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AIR FORCE REGULATIONS & POLICIES
1. Regulations Governing the UFO Investigation
Air Force Regulation 200-2, "Intelligence; Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs), . . . establishes the responsibility and procedure for reporting information and evidence on [UFOs] and for releasing pertinent information to the general public."
Paragraph 3c, rather than furnishing objective guidelines, biases the investigation by clearly implying that all UFOs are explainable as misidentified conventional objects. (Thus the investigation assumes its own conclusion). Contrary to the oft-repeated public relations announcements about the investigation being "completely objective and scientific," the regulation states what the conclusion of the investigation must be:
"c. Reduction of Percentage of UFO 'Unknowns.' Air Force activities must reduce the percentage of unknowns to the minimum. Analysis thus far has provided explanation for all but a few of the sightings reported. These unexplained sightings are carried statistically as unknowns. If more immediate, detailed objective data on the unknowns had been available, probably these too could have been explained. . . [Due to subjective factors] it is improbable that all of the unknowns can be eliminated."
Paragraph 9 explicitly states that, in the area of occurrence, only explained cases may be released to the public:
"In response to local inquiries resulting from any UFO reported in the vicinity of an Air Force base, information regarding a sighting may be released to the press or the general public by the commander of the Air Force base concerned only if it has been positively identified as a familiar or known object." Follow-up queries about unexplained cases are to be referred to the Office of Information Services in the Pentagon (which seldom releases detailed information on a specific case unless it has been widely publicized).
Paragraph 11 restricts Air Force personnel from publicly discussing UFOs:
"Air Force personnel, other than those of the Office of Information Services, will not contact private individuals on UFO cases nor will they discuss their operations and functions with unauthorized persons unless so directed, and then only on a 'need-to-know' basis."
AF "Requests" Plane Loaded With Passengers To Chase UFO
April 8, 1956, New York State
10:15 p.m. (EST) Capt. Raymond E. Ryan, First Officer William Neff, flight attendant Phyllis Reynolds, and passengers, took off in an airliner from Albany heading N then nearly due W (about 280° True) at 260 mph and 6,000 ft N of Schenectady when a brilliant white light about 2-3 miles away was spotted about 90° to the left appearing like an airliner heading in to land at Albany.
The white light moved about 90° to dead ahead position about 8-10 miles away at high speed estimated at about 800-1,000 mph where it changed color to orange and seemed to block the airliner’s path or risk collision, disappeared briefly, reappeared as an orange light again but standing still ahead of the airliner to the W.
Airliner contacted Griffiss AFB, Rome, NY, where controllers asked pilot to turn lights off and on to help identify aircraft and was told airliner was seen and the orange UFO to the S.
Airliner was ordered to maintain course to follow the UFO to the W, skipping its scheduled landing at Syracuse after nearly 30 mins of following the object. Promised fighter jet interception was not seen. Object disappeared at high speed to the NW (or N) towards Oswego, NY
Commercial Plane Follows UFO.
April 8, 1956: A very brilliant light was followed across New York State by an American Airlines plane. The pilots were Capt. Raymond Ryan and First Officer William Neff. The chase was described by radio to Air Force and civilian control tower operators. The following account of the sighting is taken from a tape-recorded interview program, "Meet the Millers," On WBEN TV, Buffalo, New York, April 16, 1956
Ryan: · . .from the time we were off the ground at Albany, until we--it's about 15 miles by air to Schenectady and it was off our wingtip, and we watched it go through a ninety degree arc, go right straight to the west, and it was-- how many seconds does it take to go through a ninety degree arc?
Foster: How fast would you say it appeared to be going? Did it change speed very radically during the time that you saw it?
Ryan: The initial speed l would say probably was 800 to 1000 miles an hour. How fast can it--it's hard to say, just to compute that speed.
Neff: Certainly much faster than another airplane would.
Ryan: Oh much faster, much faster than a jet.
lnt: Faster than a jet?
Ryan: Yes ma 'am.
Neff: Couldn't be a jet, not at that altitude because their fuel is so critical.
Foster: Did it appear to change color at all?
Ryan: Yes it did. It changed color after it got to the west of us, probably 8 to 10 miles. It appeared--the light went out, that's what had Bill and I concerned. It went out momentarily, and we knew there was something up there, and now here we were with a load of passengers with something on our course up ahead, and what are we going to do, so we watched this where the light went out and this orange object came on--this orange light.
Ryan: We looked at one another a little bit amazed, so we decided we'd call Griffiss Air Force Base, and I thought they had the radar on. . . And they didn't have it on- It would taken them 30 minutes to energize the set.
Neff: They asked us to keep it sighted and we did, and we kept calling out our location and as we told them where we were we turned all our lights on. They asked us to turn them off and they could see us, and they asked if this object you see is orange in color. We said it was---
Ryan: Yes. They said "we have a definite silhouette in sight south of the field." Now those fellas are observers who are in the tower. They said that they could see a silhouette.
Neff: Watertown could see it and they're quite a ways north of Griffiss, and Albany saw it--two men in the tower at Albany--one an Air Force man and one a CAA man. And they saw it after we first called them, and noticed--and they looked over to the west and saw it right away.
