Nine women and one child, survivors of the Jonestown forced mass suicides, flew from Guyana to the United States today, but 18 male members of the Peoples Temple sect were left behind because the airline captain refused to let them board.
Some of the 18 men, including two of cult leader Jim Jones' adopted sons, are reputed to have been Jones' personal bodyguards or members of the Jonestown security force.
Pan American Flight Capt. Albert Brockob said two FBI agents had been scheduled to escort the group to New York but they did not show up at the airport and he decided, for security reasons, not to let the 18 board the plane.
"As far as I'm concerned the FBI has dropped the ball," Brockob said.
The plane carried 157 other passengers when it landed tonight at Kennedy International Airport in New York. Brockob said the 10 from Jonestown were "very nice, very well mannered, and very calm."
He also said three of the men he prevented from boarding had been carrying knives that weren't pocketknives. Guyanan security police discovered the knives, he said.
Six Jonestown survivors who arrived in New York on earlier flights were questioned by the FBI on Saturday and were cleared to fly home to California.
Pan Am's next scheduled flight through Georgetown is Wednesday.
About 80 persons lived through the weekend of horror at the temple's Jonestown camp two weeks ago, when more than 900 cult members died. The survivors had either fled the camp or happened to be in Georgetown at the time.
At daybreak today, 19 men, 12 women and one child were cleared by the U.S. embassy here to leave on Pan Am Flight 228. Two middle-aged women and a young man then chose to remain in Guyana indefinitely (they declined to give their names or their reasons for staying). That left 29 to board the flight -- 18 men, 10 women and one child.
When Brockob refused to allow the men to board, one of the women withdrew, apparently to await the next flight, so only nine women and one child departed.
There was no word from the U.S. embassy on where the 18 male members of the cult would stay. Most of them had been held in protective custody at the Peoples Temple headquarters in Georgetown. The 18 reportedly included five men who reputedly were part of the security force for Jones.
U.S. embassy sources said that the State Department in Washington and Pan American headquarters in New York apparently had agreed on FBI escorts, but that no word was passed to either Pan Am or the embassy here. The embassy sources said that when they arranged for seats Saturday for the group of survivors, Pan Am officials made no mention of escorts.
Meanwhile, at Dover Air Force Base, Del., State Department spokesman Mike White said all 911 bodies of Americans involved in the Jonestown forced mass suicides have been embalmed at the base mortuary.
White said relatives of 401 victims positively identified were being contacted by telephone. Specialists medical and dental charts to identify the dead, while FBI agents in Washington checked fingerprints from Guyanese immigration forms, White said. He said today that no bodies had been taken off the base.