Saturday, April 13, 2013

U.S. State Dept. Confidential Guyana Working Group Situation Reports

...or Sitreps, for the initiated...

Guyana Working Group

Situation Reports

1 - 6:00 a.m. November 19 - (237k - 3 jpgs)
2 - 6:15 a.m. November 19 - (86k - 1 jpg)
3 - 1300 hours November 19 - (188k - 2 jpgs)
4 - 1900 hours November 19 - (172k - 2 jpgs)

5 - 0500 hours November 20 - (286k - 3 jpgs)
6 - 0700 hours November 20 - (90k - 1 jpg)
7 - 1130 hours November 20 - (141k - 1 jpg)
8 - 1830 hours November 20 - (103k - 1 jpg)
9 - 1230 a.m. November 20 - (263k - 2 jpgs)

10 - 0715 a.m. November 21 - (128k - 1 jpg)
11 - 0600 p.m. November 21 - (152k - 2 jpgs)
Evening Reading - November 21 - (72k - 1 jpg)
Memorandum: Subject: Working Group SITREPs - November 22 - (61k - 1 jpg)

12 - 1230 a.m. November 22 - (262k - 3 jpgs)
13 - 0630 a.m. November 22 - (177k - 2 jpgs)
14 - 1800 hours November 22 - (268k - 2 jpgs)
15 - 2400 hours November 22 - (230k - 2 jpgs)

16 - 0800 hours November 23 - (141k - 2 jpgs)
17 - 2400 November 23 - (276k - 3 jpgs)

18 - 0730 hours November 24 - (155k - 2 jpgs)
19 - 1800 hours November 24 - (159k - 2 jpgs)

20 - 0800 hours November 25 - (176k - 2 jpgs)

[SITREP #21 is missing from the archive and link #22 is broken at Doesn't take much imagination to make out a pattern there. This would be over the weekend, Nov. 25-26; after having announced the rising, doubling in body count in increments, starting on Friday, the 24. By SITRP 20 on Sat. morning, the number was 794, with 532 already in Dover, the rest fixed for transport, begging the question where those last 120 bodies were hiding]
22 - 2400 hours November 26 - (246k - 2 jpgs)

23 - 2400 hours November 27 - (197k - 2 jpgs)

24 - 2300 hours November 28 - (291k - 2 jpgs)

25 - 2200 hours November 29 - (168k - 2 jpgs)

26 - 2100 hours November 30 - (132k - 1 jpg)

27 - 2100 hours December 1 - (255k - 3 jpgs)

28 - 1300 hours December 2 - (92k - 1 jpg)

29 - 1200 hours December 4 - (116k - 1 jpg)

CODEL Ryan Shooting Incident - SITREP I

6:00 A.M. November 19

At approximately 6:30 p.m. EST, November 18, Embassy Georgetown reported that CODEL Ryan had apparently been attacked while returning from the Peoples Temple Agricultural Community in the remote north west interior of Guyana. Congressman Leo Ryan (D-California) had traveled to Guyana to investigate allegations by relatives that some members of the Peoples Temple Community were being held against their will. Ryan was accompanied by a number of journalists including a TV camera crew from NBC, San Francisco. He was also accompanied by the Deputy Chief of Mission at our Embassy in Georgetown, and by Mark Lane and another attorney who are counsel for the Peoples Temple. The group traveled to Port Kaituma, which is the nearest airstrip to the Peoples Temple Community, by chartered aircraft the afternoon of November 17. They apparently returned to the airstrip the afternoon of November 18, after having spent the night at the Community, accompanied by some six to ten members of the Peoples Temple who wished to defect. The party was in the act of boarding two chartered aircraft which had been obtained for the trip back to Georgetown when one of the supposed defectors in the smaller of the two aircraft produced a gun and began to shoot at other defectors. This aircraft quickly emptied except for a young woman who was seriously wounded.

At the same time a flatbed trailor pulled by a tractor appeared on the airstrip. A number of people, presumed to be Peoples Temple members, in the trailer opened fire on Congressman Ryan and his immediate party who were in the process of boarding the second aircraft. The gunfire also disabled this aircraft so that it could not take off. The first aircraft took off with its own crew, the wounded woman, and the aircrew of the second aircraft, who were able to scramble aboard at the last minute. Early reports on events and casualties were unclear and based entirely on the account of the incident given by the two aircrews when they returned to Georgetown.

The Government of Guyana (GOG) reacted swiftly under the personal direction of the Prime Minister. Unfortunately, the incident at Port Kaituma took place at sundown. Hence, it was impossible for Guyanese reaction forces to go there directly because the airstrip there is unlighted. The force has established itself at an airstrip called Mathews Ridge approximately 30 miles from Port Kaituma with the intention of moving into the area at dawn. Our Ambassador at Georgetown has been in constant touch with the Prime Minister and the Security forces.

A crisis management team was immediately formed under the direction of Deputy Assistant Secretary Grove and Carribbean Affairs Director Hewitt. The White House situation room, and the National Military Command Center (NMCC) were immediately informed as were Deputy Secretary, the NSC and the Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations. The NMCC agreed to provide a C-141 medical evacuation aircraft with full medical compliment. In addition our embassy requested a medical pathologist be on board. The aircraft left Charleston, S.C. at 3 a.m. EST and scheduled to arrive at Georgetown at approximately 8 a.m. EST.

The extent of the casualties is unknown as of 6 a.m. EST but there are indications that Congressman Ryan and at least the NBC camera team may have been killed. In addition, there are alarming indications that members of the Peoples Temple in Guyana are engaging in mass suicide. The Guyanese police report that a woman who ran the Peoples Temple office in Georgetown has murdered her three children and taken her own life. Another Peoples Temple member, who says he escaped from the Temple and walked 20 miles to Mathews Ridge, reported that members of the Temple were taking their own lives, some 200 having done so when he escaped. There are approximately 1100 US citizens resident at the Temple Community.

[how'd he keep a count? Did he have an abacus?]

The possibility exists that Peoples Temple members, numbering some 3,000 in California, may also begin to take their own lives, this course of action having been discussed by them in the past should they believe their sect to be threatened. The Task Force informed the FBI Operations Center of this possibility at 2:23 a.m. EST (Agent Rasher) and suggested that the relevant law enforcement agencies be informed, especially the police forces in San Francisco and Los Angeles where the Peoples Temple membership is concentrated. In addition, the Department Operations Center informed the San Francisco police directly and requested that they pass on the information to the Attorney General of the State of California.

[The Calif. AG! Read what Brasscheck says about Jones' corrupt, thickening web of influence, deceit and skullduggery:
District Attorney Joseph Frietas, who was elected through Jim Jones' support and who appointed Jones' own attorney to investigate election fraud in the 1975 election, personally handled the prosecution of Dan White, who was acquitted of first degree murder of Mayor Moscone and Supervisor Milk on a technicality so ridiculous ("the Twinkie defense") that it was later outlawed by the state of California.]
Our Ambassador has made clear to Prime Minister Burnham that our concerns are (1) that the GOG make every effort to get into Port Kaituma to furnish aid, assistance, and protection to Americans who may still be there; (2) that as soon as possible the bodies of the dead should be brought to Georgetown; and (3) that the perpetrators of this outrage be brought to justice as soon as possible.

The Crisis Task Force and the Embassy at Georgetown have been deluged with media inquiries throughout the night. We understand that one network has chartered a Learjet to take a camera and reporting crew into Georgetown in the morning. Others will most certainly follow. Our Embassy will clearly need additional Administrative and Counselor support, especially if mass suicides of U.S. citizens are taking place, and we are developing contingency plans to provide it.

Back to ToC - Sitrep 2

[I like the way this Sitrep comes just 15 minutes after the first. They are in action mode now!]


6:15 a.m. November 19

Ambassador Burke informed Task Force that an Embassy officer who accompanied the Guyanese authorities into Port Kaituma has confirmed the deaths of four members of CODEL as follows: Congressman Ryan, Mr. Bob Brown NBC, Don Harris NBC-T and another individual, an unidentified photographer.

The Embassy reported that six persons were injured including our DCM who was slightly wounded. Other injured members were Jackie Speiers, S. Song NBC-TV, Antony Katsaris plus two unidentified. No information was received about the extent of the injuries to the wounded individuals. The Embassy still have not been able to confirm the report of the mass suicides. However, the Ambassador was assured by the Guyanese authorities that they would be getting to Jonestown as quickly as possible to determine the situation there. Next-of-kin of all three identified as dead have been notified.

Back to ToC - Sitrep 3



Operations Center


Situation Report No. III

Situation in Guyana as of 1300 Hours (EST), November 19, 1978

In addition to the three confirmed dead in SITREP II, the Government of Guyana has provided us with two names from the party attacked at the airstrip near the Peoples Temple on November 18: Gregory Robinson, San Francisco Examiner, and Patricia Parks, whom we presume was one of the Jonestown residents who elected to leave with Congressman Ryan. This makes a total of five known dead. Arrangements are being made by the Guyanese to perform autopsies, required under Guyanese law when a crime is involved, as soon as possible. An American medical pathologist, who accompanied a U.S. C-141 medivac plane to Georgetown, stayed behind to help when the C-141 left earlier today with the wounded.

The medical evacuation aircraft is airborne with nine wounded. The seriously wounded are: Jackie Speier, Legislative Counsel to Congressman Ryan and S. Song NBC T.V. Other wounded are Mrs. Beverly Oliver, a concerned relative; Mrs. Cathy Boyd, a concerned relative, and Anthony Katsaris, a concerned relative. We do not have as yet the names of the other wounded. Richard Dwyer, our Deputy Chief of Mission in Georgetown, was also wounded slightly, but is remaining at Port Kaituma. The White House is authorizing a second medivac flight, should one prove necessary.

The National Military Command Center is sending a C-130 aircraft from Panama to bring six additional American Foreign Service consular, administrative, and communications personnel, as well as our DCM from Panama, from our Embassies at Panama City and Caracas. Another consular officer is flying to Georgetown from Trinidad. The C-130 will also bring a U.S. four-man military communications team to Guyana.

Our Ambassador to Guyana, John Burke, has told Prime Minister Burnham of Guyana that the United States is prepared to provide any necessary or useful assistance to Guyana to control the situation in the Peoples Temple area and prevent the loss of life. Prime Minister Burnham expressed his appreciation and will look into what assistance is needed or will be helpful.

Guyanese military forces commenced about 1300 Washington time to advance toward Jonestown. They are proceeding cautiously because of reports of armed Peoples Temple members in the area.

[who would make such a report if they're all dead? One o'clock in the afternoon and they are "commencing" to "advance." This is more lollygagging and pussyfooting around while decomposition  gets a head start.]

Brandon Grove, ARA
Director, Guyana Working Group
James E. Thyden,
Senior Watch Officer



Operations Center


Situation Report No. IV

Situation in Guyana as of 1900 Hours (EST), November 19, 1978 (Sun. 7 p.m.)

In response to our offer of assistance, the Guyanese have asked for two helicopters (Embassy Georgetown is obtaining specifics). Communications equipment, a small airplane, outboard motor, sleeping bags, etc., are also sought for police forces now on their way to Jonestown. The National Military Command Center is processing these requests, and supplies are expected to begin moving to Georgetown shortly.

At Ambassador Burke's request, a second C-141 medevac flight is now scheduled to arrive in Georgetown shortly after daylight on November 20. The first medevac flight is scheduled to land at Andrews Air Force base at 8:50 p.m. this evening  [if the first medevac flight was airborne by 1 p.m. and it's a five-hour flight, then somebody is stopping off somewhere else first--like Porto Rico-- to do something outside the expected mission routine.] and Assistant Secretary Watson and others will meet the plane. Embassy Georgetown reports that the five bodies from the attack November 18 at Port Kaituma have now been returned to Georgetown. The injured woman who escaped from the attack at Port Kaituma has now been identified. She is Monica Bagby whom we presume is one of the Jonestown residents who chose to leave with Congressman Ryan. She is reported to be in serious condition in the Georgetown Public Hospital and under police guard.

[So that means that Patricia Parks was one of the five dead bodies lying on the grassy tarmac. That's interesting because of Miss Jackie Speier's claims she was lying on the runway for almost 24 hours, when we now know she made it to Georgetown in time for the 1 o'clock flight home. Maybe this female body was a stand-in/surrogate for a seriously wounded-slash female fatality. Since no one in Port Kaituma knew what Rep. Ryan looked like, all you needed was for five real people to get killed to launch the local narrative, and in a fascist dynamic like that in Jonestown, finding an unwitting scapegoat or fall-guy would be a cinch. Then Ryan and the newsmen could be rendered into new identities in a country with cheap sex workers.]

The Guyanese police report that Sharon Amos, a Peoples Temple leader resident in Georgetown, killed her three children and committed suicide on November 18. The father of one of the children travelled to Georgetown with Congressman Ryan and is still in Guyana. The police also report that they have arrested in Georgetown an American Peoples Temple member in connection with the incident at Port Kaituma.

Embassy Georgetown has had no report of the Guyanese police and military expedition which left for Jonestown at 1300 Washington time, probably owing to lack of adequate communications equipment available to the expedition.

In two well-attended press briefings, Deputy Department spokesman Tom Reston provided virtually all available facts except the names of the wounded being evacuated in the C-141. (eds. note: the following sentence was struck through in the original.) In general, the press is appreciative of the information received, but is questioning sharply how much warning we gave Congressman Ryan before he left for Jonestown and whether the Department encouraged or discouraged his visit. Now that the wounded have been evacuated from Guyana, the press is also beginning to focus on the Peoples Temple, and is pushing for information about the Guyanese Police and military on their way to Jonestown and about what is going on there.
Brandon Grove, ARA
Director, Guyana Working Group
Tom Reynders,
Senior Watch Officer

Back to ToC - Sitrep 5



Operations Center


Situation Report No. V

Situation in Guyana as of 0500 Hours (EST), November 20, 1978

The Guyanese police and military forces have entered Jonestown and reportedly encountered as many as 400 dead. Further details from Guyanese officials about the dead and information regarding remaining members of the Peoples Temple in Jonestown are not yet available, and darkness and heavy rain have impeded further movement by the government forces, probably until dawn on November 20. Press inquiries are relaying rumors that all of the Peoples Temple members are dead. We expect two consular officers and a U.S. communications team to reach Jonestown the morning of November 20. Guidance developed for the press on an if-asked basis is:

"We have received from our Embassy in Geoergetown, Guyana, a preliminary report by local police officials on the scene that it appears as if as many as 400 members of the Jonestown Peoples Temple Community may be dead." The Government of Guyana has not given final clearance for the helicopters that form part of the assistance package requested for the government forces. We have received no explanation for the delayed approval. The National Military Command Center is preparing to provide a helicopter squadron (perhaps 12 helicopters) to be used for emergency medical and evacuation services to survivors in Jonestown should it be required.

State has requested NMCC that a military graves registration team and necessary equipment such as body bags be assembled to deal with the massive problem of body identification and disposition. SCS is coordinating these activities with the intention of bringing the bodies of dead Americans back to the US for burial. A second C-141 medevac plane is scheduled to arrive at Georgetown at 9:00 a.m. (EST). Congressman Ryan's body and the remains of the other dead may be brought out on this plane.

Shortly after 9:00 p.m. (EST) the first C-141 landed at Andrews Air Force Base with five wounded from the shooting at Port Kaituma, having left four seriously wounded victims in Puerto Rico for immediate medical attention. The condition of those arriving at Andrews ranged from heavily sedated to stunned, and none spoke to the press. However San Francisco Chronicle correspondent Ron Javers, though himself wounded, filed a lengthy and lurid eyewitness account of the events in Guyana as the plane passed through Puerto Rico. Assistant Secretary Barbara Watson and members of the press greeted the flight. The C-130 from Panama which carried the Embassy augmentation team to Guyana has turned around in Georgetown and is scheduled to arrive in Puerto Rico at 5:56 a.m. local time, with eight of the concerned relatives who had been staying at the Pegasus Hotel in Georgetown.

