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U.S. Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation

For Immediate Release
July 9, 1999

The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced today that it has added the following new subject matters to the Espionage, Famous Persons, and Historical Interest categories of its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Internet website:


Rudolph Nureyev -- 160 pages

Rudolph Nureyev, the famous Russian ballet dancer who defected to the West from the Soviet Union in 1961, was the subject of an FBI Espionage investigation in 1964 following the discovery of a cryptic note behind a wall plaque in a California hotel. The note read as follows: "Nureyev - I made contact with the agent at M.L.S. and he agreed that we should wait before we attempt to 3689001427. I hope you find the note as you requested I put it here on 7-19. I really don't approve of your hiding place, it is rather conspicuous."

The FBI interviewed Nureyev and several other individuals in an attempt to discover the writer and true meaning of the note and whether it was actually meant for Rudolph Nureyev or some other individual. The investigation was closed when no significant information was developed. Nureyev's name also came to the attention of the FBI during the 1970's in a national security context with the details remaining classified. In addition, unsubstantiated comments regarding Nureyev's personal lifestyle are noted occasionally in the file.

Burgess, MacLean and Philby -- 3219 pages

Guy Burgess and Donald MacLean were British diplomats who disappeared in 1951 and surfaced in Moscow in 1956. There was speculation that Harold "Kim" Philby, head of the Soviet section of the British Secret Intelligence Service, was the "third man" who alerted them before they could be arrested for espionage. Philby defected to the Soviet Union in 1963.


Wernher Von Braun -- 532 pages

In 1948 Wernher Von Braun was described as the most important of the German scientists employed by the Department of the Army at Fort Bliss. He was the subject of generally favorable background investigations in 1948 and 1961 in connection with his work in the rocket science field for the United States Government.

Cesar Chavez and United Farm Workers -- 2021 pages

Cesar Chavez was the founder and director of the National Farm Workers Association, later known as the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee. The FBI investigated Chavez and his organization based on allegations in 1965 that he and others within the organization had communist affiliations.


Jonestown Summary -- 365 pages

On November 18, 1978, Congressman Leo J. Ryan was shot and killed in Guyana, along with four other individuals. Congressman Ryan was visiting Jonestown, Guyana, for the purpose of conducting a Congressional inquiry into the activities of the People's Temple and Reverend Jim Jones. The FBI investigated his murder under the code name "RYMUR" and in 1986, Lawrence John Layton was found guilty in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, of several federal violations, including Conspiracy to Murder a Congressman.

There are now a total of 46 of the FBI's most frequently requested and released records available to the public on this website. These documents are a representative sampling of those in the FOIA Reading Room located at FBI Headquarters. Portions have been blacked out to protect personal privacy, confidential sources, national security, etc., in accordance with the exemption provisions of the FOIA.

Viewers may select records from the categories of historical interest, famous persons, espionage, violent crime, gangster era, or unusual phenomena on the FOIA website.


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