GENERAL - ARMS AND AMMUNITION - SPECIFIC - INFORMATION CONCERNING ALFHEM AND CA

Created: 5/25/1954

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

fl"CIY IUff

PBSUCCESS RYBA3

LINCOLN

C 1

classifjcation

TO

hief of Station, Guatomal subject: Arms and Ammunition

*

1. Attached for receiving stationsopy of aby

who recently vfSited Puerto Barrios to obtain lnionaation concerning subject. Also attached (for Linooln only)hotographs furnished by hitn.

8. Pour additional photographs, furnished by tho Office of the Air Attache^ Guatemala lty, are also being forwarded for Lincoln.

LmQii ra M. Hoagey ' ^]

Enclosures:

Dispatch and photosor Lincoln)

4

HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM

RELEASEAS SANITIZED

tt

RYBAT

A

Guatemala City, Guatemala4

of Naval Intelligence Navy Department. C,

ALFHEMrrival and Activities In

Puerto Barrios

A: CNO Despatch forwarded by State Department Telegram Number Unknown

ENCLOSURES: emorandum from LOomdr J. H. Tully,ame subject

ata sheet with Photosto $6

NARRATIVE: In response to the directive contained ln Reference A, ALUSNA Immediately proceeded Puerto Barrios, arriving via Attache aircraft0 local* Ky arrivalomplete surprise to local Army personnele field, as well as to the Port authorities. After checking In at the United Fruit Company guest quarters, we hurried to the dock area. Uniform waa worn at all times.

Our purpose was to find American UFCO personnel who could advise theocation. We. were not stopped or questioned by authorities at the pier head. Finally, aboard the CARIB (Swedish registry) we located an American directing the loading of the CARIB. He informed me that the ALFHEM was present in the outboard berth on the other side of the dock; she was heavily guarded on

all sides and it was Impossible to approach the discharge area. He then suggested that we find Mr.enior UFCO employee, for additional information. In our search for Mr. Gerchow, we stopped by the Captain's cabin and were invited inrink. There presentr. Stable, UFCO employee, his wifeen. Theoon learned was first mate aboard the ALFHEM. at close to Captain Olsen and attempted to engage hia In conversation but, despite the fact that he had been drinking heavily, he was extraordinarily close-mouthed. The important part of this conversation will be summarised below. Athe Captain of the CARIBandwich. Whileustoms guard arrived and stated that the Port Captain would like to see Lt. Commander Tully and myself as soon as convenient. Prior to eating, Captain Olsen had indicated that he would talk no more about the ALFHEM and wa* heard to eay by Mr. Stable, in Swedish,

ave talked too much already." We arrived ot the Port Captain's office He greeted us pleasantly and atated that he was the senior officer present in the area and implied he should have been called on earlier. He then asked the purpose of thenformed himas returningoutine visit to Central America and had stopped at Puerto Rorriosad not previously visited the Portlso wanted to do none fishing. We then chattedhile and returned to our quarters.

3. Tuesday morning Mr. Gerchow called and asked if we would like to Join him at breakfastruit Company ship then alongside. We felt this was the next approach to Captain Olsen, who could be invited aboard (the commanderaval Reservend perhaps we could get more out ofowever, we were denied access to the pier from this time until our departure on Wednesday. Later in the morning weoat with fishing gear and cruised around the harbor, but could observe nothing of Interest from the outboard side.

4* Bywas apparent that we were under constant

surveillance, both day and night. Tuesday night, men who were obviously watchers were noticed outside the guest house. Tuesdayet Mr. Stahle at his home. (Mr. Stahle,wedish citizen, hasFCO employeeumber of yeare and has furnished the bulk of the information about the ALFHEM to the Embassy. He had been aboard the ALFHEM twice and made friends with the second engineer. He mentioned some details of the cargo, such as appearance, weight,hich information has been included in the Embassy telegrams to State and will not be repeated here. eel heependable source who should not be overlooked in future cases of this type.) old Mr. Stahle frankly that weanifest of the ALFHEM's cargo and were prepared to pay for it. He replied that he was convinced that if thereanifect available, the Captain (named Llnd) was the only one who had access to it, and that it would be most difficult, if not impossible, to obtain. According to Captain Olsen, the manifest he saw gave the cargo as nuts, bolts, glaee, clothing and chemical glass. Mr. Stahle stated that if he again had the opportunity to contact Captain Olsen, he would bring the matter up discreetly, but it was his frank opinion that Captain Olsen had not and would not have access to the real manifest. Mr. Stahle then frankly stated to me that he questioned the wisdom of our future contacts. Inasmuchas being watched, the finger of suspicion would point to him and he would be denied access to his previous sources. He did, however, promise that he would pass any other information of Interest to the Embassy through appropriate secure channels.

5> By thisas convinced that our usefulness at Puerto Barrios was at an end. We were being constantly watched and anyight make, therefore, were subject to compromise. eel

s

certain that the officers of the ALFHEM and perhaps the crew are being shadowed during shore leave, that is if they are being permitted shore leave

6. To my mind, one of the moat important points is the fact that the second engineer stated to Mr. Stahle that two more ships were to follow. These ships are of Finnish registry, the nameho could only remember that it began with a ith the second letter probably being an The engineer also stated that he saw one of these ships outelde Puerto Barrios (exact position not riven) the night before the ALFHEM entered. This ship had left Stettin three weeks before tho ALFHEM. The other vessel was to follow, but how quickly he did not know.

?. SUMMARY:

ALFHEM is discharging arms and ammunitionBarrios, types and classifications unknown at this time.

arrangements in connection with thisunprecedented in Guatemala.

c; ALFHEM departed Stettin, declaring for Dakar. Two days out of Dakar her orders were changed to Curacao, Dutch West indies. Two daye out of Curacao her orders were changed to Puerto Cortes, Honduras. Two days from Puerto Cortes she waa re-routed to Puerto Barrios (chis information from Captain Olsen).

real cargo manifest of the ALFHEM will bet' obtain.

my and Mr.pinion, thealuable contact for the future. The engineer toldthat he hadrisonerolish concentrationfurther, that his whole face had had to be repaired byafter the brutal treatment he had received. Mr.not give me his name,m sure he can obtain it.

a . if* h*P* of Finnish registry are due ln Puerto Barrios with similar cargo. Mr. Stahle will try to obtain the name of the ship beginning with "T" and forward It to the Embassy.

S. COMMENT AND OPINION:

a. Every effort should be made to locate the other two ships, one of which is presumably in the Caribbean area at this time.

c' a real manifest does not exist on the ALFHEM, and probably none exists for the following two vessels. The

SEOft^T

only real manifest is probably in the hands of the Guatemalan Government, forwarded by diplomatic pouch.

, incident ls closely related to events in Central

America, including the attempt on Somoza's life, the strikes on the north coast o* Honduras and the nervousness in El Salvador over the possibility of sympathy strikes. The UFCO in Guatemala Is alsotrike. The pattern is there. The arms in question and future deliveries are, in my opinion, not all designated for Guatemala.

d. The value of using military personnel is questionablease of thia kind. Ambassador Puerifoy had kept his military aides out of the picture. When we arrived in Puerto Barrios the Guatemalans' surprise was evident, and it took them some time to react. During that tiae we were at least able to get on the docks. It is unfortunate that the accidental meeting with Captain Olsen was not more productive.

CC: . Embassy,KIRTEN, JR.

U.S. NavalUSN

Mexicottache

Original document.

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