Our Embassy in Georgetown has provided an update on the status of those composing CODEL Ryan. They are accounted for as follows as of 2:00 a.m. local time November 20:

Cong Ryan, deceased, remains in Georgetown;
Jackie Speier, wounded, evacuated on C-141;
Mark Lane, unhurt, in police custody, Georgetown;
Charles Garry, unhurt, in police custody, Georgetown;
Richard Dwyer, wounded, at home in Georgetown;
Don Harris, deceased, remains in Georgetown;
Bob Flick, unhurt, departed Guyana in NBC jet;
Ron Javers, wounded, evacuated in C-141;
Tim Reiterman, wounded, evacuated on C-141;
Charles Krause, unhurt in Guyana;
Gregory Robinson, deceased, remains in Georgetown;
Steve Sung, wounded, evacuated on C-141;
Bob Brown, deceased, remains in Georgetown;
James Cobb, unhurt, evacuated on C-130 to Puerto Rico;
Beverly Oliver, wounded, evacuated on C-141;
Anthony Katsaris, wounded, evacuated on C-141;
Carolyn Boyd, wounded, evacuated on C-141.

We have remained in close touch with with the FBI and the office of California Governor Jerry Brown out of concern that the tragic events in Guyana might be emulated by Peoples Temple members in California. Thus far no such events have taken place.

The Guyana Working Group is operating continuously and handling inquiries from the press and others, including relatives of Peoples Temple members. The following phone numbers can be used for incoming calls: 632-9380 (1) (2) (3) and 632-6615.
Ashley Hewitt, ARA
Director, Guyana Working Group
Rich Castrodale,
Senior Watch Officer



Operations Center


Situation Report No. VI

Situation in Guyana as of 0700 Hours (EST), November 20, 1978

The Guyanese Government has now given final clearance for the two helicopters that are part of the assistance package it requested and has established a cabinet level Crisis Committee to handle the Peoples Temple calamity. The Committee is headed by Minister of Health, Housing, and Labor Hamilton Green and includes the Ministers of Foreign and Home Affairs. Green is known as a dynamic, capable administrator. Ambassador Burke is working closely with the Committee which is now considering our offer of medical helicopter evacuation and graves registration units, including up to 12 helicopters. An early answer is expected, and the National Military Command Center is preparing to have the units ready to move quickly.

John Bushnell, ARA Director,
Guyana Working Group
Rich Castrodale,
Senior Watch Officer

Back to index - Sitrep 7



Operations Center


Situation Report No. VII

Situation in Guyana as of 1130 Hours (EST), November 20, 1978

The Guyanese Crisis Committee has approved our offer of medical evacuation and graves registration units, including up to 12 helicopters. The National Military Command Center (NMCC) is mobilizing the units. The helicopters are expected to arrive early November 21.

Our DCM to Panama, who is helping at Georgetown, and a consular officer are flying to Jonestown this morning with three press representatives and Guyanese officials and will make an initial assessment of the the situation there. They are expected to report their findings this afternoon. Another flight will bring our pathological and poisons experts to Jonestown this afternoon. Ambassador Burke also now advises that the 4-man DOD communications team will fly up to Jonestown today. They are expected to begin transmissions from Jonestown this afternoon.

The Air Force is investigating whether the Mathews Ridge airstrip can take aircraft as large as C-130s so that it can be used as a staging area for operations in Jonestown. The airstrip is about 35 miles away from Jonestown, and its use would considerably ease supply problems and facilitate evacuation activities.

The Guyanese Government has requested the loan of two Otter or similar aircraft. The American Peoples Temple crisis has overtaxed Guyana's domestic air transport system, which is critical for the supply of many isolated Guyanese communities. NMCC has no Otters, but is looking into alternative ways of responding to this request.

Ambassador Burke advises that autopsies have been performed on the bodies of Congressman Ryan and the four others killed during the attack at Port Kaituma and that they are ready for transport back to the United States. SCS is coordinating their movement with the NMCC. Also Ambassador Burke advises that Guyana will probably require that autopsies be done only on a representative sample of the dead at Jonestown before authorizing the return of the bodies to the United States.

John Bushnell, ARA Director
Guyana Working Group
Thomas G. Martin
Senior Watch Officer

Back to index - Sitrep 8



Operations Center


Situation Report No. VIII

Situation in Guyana as of 1830 Hours (EST), November 20, 1978

Reports by Guyanese police to U.S. Embassy Georgetown state 363 bodies of Peoples Temple adherents have been counted so far at Jonestown, including body of Rev. James Jones. Embassy believes some Jonestown residents fled into bush. There may also be additional dead not yet found.

DOD communications team has gone to Jonestown but communications system not yet functioning. Advice from pathologists in U.S. makes it questionable that after fifty hours bodies at Jonestown can be evacuated and local burial may be required.

U.S. military now plans fly in three large helicopters (HH-53), to be refueled in air, plus 4 smaller helicopters aboard 2 C-141s. USAF has not yet determined determined suitability of Mathew's Ridge for C-130 use. By Wednesday morning we anticipate having about 200 American military in Guyana to assist in operation.

FBI has ordered six agents to stand by to assist in investigations if requested by GOG.

Bodies of Congressman Ryan and three newsmen will be flown out to U.S. late November 20.

Peoples Temple lawyer Mark Lane and colleague Charles Garry are in Georgetown and gave press conference November 20.
U.S. military does not possess Otter or similar aircraft as requested by GOG but other solution being examined.

John A. Bushnell, ARA Director,
Guyana Working Group
J. Thyden,
Senior Watch Officer

Back to index - Sitrep 9



Operations Center


Situation Report No. IX

Situation in Guyana as of 1230 A.M. (EST), November 20, 1978 (Monday, 12:30 a.m.)


Victor Dikeos, DCM Panama, detailed to Georgetown at the beginning of the crisis, has reported on his visit today to Jonestown. On arrival they found 405 bodies: three or four had died of gunshot wounds, the rest from poisoning. Eighty-two children were among the dead. During the course of the day 14 survivors, including four children, returned to Jonestown. Two of the children had minor flesh wounds and were evacuated to Georgetown. The survivors gave an account of the last moments. It was mass suicide.

[how do they get 50 hours post operation when I get 31 or 32?. I suppose the "A.M." is in error and this really represents afternoon, which would bring us up to approximately 44 hours in the aftermath.]

Almost all the bodies, after some 50 hours outdoors, are in an advanced state of decomposition. Medical authorities from GOG who were on the scene were very concerned about health hazards. They do not have facilities or the capability, even in Georgetown, for dealing with a problem of this magnitude and are relying on our assistance.

The GOG police investigation has proceeded rapidly. They have identified about half of the bodies and have recovered some 800 to 900 passports which may assist in identification. Examination of the passports (still in hands of GOG police investigators) should also give some clues as to the number of survivors who fled to the jungle and who they may be. The Embassy had previously estimated this at about 1100. Identification of the remaining bodies will be will difficult and probably beyond the capability of the Guyanese authorities.

In the conversation between Dikeos and Assistant Secretary Bushnell, that available air transport would be critical tomorrow  In using air transport capacity, first priority would be given to the search for those who may still be alive in the surrounding very heavy jungle. Mr. Dikeos pointed out that the survivors were quite terrified and may be reluctant to leave their hiding places to return to Jonestown. At the same time, the question of identification and transportation of the bodies will become critical by Wednesday.

At this point the GOG authorities are not issuing death certificates, but the Embassy will urge them to do so. Mr. Dikeos observed that both GOG authorities and the Embassy had heard of a graveyard in Jonestown where the dead might be buried, but no one had seen it. He suggested that perhaps the survivors could locate the graveyard if the decision were made to bury the remains in Guyana.


In view of the time elapsed since the death of the Americans at Jonestown, difficulties of identifying the remains, the tropical climate and problems in transporting the large numbers of bodies from the remote site, the Department is instructing the Embassy to seek GOG assistance in local burial in marked graves after identification.

DOD continues with its preparations to dispatch support units, helicopters and a Graves Identification team to Georgetown. At this time, two C-141's with the Graves Identification team are scheduled to depart Fort Bragg at approximately 0800 (EST). Two C-130's carrying supplies and support personnel will depart Howard AFB at 0300 and 0600 (EST) and arrive in Georgetown at 0800 and 1100. The C-141's with the helicopters will depart later. Transportation will also be provided to a team of six FBI agents (one from Washington, D.C., and five from Miami), Jim Ward from SCA and Fred Shaver from ICA.

[Five hour flight from Howard Air Force Base to Georgetown. But what clear and patent foot dragging! "Scheduled to depart Fort Bragg at approximately 0800 (EST) doesn't mean much at 1230 (EST) unless they must mean the following day, but they don't spell it out, which means there's a covert understanding afoot to let the bodies putrefy and try and force Guyanese officials to allow burial at the Jonestown site. That Guyanese forced the issue in the negative says something significant about the legal liability this posed. Otherwise, they're willing to play along, issuing death certificates that will allow Delaware off the hook.]

The aircraft carrying the bodies of Congressman Ryan and three newsmen is scheduled to arrive at Charlestown, S.C. at 0400 on November 21 and to arrive in San Francisco at 0830 (California time).

At the request of President Carter, Vice President Mondale has expressed condolences to the families of Congressman Ryan and the newsmen killed at Jonestown.

Stephen R. Gibson, ARA/ECP
Guyana Working Group
T. Reynders,
Senior Watch Officer

Back to index - Sitrep 10



Operations Center


Situation Report No. 10

Situation in Guyana as of 0715 AM (EST), November 21, 1978

We are awaiting Embassy views on our suggestion that the victims of the Jonestown tragedy be buried at Jonestown, given the long time of the bodies in open air and the fact that we won't have significant helicopter lift capacity until Wednesday. Ambassador Burke is currently consulting with the Guyanese authorities on this situation. Meanwhile the airlift of helicopters and supplies into Georgetown begins this morning with the arrival of three aircraft carrying support equipment and two unassembled helicopters. Local burial will not significantly reduce the need for U.S. equipment and personnel needed to carry out search and rescue operations in cooperation with Guyanese authorities. Three HH-53 helicopters are scheduled to arrive in Georgetown tomorrow morning as well as four additional light helicopters.

[This is no different than a multi-car pileup on the Beltway, they just need to factor in the logistical differences. Would they leave bodies on I-495 for four days in a D.C. summer?]

Six FBI agents, Jim Ward (CA) and Fred Shaver (ICA) are scheduled to depart MacDill AFB at 11:55 A.M. today. The agents will join a legal attache from Caracas who arrived yesterday.


The Embassy is looking into the possibility that the Otter damaged in the ambush at Port Kaituma can be repaired if parts were to be flown in by our Miltary Task Force.

The Press pool which visited Jonestown yesterday has begun to file detailed stories. The pool was made up of Charles Krause and Frank Johnson of the Washington Post, Mohamed Hamaludin of Reuters/CANA and a Guyanese photographer.

[That's an extremely small press pool allowed to visit the outdoor 2,400-acre Jonestown site, and not until Monday, Nov. 20, and the choice of Charles Krause smacks heavily of favoritism if not insider collusion--as does the choice of his colleague, Frank Johnson, on staff at the Washington Post. Mohamed Hamaludin of Reuters/CANA and a[n unnamed] Guyanese photographer.]

/s/John Bushnell, ARA
Director, Guyana Working Group
T. Reynders,
Senior Watch Officer

Back to index - Sitrep 11



Operations Center


Situation Report No. 11

Situation in Guyana as of 0600 pm (est), November 21, 1978

The Guyanese cabinet has officially requested the USG to remove all remains from Guyanese territory ASAP. This decision was conveyed to our Ambassador and DCM by PM Burnham. There is also a rumor that the GOG is planning to release a list of 150 victims shortly, and we are expecting delivery of the 800 American passports recovered by the GOG to the Embassy shortly.

US assets on the ground at this time include two helicopters (one Huey, one OH-58), one U-21, two C-130s (scheduled to leave soon), and one C-141 due to depart today at 1600 est. En route are two C-141s, one containing consular personnel and equipment (due tonight) and one with additional equipment and the graves registration team (due 2120 est). Due tommorrow from Puerto Rico are three HH-53 "Jolly Green Giant" helicopters.

The DOD communications team has arrived in-country but is not yet established in Jonestown and on the air. Two Consular Officers will also go to Jonestown soon, either tonight or tommorrow morning.

The GOG has requested two replacement aircraft for the Guyana airways corporation; this request is under study by the AID. The GOG also wants helicopter spare parts and other related equipment. Since the GOG is not eligible for FMS we are reviewing this request to determine how to provide items needed as a result of this emergency.

AID is doing contintency planning on requirements for temporary lodgings (tents), feeding and medical supplies for Jonestown survivors.

We have asked the Embassy to advise us as to additional staffing requirements.The Embassy is reviewing its needs.

Guyanese Ambassador Laurence E. Mann is returning to Washington tonight. He has requested appointment with the Acting Secretary tomorrow.

Cost estimates for our efforts in Guayana to date are very preliminary, but for airlift alone probably in the neighborhood of $1.5 million.

John A. Bushnell, ARA
Director, Guyana Working Group
James E. Thyden,
Senior Watch Officer

Back to index - Evening Reading


HIRC "Investigation" Into Guyana Tragedy

Jack Brady, Staff Director of the HIRC, has informed H that Chairman Zablocki will be sending a letter to the Department containing several questions about the Department's role prior to the tragic events in Guyana. A "task force" of staffers is now working on the questions and they will likely cover all issues which have been raised in the press and more. Brady advises that the Chairman has made no decision concerning hearings. This decision would be made after receipt of our response to the questions.

Note: Brady is quoted in a November 21 Reuters article as saying that the HIRC had not decided whether to hold hearings on the government's handling of the affair and that "the committee is in the process of getting as much information as it can." Brady said that hearings would focus on the State Department's role.

H:JBAtwood 11/21/78 x21048

cc: ARA/LA - Mr. Viron Vaky
CA - Ms. Barbara Watson

Back to index - SITREP Memo


Operations Center

November 22, 1978


Senior Watch Officers


Working Group SITREPs

Please tighten up the standards for format and appearance of Guyana Working Group SITREPs. They should not have been allowed to go out with Roman numerals as long as they did. The one at 6 p.m. last night should have read "1800 hours (EST)" rather than "0600 pm (est)" as it did. Naturally, you should always review them carefully for content and readability.

I am giving a copy of this to the Working Group and asking that as much as possible they show their SITREPs to you in draft. If they don't, do not hesitate to send back the final copy if it doesn't meet the standards required for distribution to the Secretary and other high-level readers.

William F. Rope

Copy to: Guyana Working Group

Back to index - Sitrep 12

12 -1230 a.m. November 22 - (262k - 3 jpgs) Broken Link


Operations Center


Situation Report No. 13

Situation in Guyana as of 0630 a.m. (EST), November 22, 1978

Military Operations

The majority (28 men) of the Graves Registration/Body Recovery Unit arrived in Georgetown during the night and 19 are now in Jonestown. The movement of men and material to Jonestown and Mathews Ridge is being accomplished by the three U.S. aircraft currently operational in country (one UH-1H, one OH-58 and one U-21) and Guyanese Defense Force aircraft. Reflecting yet another delay, the three HH-53 heavy helicopters are now due to arrive in Georgetown at 1300 EST. Rested crews will be in place and the aircraft can be put in immediate service.

Four additional Huey helicopters are on the way; the first two are scheduled to arrive in Georgetown at 0820 EST. The second two will be airlifted to Guyana later today.

There are currently 206 U.S. military personnel in country and there will be 300-350 by the end of the day.

The first 96 cases for body transfer (boxes suitable for stacking during shipment) will be sent from Richmond at 0900 this morning and will be in Guyana in time for the first bodies to be prepared and ready for shipment by 1630 EST. The bodies will be transferred to Dover AFB Delaware.

