Serial 20 • SITREP IV

[Editor’s notes:The full text of this text was taken from https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978STATE293790_d.html. It includes the material withheld by the FBI. That material is designated in red type.

[This document appears as Serials 20 and 168 in the FBI RYMUR release and as State
Department cable 293790
in the State Department release.]

CONFIDENTIAL
PAGE 01
STATE 293790
ORIGIN ARA-15
INFO OCT-01 EUR-12 EA-10 NEA-11 ISO-00 CIAE-00 DODE-00
NSAE-00 NSCE-00 SSO-00 ICAE-00 INRE-00 FBIE-00
PA-01 TRSE-00 SCS-06 CA-01 MCT-02 SY-05 SYE-00
USSS-00 H-01 AID-05 SS-15 OC-06 CCO-00 PM-05
JUSE-00 SVC-00 /096 R
DRAFTED BY ARA:JGRIFFITH
APPROVED BY ARA:BGROVE
S/S-O:TREYNDERS
——————094081 200223Z /64

O 200214Z NOV 78
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY PANAMA IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY CARACAS IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY PORT OF SPAIN IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY PARAMARIBO IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY KUWAIT IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY TEHRAN IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY TOKYO IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L STATE 293790
LONDON FOR MICHAEL FINLEY, TOKYO FOR SENATOR HAYAKAWA

E.O. 11652: GDS
TAGS: CASC, OREP (RYAN, LEO), GY
SUBJECT: SITUATION REPORT NO. IV
REF: STATE 293776 AND PREVIOUS

CONFIDENTIAL
CONFIDENTIAL
PAGE 02

STATE 293790

1. In response to our offer of assistance, the Guyanese have asked for two helicopters (Embassy Georgetown is obtaining specifics). Communications equipment, a small airplane, outboard motor, sleeping bags, etc., are also sought for the police forces now on their way to Jonestown. The National Military Command Center is processing these requests, and supplies are expected to begin moving to Georgetown shortly.

2. At Ambassador [John] Burke’s request, a second C-141 Medevac flight is now scheduled to arrive in Georgetown shortly after daylight on November 20. The first Medevac flight is scheduled to land at Andrews Air Force Base at 9:02 pm this evening and Assistant Secretary Watson and others will meet the plane. Embassy Georgetown reports that the five bodies from the attack November 18 at Port Kaituma have now been returned to Georgetown. The injured woman in the aircraft that escaped from the attack at Port Kaituma has now been identified. She is Monica Bagby [name withheld by FBI] who we presume is one of the Jonestown residents who chose to leave with Congressman Ryan. She is reported to be in serious condition in the Georgetown public hospital and under police guard.

3. The Guyanese police report that Sharon Amos, a Peoples Temple leader resident in Georgetown, killed her three children and committed suicide on November 18. The father [Sherwin Harris] of one of the children travelled to Georgetown with Congressman Ryan and is still in Guyana. The police also report that they have arrested in Georgetown an American Peoples Temple member in connection with the incident at Port Kaituma.

CONFIDENTIAL
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PAGE 03

STATE 293790

4. Embassy Georgetown has had no report of the Guyanese police and military expedition which left for Jonestown at 1300 Washington time, probably owing to lack of adequate communications equipment available to the expedition.

4. In two well-attended press briefings, Deputy Department Spokesman Tom Reston provided virtually all available facts except the names of the wounded being evacuated in the C-141. Now that the wounded have been evacuated from Guyana, the press is also beginning to focus on the peoples temple, and is pushing for information about the Guyanese police and military on their way to Jonestown and about what is going on there.

Vance [Cyrus Vance, Secretary of State]

CONFIDENTIAL

Originally posted on May 15th, 2018.

Last modified on March 29th, 2021.
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