt's background to qualify him as someone who could use an extra fifty thousand. Show me a thirtysomething married man, with only a middling income and children to raise and support, who could not use a nice injection of cash into his stressful life.

Good points. Although the facial resemblance is there, not enough additional evidence has surfaced to support the assumption that Witt is UM. We don't know what he looked like in '63 and information regarding his background is fragmentary at best. He just appears out of nowhere in 1978 with his aging umbrella, recites a story largely inconsistent with the film and photographic record, and then disappears again. His questioning by the HSCA could hardly be described as intensive and it left important issues unresolved, IMO. And he wouldn't speak to researchers.

I believe UM was involved. I believe a flechette was discharged to immobilise JFK. As you say Ron, this explains the throat wound and Kennedy's failure to react to the ambush. For Witt to be involved in the assassination, he must be a man of great hubris to brazenly front the authorities 15 years later and lie about his role. I don't believe Witt is a man of such hubris, so I don't believe he was the infamous umbrella man. The entire circus was concocted to kill the flechette idea and the HSCA were happy to participate, IMO.

"If he was real, shouldn't we have 1963 photos of him to compare to UM. Maybe he was fat in 1963."

Exactimundo! Touche. Ah, those governmental inquisitors...

There is a resemblance to Witt but notice the hairline in the photo of UM. It recesses deeper and sharper than that in the Witt photos 15 years later; also, though it's subtle, the hairline of UM is not as 'flat' as that of Witt. In addition, UM's nose is very similar but appears pudgier and not the same nose as Witt's. I would like a better (or any) look at the ears but I think it appears that the relationship in terms of distance and placement from and to certain areas of the hairline is not the same as that of Witt. One goes quickly to wits end (pun intended), doesn't one? But hey, the existence of flechette weaponry at that time was verified by CIA people, including Helms, was it not?

UM and DCM look awfully suspicious in the superb graphic box displayed by Ron and there are three photos which are fairly easily interpreted to conclude DCM was carrying something akin to a radio. In fact, he seems to be speaking into it, as captured by one of those pictures. I realize that this is not news to most of us.

These guys look exactly like Agents having just finished their bit parts in an exericse, which just so happens to be my theory on this business anyway. Another theory, I think a good one, is that the tramps were Observers on this 'exercise.' They certainly didn't look like tramps but more like Agents going through the motions of trying to look like tramps.

In Rusell's book, Nagell is quoted as saying (paraphrasing here) that the operation of which he was a part was not necessarily the one that resulted in Kennedy's assassination, although "some of the same people were involved." Not to be coy but I relate that to several exercises during which I was an Operative and a couple of others at which I was an Observer. One of the 'exercises' was usurped to a very real operation, much to the surprise and chagrin of most of the 'cast'. The mock aspect apparently was done to relax us and to compartmentalize. Brings to mind David C. Martin's "Wilderness Of Mirrors."

Thanks for the good stuff, guys,

Regards, J.G.

Edited by John Gillespie

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I agree with John. The umbrellaman and his friend were PLAYERS

whose roles are still a mystery.

I have always called Witt the falseumbrellaman.

I have always said it is 95 percent certain that Novel was the umbrellaman.

Jack

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Guest John Gillespie
I agree with John. The umbrellaman and his friend were PLAYERS

whose roles are still a mystery.

I have always called Witt the falseumbrellaman.

I have always said it is 95 percent certain that Novel was the umbrellaman.

Jack

Thanks, Jack (BTW, I just finished reading the report on the 1990 Labor Day Conference at the JFK Assassination Center. What a lineup, including yourself.),

Let's hold the next conference at the Witt family picnic and somehow get hold of a picture of the faux UM, circa 1963. How in God's name could he have given the kind of "Assassination Witnessing For Dummies" kind of testimony with these photos around at that time? The Mark Felt of 2006 would have been more coherent. UM handled that umbrella like one of those flaming baton jugglers on the old Ed Sullivan show. On the other hand, Mr. Witt was a bumbling clown by contrast during his HSCA appearance. If he was acting he should have been given a little gold something last week as a kind of Lifetime Achievement Award.

Since there is no windshield damage shown in Altgens #6, when it is evident JFK has been hit for the first time, but there is damage seen in Altgens #7, that first hit could not have come through the windshield or as a ricochet. Believe me, I know I am preaching to the choir, but JFK's reaction to the throat hit had always puzzled me and certainly does NOT appear to be the reaction of a man having just been shot in the throat. On the contrary, his slow, fist-clenching motions - during which he never grasps his throat - look precisely like someone under the influence of paralyzing 'medication.' It that were a bullet we would all have had a lot more head snap discussions by now.

Regards,

JG

Thomas,

I believe that the earliest that UM is seen is in the Willis photo that also shows Black Dog Man, around Z202. UM is standing still at the curb with the umbrella open and over his head. He is also seen standing still with the umbrella open and held high over his head in the Bronson photo around Z220-225.

Ron

The Paschall film must show some revelations about UM if it is anything like it has been described here and elsewhere on the Net.

JG

Edited by John Gillespie

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I agree with John. The umbrellaman and his friend were PLAYERS

whose roles are still a mystery.

I have always called Witt the falseumbrellaman.

I have always said it is 95 percent certain that Novel was the umbrellaman.

Jack

Jack, given what's emerged about him since 11/22, Novel looks to be a very likely TUM to me, too. He's rather proficient in handling various sorts of hardware. Assuming a flechette was employed, what bothers me in the umbrella-as-flechette-launcher is its design, at least in the only sketch that I've seen. At what appears to me to be a minimum distance of 25 feet between him and JFK, that rig just doesn't appear to have the necessary sighting mechanism to place a missile of any sort with precision. And precision seems to have been a definite requirement; the base of the throat's a small area. Unless a shot anywhere in the chest/shoulder area would also result in the flechette's complete dissolution, it's a reasonable assumption that the shot went where it was intended to go. The question is, if not from the umbrella, from where was the flechette launched, and with what hardware?

Best

Stan

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I believe that this is a telling resemblance, including the same hairstyle 15 years later:

wittdisplay2.jpg

I calls 'em like I sees 'em and believe that Witt was UM, just like I think Rip was at Main and Houston.

The problems with Witt's testimony will likely remain unresolved. UM's identity aside, I believe that the fletchette theory explains many questions. It is what scientists would call a very robust theory. It has explanatory power and has yet to be falsified.

If Witt was UM, and an umbrella gun was used, why Witt would have been chosen for such a role I have no idea. It would have to relate to his background which, thanks to the HSCA, we know nothing about.

__________________________________________________

Ron,

I also "calls 'em as I sees 'em," and in this instance I just have to agree with Jack White and some of the other forum members: I think the UM was Gordon Novel.

Just look at the incredible similarities in hair color, hair lines, and hair style in the photo of Novel and the photo of UM as he's sitting on the curb in post #43. I don't mean to sound disrespectful to such an illustrious member of this forum as yourself, but I think the lines you drew on UM's and Witt's images were a bit too "loose" and "generous" and "general." IMHO, lots of men have faces and hairlines like that....

Respectfully, Thomas

__________________________________________________

Edited by Thomas Graves

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