Of the one hundred and seventy-four bodies thus far identified by Guyanese authorities, we have no next of kin information on seventy-three. We are attempting to ascertain next of kin through passport records and inquiries. We are in the process of notifying next of kin in the other cases.

Embassy Georgetown was unofficially informed last evening that Larry Layton will be arraigned by Guyanese authorities today and charged with murder, attempted murder and related charges. Three other People's Temple members, Timothy or Michael Carter and Michael Prokes, have been taken to the "lock up" in Georgetown and may also be charged. All known survivors from Jonestown are now in Georgetown with the exception of one individual who is in Port Kaituma awaiting transportation.

John A. Bushnell, ARA
Director, Guyana Working Group
Tom Reynders,
Senior Watch Officer

Back to index - Sitrep 14


Operations Center


Situation Report No. 14

Situation in Guyana as of 1800 Hours (EST), November 22, 1978 (Wed. 6:00 p.m.)

A 28-man US graves registration team has been at Jonestown since early this morning preparing the dead for return to the United States. The Government of Guyana is assisting.

Three HH 53's (Jolly Green Giants) arrived at Georgetown from the United States earlier this afternoon. Fresh US crews standing-by at the Guyanese capital promptly began flying the helicopters to Jonestown to load and carry the bodies to Georgetown. Each sortie is capable of carrying 22 bodies. Helicopter operation will not be possible at night. However, the HH 53's had brought the first bodies to Georgetown before nightfall.

The first of the C-141's that will airlift the dead from Georgetown to Dover AFB in Delaware is expected in Georgetown at about 2140 EST today and will arrive back at Dover with about 80 bodies at approximately 0700 tomorrow (November 23). The airlift is now expected to take from 36 to 48 hours.

Survivors of the People's Temple Camp, now 72 in all, including those who happened to be in Georgetown at the time of the calamity, will be returned by military aircraft to the United States at a later date if they so wish.

At least 170 bodies have been identified thus far. Identification work will continue at Dover AFB. Next of kin have been and will continue to be notified as bodies are identified.

The crimininal investigation in Guyana is continuing. Layton has been arrested and charged with murder in connection with the attack on the Ryan group. Also being detained as possible suspects are Timothy and Michael Carter and Michael Prokes. These three either turned themselves in or were found by the Guyanese authorities on their arrival at Port Kaituma. We have no direct information concerning press reports about money or other valuables they may have been carrying at the time.

Ambassador Mann of Guyana called on Acting Secretary Christopher this afternoon to express his condolences to the US Government and people on the death of Congressman Ryan and over 400 American citizens. He promised his government's cooperation in locating survivors and apprehending any perpetrators. Mr. Christopher asked that the Government of Guyana reconsider its decision not to allow any FBI team to enter Guyana. The Ambassador will convey this request to his government. Ambassador Burke and the Legal Attache visiting Georgetown from Caracas will follow up.

The FBI wishes to send an agent to Port of Spain to interview four People's Temple members who have appeared there. We have asked the GOTT for permission to do so.

Funding questions concerning Guyana's request for two twin Otter aircraft and spare parts for Huey helicopters remain to be resolved. We have asked nearby posts about the possibility of providing the Otters. A US firm could have one in Guyana in from 9 to 14 days on lease. We are examining use of AID contingency funds to lease these planes so that isolated Guyana communities do not become unviable because of damage to one of Guyana's two Otters during Saturday's shooting and need for another in Jonestown operation. DOD has completed a stock search for Huey parts and has found that only two or three of the minor parts are in our military inventory. In conjunction with Bell, we are seeking better identification of the desired parts to verify sources of procurement. However, we have found no source of funding to purchase these parts to make downed Guyanese helicopters operational.

DEA has asked for clearance to send an agent to Guyana to investigate reported drug use among members of the People's Temple. We have asked DEA to identify more precisely the requirement for such a visit given GOG sensitivity to investigative visits.

John A. Bushnell, ARA
Director, Guyana Working Group

Senior Watch Office

Back to index - Sitrep 15



Operations Center


Situation Report No. 15

Situation in Guyana as of 2400 hours (EST), November 22, 1978    (Tuesday Midnight)

Embassy Georgetown anticipates that the GOG will lift its objections tomorrow to travel of approximately 74 of the known survivors. Larry Layton has been arraigned and three others are being held by the police. We do not know how many of the 74 survivors will choose to leave the country at this time. The USAF should be able to provide transportation within the next few days.

Recovery operations in the Jonestown area encountered aggravating problems, including heavy rainfalls, during daylight hours today. Nevertheless, 40 bodies (not 80 as earlier reported) have been moved to Georgetown where they will be loaded on a C-141 scheduled to arrive at Dover AFB on November 23 at 0700 (EST). The GOG has continue to cooperate fully with U.S. military operations and, at one point loaned the two remaining Guyanese Airways helicopters for transportation to the Jonestown area. The Ambassador spoke twice with Prime Minister Burnham and twice with Minister Green today concerning details of the recovery operation.

Tomorrow (Thursday, November 23), barring heavy rainfall, the Embassy estimates that all remains will be moved to Georgetown in body bags. Identification of remains is becoming increasingly difficult; visual means are no longer feasible. Identification of over half of the bodies will have to be attempted in the U.S.

In the last 24 hours, no new Jonestown survivors have been discovered. The GOG forces continue to search the Jonestown area for survivors. More U.S. military aircraft will be in the area tomorrow and will be available for search and rescue operations.

The Embassy has taken possession of the passports found at Jonestown and will forward a list to the Department as quickly as possible. In addition, the embassy has cabled the names of 915 People's Temple members provided by the Guyanese immigration authorities. This information will assist Sca in locating next of kin and, possibly, in determining the number of persons residing at the People's Temple compound. Survivors have provided a map locating a small cemetery in the Jonestown area where several People's Temple members may have been buried prior to November 18. U.S. personnel will attempt to locate the cemetery.

Embassy Georgetown has requested permission to retain a local attorney to assist as necessary in handling the personal effects of the Jonestown dead. ARA and L will discuss this matter tomorrow and will inform Georgetown of their decision.

We have asked the Embassy to obtain additional identifying information on the helicopter spare parts requested by the Guyanese. Embassy Caracas reports that the Venezuelan air force may be willing to provide one Twin Otter to the Guyanese and will follow up on this lead. Embassy Port of Spain reports that none of the four Temple members who had arrived there returned to the Embassy on November 22. The Embassy passed our request for an FBI visit to a Foreign Office official, who will inform the Foreign Minister of it tomorrow. The Embassy speculates that the Foreign Minister may take the request to the cabinet which does not meet until Friday. The Guyanese Government has not yet responded to our latest request for an FBI visit.

/s/ Stephen R. Gibson Guyana Working Group /s/ James Thyden Senior Watch Officer

Back to index-Sitrep 16


Operations Center


Situation Report No. 16

Situation in Guyana as of 0800 Hours (EST), November 23, 1978 (Wednesday Morning, 8:00 a.m.)

The first C-141 carrying the remains of 40 victims of the Jonestown tragedy arrived at Dover Air Force Base at 0600 EST. Thirty-seven bodies are unidentified; of the three others, one is that of the Rev. Jones' adopted son, Jimmy.

Removal of dead from Jonestown to Georgetown began again this morning at 0600 EST. The nine helicopter sorties scheduled for today are expected to bring 162 bodies to Georgetown. The next flight to Dover carrying eighty bodies is scheduled to depart Georgetown at 1000 EST. The Commander of the US Task Force in Guyana has indicated the operation will be completed tomorrow, November 24. (Thursday)

One hundred and sixty seven transfer cases are in Georgetown; 138 more will arrive today. The remainder needed will be returned from Dover and returned from Dover and reused.

No further attempts to identify bodies are being made in Guyana. An SCS representative and an FBI disaster squad are in Dover to aid military personnel in the identification process. In inspecting the Jonestown settlement, an Embassy consular officer counted only sixty single beds, an indication that earlier estimates of a thousand or more residents of Jonestown were probably exaggerated.

The Embassy reports that some off the survivors in Georgetown are beginning to agitate for return to the U.S. However, Guyanese authorities apparently will not be prepared to permit any departures until tomorrow, November 24 at the earliest.

It is expected the survivors will probably be released in two groups. The first will be composed of 24 "non-problem" refugees plus some very elderly members of the second group. This second group is made up of Peoples Temple members still under investigation by the GOG.

John Bushnell
ARA Director
Guyana Working Group

Rich Castrodale
Senior Watch Officer

Back to index&-Sitrep 17


Operations Center


Situation Report No. 17

Situation in Guyana as of 2400 (EST), November 23, 1978 (Wednesday Evening / Thursday Midnight)

Three C-141 aircraft carrying a total of 202 bodies have arrived at Dover AFB; a fourth flight carrying sixty-eight bodies is scheduled to arrive 0200 hours EST November 24. Another 140 bodies remain in the Jonestown area, most of them prepared for shipment. Barring unforeseen circumstances all the 410 (including the five bodies from Georgetown) will have been evacuated to the US by November 24. The Embassy has given highest praise to the US military personnel involved in the airlift and processing operations who have been working long hours under almost unimaginable conditions given the elapsed time since the deaths.

The Embassy has confirmed 78 "survivors"; one US helicopter committed to search and rescue operations throughout the day did not find any new survivors in the Jonestown area. The mixed US-Guyanese crew reported that the heavy visual canopy made visual search difficult. They have concentrated on river banks, trails, and jungle paths. The helicopter crew talked with Indians and visited the site of a former People's Temple (PT) store in a coastal town; but they obtained no additional information about survivors. The Guyanese police search effort has continued on the ground with US forces providing supplies, equipment and airlift. Tomorrow more helicopters will be devoted to the search.

The Task Force has authorized (by telephone) Embassy to proceed with offer of monetary reward to Guyanese in area for information leading to discovery of additional survivors or bodies. DOD has been asked to expedite delivery of additional equipment requested by GOG for search operations including such items as small river boats and outboard motors, life jackets, and snake bite kits. US personnel and materiel are likely to be required in Guyana for an indeterminate period of time to participate in search and rescue operations.

Embassy Georgetown is reviewing 804 US passports of People's Temple members which were recovered yesterday. About 65 additional US passports were recovered today. An Embassy Officer also located ten file cabinets including medical and financial documents, records of communications with San Francisco, tapes and membership papers of the People'e Temple organization.

One People's Temple member in Port of Spain, Trinidad with the PT supply vessel said his wife, who had been responsible for logging PT members' passports, had made a statistical analysis by age and sex. She had told him three months ago that there were 954 residents of Jonestown, including about 300 under the age of 16. Another clue to the community's size is a solidarity petition dated November 7 (prior to Rep. Ryan's visit) which was signed by more than six hundred PT members. Efforts to resolve the various estimates of the size of the Jonestown population are continuing.

Embassy believes that three more People's Temple members may be arrested by GOG authorities soon. The one already arrested has been charged with five counts of homicide. The usual initial consular visit has been made.

The Legal Attache from Caracas will travel with a consular officer to Jonestown tomorrow to obtain serial numbers of the weapons. GOG has still not responded to our request for six more FBI agents to enter the country, nor has the GOG yet given permission for survivors to leave. Embassy estimates that the first group of survivors will probably not be repatriated before Saturday. Survivors at this point are not complaining about the delay.

Arrangements have been made for survivors to be accompanied on the flight by five sky marshals from the Department of Justice who will be part of the airplane crew. Charleston will be the port of entry (not releasable to the public).

The AID doctor today visited the three hospitalized cases and reported that, while two of them might receive better treatment if transferred, this is not imperative. The third patient cannot be moved for several days at least.

FBI Director Webster has issued a statement that, based on fingerprint information, a positive identification had been made of the body of People's Temple founder Jim Jones.
John A. Bushnell
ARA Director
Guyana Working Group
James E. Thyden
Senior Watch Officer

Back to index - Sitrep 18


Operations Center


Situation Report No. 18

Situation in Guyana as of 0730 hours (EST), November 24, 1978

Embassy Georgetown has just reported by telephone that the number of bodies in Jonestown is now estimated at closer to 600 that to 400. Detailed reasons for this new count are not available. Last night we were told that additional bodies of infants especially were found underneath when bodies were picked up. It also appears that the initial 400-410 count may have been only a rough estimate.

Four aircrafts have now arrived at Dover AFB bearing the remains of 270 persons. One C-141 is standing by in Puerto Rico and will proceed to Georgetown as additional bodies are brought down from Jonestown. SCA is continuing its efforts to locate next of kin. So far, it has not been possible to locate next of kin for 65 of the 174 dead identified in Guyana.

The U.S. Joint Task Commander in Guyana intends to continue shuttling HH-53s to Jonestown today for the recovery of bodies. Should the weather hold and no maintenance problems be encountered, it is anticipated that all the first 400 bodies will be recovered by late this afternoon and en route to the U.S. this evening. Because transfer cases will have to be cleaned and returned to Guyana removal of a substantial number of additional bodies will require another 24-48 hours. Beginning today, additional search and visual reconnaissance efforts, also utilizing loudspeakers, will be undertaken in the Jonestown area for survivors.

DOD is working to locate the equipment and supplies requested by the Guyanese. Some of the items listed are not in the DOD inventory and will have to be procured from GSA or other sources. We have received the necessary identifying data for the helicopter spare parts; DOD has passed the information to the Bell Corporation. The question of funding the purchase of the parts remains to be resolved.
John A. Bushnell
ARA Director
Guyana Working Group                  
Rich Castrodale
Senior Watch Officer

Back to index - Sitrep 19


Operations Center


Situation Report No. 19

Situation in Guyana as of 1800 hours (EST), November 24, 1978

There are close to 800 dead from the Jonestown calamity, according to the latest count. Embassy Georgetown reported at 1100 EST that in addition to the 485 bodies that have already been taken from the settlement, and another 20 that had been prepared for shipment, there remained at least 270 other bodies. All bodies still in Guyana will be brought to Dover AFB. Two C-141's departed from Georgetown today with a total of 152 bodies. They are due to arrive in Dover at 1930 and 2050 EST. This will bring the total number of bodies at Dover to 422.

The search for members of the settlement who might have fled continues, although we now estimate that the possible number is quite small, perhaps none. Since Tuesday the Guyanese Defense Force has been using a battalion-size force (300 to 400 men) to conduct ground searches along jungle trails in the region. All trails out of Jonestown have been searched and the inhabitants along them have been questioned. US aircraft have been since Tuesday reconnoitered the area surrounding Jonestown, using bull horns to call any People's Temple members who might be in the bush. Today two US officers reconnoitered the trails leading to Venezuela by helicopter and another officer led a patrol through the jungle on a route bearing 325° from Jonestown, thus following the discovered escape plan of the People's Temple.

The Guyanese Government informed Embassy Georgetown that it will not be possible for the PT members in Georgetown to return to the United States for at least another 48 hours. We still await the Government's response to our request that they reverse their decision not to allow an FBI team into the country.

Deputy Prime Minister Ptolomy Reid made a brief, factual statement to Parliament today on the murder of Congressman Ryan and the Jonestown occurrence  Shortly before he spoke, our Embassy advised him of the latest count. Reid explained that the Government had decided to lease the tract to the People's Temple because of the groups apparent interest in agriculture and social service. Reid also said that charges of murder would be brought against the prime suspect in the death of Sharon Amos and her children, although he did not identify this individual. Parliament will debate the Jonestown occurrence at a later date.
John A. Bushnell
ARA Director
Guyana Working Group                  
Senior Watch Officer

Back to index - Sitrep 20


Operations Center


Situation Report No. 20

Situation in Guyana as of 0800 hours (EST), November 25, 1978

As of 0800 (EST), the current count, according to the Joint Task Force Commander, is 794 bodies, although more may still be found in Jonestown Ambassador Burke and the Commander will evaluate the need for US military personnel to remain at the Jonestown area and will inform the Department of their decision.

