Summary prepared by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.
FBI Catalogue [None]
FBI preliminary tape identification note: [None]
Date cues on tape: November 18, 1978
Rep. Leo Ryan
Jackie Speier, aide to Rep. Ryan
Jim Schollaert, aide to Rep. Ryan
Joseph Hartmann, Vice-Consul, US Consulate (speaks)
Richard Dwyer, U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission (speaks)
Doug Ellice, Embassy official (speaks)
Mrs. Ellice, wife of Doug Ellice (speaks)
Frank English, U.S. Embassy administrative officer
Peter Londono [phonetic], U.S. Embassy Duty Officer
Bill Ford, U.S. Embassy officer
Sharon Amos (speaks)
Mike Carter (speaks)
Bible verses cited: None
(This tape was obtained from the U.S. State Department under the Freedom of Information Act by Josef Dieckman, who also transcribed it. The editors of the site gratefully acknowledge his invaluable assistant in both obtaining and transcribing this tape.
(The editors also thank Doug Ellice for his assistance in setting the context for the conversations in this tape.)
Doug Ellice, an official with the American Embassy in Georgetown, Guyana, was a point of contact for members of Peoples Temple, and he knew a number of them who lived at the Temple’s Lamaha Gardens headquarters, including Sharon Amos, one of Jim Jones’ loyalists. He had also worked with Embassy personnel – including Deputy Chief of Mission Richard Dwyer, who accompanied Leo Ryan to Jonestown – to facilitate the congressman’s visit. As a result, there was nothing foreboding or menacing when he received a call from Sharon Amos on November 18, as she searched for Ryan aide Jim Schollaert. Nor was there any cause for alarm when the Temple radio room put through a patch from Dick Dwyer in Jonestown, who requested an additional plane to transport a half dozen people coming out of Jonestown with Congressman Ryan. The original schedule looked manageable – the plane would leave Port Kaituma at two and arrive at Georgetown at three – and all the Embassy had to do was to find an additional plane, which they would probably get from GuySuCo, the Guyanese sugar company, that owned small planes.
The conversations on this tape – a serious of short phone calls – are short and almost banal… except, of course, by not having an additional plane pre-arranged for any defectors accompanying them out, the Ryan party had to use the Jonestown radio room to try to arrange for some assistance, which in turn meant that the Jonestown leadership knew exactly what Ryan was doing.
One contextual note: Ogle – named late in the tape – was a tiny “town” east of Georgetown. Like most of the coastal land there then, it was mainly farmland. Ogle had a grass airstrip and hangars for the GuySuCo (Guyana Sugar Company) planes, which are also mentioned in the tape.
The FBI did not have this tape nor Q 1290 in its possession when it analyzed the other tapes recovered from Jonestown. The agency’s notes may be found on Serials 2232 on FBI Section 33 and 2341 on Section 35, respectively.
Differences with FBI Summary:
Tape originally posted March 2017.