I didn't find much on the Swan Islands in the archives of any lists. I
didn't find anything about them being given up to Columbia. I remember
they had been declared a nature preserve some time ago.
I've also thought often of visiting. I knew a guy who had been there
the Contra conflict and he said that there wasn't much there. There is
historical account below and some URLs:
An old travelogue I found:
> My first trip to Swan Island was around January or February of 1960. I
> sailed on the Don Emilio B. with Captain Johnny Cooper of Oak Ridge,
> The boat was owned by the Hamilton Brothers Company of Tampa FL which
> bananas from Costa Rica to Tampa. The boat stopped at Swan Island to
> transport supplies to the Weather Bureau and FAA as well as make passage
> and from the island for the Americans who worked there.
> I remember to this day the day we finally sailed out of Tampa. We went
> south off Cape San Antonio, Cuba, across Misterioso Banks and finally
> Swan Island after about 3 days at sea.
> I will never forget Captain Johnny telling me in his low gravelly voice,
> voice that I would hear many times over 2738 and 2750 marine
> tell me "there is your home for the next 6 months".
> I was on Swan Island when the Coast and Geodetic Survey Ship "Explorer"
> to survey the island around March of 1960. They also took a census of
> was on the island which caused quite a furor in Tegucigalpa.
> I was there, around April of 1960, when U.S. Navy ships appeared
> offshore...then an LST came up to the beach, started offloading all
> equipment and Seabees. They built a dirt runway, buildings and a radio
> transmitting station. The radio station first called "Radio Swan" then
> later "Radio Americas" broadcasted anti-Castro propaganda and was very
> likely a CIA operation. Anyway...the guy who was in charge of that
> operation was quite surprised when he found out that I could speak
> and realized that I could understand what was being broadcast.
> Right after Radio Swan was built...a group of University Students came
> protest the census taken by the Explorer. They arrived on the Betty B
> of Guanaja...it was a shrimp boat owned by Bruce Borden. My tour was up
> when they got there, so I got on the Betty B with them and sailed to
> (Bonnaca) where I had a rip-roaring good time for about a week.
> I then got on the Offshore which was owned by Hano Griffiths of Hog
> We sailed back to Swan Island then to Grand Cayman where I picked up a
> flight to Miami then home to Texas. The Offshore was loaded with fruit
> sell in Grand Cayman...Harry Carter of Bonnaca hired the boat for this
> That is a thumbnail of a little bit of what happened my first trip to
> Island in 1960.