Did The Umbrella Man Have Links to Clay Shaw?
Updated: Oct 9, 2021
The Michele Metta book, On the Trail of Clay Shaw: The Italian Undercover CIA and Mossad Station and the Assassination of JFK, has a section on the links between the Umbrella Man and Clay Shaw.
That section in his book is entitled "The Umbrella Man and Skorzeny." (page 157)
What follows is Metta's train of thought - and I have enclosed the actual documents that he just quotes in his book. As I have earlier pointed out about this book, the translation from Italian to English is absolutely atrocious. Of course, even a good translation wouldn't make much sense either.
It all starts with the man seen in various films of November 22, 1963 holding an open umbrella.
Metta notes that (page 157):
"This too cryptic conduct gave reason to the assassination scholars Sprague and Cutler to make an analysis and reach the conclusion that this umbrella was used to fire a dart with a paralyzing agent at JFK to restrain his muscles and make him an immobile target far much easer to kill."
Here is a link to the Sprague and Cutler article from the June 1978 issue of Gallery Magazine..
Now, here is where it gets interesting.
A 1944 CIA document details a supposed plan by Otto Skorzeny to kill General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Skorzeny was a SS officer during World War II who was involved in several operations during the Battle of the Bulge, Skorzeny led Operation Greif (Griffin) in which German soldiers infiltrated Allied lines by wearing American uniforms.
Here is the CIA document:
What Metta finds interesting is that Skorzeny was to use "poisoned ammunition."
And so here is an except of an MI5 document relating to the interrogation of Skorzeny after the war:
You can search for MI5 documents here.
The salient point here is that the bullets were to be "intended for assassination."
But here is another CIA report from 1963:
Skorzeny tested a "poison pistol" on inmates of a concentration camp.
Metta then quotes from the testimony of Charles Senseney, Department of Defense employee, formerly in the Special Operation Division at Ft. Detrick. He testified before the Church Committee during hearings held in September 1975 on "Unauthorized Storage of Toxic Agents."
Metta only quotes part of the testimony - "if you are using a lethal agent, it would probably kill." He left out the part about not giving it to the CIA.
But, what stands out for Metta is that the M-1 could be used in an umbrella:
Metta then goes to the testimony of Pierre Finck during the Clay Shaw trial. Finck said that they were told not to dissect the bullet track in Kennedy's neck. And so Metta ties this all together:
"Pierre Finck failed the same way a 24th May, 1996, scrutiny before the Assassinations Records Review Board, and since we have now evidence of the support given by former Nazi criminals to the development of the experiments at Fort Detrick and Zapruder's film perfectly shows the wound in the neck was the very first to hit John Kennedy and that, effectively, from that moment on the president appears as completely paralyzed, this matter would certainly deserve a further investigation, also considering what exposed by Hearings of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research into the Project MKULTRA:"
So Metta thinks we need a new investigation!
Metta then quotes from the report on MKULTRA:
"Under an agreement reached with the Army in 1952, the Special Operations Division (SOD) at Fort Detrick was to assist CIA in developing, testing, and maintaining biological agents and delivery systems. By this agreement, CIA acquired the knowledge, skill, and facilities of the Army to develop biological weapons suited for CIA use."
But he leaves out the next paragraph:
Interesting that they were "unable to develop a similar incapacitant for humans."
You might be wondering what this all has to do with Clay Shaw. In fact, you might be wondering if any of this makes sense since, thanks to the HSCA, we know the identity of the Umbrella Man. His name was Louie Steven Witt, and he used his umbrella as a political protest against President Kennedy. The umbrella was a symbol of the support of JFK's father, as ambassador to the U.K., for Neville Chamberlain's appeasement policy.
You can read Witt's testimony here.
Witt's umbrella is opened during the HSCA hearing.
Josiah Thompson debunks the Umbrella Man.
Ok, back to Clay Shaw. Well, Metta maintains that there was some sort of connection between Otto Skorzeny and Giuseppe Pièche, who was an Italian General during World War II (and who continued to serve in Italian governments after the war). Metta maintains that Pièche was a member of the CMC - the World Trade Center in Rome - in which Clay Shaw was a Board Member. So, that's the link.
Does any of this make any sense?
By the way, when Clay Shaw joined the Board of Permindex/CMC, Pièche was not on the board.
He certainly could have joined later. But, the people who really managed Permindex/CMC were George Mantello and his son Enrico. In hundreds of letters in the Bloomfield Archive about Permindex/CMC, about 99% were written to the Mantellos and Hans Seligman, and just a handful to D'Amelio and Nagy. No other Board members were ever mentioned.
In fact, there is not one mention of Clay Shaw in the entire Louis Bloomfield Archives.