Serial 50 • SITREP VIII

[Editor’s notes: This document appears as Serial 50, as Serial 223, and as Serial 466 in the FBI RYMUR release and as a State Department cable as part of its 1981 FOIA release. The text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978STATE294495_d.html.]

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PAGE 01
STATE 294495
ORIGIN ARA-15
INFO OCT-01 EUR-12 EA-10 NEA-11 ISO-00 SIG-03 H-01
DODE-00 FBIE-00 PA-01 ICAE-00 SCS-06 CIAE-00
TRSE-00 MCT-02 CA-01 INR-10 INRE-00 SY-05 SYE-00
USSS-00 AID-05 SS-15 SSO-00 NSCE-00 CCO-00 OC-06
JUSE-00 NSAE-00 L-03 SVC-00 /107 R
DRAFTED BY ARA:RWZIMMERMANN
APPROVED BY ARA:JABUSHNELL
S/S-O:T.THYDEN
——————106684 210258Z /14

O 210203Z 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 294495
LONDON FOR MICHAEL FINLEY, TOKYO FOR SENATOR HAYAKAWA

E.O. 11652: N/A
TAGS: CASC, OREP (RYAN, LEO), GY
SUBJECT: SITUATION REPORT NO. VIII
REF: STATE 293800 AND PREVIOUS

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1. Reports by Guyanese police to U.S. Embassy Georgetown state 363 bodies of Peoples Temple adherents have been counted so far at Jonestown, including body of Rev. James Jones. Embassy believes some Jonestown residents fled into bush. There may also be additional dead not yet found.

2. DOD communications team has gone to Jonestown but communications system not yet functioning. Advice from pathologists in U.S. makes it questionable that after 50 hours bodies at Jonestown can be evacuated and local burial may be required.

3. U.S. military now plans fly in three large helicopters (HH-53), to be refueled in air, plus four smaller helicopters aboard 2 C-141s. USAF has not yet determined suitability of Matthew’s Ridge for C-130 use. By Wednesday morning we anticipate having about 200 American military in Guyana to assist in operation.

4. FBI has ordered six agents to stand by to assist in investigations if requested by GOG [Government of Guyana].

5. Bodies of Congressman Ryan and three newsmen will be flown out to U.S. late November 20.

6. Peoples Temple lawyer Mark Lane and colleague Charles Garry are in Georgetown and gave press conference November 20.

7. U.S. military does not possess otter or similar aircraft as requested by GOG but other solution being examined.

Vance [Cyrus Vance, Secretary of State]

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Originally posted on May 16th, 2018.

Last modified on June 25th, 2022.
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