One C-141 with 110 bodies will arrive at Dover at 1130 (EST) today, bringing the total bodies returned to 532. A second flight is due to depart Georgetown at 1000 (EST). While there is a bottleneck as regards transfer cases, additional cases are en route and it may be possible to remove all bodies from Guyana by tonight. All should be out by tomorrow.

There is still no word on when the Guyanese Government will permit the departure of the surviving members of the People's Temple. Georgetown Radio announced that Charles Beikman had been formally charged with the murder (in Georgetown) of Sharon Amos and her children. Together with Larry Layton, this makes two People's Temple members against whom charges have been brought. Three others are detained and under investigation for illegal possession of firearms.

A small cemetery containing five graves was located at Jonestown. Five deaths had been reported to Embassy Consular Officers earlier. Tags officially put on bodies by local officials were prepared with water soluble ink, which has since become unreadable with the rain. Many bodies previously identified will have to be identified again. A final count revealed 847 beds in the Jonestown complex.

The Department has authorized the Embassy to retain an attorney. Initial contact with an attorney was made yesterday, but arrangements have not yet been worked out.

Embassy Georgetown reports that two basic problems have complicated relations with the media -- the lack of US Government transportation for the press to Jonestown and deficiencies in communications facilities. The Guyanese Ministry of Information has arranged some flights to Jonestown in GOG aircraft, thereby leading to charges of "favoritism" from those left behind.

Most of the parts requested by the Guyanese for their helicopters have been located; however, no way has been found yet to pay for these items. DOD lawyers have questioned the legal authority for providing equipment to the Guyanese police. We will be looking into the matter today.
John A. Bushnell
Guyana Working Group                  
Senior Watch Officer

# 21 missing

Back to index - Sitrep 22




Operations Center


Situation Report No. 22

Situation in Guyana as of 0600 2400 hours (EST), November 26, 1978

The final count of bodies removed from Jonestown and transported to Dover Air Force Base is being confirmed but will total 912 or 913. Personnel at Dover are continuing the slow and difficult process of attempting to identify the victims. SCS is collating Guyana immigration files with passport applications in our files to prepare a next of kin list. The medical records from Jonestown are scheduled in Dover tonight and should prove helpful in the identification process. In a reversal, the Guyanese decided not to permit fingerprint cards in official immigration files to leave the country. Our Embassy is making arrangements to have the cards photographed and the film sent to Dover to help in the identification process.

The Bureau of Consular Affairs has participated in the Department's twenty-four hour multi-bureau and multi-agency Guyana Task Force. Between 10 and 20 officers and staff have manned nine telephone lines. It is conservatively estimated that they have handled 4,000 telephone calls from relatives and friends of the victims and the general public. As part of the effort to identify the victims and inform next of kin, the SCS staff has sent over 1,000 names of possible People's Temple members resident in Guyana to the Embassy on the basis of information telephoned into the Department. The SCS job has really just begun; they will have a major role in obtaining information to assist in identifying bodies and notifying next of kin.

There is still no definite word on when the Guyanese will release survivors. The Embassy may learn something on Monday. Preparations to receive survivors at Charleston AFB are well advanced, but there may well be problems as the large press contingent sees this as a major media event, while many of the survivors still fear for their lives and may not want to be photographed.

The U.S. military retrograde operations continue. Approximately half of the sixteen missions scheduled will be completed by morning. Reduced helicopter support for the Embassy will be retained for the time being. Two extended range Hueys are being sent to Guyana to replace the H-53's for this purpose. The Air Force is also making contingency plans to pick up survivors and ferry them to the U.S. on twenty-four hour notice.

Ambassador Burke has an appointment to meet with Prime Minister Burnham at his country place at 0800 hours EST time Monday to discuss the issue of FBI presence and related matters.

We are still consulting with the Embassy on the retention of local legal counsel for the USG in connection with events in Jonestown. In addition, a member of the Department's Legal Office will arrive in Georgetown no later than Tuesday evening to assist the Embassy.

In response to press inquiries we have asked the Embassy to verify information passed to us last week to the effect that Guyanese authorities intended to conduct sample autopsies at Jonestown.

With the completion of the removal of the bodies from Guyana and the rapid phase down of military operations, situation reports will be prepared only once a day.
Robert L. Bruce
Guyana Working Group                
Rich Castrodale
Senior Watch Officer

Back to index - Sitrep 23


Operations Center


Situation Report No. 23

Situation in Guyana as of 2400 hours (EST), November 27, 1978

US military retrograde operations have been completed; the Joint Task Force in Guyana and the Crisis Action Team in the Pentagon have been disbanded. The remaining CH-53 helicopters (Jolly Green Giants) will depart Guyana at first light Tuesday, November 28, leaving two extended-range Hueys, their crews and an eight-man Air Force security guard to support US Embassy Georgetown and Charleston back in US.

Ambassador Burke met with Prime Minister Burnham to urge him to accept the assistance of either FBI or Department of Justice personnel in the GOG's investigations. We anticipate the Guyanese Cabinet will make a decision on the matter November 28.

According to San Francisco police, the assassinations of Mayor George Moscone and City Supervisor Harvey Milk Monday afternoon appear to be unrelated to the events in Guyana. A disgruntled office seeker and former member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (as was Rev. Jones) is being held in connection with the shootings. The event is likely to increase the psychological strains on those Jonestown survivors who are fearful for their personal safety.

The Guyanese have authorized seven more members of the Peoples Temple to leave the country. All are over sixty years of age. The Embassy plans to offer them departure arrangements on the Wednesday Pan Am flight for the US. There would then be 72 Peoples Temple survivors remaining in Georgetown.

We continue to receive follow-up inquiries regarding identification of deceased and the welfare and whereabouts of survivors. Dover AFB has positively identified forty bodies and SCS is in the process of notifying next of kin regarding disposition of remains, but no next of kin have yet been identified in some cases.

The State Department Task Force has received many telephone calls from Congressional offices and interested public asking: who made the decision to mount the Guyana operation?; what is the legal authority being used to pay for movement of bodies to the US?; and what are the costs involved? Legal and Management officers are preparing guidance to respond to these questions.

A first draft has been completed of a response to Congressman Zablocki's letter asking for data concerning the roles of the Department and Embassy Georgetown with regard to the activities of the Peoples Temple in Guyana. The draft includes a chronology of Embassy /Department-Peoples Temple contacts, a memorandum detailing Embassy-GOG contacts and a brief memorandum explaining how the Consuls' visits to Jonestown were conducted.
Robert Bruce
Guyana Working Group                
Tom Reynders
Senior Watch Officer

Back to index - Sitrep 24


Operations Center


Situation Report No. 24

Situation in Guyana as of 2300 hours (EST), November 29, 1978

    The U.S. military presence in Guyana now consists of two extended-range Huey helicopters, seven UH-1 crewmen, and one Lt. Col. SOUTHCOM liaison officer (who will leave within 48 hours). The eight-man Air Force security guard unit has departed for the United States.

Seven elderly members of the Peoples Temple have reservations to the United States Wednesday on a Pan Am flight to New York. They will be accompanied by a U.S. consular officer who was temporarily assigned to Guyana during the crisis. HEW, FBI and the Secret Service have been notified and are planning for the arrival. The three Peoples Temple members who are still hospitalized seem to be recovering. It is still unknown when they will be released and well enough to travel. The AID doctor has examined them, and they have been visited several times by a consular officer. The military is ready to evacuate them by special military aircraft when needed. The Embassy still has no definite word on the release of the other survivors.
Department today received a mailgram from Bishop Leroy Chinn who claims to be General Overseer of the Peoples Temple movement. He blames the death of Congressman Ryan and "those people in Guyana" on racism of the U.S., not Reverend Jones. He warns that if the U.S. does not stop the racism here, "these things" will take place within the U.S. He stated that he has notified his attorneys to file suit against the USG to keep the gold, checks and all money belonging to the Peoples Temple from "going back into the U.S. Treasury." We have passed the mailgram to L and Department of Justice.

The GOG has finally agreed to allow the LEGATT to photograph fingerprint cards under the supervision of the immigration authorities. The undeveloped film will be sent back to the United States with the consular officer returning tomorrow night. A Guyanese medical official has agreed to provide death certificates on the basis of confirmed identification from Dover. SCS has sent the first list of 33 names to the Embassy.

Radio Barbados has interviewed Tim Carter, one of the survivors, and is reporting that, three days before Congressman Ryan was killed, Carter told Jones that he would be killed by anti-Peoples Temple groups. Radio Barbados speculates that the information convinced Jones to put an end to the Peoples Temple movement in Guyana.

Stephen R. Gibson
Guyana Working Group

Tom Reynders
Senior Watch Officer

Back to index - Sitrep 25



Operations Center


Situation Report No. 25

Situation in Guyana as of 2200 hours (EST), November 29, 1978

The seven elderly Peoples Temple members departed Georgetown and arrived in New York Wednesday evening, where they caught onward flights to California. Members of the press were present on the plane from Georgetown, but all seven survivors declined to be interviewed. Customs and Immigration clearances were done on the plane upon arrival in New York, as were interviews by the FBI and Secret Service. The FBI reports that 80-90 members of the press were waiting for the survivors in New York, but that only hurried interviews were possible as the group walked down the hall of the Pan Am terminal. One survivor, who was waiting for his onward flight in the TWA terminal secure area, was interviewed for a longer period by a reporter who was a passenger on the same flight.

Traveling with this group was a Consular Officer returning from temporary duty, who carried the undeveloped film of the Guyanese immigration fingerprint records and a copy of the autopsy report on Congressman Ryan.

Embassy personnel will go to Jonestown by helicopter midday tomorrow to place consular seals on the Peoples Temple property there. This action gives notice that the property has been placed under the protective custody of the US Embassy.

The US marshals assigned to accompany the Peoples Temple survivors from Georgetown to Charleston as part of the Air Force crew have been asked to stand down from alert until we receive notice that a considerable number of survivors have been released by the GOG and wish USG transportation. The marshals will be able to return to Charleston within six hours of being notified.

Dover reports that six more bodies have been identified, bringing the total of positively identified dead to 46. Dover has also announced that the final count of bodies received in the US stands at 911.

The Department of Justice has arranged for autopsies to be performed on Reverend James Jones, at the request of the Guyanese Government, and on Jones' mistress, Maria Katsaris.

R.L. Bruce
Guyana Working Group

James Thyden
Senior Watch Officer

Back to index - Sitrep 26




Operations Center


Situation Report No. 26

Situation in Guyana as of 2100 hours (EST), Nov. 30, 1978

Four technical experts from the Department of Justice are scheduled to arrive in Georgetown this evening to work with the Guyanese Government in their ongoing investigation of the Jonestown affair. The GOG is very sensitive about their presence and the term "FBI" is not being used. The men, who will work with their Guyanese counterparts, are experts in ballistics, sound recordings, and photography.

The Guyanese Government has appointed a conservator for the Peoples Temple assets in Guyana. The Embassy is making progress in retaining Guyanese legal counsel.

Embassy Georgetown reports that five Peoples Temple members (four of whom are Americans, including two survivors) may have been granted Guyanese citizenship earlier this year in order to meet requirements for forming a local corporation to cover Peoples Temple activities in Guyana. This development is being studied in terms of its possible effect on US actions with regard to Peoples Temple assets. Corporate status may preclude the Embassy from claiming custody of organizational property.

We have received from Georgetown the death certificate and autopsy report for Congressman Ryan. Copies have been delivered to the FBI and SCS. Congressional requests for these documents are being referred to the Justice Department.

In response to a call from the Governor of Delaware, John Bushnell has agreed that there will be no mass burial in Delaware of unidentified bodies, and that, at such time as we are reviewing options, we will seek the views of the State government regarding any unidentified or unclaimed bodies.

Stephen R. Gibson
Guyana Working Group

James E. Thyden
Senior Watch Officer

Back to index - Sitrep 27


Operations Center


Situation Report No. 27

Situation in Guyana as of 2100 hours (EST), Dec. 1, 1978

Six more survivors were released by the GOG today and will be returning on Saturday's Pan Am flight to New York. The Embassy anticipates that 36 additional survivors will be released December 2 and has made reservations for them on Sunday's Pan Am flight.

As they have been granted permission to depart by the Guyanese Government, survivors have informed the Embassy that they prefer to leave Guyana on commercial aircraft. Therefore, State has notified DOD, HEW, FBI, the Secret Service and other interested agencies that plans to fly survivors to Charleston by military aircraft have been cancelled. The remaining press contingent in the Charleston area has been informed.

The New York Times today reported that lawyers representing defectors from the Peoples Temple have charged the Department with laxness in acting on warnings of threats to the lives of Jonestown residents. Allegations of improper conduct against a US Foreign Service Officer were renewed in Friday's press briefing. We are providing more facts to the press in an effort to put the story to rest.

US Consular Officers have attached consular seals to the Peoples Temple property in Jonestown. Seals were also attached to 103 crates of goods in Georgetown consigned to the Peoples Temple. Minister Green expressed moderate displeasure over the action but Ambassador Burke reminded the Minister he had unsuccessfully attempted to reach him to inform him of the necessity to take the step.

Discussions are underway both here and in Georgetown in explore ways the USG might recoup some of its costs from the property of the Peoples Temple. Representatives of the Task Force, the Legal Advisor's Office and the Department of Justice discussed possibilities for moving against property in the United States; most options have major legal problems. Our legal advisor in Georgetown is also giving this issue high priority. The legal situation with respect to the property in Guyana is complicated by the fact that the Peoples Temple may have been incorporated in Guyana and the ensuing difficulty of demonstrating that any of the property was privately owned by deceased American citizens. The Embassy speculates that the most efficient way to resolve the situation may be a receivership proceeding in which all interested parties, including the USG, can assert claims.

The four Department of Justice technical experts have arrived in Georgetown and have established working relationships with their GOG counterparts. They will not, however, be permitted to interview the survivors or anyone else. The Embassy is considering the possibility of inviting individual survivors to come to the Embassy, possibly with assurances they would not be interviewed by the FBI on their return to the US. Justice has not yet moved on providing a pathologist as requested by the GOG.

Dover reports that 778 bodies have been embalmed and a total of 255 have been positively identified. Of the first 99 positive identifications received by the Department, next of kin in 81 cases have been identified and notified. The process is continuing. No bodies have yet left Dover AFB. The release and shipment of bodies awaits agreement between Delaware state officials, the USG and Guyanese authorities concerning the issuance of death certificates. We are exploring the acceptability of issuing interim, general certificates to be followed later by the official certificates issued by the Government of Guyana.

AID is studying the use of contingency funds to lease an aircraft to replace the damaged Guyana Airways Otter. We have major problems with funding the purchase of spare parts to repair Guyanese Defense Force helicopters, the highest priority of the GOG.
R.L. Bruce
Guyana Working Group
Senior Watch Officer

Back to index - Sitrep 28



Operations Center


Situation Report No. 28

Situation in Guyana as of 1300 hours (EST), Dec. 2, 1978

The official list of survivors being permitted by the Guyanese Government to depart this weekend included a total of 32 names. Six are already enroute from Georgetown. Of the remaining 26, it is not clear that all will choose to leave tomorrow.

The Deputy Administrator for AID has approved for processing the unanticipated economic assistance requirement for help in leasing a short take off and landing aircraft to temporarily replace the twin Otter damaged at the time Congressman Ryan was murdered. The plane is urgently needed to supply food and medicine to interior towns without any other form of transportation.

Press calls have been greatly reduced during this morning, and generally limited to asking whether anything is new. They have not concentrated on the issue of the role of the State Department.

R.W. Zimmermann
Guyana Working Group
R. Castrodale
Senior Watch Officer

Back to index - Sitrep 29_



Operations Center


Situation Report No. 29

Situation in Guyana as of 1200 hours (EST), Dec 4, 1978

We have now been informed that the list of 32 survivors who were given permission to depart on Sunday was in addition to the 6 who left on Saturday. Nine women and one child actually came out on Sunday. Three women and one man elected not to leave. Eighteen men were refused by the Captain of the Panam plane who is reported to have said that the FBI had promised to have U.S. Marshalls on the flight. Neither the Department or Justice is aware of any prioir discussion or request regarding Marshalls aboard commercial flights carrying survivors. Justice has however now made arrangements for Marshalls in this situation. Most of the 18 men refused transport on Sunday will probably depart Georgetown on Wednesday although some may trickle out on foreign airlines. A total of 23 survivors have now returned to the U.S.

