DURING: Logistics and Execution Part 1: The Operational Specs

Look-Alike Camouflage

In Before:  Pre-Planning the Frame,” we detailed the motives, means and opportunity for the CIA to duplicate vehicles from Jonestown to fool onlookers in a look-alike attack.

The resulting look-alike tractor-trailer used in the attack was detailed in “The Vehicle Used in the Attack” (both tractor and trailer).  How the photos needed for the duplications were obtained has also been detailed, in Before:  Pre-Planning the Frame.”

If not for the recovered on-site NBC film footage, no one could have ever proven the difference.  But we have it and it does.  Moreover, we now have highly credible  conflicting accounts proving that there were TWO tractor-trailers on the airstrip — one the real Jonestown tractor-trailer, the other the duplicate used in the attack.  (See “The Master Schematic:  The Reiterman Schematic Versus the On-Site NBC Film Footage.”)

Namely, the NBC footage places the real Jonestown tractor-trailer parked on the same side of the runway as the Guyana Airways plane, down-runway.  In stark contrast, on-site Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, Tim Reiterman, places the tractor-trailer used in the attack across the runway in a transverse approach.

Moreover, Reiterman drew up the schematic of the entire airfield a single day following the attack!  In other words, Reiterman was sure that the attack vehicle came from across the runway.  (Two other reporters on site made parallel sightings.)  It just wasn’t the tractor-trailer from Jonestown!

The on-site NBC film footage and the on-site Reiterman account are zero-reconcilable.  Enough to have had any case against the accused assassins tossed out?  Oh, there’s a ton of proofs that could have done that.   This is just the shortest route!  Exhibit A, Exhibit B, no case.

And what of the need for “look-alike assassins”?  Well, that was “a partial.“  They might have had all of the assassins dressed as civilians (to look like “Peoples Temple assassins”), except that they couldn’t.

Yes, Assassins 2 & 3 (as marked in documents to come), the right- and left-flank assassins, respectively, were dressed as civilians, i.e., not in uniform, shirt one color, trousers another, casual dress.  To make it plausible that the assassins were civilians.

However, they could not (and did not) do that for the fiercely dominant lead assassin.  Him they had to except because it was his job to kill the Congressman — to do it quickly, brutally, efficiently, before anyone could flee.  Thus he needed the full advantage of head-to-toe green military camouflage to be disguised upon approach and to escape into the bush if needs be.  Whatever happened, one killing or twenty, it was the lead assassin who had to succeed in killing the Congressman.

As we will see, he was so green head-to-toe that his disembark has to be picked out frame-by-frame from the bright green background bush.  There is no way that the victims could have done that on the spot, which was the whole point.

Meanwhile, the same film footage that recorded his camouflage also recorded a feature more damning — namely, his height!  Using a lead assassin SO TALL while the assassin beside him was SO SHORT, indeed gave “a universal exclusion.”  Jonestown had no one that tall period.  (See “There Was No Bob Kice.”  Ruling out Tom Kice and Joe Wilson as well, covering all three accused by “the government eyewitness.”)

The Most Damning Mistake

The obvious move for the assassins would have been to confiscate the NBC camera, so that that trove of invaluable evidence would be lost.

There was, however, a pressing time urgency in these hands-on killings.  Do it quickly; preserve your camouflage; flee.  And the killing of the NBC cameraman was exceptionally brutal.  According to Ron Javers, the newsman standing beside him, the gunman blew Bob Brown’s head off, splattering blood all over the camera as well.  The gunman might well have thought that the camera was destroyed.

But we should also hasten to add that even with what has resurfaced of the film footage, more is suppressed to this day.  And should that yet resurface in its entirety, it will only make this case all the more iron-clad.

Original, Uncut Footage Showed a Brutal Professional Hit; Shortened Version Still Shows “Enough” [1]

News Coverage Confirms a Longer Film

The surviving on-site NBC film footage showing only the first 5-6 seconds of the airstrip massacre has never been the complete film.

Ron Javers, the newsman who was standing next to NBC cameraman Bob Brown when he was fatally shot, said that “Bob Brown stayed on his feet and kept filming as the attackers advanced on him with their guns.  He was incredibly tenacious.”

Highly professional gunmen at that.  As printed at [1], the on-site reporters’ descriptions were:  “silent,” “calm,” “methodical,” “carefully planned and mercilessly executed.”

That’s what I saw too in 1979 on t.v. at the first anniversary of the tragedy.  A film that did not go to “snow” until a gunman came right at the cameraman’s head.  What led up to it was relatively “long” (best estimate about 20 seconds), but with the assassins moving at lightning speed.

I was so freaked by this professional “hit,” that I went to the Congressional committee in January, 1980, to demand that the film footage be blown up to discount Peoples Temple assassins at all.  I was flatly refused and returned to New York to an avalanche of harassments, which I detailed in my book, “Snake Dance:  Unravelling the Mysteries of Jonestown.”  I persisted for another year, but it was futile with no public support and to boot, the primary evidence out of reach!

The entire film, of course, has never been re-released.  What has resurfaced by current date is just the first 5-6 seconds of the assassination:  the disembarkation, and not even complete at that.  Plus additional NBC raw footage sidelined as “unremarkable“ that actually provides invaluable proofs.  Plus the above-mentioned schematic of the crime scene by Tim Reiterman that fills in “the missing piece” — hard confirmation that there had to be an additional tractor-trailer on the scene.

Is there all told, enough to extrapolate the logistics of the attack and to reconstruct what happened?  Oh, yes!  Very much so!

Understand, what has resurfaced is damning enough.  But for the record, this is what the whole of the film revealed, and will again should it be recovered:

This Is What Was Visible With the Entire Film

When I saw the entirety of the assassination film footage on t.v at the first anniversary in 1979, I remember a symmetrical fanning out upon the gunmen’s advance; then one imposing form (like really TALL!) standing over a body (the Congressman’s?) and either shooting him in the head or jamming his body with a rifle butt; and the camera going to “snow” only when that gunman charged at cameraman Bob Brown’s face head-on.

Although it was horrifying to see “a snuff film” right on t.v., I had the time to look at the complete forward charge, not just the first 5-6 seconds.

There were two other people with me as well, as detailed in [1].  One was Chris Kice (current whereabouts unknown), widow of accused assassin, Tom Kice, who peered at the screen with, “I don’t see Tom.  None of those men are Tom.”

The point being that she had time to look.  This was her husband.  She knew his form, she knew how he moved.  There was enough time to scan the killers to know that at least it was not him.

Other survivors could not have ruled the accused assassins in or out?  Of course they could have!  The Congressional committee aides slapped back my demand for review with, “Why would we do that?  All of the principals are dead.”  But how would anyone know without LOOKING?

