(Laurie Efrein Kahalas is a regular contributor to the jonestown report. Her other article in this edition is Final Witness: The Legacy of Marceline Jones. She is also the author of the poem, The River. Her previous writings may be found here. She can be reached through firstname.lastname@example.org.)
I am the author of the In Plain Sight project, solely devoted to bringing clarity and understanding to the killings at the Port Kaituma airstrip. For decades now, I’ve wondered how I could boil this complex project down to…. simplicity. I must have missed the mark – given the number of people who disagree with or, worse, dismiss the incontrovertible evidence I have compiled – so I would like to try again and make it short and simple.
People around today may be too young to remember, but the most famous mantra of Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign was “It’s the economy, stupid!” This wasn’t because Clinton, his supporters, and even his adversaries of the time weren’t intelligent. It’s just that sometimes things stick out like a sore thumb so much that one wonders how even “brilliant” people cannot see it.
If I tried to persuade a second-grader that two plus two does not equal five, they would get it. But educating Jonestown researchers has made herding cats look like a romp, and even hundreds of pages of explicit research barely makes a dent. Why people have been so unwilling to consider it is still sometimes a mystery – group think, taboos, unable to get one’s brain out of “Park,” along with “but everyone says,” “but the press,” “but the public,” “but the survivors,” whatever. But I will now make this simple for people: “It’s the Driver’s Inset, Stupid!”
To wit: every Massey Ferguson tractor manufactured during that time (and many others, of course) had a wide driver’s inset, where the driver steps in. Every single one, no exception anywhere. And I freeze-framed multiple filmings of the real Jonestown tractor from that time at Jonestown. Also how the tractor appeared within the community — exactly the same. Wide driver’s inset.
There were MANY modifications of that vehicle used for the duped tractor-trailer. But the easiest one to spot unmistakably right off the bat is that lack of a driver’s inset in the duplicated vehicle. It’s not like anyone is doing guesswork, or that the degraded film could conceal that BASIC a modification. Filming from same source clearly showed the wide driver’s inset in the real Jonestown tractor. So this is not just my “opinion,” nor is there anyone else’s (differing) “opinion” that would make any sense! It’s just like two plus two cannot equal five.
Okay, let’s go over this again:
Baseline: Photos filmed at the same place at the same time by the same camera, and by as reputable a source as NBC, is as hard-and-fast comparison as one can get.
Fact: Every Massey Ferguson tractor of that era, or even tractors generally across the board, had a wide driver’s inset. Certainly the tractor at Jonestown did. The tractor used in the assassination did not.
Verification: As you can check for yourself at Section 3, Part 1 of In Plain Sight: First press “2” for the definition of a driver’s inset and on-site photos of same in the real Jonestown tractor. Then note the row of numbers across the top, 1 through 7. Press “3” for on-site photos of the lack of a driver’s inset in the vehicle used in the assassination.
Compare: The (obviously modified!) vehicle used in the airstrip killings had NO driver’s inset at all, just a sealed area where the driver’s inset should have been. And it does not even matter that this is an old, degraded film. Failing to note a modification of a vehicle that blatant, as verified by on-site comparative filming of both the real tractor and the duplicated one, is about akin to failing to spot an elephant.
Oh, it was hardly the only difference between the real and the duped vehicle; there were several. Just note the logistical reason for this alteration: Namely, that a driver’s body shoots up into the air in an “ordinary tractor.” So it could have been spotted on the approach that it was NOT anyone from Peoples Temple driving that vehicle.
Not even the first time: All that said, I myself was puzzled at first. Who ever heard of a farm tractor being converted (here at least visually) into a tank? Well, turns out that as far back as 1941, with Germans attacking Russians at the Siege of Odessa, a whole factory was converting to “tractor-tanks” for defense. Here, simply for a different purpose: to camouflage the driver upon approach. But in any case, it marked this as a completely different vehicle than the Jonestown tractor.
Ergo: Different vehicle means different personnel = NO ONE from Jonestown killed the Congressman. It was “false flag” then, it’s false flag now, and false flag in the 40-plus years in between. (But oh, how can that be? Someone else had it in for that Congressman? Yes. Leo Ryan was Public Enemy No. 1 in Congress for the C.I.A. Learn some history. Or ask me.)
Suppositions? Not at all! Because the assassins arrived on an entirely different vehicle.
And are there concomitant questions? Of course there are! That’s why it took me years to meticulously address them in In Plain Sight. But it has been daunting to get people to even look. Even though it is the only work on the assassination that makes any sense.
So will someone, anyone, please just LOOK??? This is embarrassing. No, not to me. To anyone reading this who is so blocked by their own suppositions, that they will discount the obvious without even looking. Hint: “It’s the Driver’s Inset, Stupid!”