The total of identified bodies has now reached 580.

This is the final SITREP. Continuing problems will be handled as follows: ARA by Robert Zimmerman who will be in ARA/CAR, X23449; PA by Jeff Dietrich in ARA/PPC, X23048; H by Catherine Thibodeau in H, X22163; SCS by Alan Gise, X26610; and military by Col. Robert Ramsey in the Operations Center, X23002 or 20564.
R.W. Zimmermann
Guyana Working Group
Thomas R. Reynders
Senior Watch Officer

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No single event in November filled more newspace overseas or commanded greater editorial attention than did the death of People's Temple members in Guyana.

Commentators blamed the tragedy on everything from "madness" in California to lack of a tax on church groups in the United States, from faults in a materialistic American society to failures by State Department and CIA, or even to modern society in general.

The existence of "too much freedom" in the United States was cited. Many observers viewed the events from their own cultural or political perspective. A few saw signs of a "plot" against Jones. Several saw the hand of U.S. politics in the affair. And one paper, Santo Domingo's El Sol of November 27, printed a psychologist's charge that the "big play given by U.S. news agencies...constitutes a smoke screen to minimize the assassination of civilians by the tyranny of Somoza in Nicaragua."


1. The United States--or capitalistic society--is to blame.

Tokyo, November 28: Asahi--Many of the People's Temple followers were poor blacks seeking a better life. Mainichi--"At the back of American society lurks the potential for such horrors as witnessed in Guyana. It is the tragedy of an ailing America....Unless we are vigilant, the American tragedy of today may be ours tomorrow."

Rome, November 28: Leftist Il Messaggero--"The dogged determination with which the American press is attacking...Jones' memory...continues in an attempt to destroy (his) message and to absolve American society from any guilt."

Istanbul, November 28: Leftist Cumhuriyet--"(This) event is not religious, mystical, or extraordinary....It is an event whose source lies in socio-economic reasons, in a social system in which pitiless competition is sovereign, where alienation, loneliness and fear have come forth in striking fashion..."

Jakarta, November 24: Independent Kompas--"...A kind of escapism needed by a highly materialistic (U.S.) society...or a phenomenon derived from spiritual poverty? In it we can see how unlimited freedom destroys the very freedom that is humanity itself."

Algiers, November 27: Government-owned El Moudjahid--"Whatever it is these young people (were) looking for, their disarray and their incomprehensible that capitalist society has no future. What a contrast with the beaming youth of the socialist countries! What a contrast with our work camps for the young!"

2. Was it California--or failure to tax U.S. churches?

Netherlands, November 28: Prestigioue Het Parool--"The line which links Charles Manson's 'family' and Jim Jones' 'People's Temple'...blooms more abundantly in California than anywhere else...'Anything goes' in that state." Catholic conservative Het Binnenhof--"enough is known about the jungle of so-called religious practices in the United States to justify the most deep-rooted suspicion. There are signs of a sort of religious Mafia, and religion in the U.S. can mean big business. One aspect is that in the United States, religious organizations operate tax-free."

Santiago, November 24: Conservative El Mercurio--"It is interesting to note that strange religious sects appear mainly in California..."

3. Criticism of the State Department or CIA.

Rome, November 28: Leftist Repubblica--"It is hard to understand why American consular authorities in Guyana never sent a negative report..." Pro-Communist Paese Sera--"Guyana is teeming with American religious sects...carefully watched by the U.S. Embassy and by CIA. A Congressional investigation...will try to see if the CIA has exploited any of the sects for political purposes."

Port of Spain, November 26: Trinidad Express--"It is hard to escape the conclusion that the two governments had some kind of agreement to allow the Jim Jones lunatic sect to run a separate state within Guyana's national boundaries without being subject to the laws of Guyana."

4. Such a tragedy could happen anywhere.

Buenos Aires, November 24: English-language Herald--"The sort of person who in the United States will participate in an emotion-sodden revival meeting will, in Argentina, bang a drum at a Peronist rally when such outlets for man's discontents are permitted...Blind passion is certainly present..."

Tokyo, November 28: Moderate Yomiuri:--"Such a mass suicide is quite American in nature, but we, too, should be anxious...for modern society is afflicted with a deep-rooted sickness...

Rotterdam, November 25: Leftist Vrije Volk--"Moscow's reaction in describing the drama as 'a symptom of America's notorious life-style' is interesting. How many millions of Russians died as a result of Stalin's paranoia?"

London, November 25: Weekly Economist--"The mass suicide of several hundred members of an obscure American religious-cum-political not just another example of (any)...American tendency to violence....It extreme and therefore distorted manifestation of a much wider change that is happening to the world.

"...Familiar forms of organized religion have lost their hold on most people...of the educated middle classes. (Possible exceptions: Islam and Roman Catholicism)...Secular heroes...Lenin, Stalin, Mao, even Marx...have begun to lose their appeal. Instead, a groping has begun for new forms of spiritual experience...It is a period of experimentation and, like all such periods, it is disorderly, hopeful and terrifying...The search for new forms of spiritual in its early stages. It will sometimes go terribly wrong, as it Jonestown."

5. Possible political implications.

Paris, November 28: Television--"Now how many Americans are asking questions, not only on the nature of the sect but also on its relations with the political parties. In fact, this 'holocaust' emphasizes the strange relations that increasingly exist in the United States between the political parties and God..."

London, November 27: Conservative Daily Mail--"...In a nation now firmly enslaved to the herd instinct, isn't it at least faintly possible, and worrying, that the sheep, prodded by the electronic crook of television, could one day make a man like Jim Jones president?"

PREPARED BY PGM/RC: D. Hauger, J. Johnson, J. Schein, J. Vogel

No. 19 11/29/78

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Previous discussions with State of Delaware Officials

Six meeting and several telephone conversations took place in Dover and Wilmington.

The State Department was represented by attorney advisor Mike White and Bruce Dozier. The Air Force was represented by Major Robert Giovagnoni (DAFB Staff Judge Advocate). Various Delaware officials attended 1 or more of the meetings. These individuals included:

1) Governor Pierre S. DuPont, IV
2) Mr. David Swayze (Governor DuPont's personal legal adviser)
3) Mrs. Battle Robinson (attorney and aide to Governor DuPont and Mr. Swayze)
4) Assistant Attorney General Edward Kafader.
5) Secretary of Health and Social Services Dr. Patricia Schramm.
6) Registrar Dr. Barbara Rose.
7) Deputy Registrar Dr. George Bender.
8) Medical Examiner Dr. Ali Hameli

I Areas of Mutual Agreement1.No "mass burial" of the Guyana deceased will occur in Delaware.

The possibility of a mass burial occurring in Delaware was a concern shared by an apparent majority of the Delaware politicians. The fear expressed was that a common burial site might become a cult memorial which would become the site of a mecca of all sorts of curiosity seekers.

Governor DuPont was personally assured that the State Department has no plans for a "mass burial" in Delaware.

A commitment was given that no "mass burial" would occur in Delaware. "Mass burial" was never defined. However, it was understood to be limited to mean no burial of the group in a common grave or no burial of the entire group in individual graves at a single site in Delaware.

2.Documentation that would satisfy Delaware legal requirement for transportation of bodies through Delaware for burial elsewhere.

After several discussions with Delaware officials, including Governor DuPont, agreement was reached on what documents constitute an acceptable permit for removal to allow transport of the bodies through Delaware. The following documents will accompany each body that is released from the Dover Air Force Base to a funeral director.

1) Opinion of the Delaware Attorney General No. 78-020 of December 6, 1978.

2) Statement of December 8, 1978 by Assistant Attorney General Edward Kafader which specifies which documents are deemed to satisfy the opinion of the Attorney General.

3)Statement of Transit. Drafted by Assistant Attorney General Kafader that requires the private funeral director to state that he is obtaining release of the body for transport outside of Delaware.

3)Statement of Identification and Chain of Custody. Individual statements are prepared for each body that is identified by medical chief Colonel William R. Cowan. This statement specifies the methods used in identification.

4) Letter of December 4, 1978 from Guyanese Solicitor General Gonsalves-Sabola to Ambassador Burke in which he states that the bodies of the Jonestown deceased were lawfully removed from Guyana by the U.S. Air Force.

II.Subjects Still Under Discussion Yet to be Resolved

A.Requirements of Delaware Law Concerning Cremation of Guyana Deceased Where this Option is Requested by Next of Kin.

1. Delaware is taking a strict view of its law on the question of cremation.

A memorandum of December 1, 1978 from Dr. Patricia Schramm to Governor DuPont stated:

"Cremation in Delaware would appear to be extremely unlikely because Delaware code would require that a Medical Examiner or member of the Office of The Attorney General endorse a certificate to the effect that there is no medical or legal reason why the destruction of the body by cremation should not be permitted (16 Del. Code 3162). Under the present circumstances, it is unlikely that such certification could be obtained, certainly not without investigation of death."

Secretary Schramm's memo seems to be in error on this question. 16 Del. Code 3167 appears to be controlling on this issue. This section of Delaware law is entitled "Cremation in this State (Delaware) when death occurred elsewhere." This law provides that cremation in Delaware of persons dying elsewhere is permissible if all the legal requirements of the state in which the death occurred have first been complied with. Mr. Dalton (L/CA) concurs with our interpretation of the Delaware law. Secretary Schramm admitted orally that her memorandum to Governor DuPont should not be considered a legal memo, as she is not an attorney.

In a letter dated December 9, 1978 Guyanese Solicitor General Gonsalves-Sabola stated that the death certificates being prepared for the Jonestown deceased are legally sufficient under the laws and regulations of Guyana to permit either cremation or burial in Guyana. It would seem therefore that Delaware has no legal obligation to investigate cause of death before allowing cremation to occur in Delaware under the provisions of Section 3167.

COMMENT: The cremation issue is a significant one because it is the least expensive way a next of kin can dispose of the remains. In light of the financial situation of a number of the next of kin the inability to cremate in Delaware might have an adverse effect on persons making claims for the bodies. Note: Several Delaware funeral directors have successfully cremated Jonestown deceased in New Jersey and Pennsylvania with no investigation and no problems. It would seem that Delaware should in light of the flexibility in their statute do likewise. It seems unfortunate that the next of kin are being required to bear this additional expense as the result of Delaware's restrictive interpretation of their law.

Assistant A.G. Kafader did say that our interpretation of Section 3167 had merit and he would give it due consideration. He is however reserving judgement pending results of Guyana coroner's inquest. His stated concern at this point is his duty to protect his client (Del. Department of Health) from any possible liability that might result from a failure to investigate cause of death before cremation occurred.

OBSERVATION: This concern may be the Delaware public explanation intended to mask Delaware's political objections to permitting cremation to occur in Delaware.

B.Burial in Delaware of Identified & Claimed Bodies where next of Kin so Request.

While there has been strong objection voiced by the officials of the State of Delaware to "mass burial" they have taken a more moderate stance on the question of next of kin requests for burial in Delaware.

Governor DuPont personally indicated to Mr. White & Mr. Dozier that he did not see how Delaware could refuse a request by next of kin for burial in Delaware.

Secretary Schramm in her memorandum of December 1, 1978 to Governor DuPont stated "Burial in Delaware is a more complex issue (than transport outside Delaware for burial). If a body is accompanied by the above-cited permit and an acceptable death certificate (with cause of death on the certificate), and is identified and claimed, the burial permit could be issued. I am informed that even under these conditions, it could be argued that the State has an obligation to investigate the death since circumstances suggest that the deaths were caused other than by natural causes in this instance (16 Del. Code 3125 (e)).

Since we have a letter of Guyana Solicitor General Gonsalves-Sabola indicating that the bodies were lawfully removed from Guyana (incorporated by Delaware as part of the transit packet) and we have a commitment from Guyana that they will be issuing death certificates specifying cause of death it would seem that burial in Delaware upon a request by next of kin should be allowed.

Informally, Assistant Attorney General Kafader said that it was his opinion that the 2 above mentioned documents coupled with the Solicitor General's letter of December 9th that specified that the death certificates being issued for the Jonestown deceased were legally sufficient for burial/cremation in Guyana would allow for burial in Delaware.

Mr. Kafader did reserve final judgement pending receipt of the results of the Guyana Coroner's Inquest and a representative sample of Guyana death certificates.

C. Burial of Some of the Unclaimed/Unidentified in Delaware.

Delaware opposes "mass burial" of the Guyana deceased in Delaware. They have also expressed concern over burial of any large number of unclaimed/unidentified in the State.

The Delaware position is that Delaware should not be required to shoulder the burden here. (This seems specious though since there is no burden. The fee paid to Delaware morticians & cemetery owners will eventually be redistributed throughout the state.

It would seem that Delaware could not strongly oppose other than on purely political grounds burial of a number of the unclaimed/unidentified in 10-12 cemeteries throughout the state. The deceased could be placed in unmarked graves (thus no "memorial" to the Jonestown incident would result. The possibility of such a "memorial" has been feared by Delaware authorities. The names of the persons buried could be kept on file at the cemetery office.)

This solution would be easier to "sell" to Delaware if the number of unclaimed/unidentified can be kept under 300 and if neighboring states (PA, N.J. & MD) agreed to accept some of these bodies for burial.

The newly created State and Local Gov't Liaison Office in the Department contacted in an effort to solicit interest in the neighboring states to Delaware regarding burial in those states.



At first glance, burial at sea appears to be an attractive option. It obviates the need to find a site or sites in the U.S. and eliminates the possibility of difficult negotiations with state officials. In addition, costs would be relatively low and legal requirements are not complex. Preliminary discussions with the Coast Guard indicate that they would probable be cooperative and might carry out the task on a non-reimbursable basis.

There are, however, several serious disadvantages. Chief among these is the fact that bodies buried at sea are beyond recovery. The Department would not be able to retrieve the bodies should next-of-kin come forward. Similarly, if additional investigations of whatever kind necessitated a reexamination of the bodies it would not be possible. On a logistical level, the Coast Guard has stated that the large number of bodies, perhaps as many as 250, would exceed the capacity of the relatively small vessels, which they operate, thus making necessary a number of separate operations. Federal law requires that the bodies be buried in at least 600 feet of water, which, on the East Coast, would preclude burial at distances less than 100 miles from shore.

Finally, one can easily envision strenuous objections to such a large-scale burial at sea from environmental and fishing interests. Such protests could be international in nature.


Like burial at sea, cremation would eliminate the need to obtain a burial site or sites and, thus, lessen significantly the potential for protracted discussion with unenthusiastic state and local officials. Cremation is also advantageous because of its relatively inexpensive costs.

Again, however, one must confront the problem of the irrevocability of this means of disposition. This constitutes a substantial disadvantage since it is difficult to predict what additional claims or further investigations might arise. Finally, it must be recognized that some persons will view cremation as "destruction of evidence."

C. Burial at a Site or Sites in the U.S.

This course of action unfortunately necessitates additional and often difficult negotiations with state and local officials. In addition, the costs are likely to be substantial unless a donor of land and/or services can be found.

By pursuing this option, however, the Department preserves its capacity to correct errors or oversights, which may have occurred in notifying next-of-kin and related matters. Also by committing itself to land burials of the deceased, the Department will avoid the serious pitfalls, described above, which are inherent in burial at sea and cremation. Moreover, it is anticipated that as many as two hundred (200) of the unidentified will be children.

The media and public reaction to cremation or other forms of irrevocable destruction of 200 children might be quite negative.

Identification Procedure

The following methods were utilized in identifying the bodies of the Jonestown deceased:

1. Positive identification by fingerprint comparison. (An FBI team at DAFB took fingerprints of deceased. These prints were compared to prints in FBI files and some state/local police files. The principal source for comparison prints, however, came from Guyana Immigration records. As part of the routine Guyana immigration procedure fingerprints are taken on all persons aged 16 an older.)