And only Temple survivors, not the feds, would know who were Temple men at all.  But the FBI never showed the assassination footage to the survivors at all.

The other person there as we viewed of the entire assassination was (the late) Al Morrison, a non-Temple Army veteran friend.  His comment as the horror unfolded was, “I know what that is.  It’s a squad diamond.  You learn that in basic training.”  He had time to look at the completed formation.

I only later learned that my non-military impression of symmetrical fanning out was in fact what my friend Al had identified as “a squad diamond.”

Well, now we at least have the first 5-6 seconds.  The diamond is not yet complete, no; yet that doesn’t mean that it is not there.  Not at all.

Moreover, if anyone doubts that I saw the ENTIRE film years back, please consider that upon freeze-framing the film, the only formation the assassins could be folding into was a squad diamond:

The Squad Diamond:  Logistics Versus Execution

First note that the exact footwork for the squad diamond formation is tracked in successive freeze-frames on panels [3-1], [3-2], [3-3], [4-1], [4-2] and [5].  Those sections will document, freeze-frame by freeze-frame, how the attack was executed on the ground as recorded directly by NBC.

What follows is the logistics of the needed military specs, prior to dissecting its execution.  That way, the reader will be given an overview and know exactly what to look for in the freeze-framed documentation to come.

These Soldiers Could Only Advance Into a Certain Formation [2]

First, an attack formation is something like a magnet.  Wherever you start, you end up charging towards the victims!  Which is why upon examination, we can yes, say, “It was a squad diamond!  JUST LOOK!”  We will now deconstruct this step-by-step:

This was a rapid, brute-force forward charge, killing the Congressman and others.  So let’s say we call that forward charge the final step; but we can trace the disembark, the beginning steps, in the surviving film footage.

Well, filling in the intermediate steps with this scenario becomes self-evident.  Because we know in what direction the assassins are heading and their trajectory is already set.  We know that because the NBC cameraman picked up the plane’s left wing overhead in his wide-angle shot.  That plane wing and the passengers’ boarding hatch were side-by-side, so we know where the Congressman was standing at the time of the attack.  = trajectory set.

But we also can see (what will be) the assassins’ positioning by the time of the forward charge.  Because some gunmen (1 -3 as marked) are already in rapid forward motion and others are stationery (4-6 as marked)  — not yet moving at all.  So it takes no guesswork to know headed up the formation and who was the rear guard.  Obviously, the advancing gunmen were not going to halt to let their stationery counterparts charge ahead of them!

The stationery gunmen were just waiting for the lead gunmen to fall into formation in front of them — the direction in which the lead assassins are already headed, flush-opposite the victims.  Then the rear guard would fold in at the back, then marking all six gunmen as flush-opposite the victims.

Note that by the end of the surviving film footage (see [4-1] and [4-2]), the advancing gunmen have already disembarked into a front-pointed triangle with the outlandishly tall lead assassin heading the charge.  (For hands-on measurement of the outlandish height discrepancies amongst the assassins, see also, “There Was No Bob Kice.”)

The remaining three gunmen, all still stationery by the end of the 5-6 second clip, are grouped into the two-closest still on the trailer (headed to positions 4 & 5, respectively) and one in front of the tractor (headed to position 6); so that a back-pointed triangle is equally clear, with the two-closest jumping over the rim directly in front of them, the one to our far left then folding in at the back (as laid out schematically in [5].)

            Look.  The three gunmen at the back had no place else to go!  This isn’t rocket science.  It’s more like zip zip zip done.

What’s a Squad Diamond, Why It Was the Optimal Choice, Why This is It [2] [5]

Let’s backtrack now to this standard military formation (albeit executed on a non-standard terrain) and how/why it was the only way that these gunmen filmed IN PLAIN SIGHT could be deployed:

First note in the schematic of the squad diamond, that the “diamond” is comprised of two back-to-back triangles, one pointed front (positions 1, 2 and 3) and one pointed back (positions 4, 5 and 6).  (See “How Did the Assassins Disembark?” [2].)

As a preliminary, note that all the fictionalized depictions of this scene have been false:  Yes, vigilantes (like the accused “cult crazies”) may attack in a mob.  Enter all the now-provably wrong, inaccurate fictional depictions of this assassination to date:  tumbling chaotically off the trailer, guns blazing; firing in a straight-across line; standing up in the trailer and wildly firing ahead.

That might indeed have been how a vigilante mob of “cult crazies” would have acted!  But trained soldiers like those filmed on site by NBC, no.  Their moves feature symmetry, teamwork (even in total silence!), aerodynamic efficiency and command of the terrain.

Enter the squad diamond.  Any attack formation which features a forward-charge requires a center, a leader, and unobstructed gunmen free to fire ahead, along with protection of the perimeters.

All criteria elegantly met.  The front triangle of the SQUAD DIAMOND fires ahead; the back triangle guards the right, left and back perimeters, respectively, as laid out in the schematic at [2].

The lead assassin (marked “1”) is flanked by soldiers on his right and left, respectively, who follow his lead but also protect his flanks, following slightly behind, and are also free to fire ahead since the formation is spread out.  The lead sets the formation’s center and heads to the target — here the Congressman.  Obviously.  Whomever else they killed or wounded, the prime target was him.

The back triangle obviously cannot fire straight ahead (i.e., into the backs of the lead gunmen!) but are positioned to guard the perimeters — right, left and back, respectively.

Also note that we will proceed from the gunmen’s vantage point — their left and right.  So when we say, for example, that the lead assassin moves to the right, we mean to his own right.  Because that’s how it had to be planned and executed.

This attack formation also had a unique profile in that the planners did not have the luxury of “a simple squad diamond,” so to speak.  They had to navigate the given terrain at that airstrip.

Navigating a Non-Standard Terrain

A standard squad diamond would feature an open unobstructed terrain with gunmen both starting from, and moving into formation on the ground.  It still takes practiced footwork.  Amateurs don’t just pull this off unrehearsed.

But this was a more complex challenge.  The gunmen’s vehicle was already exposed, in open view prior to any disembark at all!  Worse, their time margin on the disembark was zero, in that any need to hunt the Congressman down, as opposed to a quick clear open shot, could have jeopardized any perception of “the cult crazies,” but rather pegged them as strangers!

Moreover, they had to navigate around a long unwieldy vehicle, jumping down from an elevation onto the ground, having to plot angles from both ends of the tractor-trailer (do that one wrong and neither Assassins 2 nor 6 could see past the respective ends of the vehicle to where they were to fold in!); and all with a premium on rapidity, efficiency, silence, seamless coordination and perfect aim.

