1962 Alcatraz Escape - Information Sent To J. Edgar Hoover


Alcatraz Escape Press Conference

URGENT 6/30/1962


TO DIRECTOR, FBI /76-26295/


A BADLY DECOMPOSED BODY WAS RECOVERED TODAY AT HALF MOON BAY, SAN MATEO CO., TWENTY FIVE MILES SOUTH OF SAN FRANCISCO. BODY IN CUSTODY. ASSISTANT CORONOR ADVISED THAT JUDGING FROM SIMILARITY OF SWIM TRUNKS WORN BY VICTIM, BODY IS UNDOUBTEDLY THAT OF ROBERT PANIS, EIGHTEEN YEAR OLD FILIPINO WHO DROWNED AT HALF MOON BAY JUNE NINETEEN LAST.


CHECK RE TIDES AND CURRENTS IN SAN FRANCISCO BAY ON JUNE TWELVE WAS MADE WITH UNITED STATES ARMY ENGINEERS OFFICE AT SAUSALITO, CALIFORNIA, WHERE A MOCK-UP OF THE BAY IS MAINTAINED. IT WAS DETERMINED CONCERNING NIGHT OF ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ THAT AT TEN P.M. PACIFIC DAYLIGHT TIME ON JUNE ELEVEN LAST THERE WAS A SLACK TIDE WHICH MEANT THE WATER WAS MOVING IN NEITHER DIRECTION. SHORTLY AFTER TEN P.M. THE WATER STARTED TO FLOW OUT OF THE BAY REACHING ITS PEAK VELOCITY AT MIDNIGHT AND THEN TAPERED ,OFF TO SLACK TIDE AGAIN AT FIVE A. M. ON JUNE TWELVE LAST.


JUNE ELEVEN WAS ABOUT TWO POINT SEVEN KNOTS, WHILE AT TEN THIRTY P.M. TO ELEVEN P.M. EARLIEST POSSIBLE TIME INMATES REACHED THE WATER, THE SPEED WAS ABOUT TWO KNOTS. AFTER FIVE A.M. THE TIDE STARTED TO FLOW BACK INTO THE BAY.


ENGINEER IN CHARGE ADVISED THAT A FREE FLOATING OBJECT, ENTERING THE WATER AFTER TEN P.M. ON JUNE ELEVEN WOULD FLOW OUT TO THE OCEAN UNDER THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE. THE REACHING OF ANGEL ISLAND WOULD BE FAIRLY DIFFICULT BECAUSE IT WOULD BE GOING IN A DUE NORTHERLY DIRECTION, CUTTING ACROSS THE OUTGOING TIDE.


WATER TEMPERATURE AT TIME OF ESCAPE ACCORDING TO UNITED STATES COAST GUARD BETWEEN FIFTY AND FIFTY FOUR DEGREES FAHRENHEIT. REVIEW OF SAN FRANCISCO FILE REFLECTS FOLLOWING ITEMS OF EVIDENCE CONNECTED WITH ESCAPEES HAVE BEEN RECOVERED IN AREA WATERS AND TURNED PADDLE MADE BY ESCAPEES FOUND JUNE TWELVE, SIXTY TWO, OFF STUART POINT LIGHTHOUSE ON NORTHWEST SIDE OF ANGEL ISLAND. PACKETS WITH PHOTOS BELONGING TO ANGLIN BROTHERS WHICH WERE FOUND ONE HALF MILE EAST OF ALCATRAZ. MAE WEST OR YOKE TYPE LIFE JACKET FOUND OFF CRONKHITE BEACH ON THE PACIFIC SHORE ON JUNE FIFTEEN, SIXTY TWO.


ABOVE RECOVERED ITEMS ALL PREVIOUSLY REPORTED TO BUREAU. INNUMERABLE OTHER FLOATING OBJECTS REPORTED TO THIS OFFICE HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED. BUT NONE CONNECTED WITH ESCAPEES. SEVERAL DROWNED BODIES RECOVERED IN AREA WATER SINCE ESCAPE, BUT NONE IDENTIFIED AS THE ESCAPEES. INVESTIGATION CONTINUING.


ESCAPEES AT LARGE ARE ALL CONVICTED BANK ROBBERS AND SHOULD BE CONSIDERED EXTREMELY DANGEROUS.


END

J Edgar Hoover