Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis broke her long-standing silence yesterday to confirm that she is the new owner of the 375-acre tract of ocean front land in Gay Head.

The Gazette reported Mrs. Onassis' ownership last Friday. It was that story that ended months of rumor and speculation about the Onassis purchase. The rumors had circulated both here on the Vineyard and on the mainland.

Mrs. Onassis, wife of the late President John F. Kennedy and the late Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, bought that fragile but commanding piece of property last January for $1,110,000. The deal was worked out through her lawyer, Alexander D. Forger, a member of the New York law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley and McCloy. Mr. Forger purchased the land at that time in trust for an unnamed party.

On Monday morning Mr. Forger called the Gazette to release a statement about the Gay Head tract, variously known as the Hornblower property and the Red Gate Farm. The text of the statement, authorized by Mrs. Onassis, follows:

"My client, Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, has authorized me to confirm that last January I purchased on her behalf the 375-acre Hornblower tract in Gay Head, Martha's Vineyard. Announcement of her ownership has not previously been made in the hope that the tranquility of the Island might be spared the intrusions and publicity that so frequently accompany her life. Since this has not been possible this acknowledgement of ownership may end the unwanted attention to the Island brought on by rumor and speculation.

"Approximately one year ago it was brought to Mrs. Onassis' attention that the Gay Head property was being offered for sale. The moment she saw its moors, dunes, ponds and marshes she determined that its unique beauty and wild state should be preserved. Because of the size and value of the parcel, its development by a purchaser or group of purchasers, even if only with a dozen or so houses, seemed inevitable. Her objective was to preclude such a possibility and to that end she authorized me to negotiate its purchase. Fortunately for the Island, the Hornblowers and their representatives, Land Vest, were dedicated to the preservation rather than the development of this property.

"It is Mrs. Onassis' hope and expectation that this tract with all of its rights and easements will remain within the family's ownership, and that the tract will retain its natural beauty and continue as a wildlife sanctuary. Hence and in the foreseeable future perhaps only one house will be built. This would be for family use and its design and construction will *totally consistent with all environmental and aesthetic considerations."

The statement from Mrs. Onassis is the only official confirmation of the Gazette's Friday story. The Gazette, however, confirmed the accuracy of the Story earlier after a careful check of other sources in Washington, New York and elsewhere.