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
Jim Schollaert, aide to Rep. Leo Ryan (speaks)
Joseph Hartmann, Vice-Consul, US Consulate (speaks)
Doug Ellice, Embassy official (speaks)
Mrs. Ellice, wife of Doug Ellice (speaks)
Dennis Reece, Third Secretary for the Vice-Consul (speaks)
Frank English, U.S. Embassy administrative officer (speaks)
Dan Weber, consular officer (speaks)
Peter Londono [phonetic], U.S. Embassy Duty Officer
Mr. Fraser (Temple Radio Codebook translates this to “has died”; relates to final White Night)
Mrs. Brownfield (Temple Radio Codebook translates this to “Do whatever you can to even the score”; relates to final White Night)
Mrs. Gilliam [phonetic]
SB [could be Sandy Bradshaw; see note 2 below]
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.)
At the beginning of this tape, the deaths in Jonestown are underway or about to begin. The plane which was supposed to leave at 2 pm to transport Congressman Ryan and his entourage back from the Port Kaituma airstrip, has obviously not left. And now the Embassy – in the person of Doug Ellice, who worked both with Peoples Temple and more immediately with the Ryan party – has received a coded message which doesn’t seem to make any sense. The message – “A lot of people have seen Mr. Fraser. I think Mrs. Brownfield has offered to help.” – turned out to be the news from Jonestown that the final White Night would start and that others should do what they can “to even the score.”
Before the end of the tape, one Embassy officer calls Ellice to say “that the reason that the planes haven’t taken off was because it was reported there’s been some kind of a shooting.” The continued references to the coded names, and Jonestown’s sudden radio silence, suggests that by the tape’s end, the deaths are in progress.
This series of phone calls back and forth seems to show how much at a loss anyone in Georgetown was about what was going on. Members of the Temple in Georgetown, as well as members of the Concerned Relatives who were staying at the Pegasus Hotel, have expressed their frustrations in their inability to collect, and then to comprehend, the news from Jonestown. These calls demonstrate how much the Embassy shared those frustrations and that incomprehension.
Contextual note 1: Ogle – named a couple of times 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, one of which had been dispatched to Port Kaituma.
Contextual note 2: There is a reference in the shortwave broadcast – which Ellice reports to Ambassador John Burke – to “Get SB to help and get all the other folks”. The Embassy officer suggests “SB” may be a Special Branch of the Temple. More likely, the reference is to Sandy Bradshaw, a Temple member in San Francisco who handled much of the radio traffic and who would have been entrusted with carrying out Jones’ final orders.
The FBI did not have this tape nor Q 1289 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.