Errol Morris Examines The Sinister Umbrella Man At The Kennedy Assassination

November 22nd, 1963 was a beautiful day in Dallas. Why did one man hold an open umbrella right next to the spot where Kennedy was shot? Documentarian Errol Morris interviews the scholar who discovered the Umbrella Man.

I don't know what to believe about the Kennedy assassination anymore. The more I read about it, the more I learn about it, the more absurd and surreal and bizarre and filled with unlikely coincidences it becomes. But the more I read about it the more those absurdities and coincidences make the idea of a conspiracy unlikely - if there was a conspiracy to kill Kennedy it was the vast and strange and generally inhumanly weird. 

It's that very weirdness and endless uncertainty around the assassination that intrigues Errol Morris. For the 48th anniversary of Kennedy's killing he made a six minute op-doc for the New York Times, featuring an interview with Josiah 'Tink' Thompson, author of the seminal JFK book Six Seconds in Dallas, focusing on the Umbrella Man. Thompson was the guy who discovered the Umbrella Man in the Zapruder film, and realized how curious it was that a guy would have an open black umbrella at the exact spot on the parade route where Kennedy was shot. It's doubly curious because it was a beautiful day in Dallas, and most people were in shirtsleeves, let alone under umbrellas. 

The Umbrella Man has a name, and he testified to the House Select Committee on Assassinations, and his story is so odd that Thompson thinks it goes right from sinister to believable.

This is just a small part of the six hours Morris spent with Thompson, and the director is hoping to do more on the assassination. I'd love to see what he comes up with. 

Click here to watch the short at the New York Times site.