Mark: Joe, I was wondering if you could tell me what your investigation revealed about an effort by some people to go into Jonestown and liberate the children there.
Joe: Yes, there was an effort in September of 1977 to go into Jonestown based upon the information received from the people in San Francisco that the children were being kept there against their will. That there were children there whose parents are not given their permission for them to go. And the basis of this effort was to go into Jonestown and if these facts proved to be true, to bring back all the children under the age of 18.
Mark: What was the plan?
Joe: The plan was simply to go into Venezuela, over the border, into Guyana, into Jonestown, knock out the radio station–
Mark: Knock it out in what fashion?
Joe: With an incinerator device.
Mark: With an incinerator device?
Joe: Yeah. And take the children, by force.
Mark: And what about the adults?
Joe: Well, the adults could either go back to the Embassy and get the plane tickets back from Georgetown, or, could go back with… should we say “liberators”… or just stay there.
Mark: What if they protested, if as obviously they might?
Joe: Well, let me say this, there were no arrangements made for protest.
Mark: And did such an expedition take off and go to the area?
Joe: It did.
Mark: And do you know what happened? Did your investigation reveal what happened to that expeditionary force?
Joe: Yeah, the expeditionary force arrived and reviewed the situation. At that time, Jonestown consisted of about 7 buildings, no fences, no barbed wire, no one appeared to be held against their will, and the expeditionary force turned around and left.
Mark: Did the expeditionary force have any weapons?
Mark: What kind of weapon?
Joe: Automatic weapons.
Mark: Did they have rockets of any kind?
Joe: Well, when you say rockets–
Mark: Not with nuclear warheads.
Joe: No, no, you have to define a rocket. Are you talking about a rocket launcher
on the end of an M-15 or M-16? Yes.
Mark: Okay. And grenades or other things to fire.
Joe: Grenade launchers.
Mark: And actual grenades also.
Mark: When that group left, did they meet anyone else in the bush?
Joe: Yes, they encountered as they were leaving, they encountered a group of terrorists, I guess is the best word for it, who were in the process of laying siege to Jonestown. The siege, I understand later, lasted about six days-seven days.
Mark: And did you ever find– Were you ever told by anyone who that group was?
Joe: We were told it was an extremist organization belonging to– an ultra-leftwing extremist organization belonging to the Guyana government. The Guyana people themselves.
Mark: The government or the opposition party?
Joe: Well, I’m not sure. Opposition party or government – they were Guyanese. They were an extremist factor within their own political parties and they were the ones that went in and did this little terrorist activity.
Mark: You didn’t discover that in the bush when you saw them.
Joe: No, well, I didn’t discover it at all.
Mark: Yes. But I mean in your investigation. Who gave you this information?
Joe: This information came from people directly linked with United States Embassy.
Mark: That is who gave you the information as to the identity of that group.
Joe: That is correct.
Mark: How many people were in that group? Did your investigation show?
Joe: Somewhere between 6 and 8 and 10 people. And they held siege in Jonestown for about six days.
Mark: Did you ever learned of another effort that was made to kill Jim Jones in Jonestown?
Joe: Yes, approximately three or four months later, there was another effort ready to dispose of Jones in this effort was made on behalf of people not connected with the original terrorist organization that went in there.
Mark: Who are these people connected with?
Joe: These people, as I understand it from the sources we have, were connected with certain elements of our own government.
Mark: The United States government?
Joe: That’s right.
Mark: And when you say dispose of Jim Jones, what do you mean? You don’t mean hold an election and have him defeated.
Joe: No, I mean kill him.
Mark: Kill him.
Mark: And you know a shot was in fact fired at him.
Joe: Yes, I know from the information I received and subsequently in an interview in September of 1978 with Jones that one or two shots were fired and missed him by mere inches.
Mark: Did you get this information about the mercenaries sent him from someone who had been associated with the American Embassy in Guyana at one time?
Joe: He was indirectly associated with the American Embassy in Guyana directly associated with the State Department in Washington.
Mark: At the time that he told you that?
Mark: Have you ever actually seen a United States government file about Jonestown?
Mark: Can you tell me when and where that was?
Joe: I saw the file in Guyana and I saw it in September of 1978.
Mark: Not in Guyana, the second time.
Joe: In Guyana.
Joe: In Georgetown.
Mark: In the American Embassy?
Joe: In the American Embassy.
Mark: Who showed it to you?
Joe: I can’t tell you that.
Mark: All right, but you didn’t break into the Embassy to look at it?
Joe: No, it was shown to me.
Mark: Shown to you by someone who is authorized to have it.
Joe: That’s correct. I assume he was.
Mark: Well, I mean it wasn’t– You didn’t go through a window.
Joe: No, I walked through the front door.
Mark: Okay. How thick was the file?
Joe: Three inches.
Mark: Did you scan it or read it thoroughly?
Joe: I scanned it, I didn’t have time to read it.
Mark: What did it reveal to you?
Joe: A lot of correspondence from concerned relatives wanted to know about their loved ones who were allegedly dead, buried in Jonestown.
Mark: Incidentally, did you see any of those relatives who were supposed to buried?
Joe: I saw one in particular who I was asked by the Embassy to look for when I was in Jonestown.
Mark: Did the Embassy tell you why they wanted you to look for that person.
Joe: Yes, they had just received a letter from the sister who had been informed that her brother and his wife were possibly dead and buried in Jonestown.
Mark: Did the person say who informed her?
Joe: The attorney or the counsel of the Concerned Relatives.
Mark: Tim Stoen.
Joe: She didn’t say Tim Stoen.
Mark: She said the counsel. Is he in fact the counsel?
Joe: I believe he is.
Mark: And did you find that relative?
Joe: Oh yes. I found them both.
Mark: And did they talk with you?
Joe: Yes, they talked with me. But I found him screaming at somebody for dropping hot grease in the kitchen.
Mark: I see, but he appeared to be alive when he was making that statement.
Joe: He was very much alive and well.
Mark: Would you say that it was fair to say that the file which you saw showed that everything that could be possibly done had been done by the American Embassy to discredit or destroy Jonestown.
Joe: No, I wouldn’t say that. I would say that the file indicated that the Embassy definitely hadn’t given any assistance to the Americans living in Jonestown. And my impression of the people there was they had no real desire to assist the people living in Jonestown.
Mark: Did they have a desire to interfere with their work, with their lives?
Joe: Again an impression is that if Jonestown were 80 miles away in another country, they would be very happy.
Mark: Happy that it wasn’t in their country.
Mark: Did your investigation reveal that a complaint had been made to ATF about the possibility of weapons being shipped to Guyana and that there was some action taken by Customs based on that complaint?
Joe: My investigation didn’t show that. I made a complaint personally during the course of the investigation based on information we had received and our agency which dealt with the possibility that the PT in 1977 was in possession of automatic weapons and firearms.
Mark: What was the result of that complaint?
Joe: The result of the complaint was subsequently that many, maybe as many as 80, of the shipping cartons that were on the docks in Miami scheduled to be shipped to Guyana were opened by the Customs Department and searched and some of the property was destroyed and ruined.
Mark: What was the property?
Joe: I think it was mostly medical supplies, but I don’t know, I never saw the bill of lading.
Mark: And it is your understanding that some of it is destroyed by the Customs in their search.
Joe: Yes, they admit that.