In May 1978, Peoples Temple signed a two-year contract to lease a 300-ton, 131-foot coastal freighter known as the Albatross. The pages below comprise the some of the legal documents, licenses, registrations, and repair and insurance invoices for that leasing arrangement – which began as a plan to purchase the vessel – as well as notes and memoranda of Temple communications regarding the acquisition.
The Albatross was intended for use as a supply vessel for the Temple’s operations in Guyana. It was in Trinidad on November 18 on a trip to pick up supplies, and the four Temple members on board – Charles Touchette, Philip Blakey, Helen Swinney, and Richard Janaro – survived the tragedy.
The source for this chart is the B-2 section of the FBI’s release of Peoples Temple documents under the Freedom of Information Act. As occurs several times in this release, the FBI labelled and duplicated many of the documents in a haphazard chronological order. The texts have been places in order, although the legal and financial documents on the vessel’s ownership and maintenance have not.
The citation for these documents should open with the FBI’s official designation of these records, which is “RYMUR 89-4286-B-2.”