2. Positive identification by correlation of ante mortem and post mortem dental characteristics (Dental charting and x-rays were done at DAFB. These records are being compared with records provided by next of kin and various dentist/dental schools.)

3. Supporting physical characteristics. (Individual charts were prepared by the identification team at DAFB. This chart noted clothing worn by deceased, and any other characteristics such as sex, approximate age and weight etc., that might aid in identification. This data was compared with such things as the individuals' passport application.)

4. Supporting personal effects and/or medical records.

5. Body tag from Guyanese identification. (Walk through sight efforts are presently being made to obtain footprint records from various California hospitals. Diane Hunter of the Mayor of San Francisco's Guyana Task Force has volunteered to assist in this regard. This effort is considered important to assist in identifying the approximately 200 children in the group since no fingerprints of the children were made by Guyana immigration. Ms. Hunter has also been asked to assist in obtaining medical/dental records from various California facilities.

Once the Air Force Institute of Pathology team leaves Dover Air Force Base the data they have obtained will be stored in a military computer in Denver, Colorado. The actual records will be kept on file at the AFIP headquarters in Washington, D.C. When additional information is obtained the information stored in the computer will be retrieved and compared against the new information.

NOTE: The most difficult identifications are the children (approx. 234 in the group). Some 633 persons of the 913 have been identified. An additional set of 80 Guyanese fingerprints was recently discovered in Guyana. It is hoped that these prints will aid in a number of additional identifications.

There have been numerous appeals to the press and media to report the need for footprints, medical and dental records. This campaign has borne some fruit and it is hoped that the People's Temple will assist in the identifications by providing various medical/dental records of the members.

Back to index

January 15, 1979


TO: CA - Miss Watson

FROM: PA - Hodding Carter III

Press Comment on the Department's Role in Jonestown


The mass suicides and murders in Jonestown constituted the most widely known news story of 1978, according to a recent Gallup poll. Ninety-eight percent of those interviewed said they had heard or read about the events. According to Gallup, the awareness of Jonestown matched public awareness of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Despite the widespread publicity, there were relatively few editorials or columns that commented specifically on the Department's role in Jonestown and on its responsibility toward U.S. citizens abroad.

Of the 65 newspapers PA regularly monitors, we received editorials from 20 newspapers and three columns over the past two months that discussed two aspects of the Department's role: (1) the Department's responsiveness to complaints about the situation in Jonestown and its responsibility for the welfare of Americans abroad; and (2) the responsibility taken for removing the bodies from Jonestown and who should bear the cost.

Twelve comments either were critical of how Department officers handled the adverse reports about the People's Temple or at least raised questions about the Department's performance. Eight comments took the position that the Department had done all it legally could do.

All six editorials that commented on the cleanup operation favored the action that was taken. But four of these comments also suggested that the Government seek to recover the costs of returning the bodies.

End Summary

Positions of Individual Newspapers

Responsiveness Prior to Deaths

The following columnists and papers took the position that the Department should have done more and should review it procedures and policies:

James Reston, William Randolph Hearst, Jr., Des Moines Register, New York Post, Long Island Newsday, Tulsa Tribune, Boston Christian Science Monitor, Rochester Times-Union, Salt Lake City Tribune, Baltimore News American, Washington Post, and San Francisco Chronicle.

Sentiments typical of this group were expressed by:

James Reston, New York Times, December 3:

"There are some questions for the executive branch of the Government-why was it not more vigilant in looking after the well-being of its citizens?..But it would still be dicey to draw general conclusions from so many ambiguous human considerations."

William Randolph Hearst, Jr., Baltimore News-American, December 10:

"In other words, if the State Department isn't responsible for protecting the lives of Americans abroad, who is? I submit that the questions raised by Mrs. Ryan and Miss Speier should be taken seriously, and answered respectfully. The State Department should be made to answer for its 'incompetence'."

Washington Post, November 28:

"There must also be a thorough investigation of what exactly happened in Jonestown...We must see if a State Department policy may be formulated at least to cover a similar contingency in the future."

San Francisco Chronicle, December 4:

"We are not persuaded that the State Department was at fault, but the public is entitled to hear the facts brought out and judged."

Baltimore News-American (Hearst), November 22:

"...we question whether it (State) had done even an adequate job of assessing the true picture of the conditions in Jonestown. This is why we inquiry into the State Department role."

Salt Lake City Tribune, November 5:

" (State) doesn't try hard enough in aiding Americans in trouble abroad."

The following columnists and papers took the position that the Department did all it legally could do without violating First Amendment rights or infringing on the sovereignty of Guyana:

John P. Roche, Philadelphia Bulletin, San Diego Union, Cincinnati Enquirer, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, and Oklahoma City Journal.

Sentiments typical of this group were expressed by:

John P. Roche, Washington Star, December 11:

"...hard as it is for me to defend the State Department, the message on Jonestown is 'lay off': Everything that could legally be done was done."

Wall Street Journal, December 8:

"But this time the critics are accusing the department of negligence for not having seen something that in fact none of us could have imagined. If State had behaved differently, you can be sure there would have been howls about the U.S. Government's harassment of the religiously peculiar."

Los Angeles Times, November 28:

"What is lacking in this clamor (that the U.S. Government should have intervened) is any reasonable suggestion as to the government legal basis for intervention into affairs essentially beyond its control and proper authority."

Oklahoma City Journal, November 29:

"Some critics blame the State Department and FBI for not having investigated the Jonestown colony adequately and warning of its murderous potential. But another scenario could be written whereby too-zealous scrutiny of such a situation, particularly in a location outside U.S. jurisdiction, could be construed as harassment of nonconformists."

Responsibility for Removing Bodies

The following papers took the position that the Department made the right decision on the disposition of the victims' remains:

Phoenix Republic, Des Moines Register, New Orleans Times-Picayune, Baltimore News American, Chicago Sun Times, and Milwaukee Journal.

A sentiment typical of this group was expressed by:

Milwaukee Journal, November 29:

"Overall, the government seems to have done the necessary and decent thing."

The sentiment that the airlift costs should be recovered from the People's Temple was expressed by the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Phoenix Republic, Baltimore News American, and Chicago Sun Times.

On December 2, the Sun Times expressed a sentiment typical of this group:

"It seems only decent...that U.S. dead--especially in so grisly and sad a case--are returned to U.S. soil to rest. But certainly the government should try to recover the airlift costs.

Of the 65 papers that PA regularly monitors, 29 frequently comment on foreign affairs. Among this group, editorials on the Department's role were not published by the following 16:

Baltimore Sun, Boston Globe, Little Rock Arkansas Gazette, Louisville Courier-Journal, St. Louis Globe-Democrat and Post-Dispatch (both on strike since November 20), Atlanta Journal, Dallas News, Dallas Times-Herald, Houston Post, Chicago Tribune, Minneapolis Tribune, Oklahoma City Oklahoman, Portland Oregonian, and the Seattle Times.

Drafted: PA/M:WF Baynard /BRoshco:reb

x23165 1/11/79

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February 20, 1980

Contact: (202) 225-3531 - (415) 872-1077


A little more than a year ago, I sat in the Chairman of this Committee's office and together we grieved because we had lost a friend and a colleague in the man of the late Congressman Leo J. Ryan. During our meeting together, Chairman Fascell promised me that he would do whatever was necessary to get the answers to the questions that had gone unanswered. I urged him to hold public hearings on the tragedy. He said he would call hearings if they were warranted. I am grateful to him for calling this hearing today. As a Congressional Assistant for five years, I sat in this room many times and marvelled at the Chairman's depth of perception and extensive knowledge regarding foreign policy. I thank him, the members of this committee, and the staff for the opportunity to speak before you today.

I would also like to express my appreciation to Congressman Bill Royer who has shown a responsiveness to his constituents in his efforts to arrange these hearings.

Since the tragic events of November 18, 1978, forums all across the country, and in fact around the world have challenged spokespersons to speculate as to why Jonestown happened. The Washington community has not been excluded from this discussion. Rather, both the Congress and the Executive Branch conducted investigations into the Jonestown tragedy. I have read the documents prepared by the State Department and the House Foreign Affairs Committee and cooperated fully with both inquiries. Without question, the efforts of these groups were genuine. Both investigative teams took their mandate seriously and conducted the inquiries in a highly professional manner. The recommendations offered were adequate, but I respectfully submit that they address the symptoms and not the ailment.

The focus of this hearing is to monitor and evaluate the extent to which the State Department has effectuated the recommendations enumerated in the Foreign Affairs Committee Report and the State Department report. I am not prepared, nor am I qualified, to respond to that line of questioning. Certainly State Department officials are the only persons who can address that question. What's more, I find such questioning somewhat premature.

We still have not received plausible explanations regarding the performance of State before, during and after the tragedy. A U.S. Congressman, and over 900 people lost their lives in Guyana and the conclusions reached indicate that the:

U.S. Embassy in Guyana did not demonstrate adequate initiative, sensitive reaction and appreciation of highly irregular and illegal activities in Jonestown. (House Foreign Affairs Committee Report, page 29.)

There was a laxness in State Department procedures for distributing certain important documents relative to People's Temple thereby inhibiting the opportunity for taking appropriate action. (House Foreign Affairs Committee Report, page 31.)

We lost a U.S. Congressman and 900 Americans and all we say is that our Embassy did not "demonstrate initiative or sensitivity" and the State Department was "lax". Such an evaluation of State Department's performance is incomplete and oversimplified. And yet, with these inconclusive results, recommendations have been made which State Department has taken steps to implement. In my mind it is a classic case of the cart before the horse.

In my estimation State Department failed in three respects regarding the Codel trip. The Department failed in its duty to warn, its duty to investigate, and its duty to inform.

The ramifications of these hearings far exceed whether or not we will ultimately find out why the Jonestown tragedy occurred. The issue here cuts to the quick of what kind of relationship exists between the State Department and the Congress.

Is full disclosure by State Department to the Congress presumed or even anticipated? (Duty to warn.)

Is our Embassy's allegiance in a foreign country first to the foreign country or to the Congress and the American people? (Duty to investigate.)

Is the relationship between Congress and the State Department cooperative or adversative? (Duty to inform)


In the letter from Mathew Nimetz to Chairman Rodino of the Judiciary Committee on November 21, 1979, Nimetz outlines the steps which have been implemented in the aftermath of the Guyana Tragedy and the recommendations of the various reports. I quote:

We have made it a standard practice to request a threat assessment from our posts describing the current security situation in a country to be visited.... The contents (of the threat assessments) are shared with the members of the delegation before their departure.

Had this guideline been in effect when we made the trip to Guyana, I am certain the threat assessment would have been reported as "benign" by State Department. State never shared with the Congressional delegation any of the information and reports which they had in their files for over one year before our trip which pointed to a possible illegal export of up to 170 guns from California to Jonestown. (U.S. Customs Service, August 26, 1977. Received by State Department Bureau of Inter-American Affairs on September 6, 1977.) I must presume State Department did not consider such gun running to be "threatening". Further, we were not even given the opportunity to make our own threat assessment on a personal level because we were not privy to the vital information. A State Department spokesman in December 1978, one month after the tragedy, still maintained there was no potential violence in State'sview and was quoted as saying:

We did not specifically advise Congressman Ryan with respect to potential violence.... There was no prior instance - known or alleged - of use of physical violence against a visitor. (Redwood City Tribune, Redwood City, California, December 16, 1978.)

At this time I would like to show a visual example of the violence that State Department did not expect - because there was no prior history. This bullet was removed from my arm two months ago. The FBI has subsequently run ballistics tests on it.

State Department did not anticipate violence although they were put on notice not just once (by the Customs Service report), but at least twice about the armed camp environment at Jonestown.

The second instance refers to an affidavit received in June 1978 by State Department from Deborah Layton Blakey in which she testifies the "settlement swarming with armed guards", "persons approximately fifty in number would arm themselves with rifles". The affidavit also described white night suicide trials, brutality and severe working and subsistence conditions. Not only were these charges made in a formal affidavit to State Department in June 1978, they were also communicated firsthand to the Consular Officer in Guyana. He suggested Blakey contact the Justice Department.

Had the Consular Officer no responsibility to make an inquiry regarding the charges leveled?

Had he no responsibility to inform the Justice Department himself?


The Foreign Affairs Committee report makes the statement "The Embassy did not have an investigative or judidial function." I submit that the treaty we signed with the United Kingdom on June 6, 1951, and which continues to be the controlling document regarding our relationship with the government of Guyana today specifically provides that our Consular Officers have investigative powers. In 3 UST 3439, Part V-Protection of Nationals, Article 15, it states:

(1) A consular officer shall be entitled within his district to:

(a) Interview, communicate with and advise any national of the sending state;

(b) Inquire into any incidents (emphasis added) which have occurred affecting the interests of any such national.

Proper interpretation of this section by our Embassy officials in Guyana could have provided them with persuasive authority to investigate the charges made by Deborah Layton Blakey and others about the conditions in Jonestown and the potential for violence.

At every junction within the State Department framework in Washington and in Guyana, officials failed to act. They failed to act not out of ignorance but with full knowledge of possible significant criminal activity by Jim Jones. The failure of State Department in performing its responsibilities is not the result of any lack of power to act. The treaty clearly provides for such action. I do not believe the unresponsiveness of State to make inquiries regarding the Blakey affidavit or the numerous letters from concerned relatives, is the result of a bureaucratic foul up of the documents never reaching that appropriate officials in State. We have the admission of the Consular Officer in charge at Georgetown, who accompanied Blakey to New York, that he was aware of her concerns and charges. The Blakey defection occurred in May, the Blakey affidavit was filed in June. The Codel departed in November. No action was ever taken by State Department or the Embassy to verify the charges made by Blakey. It was assumed, erroneously by both Congressman Ryan and myself that the affidavit had been reviewed and no evidence found to support the charges. We presumed, what a Congressional delegation relying on assistance from State would have presumed, that State Department was doing its job. We still do not know today why the affidavit did not prompt a full investigation. I can only speculate that:

(1) The charges were already known to be true.

(2) The Jonestown "problem" did not merit priority consideration by State.

(3) An investigation would somehow jeopardize the U.S. economic or political relationship with Guyana.

Until we can determine what the motivation was for the "non-action", making recommendations in an attempt to avert another tragedy such as Jonestown is an exercise in futility.


Whether or not a cooperative relationship exists between the State Department and Congress must be assessed more specifically.

Congressman Ryan and I met with Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs, Viron P. Vaky and other State Department officials in September 1978 to discuss the Congressman's interest in visiting Jonestown in November 1978. State Department was kept advised on an almost daily basis as the trip became more defined. During October and the first two weeks of November, the Guyana Desk Officer was consulted daily and informed by me regarding every new development of the trip including the possible media coverage. My relationship with State could only be described as cooperative and candid.

On the other hand, the Congressman's efforts as well as mine to obtain information and assistance were consistently thwarted or frustrated.

In the days that followed the tragedy, State Department complied with the Foreign Affairs Committee requests and handed over 900 documents regarding the People's Temple in Guyana - I repeat 900 documents. In our requests for information from State we were nver once told of the 900 documents the Department had on the Temple and furthermore we were never given access to those documents.

Had we the opportunity to review the documents, even a limited number of them, we might have "located" the U.S. Customs Service report regarding the suspected 170 guns in Jonestown - A report State had "misplaced" prior to the Congressional trip.

Had we been afforded a cursory review, we would have realized that the Blakey affidavit of June 1978 was never acted upon.

The question still haunts me today. Why was critical, life and death information regarding the People's Temple hidden from the view of the Congressional delegation before the trip? Was State Department fearful that we would discover that it had been wantonly negligent in protecting American citizens abroad in Guyana?

If the relationship between the Congress and State Department is indeed cooperative and not adversative, I implore this committee to seek the answers to these unanswered questions.