No small feats!  Indeed, it would have been impossible to perform as filmed without professional planning and practice.  These were rapid movements at steep angles, perfectly executed, in perfectly-timed sequence and without a hair’s breath of signals between the gunmen.

They did not even have the option of a center-disembark into an instant symmetrical formation.  For one thing, the back of a trailer is open; the center is not!  And they had to keep that key feature in tact for the duplication.

We’ll return to this; but obviously, leaping over the trailer rim in four groups of 1, 2, 2 and 1 respectively (as per the squad diamond), to boot with zero momentum, would not have even spelled out “forward charge!“  Indeed, gunmen front and center but not up to speed, would have just allowed precious seconds for the victims to spot their attackers and flee!

By the final freeze-frame, the front triangle is headed right-diagonal at perhaps a 45-degree angle, headed towards the area between the trailer (where two gunmen still sit within) and the victims.  But the placement of those two stationery gunmen was hardly arbitrary to boot.  To the contrary!  It is the still-stationery position of those two that is exactly opposite the boarding hatch of the plane, i.e., in direct line of fire to the Congressman.  They can leap straight-line over the trailer rim and be right in position.

And how we are sure of that, is that NBC cameraman Bob Brown has filmed the overhead left wing of the aircraft in his wide-angle shot [2].  It is positioned just to his own right, so he is standing by the passengers’ boarding hatch (just to his left) where the prime victim, Congressman Leo Ryan was waiting to board.  Brown and the Congressman were just feet apart.

Easiest is to visualize a big “T” with a wide top spoke (lengthened on our left end) transversing the length of the trailer to our right, all the way across to the gunman in front of the tractor to our left; and the downwards spoke being the advance of the formation towards the victims.  The point at which the two spokes intersect is the two stationery gunmen still in the trailer, with the three advancing gunmen on our right moving right-diagonal to center-point midway down the vertical spoke of the “T” [2].

Again, gunmen 1-3 are already in rapid motion as per the on-site film footage, so it is they who then charged directly towards the Congressman.  Gunmen 4-6 are still stationery, awaiting their turn to fold in at the back.

It is also notable (as we will track) that although the gunman in front of the tractor has danced to his right (as we will track), he is continually facing to his left in ongoing visual synch with the team. 

He will fold in as the rear guard, but he has more time than the others:  Once the triangle of shooters on our far right advance and the two still-stationery gunman in the trailer then jump over the trailer rim, then he can cut to his left and fall into formation in the back.  By then, gunmen 4-5 will have moved far enough forward to open up position 6.

Squad diamond complete and forward charge continues.

Protecting the Cover

There was another reason why although the diagrams of the squad diamond at [2] and [5], respectively, just seem like a straight-forward “six-pack,” this operation required non-standard modifications.

Namely, yes, if only the bush were exactly behind the staging area for the attack, they might have just emerged in formation for the kill without a vehicle at all.

But they couldn’t do that.  Then they would have no “cover” — the “cover” being the fool-the-onlooker look-alike tractor-trailer.  Nor a way to either quickly speed in or quickly speed off!

They needed that cover; moreover, had no choice about the terrain.  And a non-standard one it was: they had to disembark when already in plain sight; take extra seconds to disembark from off the trailer platform; negate the liability of a lengthy, cumbersome vehicle; and all with the imperatives of efficiency and speed.

They had to kill and flee.  Couldn’t stick around.  Couldn’t chase the Congressman down.  Couldn’t talk, couldn’t hesitate, couldn’t trip, couldn’t have gunmen 4 & 5 advance ahead of 1, 2 & 3.  Had to pull off a fantastically coordinated hit in record time.

Because, in addition to the kill, they had to maintain the camouflage of “being Peoples Temple.”  “The cult crazies,” not the CIA.  They had to pull that off with a hands-on hit, to boot!

            Anyone who thinks that these gunmen just went bang-bang has not looked at the step-by-step professionalism of this hit. 

Thus when you see something that looks peculiar, like when the film is prematurely lopped off, the gunman in front is standing stationery — not moving, not charging forwards, rifle not even aimed at the victims!. . . .  Well,  then plot your way through the freeze frame as we will do here.  Then it‘s not peculiar.  It’s just professional, rehearsed, coordinated, step by step by step.

As was the disembark of the lead triangle of gunmen from the back of the trailer.  Like why, if the lead assassin (position 1) was the one who killed the Congressman (and it’s a no-brainer that he was), is he only crossing right-diagonal by the end of the 5-6 seconds clip instead of being positioned to just charge forward for the kill?

Again, his disembark point, the back of the trailer, could not have parked directly opposite the victims because they could have been readily seen during their several-seconds’ disembark, signaling the victims to scatter before the head-on attack!

Nor again, could they have disembarked from the center of the trailer as there was no side opening to allow for that.  And they could not just slice that frame open as “the Jonestown trailer” that they had quasi-duplicated was not built that way.

They couldn’t do that anyway.  A disembark over the high trailer rim onto a hard landing would have just created a momentum problem for them, also handing the victims precious seconds to scatter.  A huge slower-downer.  Not the way to go.

Diversion Gives Extra Seconds to Move Into Position

Instead, a gunman (position 6-to-be) moved out in front of the tractor with a diversionary shot from the wrong direction, to the wrong direction, just up into the air, to distract attention from the disembark at the back.  Notably, to allow for the lead assassin (position 1) to maneuver his way into a forward charge.

This along with the other footwork will be freeze-framed in “DURING: Logistics and Execution: tracking the Footwork.”  (Panels 3:1-3 and 4:1-2 and 5.)  But here are the logistics before examining the specific moves:

Remember, the lead needs to jump down hard, regain his balance, swerve sharply to his right, adjust his rifle while in motion, then charge forward at maximum speed.  He does that with amazing rapidity and skill; but still, he is given the several seconds to do so by the diversionary shot fired at the other end of that lengthy vehicle.

Much like a pickpocket with an accomplice.  The accomplice bumps the victim from one side to divert attention while the pickpocket reaches in from the other side.

Oh, without perfect footwork and lightning speed, they would still be at risk for prematurely attracting attention (this was a wide-open terrain!), but just LOOK at their footwork as tracked by the successive freeze-frames to come — these guys were pros.

Then all six gunmen converged at the “T” intersection marked off by the two gunman in the trailer, namely, in direct line of fire to the Congressman!  So there is NO GUESSWORK here; it is NOT SPECULATIVE; it is CERTAINIn what other direction would they have headed??

Note again that NBC cameraman Bob Brown was not only standing right at the boarding area with prime victim, Congressman Leo Ryan, but the plane wing overhead is visible in his film!  That says “directly opposite” in a single photo.

