Nov 20, 78 • 1142 • State-Georgetown • 293800 (SITREP V)

[Editor’s notes:The full text of this text was taken from https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978STATE293800_d.html.

[This document appears as Serial 22 in the FBI RYMUR release and as State
Department cable 293800
in the State Department release.]

CONFIDENTIAL
PAGE 01
STATE 293800
ORIGIN ARA-15
INFO OCT-01 EUR-12 EA-10 NEA-11 ISO-00 SIG-03 H-01
FBIE-00 CIAE-00 DODE-00 NSAE-00 NSCE-00 SSO-00
ICAE-00 INRE-00 INR-10 PA-01 TRSE-00 SCS-06 CA-01
MCT-02 SY-05 SYE-00 USSS-00 AID-05 SS-15 OC-06
CCO-00 JUSE-00 SVC-00 /104 R
DRAFTED BY ARA:JLEBOURGEOIS
APPROVED BY ARA:AHEWITT
S/S-O:RCASTRODALE
——————096140 201314Z /50

O 201142Z 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 293800
LONDON FOR MICHAEL FINLEY, TOKYO FOR SENATOR HAYAKAWA

E.O. 11652: GDS
TAGS: CASC, OREP (RYAN, LEO), GY
SUBJECT: SITUATION REPORT NO. V
REFERENCE: STATE 293790 AND PREVIOUS

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1. THE GUYANESE POLICE AND MILITARY FORCES HAVE ENTERED JONESTOWN AND REPORTEDLY ENCOUNTERED AS MANY AS 400 DEAD. FURTHER DETAILS FROM GUYANESE OFFICIALS ABOUT THE DEAD AND INFORMATION REGARDING REMAINING MEMBERS OF THE PEOPLES TEMPLE IN JONESTOWN ARE NOT YET AVAILABLE, AND DARKNESS AND HEAVY RAIN HAVE IMPEDED FURTHER MOVEMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT FORCES, PROBABLY UNTIL DAWN NOVEMBER 20. PRESS INQUIRIES ARE RELAYING RUMORS THAT ALL OF THE PEOPLES TEMPLE MEMBERS ARE DEAD. WE EXPECT TWO CONSULAR OFFICERS AND A U.S. COMMUNICATIONS TEAM TO REACH JONESTOWN THE MORNING OF NOVEMBER 20. GUIDANCE DEVELOPED FOR THE PRESS ON AN IF ASKED BASIS IS: BEGIN QUOTE WE HAVE RECEIVED FROM OUR EMBASSY IN GEORGETOWN, GUYANA, A PRELIMINARY REPORT BY LOCAL OFFICIALS ON THE SCENE THAT IT APPEARS AS IF AS MANY AS 400 MEMBERS OF THE JONESTOWN PEOPLES TEMPLE COMMUNITY MAY BE DEAD. END QUOTE.

2. THE GOVERNMENT OF GUYANA HAS NOT GIVEN FINAL CLEARANCE FOR THE HELICOPTERS THAT FORM PART OF THE ASSISTANCE PACKAGE REQUESTED FOR THE GOVERNMENT FORCES. WE HAVE RECEIVED NO EXPLANATION FOR THE DELAYED APPROVAL. THE NATIONAL MILITARY COMMAND CENTER IS PREPARING TO PROVIDE A HELICOPTER SQUADRON (PERHAPS 12 HELICOPTERS) TO BE USED FOR EMERGENCY MEDICAL AND EVACUATION SERVICES TO SURVIVORS IN JONESTOWN SHOULD IT BE REQUIRED.

3. STATE HAS REQUESTED NMCC THAT A MILITARY GRAVES REGISTRATION TEAM AND NECESSARY EQUIPMENT SUCH AS BODY BAGS BE ASSEMBLED TO DEAL WITH THE MASSIVE PROBLEM OF BODY IDENTIFICATION AND DISPOSITION. SCS IS COORDINATING THESE ACTIVITIES WITH THE INTENTION OF BRINGING THE BODIES OF DEAD AMERICANS BACK TO THE US FOR BURIAL. A SECOND C-141 MEDEVAC PLANE IS SCHEDULED TO ARRIVE AT GEORGETOWN AT 9:00

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A.M. EST. CONGRESSMAN RYAN’S BODY AND THE REMAINS OF THE OTHER DEAD MAY BE BROUGHT OUT ON THIS PLANE.