The late Congressman Leo Ryan was eulogized by many of his colleagues after his death for his courage and tenacious spirit in seeking out the truth regardless of the obstacles or political ramifications. I trust that the members of the International Operations Subcommittee will continue in his spirit of leadership and representation of the American people by seeking the whole truth about the Jonestown tragedy.

It is my firm belief that the State Department must share heavily in the responsibility for the deaths of Leo Ryan and the 900 Americans in Guyana. I cannot be confident in our government's protection of Americans abroad or in our State Department until the whole truth about the Jonestown tragedy is exposed. Our lives depend on it.

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Statement of Joe Holsinger, Admin. Asst. to the Late Leo J. Ryan to


February 20, 1980,

I would like to express my appreciation to Chairman Fascell for convening these oversight hearings. I know that Leo Ryan had the highest personal regard for Mr. Fascell. He considered him to be his mentor on this committee and his friend.

I also want to thank Rep. Bill Royer for his role in pressing for these hearings. His efforts have earned him the respect of everyone who was touched by the tragedy in Guyana in November 1978. It is an irony of fate that this subcommittee is one on which Leo Ryan served and worked closely with members who are here today.

The conduct of the open Congressional hearing can help to determine if our government withheld vital information from Rep. Leo Ryan, and if his death and the death of over 900 persons could have been averted.

Leo went to Guyana in a last ditch effort to determine the validity of serious charges made about Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple in Jonestown. Rep. Ryan had received detailed allegations that at least some of the more than 900 Americans there were being held against their will under brutal, inhuman circumstances. He would not have led a Congressional delegation there if the facts could have been determined any other way.

Rep. Royer's office has informed me that the purpose of these oversight hearings is "to determine what the State Department has done to implement the recommendations contained in the Foreign Affairs Committee staff report and the State Department report on the performance of the State Department in the Jonestown matter".

The recommendations appear to be useful and, if implemented properly, they should improve the quality of State Department performance overseas. One of the most difficult areas is that of review of exemption provisions under the Privacy Act and the Freedom of Information Act. It is clear that the Privacy Act was interpreted by the State Department to deny Representative Ryan access to pertinent information concerning Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple in Guyana.

It is also clear that the Freedom of Information Act was interpreted by State Department personnel in such a way as to provide complete access to Jim Jones about inquiries or actions concerning Jones and the Peoples Temple. Our experience in the Ryan office in that regard is detailed in the attached news story in the San Mateo Times of 12/6/78, "Somehow the Word Would Get to Peoples Temple" (Exhibit A). That free flow of information to Jones from the State Department, and the reasons for it, have never been properly addressed. Was it de-facto State Department policy or was it the work of a few key officials with close ties to Jim Jones?

A major issue that has escaped scrutiny is the emphasis placed by the state Department on promoting American Commercial interests overseas as its first priority, to the detriment of the problems of individual U.S. citizen's abroad. That issue was raised by Rep. Paul McCloskey in an interview published in the San Mateo Times on 12/8/78, "McCloskey Slams State Department (Exhibit B).

December 8, 1978, San Mateo Times, McCloskey Slams State Department, 

The following is an excerpt from that news story:

"A congressional investigation of the Jonestown massacre is likely to show that the U.S. State Department was more concerned with promoting exportation of natural resources from Guyana than exposing injustices within Peoples Temple or protecting Americans visiting that country, Rep. Paul McCloskey told The Times Thursday.

The Republican congressman from Menlo Park who had worked with his slain colleague, Rep. Leo J. Ryan, for State Department intervention in the Jonestown commune, stated:

"I think an investigation will bring out that the Guyanese government had a relationship with (the Rev. Jim) Jones and that the U.S. Embassy (in Georgetown) knew about it, accepted it and didn't try to intrude.

"Based on my dealings with the State Department, I think it is apparent that the department was more concerned with getting along with the Guyanese...and promoting exports from that country than it was in protecting U.S. Citizens."

The most important mineral resources in Guyana are bauxite and manganese. Gold and diamonds also are mined. Bauxite is the principal source of aluminum.

McCloskey said it is the "inherent mission" of all U.S. embassies, as representatives of the president, to place more emphasis on maintaining an amiable relationship with a host country and promoting exports than looking after the interests of citizens abroad.

He said it is his hope that the investigation will result in an order by the House International Relations Committee that embassies take a "stronger position" on the well-being of Americans."

I find nothing in the State Department recommendations that remotely touches on this matter.

One of the State Department recommendations most pertinent to the Guyana tragedy was Item G (1) which stated:

"G. The Department should strengthen its support for Congressional delegations travelling overseas. We endorse the current efforts of the Department to provide: (1) more definitive threat assessments in areas to be visited by Congressional groups;"

Threat assessments, to be effective, must necessarily include current intelligence data from the area involved. The question is whether the results of such intelligence data will be shared with Congressional delegations or withheld from them. The record shows that no such intelligence data was made available to Leo Ryan concerning Guyana. In fact, the State Department denied knowledge of any intelligence data concerning the Peoples Temple in Guyana in its report of 12/13/78 from Douglas Bennet, Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations, to Rep. Clement Zablocki, Chairman of the International Relations Committee. Question #8 from Chairman Zablocki asked:

"Were the activities of the Peoples' Temple Church investigated by the FBI and/or other U.S. Government agencies and, if so, were their findings made available to the Department of State?"

The State response was:

"The Department of Justice has informed the Department that it conducted no investigations of the Peoples' Temple prior to the death of Congressman Ryan. We have been informed that the Federal Communications Commission investigated use of amateur radio stations by the Peoples' Temple to determine whether that use violated the Federal Communications Act of 1934.

The Department is unaware of any other investigations that may have been conducted by other U.S. Government agencies of the Peoples' Temple or its activities other than the single report of the Customs investigation noted in our response to Question 7 above."

That response can be true only if you believe that U.S. government intelligence operations in Guyana were completely shielded from the State Department. Our government did have an intelligence presence in Guyana prior to Leo Ryan's trip there. I know that an agent of the Central Intelligence Agency witnessed his death. On the afternoon of November 18, 1978, I received two phone calls in California from Washington, D.C. The first was from the Caribbean Desk at the State Department. I had been in touch with them several times that day because of my concern over Leo's presence at Jonestown and the potential danger there.

The State Department caller told me that they had just received a report from the American Embassy in Georgetown of a shooting incident at the Port Kaituma airstrip. The report said that three people had been killed and fifteen wounded, and that Rep. Ryan may have been one of those killed.

Within fifteen minutes, I had a second phone call, this time from a member of the White House staff whom I know personally. He told me that five people had been killed, including Leo. When I said that his information differed from that which I just received from the State Department, he responded, "Joe, our information is correct. We have a CIA report from the scene".

The White House aide then asked my assistance in identifying the other four persons by describing their rolls. Because of my familiarity with the mission, I was able to identify Don Harris as the TV newscaster, Bob Brown as the TV cameraman and Greg Robinson as the still photographer.

Since a CIA agent was present at the assassination of Congressman Ryan, it seems reasonable to assume that our government had received prior reports on the Peoples Temple.

Further confirmation of CIA activities in Guyana are contained in a San Mateo Times new story of 12/14/79, "CIA Agent Witnessed Jonestown Mass Suicide" (Exhibit C). I have been informed that House rules forbid specific charges against named individuals in open session, but I am ready to discuss such charges against more than one individual in Executive Session if this Committee chooses to hear them.

I believe that the tragic consequences of withholding intelligence data from Leo Ryan in Guyana should serve as a warning to all future Congressional delegations abroad. Unless the Congress insists on the inclusion of such data in State Department threat assessments, the ability of Congress to fulfill its fact-finding and investigative responsibilities will be at the mercy of the Executive Branch of the government.

It also appears that existing law may have been broken by the Central Intelligence Agency in failing to report to the appropriate Committees in Congress on its covert activities in Guyana. In December of 1974, as an amendment to the Foreign Aid Act, Congress approved a provision sponsored by Harold Hughes of Iowa in the Senate and by Leo Ryan of California in the House. This is what it said:

"No funds appropriated under the authority of this or any other act may be expended by or on behalf of the CIA for operations in foreign countries, other than activities intended solely for obtaining necessary intelligence, unless and until the president finds that each such operation is important to the national security and report, in a timely fashion, a description and scope of such operation to the appropriate committees of the Congress."

The CIA did have an operation in Guyana, in addition to the obtaining of necessary intelligence. That operation was specifically designed to support the government of Prime Minister Forbes Burnham, and there are credible reports that it included covert support for Jim Jones as an ally of Forbes Burnham. Specifically, the Peoples' Temple provided funds to the Burnham group and also acted as a terrorist organization to intimidate the opponents of the Burnham regime. And the Burnham government was cooperative with our commercial interests and with the policy of the U.S. State Department in promoting the exportation of natural resources from Guyana.

It seems almost certain now that our intelligence sources were aware that charges that American citizens were being held in bondage were true, and that they allowed that condition to continue in the interests of their mission. They also withheld that information from member of Congress, including Leo Ryan, and from desperate relatives who pleaded for government assistance for their loved ones. The Department of State consistently reassured such relatives that all was well at Jonestown. A typical example is the State Department response of 6/16/78 to Sherwin Harris of Lafayette, California (Exhibit D). By the time that Leo Ryan led the Congressional delegation to Guyana in November, 1978, the difficult question posed for our government was whether or not it should admit to Ryan that:

1. A covert intelligence operation existed I Guyana that had not been reported to appropriate committees in Congress as required by law;

2. American citizens were being held in Jonestown against their will;

3. Our government was using Jim Jones as an ally of the Burnham government to maintain its control of Guyana.

Someone, or some group, made the decision to "stonewall" the Ryan delegation. That was a fatal mistake, although at the time it must have appeared that Leo's mission would fail since it was obvious that neither our government, the government of Guyana nor Jim Jones wanted him in Guyana, or especially in Jonestown. Under those circumstances, it appeared very unlikely that one lone congressman would be able to "kick down the doors", to use one of Leo's pet phrases. On the other hand, it was likely that if Leo Ryan had been given intelligence data indicating that American citizens were being held against their will under brutal circumstances, he would have used that information with the appropriate committee in Congress to force our government to free those people. Leo would not have had to go to Guyana. And all those deaths would have been averted.

News accounts from Georgetown at the time of the Ryan mission there said that Leo was winning the media or public-opinion battle against Jim Jones. Before Leo's departure for Guyana, he and I discussed his plan to go up to the gates of Jonestown, in the presence of the media, and request permission to enter. If such permission were refused, Leo would the return to Congress with proof that Jonestown was a closed settlement. If he was allowed to enter, he intended to assess the situation there fairly, but to insist on talking alone to specific people and to personally escort any one out who wished to leave.

When it became obvious that Leo Ryan was going to Jonestown even without prior agreement by Jim Jones, our government had its last chance to disclose the true nature of the situation there to Leo. Someone decided at this juncture to take the chance that Jones would be able to put on a show that would convince the Ryan group that all was well in Jonestown. It seems incredible to me that our government, knowing what it did about the situation inside Jonestown and the potential for violence there, would take that chance. It is a terribly harsh question to ask, but is it possible that even the terrible tragedy that occurred was preferred over disclosure of out covert operation in Guyana?

In reviewing the adequacy of the recommendations from the State Department, the most significant omission is that of the presence of CIA personnel in key roles within the State Department. Their existence is known to our allies and to our potential enemies alike. It is a secret only from the American public. I believe that the CIA serves a vital and essential purpose in our national interest. I also understand that its personnel operate under orders from the National Security Agency and the President. Their work is often dangerous and they must be protected. It may be necessary under some circumstances for CIA personnel to use the cover of the State Department employees. However, such usage should be kept to an absolute minimum since it can obviously create radical mutations in policy and endanger the lives of American citizen's abroad unless great care is taken.

If, as seems probable, our State Department policy towards the Peoples Temple and Guyana was dominated by the CIA operation there, the Department's laxness and indifference to petitions and complaints form refugees (or defectors) and from concerned relatives becomes more understandable. Some of the major petitions and affidavits which were ignored or "lost" included:

1. The Concerned Relatives' petition of may 10, 1978 to the Secretary of State; which included sworn notarized affidavits concerning the abuse of human rights by Jones.

2. The April 10, 1978 affidavit of Yolanda D.A. Crawford, a People's Temple defector, describing beatings and abuses in Jonestown.

3. The affidavits of May and June, 1978, by Debbie Blakey describing suicide rehearsals and other serious charges.

The State Department's response of June 26, 1978, to Ambassador Burke's telegram of June 6, 1978, was a clear rejection of Burke's request for permission to discuss the Jonestown situation with the Government of Guyana. It seems quite possible, in retrospect, that this rejection was influenced by intelligence agency considerations.

Some knowledgeable observers may argue that the deaths of Leo Ryan, the media members and over 900 American residents of Jonestown may be the price we had to pay to keep control of Guyana. Sort of a "that's war, folks; that's the way it is" attitude. But what if Guyana falls anyway, and soon? That specter was raised in a news article from London and published in the San Francisco Chronicle on December 9, 1979, "Guyana May Be the Next to Fall" (Exhibit E).

That article detailed the desperate economic plight of the Guyanese people and their growing opposition, now estimated at 75 to 80 percent, to the Burnham government. It also discussed the use of violence by another U.S. based pseudo-religious group. This group, "The House of Israel", appears to be the strong-arm successor to the People's Temple in support of Burnham. If the tragedy at Jonestown was in fact allowed to happen to protect the secrecy of our intelligence operations in Guyana, the ultimate tragedy when Guyana falls will be that it was in vain.

I submit that our government policy in the underdeveloped countries in the Caribbean is fatally flawed if it is based solely on the protection of U.S. commercial interests. We must be more supportive to the native economies in the Caribbean if we are to maintain our sphere of influence against Cuba and Russia.

Grenada, a small island nation near Guyana, has already been taken into the Communist sphere of influence, despite our support for the government of Sir Eric Gairy, which fell in March, 1979. It is of interest to note that Gairy and Jim Jones were close enough for Gairy to visit Jones at the Peoples Temple in San Francisco prior to Jones' departure to Guyana. A photograph of the two together appears in a book "The Suicide Cult" written by a San Francisco Chronicle reporter, Ron Javers.

It has been reported that Jim Jones had planned to escape to Grenada with a select group of supporters following the mass murders in Jonestown. Jones did not intend to die in Jonestown. No paraffin tests were ever made on his hands to determine if he had fired a gun. It is now known that more than one million dollars of Peoples' Temple money was deposited in a Grenada bank. It should also be noted here that the pathology report by the Guyanese coroner showed that a high percentage of the victims examined were injected in the back with the poison. The proof was the blisters on the backs at the point of injection. We also know that an undetermined number of the Jonestown residents showed up in Grenada following the Jonestown tragedy.

My reason for going beyond a discussion of the recommendations by the State Department is that the fault may be with government policy rather that with the day-to-day conduct of State Department employees. When a tragedy of this magnitude occurs, we should do more, much more, than be content with a surface examination of individual conduct.

I realize that may of the matters I have discussed today are beyond the purview of this subcommittee, or of any standing committee of the Congress. For that reason, I ask now for the formation of a Special House Committee with full power to investigate all aspects of the Jonestown tragedy, including its impact on our foreign policy and our relations with neighboring nations in the Caribbean.

Some of the questions to be addressed by such a Select Committee would include the following:

1. Is it State Department policy to make protection of American commercial interests abroad its top priority at the expense of the safety of American citizens?

2. To what extent is the CIA used to promote and protect American commercial interests abroad, in addition to its normal functions of gathering intelligence? Does such protection result in the creation of animosity toward our country by citizens of these nations?

3. Did our government use Jones and the Peoples Temple to support the Burnham government? If so, was the purpose to protect the commercial export of raw materials such a bauxite and manganese?

4. Were members of our intelligence agencies serving in key positions in our Embassy in Guyana and in the State Department in Washington, D.C., and were they directed by our government to use those positions to control State Department conduct regarding complaints against the Peoples Temple?