It also verifies the astonishingly close proximity of the tractor-trailer from the would-be-departing plane, i.e. so much IN PLAIN SIGHT that fractions of seconds were critical in achieving the kill, making how they pulled this off all the more breathtakingly professional.

Just please understand that all of the above had to be pre-planned.  No one fumbled, no one delayed, they followed a pre-ordered sequence of disembarkation for maximum aerodynamic efficiency (as we will track).  It was so pre-planned and practiced, that they did not even utter a syllable of speech or give a single signal.

            Ad hoc vigilantes?  No way!! 

This Required Pre-Planning

So what do we have?  A highly professional pre-planned military hit is what!  Both on the part of the planners and the assassins.

The squad diamond that would usually be executed on a flat open terrain, instead having to weave its way through odd geometries like a long trailer bed only open in the back!  Navigating leaps down and right angle curves and all in plain sight.  To not have the wrong person passing in front or back upon disembark, controlling the pace and sweep of the curve-around, not tripping over steps, being indecisive or failing to move in sequence.

You only have seconds.  You could blow the whole thing.

They also had to incorporate a diversion which by definition had to be pre-planned:  the gunman in front of the tractor-trailer shooting from the wrong direction to the wrong direction, to divert any onlooker’s attention as the assassins disembarked from the back!

By the time anyone might have looked to see where was the shot coming from (i.e., the wrong direction!), the assassins would have already disembarked and be charging towards forward center.  Congressman right there, Congressman shot dead.

Now I’m not military, but one doesn’t have to be.  There was no more logistically and geometrically perfect way to disembark than the way they did, for a surprise attack but in plain sight!

They Even Selectively Placed Their Personnel

They even placed the most aggressive, intimidating, VERY tall assassin in the lead.  A slow-down of the film’s frames shows him bending, swerving, stomping in fierce, rapid motions.  Knees jutting high, stomping down, bending low, rifle lifted high over his head to circle around like a major league pitcher’s arm on a wind-up.

He was also the only assassin decked in full green military camouflage from head to toe!  So green that you have to pick him out frame-by-frame from the surrounding bright green bush, undoable on the spot.  (Indeed, no eyewitness even reported SEEING anyone like him!)  You can also a clear bulge around his waist:  a supply pack or holster.

Because it was his job to murder the Congressman.  They didn’t care who else they killed of course.  But it was his job to murder the Congressman.  The other five were his support team.  The killer of the Congressman was him.

Another Logistic Necessity:  Shoot Out the Tires of the Planes [1]

They had other things to pre-plan too.  Like shoot out the tires of the plane, as confirmed by the news reports reprinted on [1].

Two reasons for that:  1)  to be sure of trapping the Congressman on the ground for the kill rather than take ANY chance that he could be flown away; and 2) to be sure that no “evidence” (such as an injured person or even an assassin) could red-flag help back to the area.

No help?  Wouldn’t that be a bit sinister?  Well, yes!   Extremely sinister — as well as accomplished!

You see, this wasn’t about preventing help for the airstrip survivors.  It was about barring any rescue with the death process at Jonestown.  (We’ll return to this.  We will prove that motive in the section, During:  The Immediate Aftermath.”  A deliberate twenty-hour delay for a locale that could have been reached in a single hour — recorded right on the U.S. government‘s own log!)

Military On Site Stands Down [1]

Nor, apparently, did the gunmen have to worry about soldiers on site shooting back at them.  As per NBC newsman Bob Flick’s account from on site, there were “soldiers with M-16 rifles who refused to intervene” as well as “three policemen showed up but were disarmed and took off.”

Indeed, we have the epitome of an exposed target with the diversionary gunman up front.  Just standing there, right out in the open, holding his rifle high in the air.  (See “Diversionary Gunman in Front of Tractor,“ [3-1], [3-2] and [3-3].)

Why would anyone even risk being a stationery, exposed target while his teammates were charging forward with guns?

Well, but maybe it wasn’t a risk.  Maybe that risk was neutralized in advance.  Say, were it me planning this hands-on hit, I’d say that was a critical thing to do!  To ensure in advance that anyone in a position to intervene would stand down.

The Guyana Airways Pilot [6]

Now let’s flip to the other side of the coin.  Namely, the assassins did not just need to prevent military intervention with their hit.  They also needed on-site help regarding where to shoot and when.  Remember, they started off the airfield, across the runway, approaching from the right side of the plane.  The boarding area was on the left side.  (See “The Master Schematic.”)

In other words, THEY HAD NO LINE OF VISION.  They had to wind up face-to-face with the Congressman for the kill, but they had no line of vision on the approach.

Thus they needed the Guyana Airways pilot to implement several military specs:  First, to ensure that the prime victim, Congressman Ryan, would wind up in their direct line of fire; namely, at what angle the plane was parked.  Second, spotting when the Congressman had stepped into the target zone at the boarding area.  Third, signaling the attackers in.

Last, there would have to be a noise diversion to:  a) to mask the sound of the approaching attackers for the element of surprise; b) to disorient the victims’ listening in preparation for the “sound assault” accompanying the physical assault; and c) nothing better to throw the victims’ reflexes off guard than to have to react, communicate and/or flee in the middle of a racket!

The NOISE DIVERSION will be delegated to a separate section because that was not solely the job of the Guyana Airways pilot, but segued into sequence with the attackers.

Enter the Guyana Airways pilot.

PURPLE — the Guyana Airways pilot [6]

The pilot had three tasks:

1)  Positioning the plane flush-opposite the planned staging area for the attack [6];
2)  Spotting the Congressman into target range [6]; and
3)  Signaling the attackers in [8].

Step Three had three sub-parts:

Sub-Part One:  Coordinate with (presumptive) CIA handler on site, who has visibly siphoned himself out of target range into safety!  [7]
Sub-Part Two:  Confab recorded on film between Guyana Airways pilot and the handler (20 seconds, visual only).  Likely included confab with attackers as well (by radio or walkie-talkie).  Remember that the attackers had no line of vision to victims prior to the attack.  They would need to know how the Congressman could be spotted (such as white hair, all-white shirt and trousers) as well as where he was standing, so as to make a quick and certain kill.  The pilot also had to confirm that the attack was ready to proceed.  [7]
Sub-Part Three:  The sound signal for the attackers to approach (namely, the engines whirring up and down — not revving up for take-off) is right on film — it accompanied the attackers’ entry onto the airstrip!  [8]

Note that once the attackers are there, vehicle parked, ready to disembark, there is a final sound — a loud ongoing clatter that accompanied the attack!  It was logistically placed as to timing, effect, as well as sound-source-perception, as we will detail separately in “The Great Noise Diversion.”

