In 1998, Jeff Brailey published The Ghosts of November: Memoirs of an Outsider Who Witnessed the Carnage at Jonestown, Guyana, a book that was unlike any other work about the deaths 20 years earlier. There were two reasons for this: Brailey’s story began after November 18, 1978; and, rather than being about the members of Peoples Temple, it focuses on the military personnel who cleared the Jonestown site of its human remains.
Brailey was the senior medic of the Joint Humanitarian Task Force sent by the State Department to Guyana, but his interest in Jonestown did not end when he returned to his unit in Panama, nor did it end when he self-published the book. Instead, he continued to research the military and diplomatic responses to Jonestown, and revised his work several times before posting what was to be the final edition on his blogspot.
In his later years, Brailey struggled with Parkinson’s Disease and heart disease. Four days after suffering a massive heart attack, Jeff Brailey died on January 31, 2014. He was 66 years old.
The complete manuscript is reproduced below. It has been edited for spelling errors.
Chapter 1 – Life in the Tropics
Chapter 2 – Death in the Tropics
Chapter 3 – “We aren’t prepared for this”
Chapter 4 – John Wayne Bars and Other Treats
Chapter 5 – “I don’t want to go down there”
Chapter 6 – Graves Registration
Chapter 7 – Innocent Detachment
Chapter 8 – “Wait until they open this one in Dover”
Chapter 9 – “He has a heat rash”
Chapter 10 – “The Final Dance With Death”
Chapter 11 – Party Animals
Chapter 12 – The Party’s Over