4. SHORTLY AFTER 9:00 P.M. (EST) THE C-141 LANDED AT ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE WITH FIVE WOUNDED FROM THE SHOOTING AT PORT KAITUMA, HAVING LEFT FOUR SERIOUSLY WOUNDED VICTIMS IN PUERTO RICO FOR IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION. THE CONDITION OF THOSE ARRIVING AT ANDREWS RANGED FROM HEAVILY SEDATED TO STUNNED, AND NONE SPOKE TO THE PRESS. HOWEVER SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE CORRESPONDENT, RON JAVERS, THOUGH HIMSELF WOUNDED, FILED A LENGTHY AND LURID EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT OF THE EVENTS IN GUYANA AS THE PLANE PASSED THROUGH PUERTO RICO. ASSISTANT SECRETARY BARBARA WATSON AND MEMBERS OF THE PRESS GREETED THE FLIGHT. THE C-130 FROM PANAMA WHICH CARRIED THE EMBASSY AUGMENTATION TEAM TO GUYANA HAS TURNED AROUND IN GEORGETOWN AND IS SCHEDULED TO ARRIVE IN PUERTO RICO AT 5:56 AM LOCAL TIME, WITH EIGHT OF THE CONCERNED RELATIVES WHO HAD BEEN STAYING AT THE PEGASUS HOTEL IN GEORGETOWN.

5. OUR EMBASSY IN GEORGETOWN HAS PROVIDED AN UPDATE ON THE STATUS OF THOSE COMPOSING CODEL RYAN. ALL ARE ACCOUNTED FOR AS FOLLOWS AS OF 2:00 A.M. LOCAL TIME NOVEMBER 20:

CONG RYAN, DECEASED, REMAINS IN GEORGETOWN;
JACKIE SPEIER, WOUNDED, EVACUATED ON C-141;
MARK LANE, UNHURT, IN POLICE CUSTODY, GEORGETOWN;
CHARLES GARRY, UNHURT, IN POLICE CUSTODY, GEORGETOWN;
RICHARD DWYER, WOUNDED, AT HOME IN GEORGETOWN;
DON HARRIS, DECEASED, REMAINS IN GEORGETOWN;
BOB FLICK, UNHURT, DEPARTED GUYANA IN NBC JET;
RON JAVERS, WOUNDED, EVACUATED IN C-141;
TIM REITERMAN, WOUNDED, EVACUATED IN C-141;
CHARLES KRAUSE, UNHURT, IN GUYANA;
GREGORY ROBINSON, DECEASED, REMAINS IN GEORGETOWN;
STEVE SUNG, WOUNDED, EVACUATED ON C-141;

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BOB BROWN, DECEASED, REMAINS IN GEORGETOWN;
JAMES COBB, UNHURT, EVACUATED ON C-130 TO PUERTO RICO;
BEVERLY OLIVER, WOUNDED, EVACUATED ON C-141;
ANTHONY KATSARIS, WOUNDED, EVACUATED ON C-141;
CAROLYN BOYD, WOUNDED, EVACUATED ON C-141.

6. WE HAVE REMAINED IN CLOSE TOUCH WITH THE FBI AND THE OFFICE OF CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR JERRY BROWN OUT OF CONCERN THAT THE TRAGIC EVENTS IN GUYANA MIGHT BE EMULATED BY PEOPLES TEMPLE MEMBERS IN CALIFORNIA. THUS FAR NO SUCH EVENTS HAVE TAKEN PLACE.

7. THE GUYANA WORKING GROUP IS OPERATING CONTINUOUSLY AND HANDLING INQUIRIES FROM THE PRESS AND OTHERS INCLUDING RELATIVES OF PEOPLES TEMPLE MEMBERS. THE FOLLOWING PHONE NUMBERS CAN BE USED FOR INCOMING CALLS: 632-9380 (1) (2) (3) AND 632-6615.

VANCE [Cyrus Vance, Secretary of State]

CONFIDENTIAL

Originally posted on March 1st, 2020.

Last modified on March 29th, 2021.
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