5. Did our government knowingly acquiesce in the intolerable conditions of bondage at Jonestown in order to maintain control of the Guyanese government?

6. Was our government, through its intelligence operation, fully aware of the arms in Jonestown and the potential for violence there? If so, why did it fail to insist on armed protection by the Guyanese government for the Ryan mission? Was Leo Ryan set up for murder?

7. Did a member of the CIA, who was also a State Department official, go back into Jonestown after the killings at Port Kaituma and witness the mass murder/suicide scene there? If so, why?

8. Who killed Jim Jones and why?

9. Has the Administration used "National Security" as an excuse to cover up the monumental error of withholding vital information from Leo Ryan concerning Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple in Jonestown, an error that led directly to the tragedy?

I thank you for the opportunity to present this statement in an open hearing before this committee. My personal feelings about the tragic death of my good friend, Leo Ryan, are obvious. He is gone, but I believe that we should now proceed to examine fully the causes of this tragedy and to ensure that the errors leading to it are corrected for the good of our nation.

Joe Holsinger




PREFACE: This memorandum reports my observations during a trip to Matthews Ridge and Port Kaituma on August 29 - 30 and 31. It is designed to describe the infrastructure of the Government of Guyana (GOG) in the area including the Internal Security and Defense Forces in the district and mention briefly the productive sector of the region.

I. Infrastructure

A. Transportation - (1) Air: The area is serviced by scheduled thrice weekly air service between Georgetown and Matthews Ridge and twice weekly flights between Georgetown and Mabaruma. There is a weekly flight between Mabaruma, Matthews Ridge and Georgetown. Service is provided by Guyana Airways Corporation Siddely Hawkes twin-engine turbo-prop transport between Georgetown and Matthews Ridge and the smaller twin engine Islander between Mabaruma and Georgetown.

(2) Sea: The Northwest District is serviced by weekly steamer service that takes 22 hours between Georgetown and Mabaruma. Launches must then be hired to take individuals to selected points up the Barima, Kaituma and other major rivers. A canal was cut into the Kaituma River to permit oceangoing traffic (5,000 tons or smaller) to proceed to Port Kaituma.

(3) Land: At the present time it is not possible to travel overland from Georgetown to any points in the Northwest District. The terrain between the Coastal region and the District is rain forest and mountains that is continually cut by rivers and creeks.

(4) Rail: Within the Northwest District a narrow gauge rail line still operates daily between Matthews Ridge and Port Kaituma. This rail line carries passengers and freight and was originally constructed to haul manganese ore by an American mining company that closed down its operations about 5 years ago.

(5) Other: Apart from the railroad, all other transportation is either by truck or land rover over dirt roads hacked out of the wilderness. These roads presently are reportedly passable the year round although during the rainy season they can only be transited by four wheel drive vehicles. The main roads radiate from Matthews Ridge West to the Guyana National Service (GNS) camp at Papaya and North to Port Kaituma. There are trail leading West and South to the Venezuelan border but they are ill defined and presumable used only by the GNS or the Guyana Defense Force (GDF). The roads between Matthews Ridge and Port Kaituma (approximately 40 miles) follow the natural fold in the hilly rain forested area that is broken every so often by meadows. This region is watered by the Barima River that is reputed to contain gold and diamonds.

B. Government - Matthews Ridge is the regional center of the Government in the District. The Regional Minister resides here as does the Regional District Officer. There is also a Regional Agriculture Officer and a Medical Dispenser. The clinic is temporarily without a medical doctor. The government took over intact the building infrastructure left by the American Manganese company. They have direct telephone communication with Georgetown rather than radiotelephone that is normal for other parts of the interior. There are also District Offices located at Port Kaituma and Mabaruma. The Government has an experimental agricultural farm (the Burnham Agricultural Station) at Arikaka, ten miles north of Matthews Ridge on the road to Port Kaituma. Matthews Ridge has a satellite city, Barima, with the usual rum shops, a school, a private guesthouse, and the aforementioned dispensary or clinic. As yet, there are no facilities for tourists to take advantage of the beautiful vistas of rolling rain forest that can be admired from the Government's VIP Guest House located on Matthews Ridge. Commercial transportation consists of hitching rides on a land rover or riding on a truck or the train that travels between Port Kaituma and Barita-Matthews Ridge.

II. Productive Sector

The Government's present thrust in the region is toward agriculture. They have been reasonably successful with cattle raising and ground provisions, including yams and cassava. There is also an American colony located about 5 miles southeast of Port Kaituma that is extensively engaged in agriculture and whose presence has provided momentum to the District's development plan. However, because of the region's remoteness, formidable problems must be surmounted. The GOG will have to develop further infrastructure in schools, housing, medical facilities and more reliable air and sea service if it is to properly exploit the area. The lack of decent schools, with the exception of Port Kaituma where a new multilateral school (high school) has just been completed, is the cause for many of the civil servants living in Matthews Ridge to leave their families in Georgetown. The GOG has only one Cuban contract doctor in the region and he is located at Mabaruma. Reportedly he has problems because his English is limited. There is an American doctor at the People's Temple Agricultural Mission who purportedly is ready to assist but in any genuine medical emergency the GDF must come in and fly out the injured or sick person. Mining is at a standstill in the area since the American company mining for manganese ore departed. There are some fishponds for "fish farming" outside Matthews Ridge that are utilized to provide another source of protein. Potato cultivation was tried but was curtailed because of its lack of success.

GOG officials emphasized that their plans are to develop the infrastructure of the region so that its agricultural potential can be exploited. They believe the area is particularly suited to cattle raising, ground provisions and citrus. They anticipate that once they can attract more settlers and provide additional community services, the area will sustain itself and begin to provide for ancillary food industries. However, these plans will require a large infusion of capital which is beyond the ability of the Government to furnish in the foreseeable future.

(last 4 paragraphs redacted)


The Jonestown, Guyana Tragedy:

Primary Source Materials
From The
U.S. Department of State

On November 18, 1978, one of the most bizarre episodes in the history of the United States Government culminated in the assassination of a U. S. Congressman and the mass suicide/murder of 909 people in the remote jungle of northwest Guyana. Drawn from over 6,000 pages of material obtained from the State Department through an FOIA request and the 782-page House of Representatives investigative report, this website is intended to present a documentary look at the people, groups, and governmental agencies involved in the chain of events that led to the Jonestown Massacre. Note: this website is not endorsed by or connected with the Department of State or any other U.S. Government agency.
The material is broken up into 11 categories, with the documents generally arrayed by date. If you're unfamiliar with the background of the tragedy, the first two sections from chapter one of the House of Representatives report, giving a detailed background and summary of events that led to the assassination of Congressman Leo Ryan, and chapter three, detailing the findings of the Staff Investigative Group, are a good place to start.
Note: As a way of verifying the authenticity of the material on this website, I scanned in the cover letter I received from the State Department that accompanied the documents.

Jim Jones and the People's Temple
People's Temple Correspondence
People's Temple Testimonial Letters
The John Victor Stoen Custody Case
The Defection of Deborah Layton Blakey
The "Concerned Relatives" Group
State Department/American Embassy Correspondence      
Codel Ryan
State Department/American Embassy Cables
State Department Press Briefings
Search and Rescue/Disposition of Remains
Jim Jones and the People's Temple
  • Peoples Temple Agricultural Project: Progress Report-Summer 1977 - text of a booklet that was distributed by the PT, detailing daily life at the Project - (45k)
  • Privacy Act Request from Jim Jones - notarized letter signed by Jones to the Department of State, requesting copies of the material contained in his Department file - (192k - 2 jpgs)
  • Privacy Act Release of Information Authorization from Jim Jones - February 2, 1978 statement handwritten and signed by Jones, authorizing the State Department to release information to members of Congress and the relatives of PT residents - the statement was written at the request of the State Department's Welfare/Whereabouts Unit - (75k - jpg)
  • Transfer of PT funds at Union Bank of Switzerland - one of the charges raised by Blakey in her affidavit of June 15th was that Jones had a fortune stashed away in banks in several countries (Blakey was the Temple bookkeeper while she was in San Francisco). Here are two letters from the PT, both dated September 21, 1978, confirming their instructions to transfer over $5 million into different accounts at UBS branches in Panama and Zurich - (307k - 3 jpgs)
  • "The Last Day of People's Temple" - copy of a transcript of an unsigned note that was found at Jonestown after the mass suicide - the first page is the State Department memo that accompanied the transcript - (328k - 3 jpgs)
  • Certificate of Election to Wind Up and Dissolve - the end of the PT as a corporate entity, signed by five of the six voting members - filed with the California Secretary of State on December 19, 1978 - (135k - 2 jpgs)
  • Amended Petition for Judicial Supervision... - document filed December 20, 1978, asking the Court to take over the dissolution of the PT - (607k - 8 jpgs)
People's Temple Correspondence People's Temple Testimonial Letters The John Victor Stoen Custody Case The Defection of Deborah Layton Blakey The "Concerned Relatives" Group State Department/American Embassy Correspondence/Memos Codel Ryan State Department/American Embassy Cables
  • Georgetown 930 - Authority to Sign on Seamen - dated June 7, 1974, this was the first reported contact between the American Embassy in Georgetown and members of the PT - (95k - jpg)
  • Georgetown 252 - Conditions at People's Temple Mission - (252k - 2 jpgs)
  • Georgetown 1411 - People's Temple members request Guyanese citizenship - (193k - 2 jpgs)
  • State 118668 - People's Temple Community - (81k - jpg)
  • Georgetown 1544 - People's Temple Community - (106k - jpg)
  • Georgetown 1545 - W/W Deborah Blakey DOB: Feb. 7, 1953 - (194k - 2 jpgs)
  • Georgetown 1815 - People's Temple and the Community at Jonestown - (260k - 2 jpgs)
  • State 241892 - Congressman Leo Ryan's planned visit to People's Temple in Guyana - (149k - 2 jpgs)
  • Georgetown 3098 - U.S. lawyer Mark Lane vows to file lawsuit against USG conspiracy to destroy People's Temple - (258k - 2 jpgs)
  • Georgetown 3125 - Congressman Ryan's plan to visit People's Temple in Guyana - (343k - 3 jpgs)
  • State 256273 - Congressman Ryan's proposed visit to Guyana - (123k - jpg)
  • Georgetown 3174 - American lawyer Mark Lane's Georgetown press conference on the People's Temple - (399k - 3 jpgs)
  • State 277716 - Congressman Ryan's visit to Guyana - (187k - 2 jpgs)
  • State 278140 - Codel Ryan - (175k - 2 jpgs)
  • Georgetown 3597 - CODEL Ryan's intention to investigate Peoples Temple in Guyana - (90k - jpg)
  • Georgetown 3600 - Congressman Ryan's visit to Guyana - (299k - 3 jpgs)
  • Georgetown 3619 - Codel Ryan visit to Guyana - (242k - 2 jpgs)
  • Georgetown 3714 - Congressman Ryan's visit to Guyana - (132k - jpg)
  • Georgetown 3749 - Peoples Temple press release on visit of CODEL Ryan - (602k - 4 jpgs)
  • Georgetown 3761 - Ambassador meets with "Concerned Relatives" - (258k - 3 jpgs)
  • Georgetown 3774 - flash message notifying the State Department of the airport attack on CODEL Ryan - (134k - jpg)
  • Georgetown 3775 - Passenger list of party that made trip to Port Kaituma with Congressman Ryan - (97k - jpg)
  • Georgetown 3776 - Shooting incident at Port Kaituma - (276k - 2 jpgs)
  • Georgetown 3777 - Background Port Kaituma and Jonestown - (145k - jpg)
  • Georgetown 3778 - First reports from Port Kaituma - (93k - jpg)
  • Georgetown 3779 - Situation report as of 1100 local - (110k - jpg)
  • Georgetown 3780 - Security of "Concerned Relatives" at Pegasus Hotel - (105k - jpg)
  • Georgetown 3781 - First wounded arrive at Timehri International Airport, Georgetown - (98k - jpg)
  • Georgetown 3782 - Security of "Concerned Relatives" at Pegasus Hotel - (108k - jpg)
  • Georgetown 3783 - Special military aircraft - (80k - jpg)
  • Georgetown 3784 - Offer of assistance to GOG - (87k - jpg)
  • Georgetown 3785 - Equipment needs of Guyana National police - (90k - jpg)
  • Georgetown 3787 - Shooting incident - (82k - jpg)
  • Georgetown 3788 - Names and addresses of PT relatives - (82k - jpg)
  • Georgetown 3790 - Offer of assistance to GOG - (111k - jpg)
  • Georgetown 3791 - Security of Concerned Relatives - (125k - jpg)
  • Georgetown 3792 - First casulty report from Jonestown - (84k - jpg)
  • Georgetown 3793 - Update on party that flew to Port Kaituma with CODEL Ryan - (102k - jpg)
  • State 293749 - Offer of assistance to GOG - (95k - jpg)
  • Georgetown 3807 - Interview with Mark Lane - (656k- 5 jpgs - 8k - html)
  • Georgetown 3811 - GOG creates task force to deal with Jonestown tragedy - (303k - 2 jpgs)
  • Georgetown 3812 - Assistance - (94k - jpg)
  • State 299101 - Press guidance - (204k - 2 jpgs)
  • State 299104 - Task force supplies and equipment - (247k - 2 jpgs)
  • Georgetown 3817 - Identification of Reverend Jim Jones... - (119k - jpg)
  • Georgetown 3820 - Department assumption of death and w/w notification responsibilities - (85k - jpg)
  • Georgetown 3826 - Disposition of remains - (285k - 2 jpgs)
  • Georgetown 3837 - Request for equipment by GOG director of civil aviation - (285k - 2 jpgs)
  • Georgetown 3843 - Disposition of remains - (150k - jpg)
  • Georgetown 3845 - Disposition of remains - (123k - jpg)
  • Georgetown 3867 - U.S. Congressman Leo Ryan... - (194k - 2 jpgs)
  • Georgetown 3868 - Medical findings of investigation at Jonestown - (192k - 2 jpgs)
  • Georgetown 3884 - People's Temple - (77k - jpg)
  • Georgetown 3897 - Findings in partial autopsy on body of Bishop Jim Jones - (76k - jpg)
  • Georgetown 3900 - Search and rescue - (116k - jpg)
  • Georgetown 3919 - Official GOG statement on the assassination of Congressman Ryan and the tragedy at Jonestown - (236k - 2 jpgs)
  • Georgetown 3928 - Media activities in wake of Port-Kaituma-Jonestown tragedies - (292k - 3 jpgs)
  • Georgetown 3951 - Verifying removal of all human remains from Jonestown site - (182k - 2 jpgs)
  • Georgetown 3978 - Mission contacts with Jonestown - (230k - 2 jpgs)
  • Georgetown 3986 - Radio broadcast related to the visit of Congressman Ryan to Jonestown - (213k - 2 jpgs)
  • Georgetown 4014 - Status of legal issues - (174k - 2 jpgs)
  • State 299116 - Arrangements for return of survivors - (121k - jpg)
  • State 299118 - US military support to Guyana incident - (183k - 2 jpgs)
  • State 299132 - Arrangements for return of survivors - (178k - 2 jpgs)
  • State 301207 - Report of DCM's Dwyer - (110k - jpg)
  • Georgetown 4041 - DCM Dwyer's report on Codel Ryan's visit to Jonestown and subsequent murder - (2,300k - 17 jpgs - 32k - html)
  • Georgetown 4171 - Recollections of DCM Dwyer on May 10 visit to People's Temple with Consul McCoy - (369k - 3 jpgs)
  • State 309905 - People's Temple - (43k - jpg)
  • Georgetown 4405 - Jury verdict at coroner's inquest into Jonestown mass deaths - (159k - jpg)
State Department Press Briefings Search and Rescue/Body Recovery/Disposition of Remains

All digital jpg scans, html coding and formatting © copyright 1998 Brian Csuk



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