Follow this closely.  It’s pretty straightforward, but with a few “twists”:

1)  Parking the Plane into Perfect Position for the Attack [6]

The NBC film footage shows the plane landing.  It is clear from the freeze frame that this was a dirt runway with no lanes and no hangars and no traffic control.  There was a shack, that’s all

Let’s be clear:   That plane could have been parked any which way!  It had its boarding area roughly facing the small terminal shack.  Fine and good.  But that was hardly “a given,” such as a cab can only drive up front and in one direction for a pick-up in front of a hotel.

In fact, we can trace track marks of the plane’s tires curving around at least 180 degrees.  It may have even curved around a full 360.  (See “The Master Schematic.”)

Note that since there were no lanes or other markers on the airstrip, there was nothing to automatically determine how to park the plane.  In fact, its being parked with the boarding hatch facing the shack, whatever the logic of that choice, also faced the plane in the wrong direction for take-off!  (See “The Master Schematic.”)  Which some pilots might have thought not logical at all!

And what would have been the liability of the plane having been parked differently?  Lots!:

1)  Were the plane parked in the opposite direction, nose pointed up-runway ready for take-off, then the approaching attackers (transverse across the runway) would be in full view as they approached, alerting the victims to scatter.  The same if the plane’s nose was pointed cross-runway with the passenger‘s boarding hatch in full view of the attack trajectory.  (See “The Master Schematic.”)
2)  Were the plane parked too far down the runway (i.e., like the smaller Cessna plane), it would have steepened the curve-around into attack position, a liability for a lightning-quick kill.
3)  Were the plane’s nose pointed facing the shack, it would require either an other-side disembark (forcing all the pre-practiced steps into an unpracticed mirror!) or require a three-quarter loop around the plane before parking to disembark.

This could not be left to chance.  Remember, both speed and camouflage were paramount.  The attackers needed maximum speed as they barreled across the airfield; but then come to a full halt; then perform a complex disembark before they could even fire!  If the victims had so much as seen them coming, they might not be waiting for the next move.  More likely, they would be scrambling for cover!

No one organizes a surprise attack with a pre-game show!

Additional Liabilities of a Mis-Park

Even more:  A tractor coming right at them with no visible driver?  (See “The Vehicle Used in the Attack:  The Tractor.”  This vehicle was custom-designed to have no driver’s inset, no elevated steering wheel, no driver sticking up into the air.)  Thus had the plane been facing, rather than blocking the attack trajectory, it might well have spawned queries about “Who really did this?” in the aftermath.

The diversionary maneuver by the front gunman (giving several seconds to divert away from the disembark from the back) would have been pointless as well.  Once you announce with a fully-visible approach that “We’re here to attack you!,” then the victims are already looking.  It is too late to divert attention.  You’ve already got their attention and in exactly the way that you do not want!

Nor could they risk having the victims scatter prior to the gunfire.  Perhaps having to hunt the Congressman down, requiring more time, more face-to-face contact, thus with eyewitnesses all the more likely to discount that the attackers were from Jonestown.

They had to “be Peoples Temple,” with minimum time or opportunity for anyone to doubt it.  Their prime target was the Congressman, yes; but if they had to kill him that way, their cover could have readily been blown:

If they had to hunt the Congressman down instead of having him “delivered” by the pilot.  If they had to pursue the Congressman onto the plane.  If their team was cut off by intervening people or plane parts.  If they had to speak (they were silent).  Any of these could have betrayed that these were NOT Temple men.

Or what if in some more circuitous hunt for Ryan than a straight-line kill, someone with a gun on their person stopped them?  The military on site stood down, even when the victims pleaded for help.  Temple men on site (in other words, the liability of other men with guns) might not have!

            All that liability had the plane been so much parked in the wrong direction! 

            This had, “You have to involve the Guyana Airways pilot” written all over it.

Meanwhile for verification, we know the plane’s parked position with certainty because the NBC cameraman filmed several passengers walking from the smaller plane to the larger one.  We also have film of passengers filing from the terminal shack directly to the plane’s boarding area; that walk was short.

            That achieved the first needed spec and the Guyana Airways pilot did it perfectly. 

2)      Spotting the Congressman Into Target Range [6]

The Factors In Play

Remember, the tractor-trailer coming from off-stage had to move ahead “blind.“  The assassins had no way to make an advance spotting of the Congressman.  He was on the hidden side of the plane for them.  The spotting had to have been done for them.

What if they got there after the Congressman had boarded the plane?  What if the Congressman had stepped away into the shack to use the restroom?  What if a lot of things.

How could the attackers know what they could not see?  Moreover, since the attackers, still off-stage, had no line of vision to the staging area, they could not be signaled in visually.  It turns out that the attackers were signaled in aurally, i.e., by sound, but that comes in a successive step.

First the Congressman had to spotted by the only party who would then be in a position to signal the attackers in:  the Guyana Airways pilot. 

O.k.  The pilot was already in the cockpit.  We know that because the plane’s engines were already idling, as heard on the film.  Now, a pilot in the cockpit usually has no line of vision to the boarding area, much less to who is still on the ground waiting to board.  That’s happening behind him, on the ground level beneath him, out of his sight.

Right?  Well, with this plane, no.  Here there were two boarding hatches, as caught on film:  the passengers’ boarding hatch just behind the plane’s left wing; and the pilot’s boarding hatch, also on the left side of the plane but near the front.  (See [2].)

In addition, this plane had not only a front window, but a side window.  Well, one would expect that for peripheral vision, much as the driver of a car has both front vision and side vision.  But it’s being pointed out because we will be spotting the front window, the side window, and the pilot’s boarding hatch in three separate, distinct adjacent areas, giving the pilot forward, side and back vision, respectively.

It’s also easy to spot when the pilot’s boarding hatch is open or closed.  You see white straight across when it’s closed; you see a big dark gap cutting down into the decorative yellow stripe across the plane, when it’s open.  The reader will see that highlighted in successive freeze-frames from the film at [6].

A huge added plus is that this film was marked with a timer at the bottom, so we can be certain of its filming sequence.

How The Spotting Is Tracked On the NBC Film Footage [6]

What we can trace is that although the passengers’ boarding hatch has been OPEN for some time prior to the Congressman entry onto the airstrip, the pilot’s boarding hatch is CLOSED.  We can see when the Congressman approaches the passengers’ boarding area, that that front part of the plane is sealed — i.e., white straight across.

