[The text for this document was released in 2014 by the now-defunct Wikileaks website at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978GEORGE03777_d.html. This URL may be available through the Wayback Machine.]
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE
GEORGE 03777 190330Z
INFO OCT-01 ISO-00 H-01 SS-15 NSCE-00 SSO-00 CIAE-00
DODE-00 PA-01 JUSE-00 TRSE-00 SCS-06 CA-01 MCT-02
INR-10 INRE-00 SY-05 USSS-00 AID-05 SYE-00 CCO-00
——————091245 190336Z /15
Z 190330Z NOV 78
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC FLASH 8064
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE GEORGETOWN 3777
E.O. 11652: NA
TAGS:CASC, OREP(RYAN, LEO) GY
SUBJ: CODEL RYAN: BACKGROUND PORT KAITUMA AND JONESTOWN.
REF: GEORGETOWN 3774.
1. Port Kaituma airstrip is a very short rudimentary landing Area without navigational aids, radio, or landing lights.
2. Area is very inaccessible by any other means of transportation; there being only jungle trails and extremely rough road between airstrip and Jonestown, site of People’s Temple commune and agricultural project.
3. There are no other nearby landing areas capable of taking military aircraft such as C-123 or C-130. Nearest U.S. military facility is either Panama or Puerto Rico, approximately 6 hours flying time from Guyana.
4. Port Kaituma airstrip is surrounded by dense, rough jungle and any rescue or assault operation would require airborne capability. Chart coordinates are 7 degrees 45 minutes north and 59 degrees 45 minutes west.
5. Matthews Ridge to which GOG is sending GDF Security force is 20 miles southwest Port Kaituma across Barima River at coordinates 7 degrees 30 minutes north, 60 degrees 10 minutes west. This area also extremely difficult terrain with trails extending through very dense jungle.
6. Any night operation would require flares to light up landing area at Port Kaituma.
7. Re para 2 above, Port Kaituma as well as actual Site Jonestown agricultural project is in remote area Of Guyana in northwest district that is almost totally uninhabited. Access to area is restricted to air Service, although access by Katiuma [Kaituma] River is possible from Atlantic Ocean.
Burke [John Burke, U.S. Ambassador to Guyana]
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE