Serial 78 • SITREP 16

[Editor’s notes:The full text of this text was taken from https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978STATE296714_d.html.

[This document appears as Serial 78 in the FBI RYMUR release and as State
Department cable 296714
in the State Department release.]

CONFIDENTIAL
PAGE 01
STATE 296714
ORIGIN ARA-15
INFO OCT-01 EUR-12 ISO-00 NEA-11 SSO-00 FBIE-00 CIAE-00 DODE-00 PA-01 TRSE-00 SCS-06 MCT-02 CA-01 INR-10 INRE-00 SY-05 SYE-00 USSS-00 H-01 AID-05 SS-15 L-03 NSCE-00 CCO-00 OC-06 JUSE-00 NSAE-00 ICAE-00 CG-00 DOTE-00 SVC-00 /094 R
DRAFTED BY ARA:RBRUCE
APPROVED BY ARA:JBUSHNELL
S/S-O:RCASTRODALE
——————040560 231707Z /41

O 231641Z 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
CINCSOUTHCOM QUARRY HTS CZ IMMEDIATE
CINCMAC SCOTT AFB IL IMMEDIATE
USREDCOM/RCJ2 MACDILL AFB FL IMMEDIATE
USCINCARRED FT MCPHERSON GA IMMEDIATE
CDR 18TH AIRBORNE CORPS FT BRAGG NC IMMEDIATE
USCINCEUR VAIHINGEN GE/’2 IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L STATE 296714
LONDON FOR MICHAEL FINLEY
E.O. 11652: GDS
TAGS: CASC, OREP (RYAN, LEO), GY
SUBJECT: SITUATION REPORT NO. 16

CONFIDENTIAL
CONFIDENTIAL
PAGE 02 STATE 296714

REFERENCE: STATE 296525 AND PREVIOUS

1. The first C-141 carrying the remains of forty victims of the Jonestown tragedy arrived at Dover Air Force Base at 0600 EST. Thirty-seven bodies are unidentified; of the three others, one is that of the Rev. Jones’ adopted son, Jimmy.

2. Removal of dead from Jonestown to Georgetown began again this morning at 0600 EST. The nine helicopter sorties scheduled for today are expected to bring 162 bodies to Georgetown. The next flight to Dover carrying eighty bodies is scheduled to depart Georgetown at 1500 EST. The commander of the US Task Force in Guyana has indicated the operation will be completed tomorrow, November 24.

3. One hundred and sixty seven transfer cases are in Georgetown; 138 more will arrive today. The remainder needed will be returned from Dover and reused.

4. No further attempts to identify bodies are being made in Guyana. An SCS representative and an FBI disaster squad are in Dover to aid military personnel in the identification process. In inspecting the Jonestown settlement, an embassy consular officer counted only 600 single beds, an indication that earlier estimates of a thousand or more residents of Jonestown were probably exaggerated.

5. The embassy reports that some of the survivors in Georgetown are beginning to agitate for return to the U.S. However, Guyanese authorities apparently will not be prepared to permit any departures until tomorrow, November 24 at the earliest.

CONFIDENTIAL
CONFIDENTIAL
PAGE 03 STATE 296714

6. It is expected the survivors will probably be released in two groups. The first will be composed of 24 begin quote non-problem end quote refugees plus some very elderly members of the second group. This second group is made up of Peoples Temple members still under investigation by the GOG [Government of Guyana].

Vance [Cyrus Vance, Secretary of State]

CONFIDENTIAL

Originally posted on May 17th, 2018.

Last modified on June 25th, 2022.
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