But then, just after the Congressman has passed by the pilot’s boarding hatch to the passenger’s boarding area, suddenly the pilot’s boarding hatch is opening!  In fact, it then opens wide.  We can even trace the pilot sticking his hand out of the hatch to shake the hand of (as we will detail) a suspicious party headed towards him; as he, too, the pilot, can look out at the Congressman.

            Thus the Guyana Airways pilot spotted the Congressman into target range for sure. 

Also note that it is not the job of a pilot in the cockpit to check which passengers have or have not yet boarded. Someone would inform him that everyone was already boarded, including the Congressman, and then the plane could take off.

Well, that would be the routine for a “normal” flight, anyway.  Certainly I’ve never been on a commercial airliner myself when the plane’s engine revs up for take-off before everyone had boarded the plane.  And it wouldn’t be the pilot checking to see who had or hadn’t boarded.

But here was first, the pilot’s boarding hatch first closed and then wide open, but only so, a) after the Congressman has arrived on the airstrip; but b) before he has boarded.

Putting It All Together [6]

Next will come the aural signal for the attackers to approach.  But first, let’s review the above as it is sequentially tracked on the NBC film footage:

1)        Congressman Leo Ryan (BLUE) is the man dressed in all-white, carrying the right handle of a wooden chest.  (The Congressman will be dead approximately one minute later — this was a time-marked film).
On Ryan’s left is an unidentified young man carrying the left handle of same wooden chest.  Joining Ryan on his right is Richard Dwyer from the United States State Department (ORANGE), discovered (by others, not myself) post-tragedy to be a CIA plant in the State Department.  (The Temple did not know at the time.)
For now, let’s just track the movements of the Guyana Airways pilot:
2)        Ryan, Dwyer and the unidentified young man are now approaching the plane.  We can see the front window and the side window on the pilot’s side of the plane, but the white-straight-across area behind it marked a pilot’s boarding hatch that is still CLOSED.
3)        Ryan, flanked by the young man and Dwyer, has now walked past the pilot’s boarding hatch on his way to the passenger’s hatch for boarding.
4)        By now, the pilot’s boarding hatch is clearly OPENING.
5)        Not only is the pilot’s boarding hatch OPEN, but what looks like a dark cross-bar within the hatch exactly parallel to the top of the yellow stripe on the plane, is the Guyana Airways pilot’s (black) hand reaching out!
6)        We know this because now the same hand has dropped to reach down for a handshake (down, up, down, up) with the man who has been walking towards him, Richard Dwyer of the State Department.

Just a friendly last minute chat between the State Department escort and the pilot?  That would seem unlikely given the strange “coincidence” that somehow Mr. Dwyer has managed to peel himself away from EVERYONE in target range within 35 seconds prior to the attack!  And with Bob Flick, the NBC producer on site later noting, “The gunmen made no attempt to kill the Guyanese fliers.  They were only killing Americans.” 

But Richard Dwyer was “an American,” wasn’t he?  Was it rather that maybe they were only killing targets, not collaborators?

We will return to complete part 3) of the pilot’s tasks.  But first let’s dispense of one Richard Dwyer:

Was There a CIA Handler On Site? [7]

Enter Richard Dwyer, reputed CIA Plant in the U.S. State Department.  (He is marked in ORANGE, with his moves successively freeze-framed at [7].)

First, understand, no one ever nailed him as the CIA handler overseeing this op on site.  Indeed, he claimed to have been shot himself!

Well, not “shot-shot,” understand — not some “shot” that one can verify, such as in felled, or visible blood, or in need of medical care.  (Reports call him “wounded but ambulatory.“  How convenient that the shot that no one could verify had no apparent effect either.)

It was that “his buttock was slightly grazed by a bullet.”  Except that a Ryan aide on site said she saw him fall FACE UP.  Indeed (suspecting Dwyer’s CIA identity, for Ryan was known for his anti-CIA stance), she speculated that he fell FACE UP (instead of he usual, protective FACE DOWN) so as to be recognized and spared.

Be that the case, then people who fall face up might get shot somewhere else, but not in the buttock, making any story of “face up“ seem mistaken.  The buttock is a great place to be “slightly grazed” anyway, as no one could or would look!  At the same time, it provides the cover of “I’m with them.”  How could someone who was himself a victim, possibly be a perpetrator?

However, we do know that the pilot was spared, as according to the NBC producer on site, Bob Flick, “The killers were not attempting to kill the Guyanese fliers.”

But what would “the Guyanese fliers” have to do with Dwyer?  Well, apparently everything.  Dwyer is shown on film escorting the Congressman to the plane as if he too would be boarding.  So Dwyer wound up in target range too, didn’t he?  Wasn’t he right there with the other passengers?

Not so fast.  Apparently, one single step into the boarding area was as far as he ever got. . . . .

For the talented Mr. Dwyer apparently managed to not only be “grazed in the buttock” when he fell FACE UP, but he also apparently had eyes in the back of his head!:

Note that by 02:06 on the film’s time marker, Dwyer is accompanying Ryan and an unidentified young man towards the plane.  He is walking on their right, straight forward at a fairly brisk even pace.

Now note that the pilot’s boarding hatch (front of the plane, separate boarding hatch) is CLOSED as Ryan and Dwyer are approaching the plane.  It does not open until Ryan and Dwyer have passed.  In other words, he would have no way to know VISUALLY that the pilot’s boarding hatch has opened.  Yet this is what he does (see [7], step 7):

Dwyer has been moving forward in pace with the Congressman — right foot, left foot, right foot, left foot.  Then on his last right-step-forward, landing Ryan into the passengers’ boarding area, instead of lifting his left foot to continue onward, or even to come to a halt, instead he leans back on his left foot while he is already pivoting backwards to his left!!  At 02:16 on the film’s timer.

And lo and behold, although there is no way that he could possibly know that the pilot’s boarding hatch would by then be OPEN, he has in a nanno-second put himself on a trajectory diagonally back to his left towards the pilot!

No, more!  Within a second of his pivot back left-diagonal, he has already lifted his right hand high to attract the attention of the pilot!  Something like, “Here I am!  I’m on my way!”  (See [7], step 9.)

There wasn’t a thing about his seamless pivot backwards and that immediate wave of his uplifted hand, which was not strange.  Unless of course, Dwyer had eyes in the back of his head to know that the pilot’s boarding hatch would now be OPEN, he and the pilot were long-lost friends, and they needed to discuss the weather for the entire 42 seconds from then on in up until the attack. . . .

Keep tracking Dwyer:  After he raises his right hand over his head, he lowers it back down as he continues to walk straight towards the pilot’s boarding hatch.  Ah, but then his right hand is lifted again, but this time not above his head, but rather straight ahead.  (See [7], step 13.)  Within a couple of seconds, he has completed a handshake with the pilot who is seen extending his own hand out the hatch.  (See [7], step 15.)

Then the camera moves back to the passengers waiting to board.  Some seconds after that, the only two other passengers besides Dwyer who had been standing near the pilot’s area, cross the screen to join the other passengers waiting to board.  (See [7], step 18.)  But not Dwyer!  The camera then surveys the front of passenger group — no Dwyer!   It surveys the back of the passenger group too — again no Dwyer!

Then the NBC camera lens picks up the already-parked tractor-trailer by now parked flush-opposite the passenger’s boarding area and the attack begins.

Thus “somehow” Mr. Dwyer has managed to walk himself into safety, unlike any other passenger there.  To go on to claim an injury that he is unlikely to have had, no one could see, and in a part of his body that the gunmen could not reach.  But of course, he was also “fine.”  Just “barely grazed.”  “Wounded but ambulatory,” the reports said.

O.k., folks, that was just a story.  A story about Dwyer too being a wounded victim, and in a manner that would make any tale of “falling face up” seem mistaken.  It would have taken “a magic bullet theory” for this man to have really been shot.  In a straight-line attack (as this was — that‘s what a squad diamond with the lead assassin pointing straight forwards is!), any bullet reaching Dwyer would have had to make a 90-degree turn to the left to even “slightly graze” him!

3)  Signaling the Attackers In [8]

Let’s now return to tracking the pilot.  He has already achieved Step One:  Parking the Plane into Perfect Position for the Attack.  When he opens his boarding hatch and leans out, he achieves Step Two:  Spotting the Congressman into Target Range. 

Now Step Three:  Signaling the Attackers In.  Note that the still-off-stage attackers had NO LINE OF VISION to the prime victim (the Congressman) or the pilot, either one.  They had to be signaled in by SOUND.

This happened in four sub-parts, all trackable on the on-site film:

First, already clocked on the film is Dwyer reaching the pilot and shaking his hand by 02:23 on the film’s time marker.  In the succeeding seconds, the two other passengers still near the pilot’s end of the plane, are seen crossing over to join their fellow passengers.

But not Dwyer.  The camera surveys the passenger line and he‘s not there.  Dwyer stays with the pilot, thus out of the line of fire.  (“Slightly grazed in the buttock”?  Believe it if you will.)

Let’s now return to the pilot signaling in the attackers via SOUND:

The Great Noise Diversion [8]

Step Three, Sub-Part One ([8], step 1)The plane’s engines had been idling since 01:27 on the film’s time marker.  By 02:43 on the time marker (when the sound will CHANGE), that would have been a minute and sixteen seconds.  The idling started when the passengers began moving towards the plane and into the boarding area.

The first Sub-Part leading up to the signal-in was to get Dwyer personally out of target range into a safe zone.

The NBC camera lens had first spotted Ryan coming onto the airstrip towards the plane at 02:06.  By 02:16, just ten seconds later, Dwyer has escorted Ryan to the passengers’ boarding area and was into his instant backtrack diagonally towards the pilot whose own boarding hatch is now OPEN.  Dwyer instantly waves his right hand high, lowers it back down, then raises it again, but now straight ahead to meet the pilot in a handshake (02:23)!

The plane is still idling.  The camera lens shifts back over to the passenger’s boarding area, we see the two remaining passengers move to join the group, but still no Dwyer.

Sub-Part Two (tail end of [8], step 1):  There is 20 seconds more before the first SOUND SHIFT, from 02:23 (Dwyer and pilot connecting in a handshake) to 02:43 (the shift in sound.)  We have no audio on the confab between Dwyer and the pilot, but it would have been prime time to radio (or walkie-talkie) the attackers off-stage.  (No text messaging yet, folks.  This was 1978!)  Remember, the attackers across the airfield still had NO LINE OF VISION.  Their job was to kill the Congressman, but they needed to know how to spot him instantly:  how he was dressed, where he would be standing.

Sub-Part Three ([8], step 2):  It is now 02:43.  Twenty seconds post-contact between Dwyer and the pilot have elapsed when the sound SHIFTS and that is done by the pilot:

The plane’s engines had been idling since 01:27 on the film’s time marker, but at 02:43, that changes.

Now, we’ve all been on commercial airliners.  The plane’s idling, but it’s only when all the passengers are boarded, seated and strapped in, that the plane revs up for take-off.  The engines’ pitch rises; the volume increases.  Only then does the plane’s engine then stay on a sustained higher pitch and volume for take-off.  That’s what it sounds like.

Well, that wasn’t what 02:43-2:57 on the film’s time marker sounded like at all.  First the plane shifted from idling to a gurgling sound, then up in pitch.  It oscillates up for several seconds and then down several seconds.  By 02:57 on the film’s time marker, just as the NBC camera lens catches the already-parked tractor-trailer across the way, the plane’s engines have whirred down to near-silence.  (See [8], step 3)

This shift in sound pattern seemed to serve no functional purpose.  The passengers had not even completed boarding, much less strapped in for take-off.  Yet the plane’s engines had switched from a low constant idling to a whirring up and down to a virtual halt.

We just know that the plane was NOT revving for take-off.  This was NOT the reason that the pilot shifted the sound pattern.  It was “something else.”

Step Three, Sub-Part Four ([8], step 4):  There is then a tiny lull when the NBC camera catches the attack vehicle already parked at the staging area flush-opposite the victims at 2:57 ([8], step 3.)  But lo and behold, a single second later, by 02:58 on the film’s time marker, there is a sudden loud ongoing clatter!  Like “an accompaniment to the kill.“  But it’s not at a pitch that was approached gradually, like you would hear a plane’s engine revving up, to then sustain a higher pitch.  Not at all.  It is a sound which is suddenly a whole tone higher (for the musically-inclined)!

The assumption was that that new, sudden ongoing clatter had been generated from the plane engines.  No one ever said different and likely no one even thought different.  But that makes no sense.  Why would the plane engines have just whirred down to nothing; then suddenly be at a constant, higher, louder pitch “for take-off” when the plane had not even yet fully boarded?

Plane engines aren’t suddenly at maximum pitch and volume anyway.  You can hear them revving up to a higher pitch, even if that happens rapidly.  Nor, obviously, was this plane about to take off.  The plane engines had just whirred down to near-nothing; but then there is a sudden, loud ongoing clatter on a different pitch?

Plane engines don’t do that.  Your own car couldn’t do that.

So this was just a perplexing, “coincidental” intersection of sound?  No, not at all.  First, the 14 seconds of shift in the plane engine sounds was a great “signal in”!  That 14-second interval (02:43-02:57) in which the pilot revved the engine up and then down, was an exactly expectable time interval for the approach of a long, cumbersome tractor-trailer to cross the airstrip, arrive opposite the prime victim, and park.

But that 14-second sound shift served another function as well, a critical one; and that has to do with how people perceive sound; also how people perceive generally, especially when suddenly thrust into panic, trauma and shock.

I am calling that 14-second interlude of the plane’s engines revving up and then down “a sound segue” — a bridge from one sound to another.  Specifically a segue to the barrage of sound just as the attack began, which I am calling, “The Great Noise Diversion.”

Let’s first summarize the sound shifts as mapped out on [8]:

Summary of [8], Steps 1-4

01:27:  Sound 1:  Plane’s engines begin idling as passengers are coming onto the field to board.
02:43:  Sound 2:  Plane’s engines begin gurgling sound, revving to a slide upwards, then a slide down.
02:57:  NBC camera lens picks up parked tractor-trailer across the way.
02:58:  Sound 3:  Sudden ongoing loud mechanical clatter.  There is no segue between this and the sound before.  It is not a return to the idling and it is not a revving up for take-off.  But it is very LOUD.

There is just no reason to think that that new loud clatter was coming from the plane!  It was a sudden shift in pitch a whole tone higher and at full volume suddenly.

But how did it seem to the victims?

The Great Noise Diversion

Well first, a sudden loud ongoing clatter is DISORIENTING.  Even if you are just standing there.  But if it coincides with an assault, it dulls the senses, dulls the reflexes, and makes communication and coordination with others prohibitive.

Since it is SOUND, it also diminishes the focus of what one might SEE.  Like which victim did you say was looking the assassins in the face for an i.d.?

(Or simply go to “Eyewitness Identifications?:  The NBC On-Site Film Footage Versus the FBI Report” and track the rampant mismatches. . . . )

This did not even sound like a plane revving up for take off; it was more like if someone sets up a construction or wrecking crew at some unwelcome hour of the night next to your home.

And off-hand you might say, well, there is no logical explanation that this racket would be coming from a tractor that is already parked!  Yet isn’t that the whole point?  That no, it was NOT ad hoc vigilantes from Jonestown who did THIS EITHER?!

It cannot be explained even by maybe they left the engine of the tractor on.  Not possible.  It’s a NEW sound that begins AFTER they have parked.

Yet it had to have come from the attack vehicle, not the plane.  To create a deliberate sound diversion.

But again, how did it seem to the victims?

Well, if the plane had just been idling straight through, instead of shifting into the oscillating up and down sound, then the ear would have clearly heard the sudden loud clatter as coming from a different location.  First the plane is doing THIS; then the attackers are doing THAT.

But the ear was given “a sound segue” — an intermediate sound between the idling of the plane and the clatter from the attackers.  So the ear registered “different” when the pilot changed the plane’s sound from idling to whirring up and down; and then again “different” when the sound pattern shifted again to the loud clatter.

And people do not reflect in the midst of panic, trauma and shock.  The perceptions get bridged, condensed.  If one could just sit quietly in the middle of a room and first hear a sound coming from the right and then a sound coming from the left, the ear distinguishes the directional differences.  But during panic, trauma and shock, with three successive sounds, the ear just hears the original sound; “different”; and then again “different.”

Thus no one ever identified that sudden loud mechanical clatter as coming from the attack vehicle!  Even though it was logically impossible that it came from the plane.  It had to come from the attackers.

But yet again, this shreds any notion of “ad hoc vigilantes.”  Bumbling amateurs from Jonestown who might not have coordinated their way through a killing at all, much less set up a deliberate, timed sound diversion using special equipment hardly part of a “normal“ tractor-trailer at all.

Remember as well:  Professional soldiers can function in noisy environments — they are trained to function in all conditions.  But what of the victims?  No one can focus, gain their bearings, fully control over their reflexes, fully focus their senses, communicate or coordinate with others (like “What‘s happening“?  Or even “Run!!”) over a racket!!  Having the assassins coming towards them must have been freak-out enough; but this assassination happened in the middle of a racket!!

But the killers?  These guys who were such pros with the footwork, field placement and timing, were undoubtedly able to perform their op through a racket just fine.  Part of combat training.  Battlefields are not silent places.

This just doesn’t wash EITHER WAY.  I mean, whether the sound came from the plane or it came from the tractor:

If it was the plane generating the noise, then there was a factor of EXACT COINCIDENCE timed to the attack.  Not to mention the impossibility of the plane just suddenly “hitting a high note at full volume” after it had just whirred down to near-silence.  Nor was it ready for take-off.  This was just a new, different sound.

If it was the assailants generating the noise, then just another sign that we are looking at pros, not amateurs, because that kind of instant loud sound diversion would have to be engineered, pre-planned, and set off on cue.

To Review — The Parade of “Coincidences”

The pilot first parked the plane flush-opposite the planned staging area for the attack on an airstrip that had no lines or markers, much less runways.  Just “coincidentally” parked it perfect.
Then he “coincidentally” opened the pilot’s boarding hatch to look outside to his back to spot the Congressman into target range just after he had passed by.
Then Richard Dwyer, purported CIA plant in the State Department, upon the very step that landed the Congressman into target range, “coincidentally“ peeled himself out of target range to head towards the pilot’s boarding hatch — with a big hand wave, to boot! .  He did that “coincidentally“ when he had no way (shy of eyes in the back of his head) to know that the hatch would be open, much less that the pilot would be waiting for him to arrive.
Then Dwyer and the pilot connect in a handshake (and I guess exchange “coincidences.”)
Then the NBC camera shows the only two remaining passengers in the pilots’ area walk over to the passengers’ boarding area.  Dwyer “coincidentally” stays where he is with the pilot, becoming the only passenger in a safe zone when the attack begins.
(“Coincidentally,” NBC producer Bob Flick confirms that “The killers made no attempt to kill the Guyanese fliers.”  “Lucky coincidence” for Dwyer?)
Then there are 20 seconds of unknown coordination between Dwyer, the pilot and (easily done) with the attackers.
The plane had been idling for over a minute now.  But now the plane’s engines suddenly shift to a 14-second whirring first up, then down to near-silence.  In other words, not revving up, not going anywhere.
“Coincidentally,” that corresponded to exactly when the vehicle rolled onto the airfield for the attack!  It also “coincidentally” prepared the victims to perceive the next sound shift as seeming to come from the plane, not from the attackers.
Then the NBC camera lens picked up the already-parked tractor-trailer flush-opposite the would-be-departing plane.
All of a second later, there is a sudden loud ongoing mechanical clatter “coincidentally” as the attack begins.

I know.  It was “a coincidence factory” out there.  What else could it have been?