Int: And when they saw it was it moving?
Neff: Well, we didn't get to talk with them---
Int: But to you it was moving?
Neff: Oh yes.
Int: Real fast?
Ryan: It stayed just that far ahead of us, and they asked us what our point of next intended landing was, and 1 told them Syracuse, and they wanted to be identified--our aircraft, number and serial number, and they said "well abandon that next landing temporarily and maintain the course and your altitude," so we did. They were calling scramble.
Re: April 8, 1956 sighting by Capt. Raymond Ryan, American Airlines pilot:
"The Air Force concluded that the object viewed during this sighting was the planet Venus."
Air Force "fact sheet", 1963.
CBS Newscast of November 3, 1957, extract:
"Folks in Levelland, Texas are worried about strange objects in their neighborhood. Sheriff Weir Clem says he has received several reports of a strange, egg-shaped object, about 200 feet long, landing on farms and highways last night in the vicinity of Levelland."
"Sheriff Clem said he even got a glimpse of this thing, which somehow switched off lights and auto engines when it came near. The Sheriff said lights and engines worked fine again after the thing went away."
"This is Bob Pierpoint in Washington."
The most striking feature of this sighting wave was the concentration of "electromagnetic effect" cases around the west Texas town of Levelland. There were at least eight such reports in the space of 2.5 hours in an area to the west, north and east of Levelland:
At 10:30 p.m. came the report from truck driver Pedro Saucedo, who described seeing a blue torpedo-shaped object with yellow flame and white smoke coming out of its rear. He estimated it was 200 feet (60 meters) long and 6 feet (2 meters) wide. His truck lights and engine failed while the UFO was in view; after it disappeared, his lights worked perfectly, and he was able to re-start the engine.
At Pettit, Texas, 10 miles (16 km) to the northwest, two grain combines failed as a UFO flew past: "shortly before midnight, Jim Wheeler reported seeing a large 200 feet (60 meters) elliptical object on the road; as he drove toward it, his car lights and engine failed. The UFO rose and flew off, and when it blinked off, his lights came back on and he was able to re-start his engine."
At the same time, Jose Alvarez's car lights and engine died when he saw a glowing, 200 feet (60 meters) UFO nearby. After the object flew away, his lights came back on and he was able to re-start his engine.
At about 12:05am, college student Newell Wright's car lights and engine failed. He got out to fix them, looked up and saw a glowing, bluish-green, flat-bottomed, oval object on the highway. The object was in sight for four or five minutes. During that time, Wright tried to start his engine, and while the starter made contact, the motor was unaffected. The object disappeared, straight up, and immediately the car lights came back on, the engine started, and then operated perfectly...
By 01:30am, Hockley County Sheriff Weir Clem had heard so many reports that he decided to see for himself. He drove out with a deputy sheriff, and saw a large oval red light, though he did not experience electrical system problems. Years later he said:"The object was shaped like a huge football and had bright white lights. The blinding lights flashed on, it went right over the car and was gone. No living human being could believe how fast it traveled. The whole thing was as bright as day; it lit up the whole area."
Project Blue Book sent a single investigator to Levelland to check the reports. His explanation, accepted as the official Air Force conclusion, was that:
"... the major cause for the Levelland case was a severe electrical storm. The storm stimulated the populace into a high level of excitement.
Atmospheric physicist Dr. James McDonald completed a study and determined that there had been no storm in the area, and thus no source of excessive moisture to interfere with the automobiles' electrical systems:
"In a two-hour period near midnight, November 2-3, 1957, nine different vehicles all exhibited ignition failures, and many suffered headlight failures as objects described as about 100-200 ft long, glowing with a general reddish or bluish glow, were encountered on roads in the vicinity of the small community of Levelland, Tex.
This series of incidents became national headline news until officially explained in terms of ball lightning and wet ignitions. However, on checking weather data, I found that there were no thunderstorms anywhere close to Levelland that night, and there was no rain capable of wetting ignitions. Although I have not located any of the drivers involved, I have interviewed Sheriff Weir Clem of Levelland and a Levelland newspaperman, both of whom investigated the incidents that night. They confirmed the complete absence of rain or lightning activity. The incidents cannot be regarded as explained."
With no "severe electrical storm" to "stimulate the populace into a high level of excitement," the official explanation falls apart.
White Sands Military Police Patrols.
At 3:00 a.m. (MST) - 4:00 a.m. Levelland time - November 3, two military policemen on routine patrol at the White Sands missile range, reported an egg-shaped UFO which descended over the base.
Cpl. Glenn H. Toy and Pfc. James Wilbanks, patrolling in a jeep, noticed a "very bright object" high in the sky. The object descended to a point about 50 yards above a bunker which was used during the first atomic bomb explosion. Then its light blinked out. A few minutes later the light flared up again, becoming bright "like the sun," dropped toward the ground on a slant about 3 miles away and disappeared. According to Lt. Penney, the M.P.'s described the UFO as egg-shaped, and about 75-100 yards in diameter. Cpl. Toy stated: "It looked like a completely controlled landing."
That evening, about 8:00 p.m., Sp. 3/C Forest R. Oakes and Sp. 3/C Barlow, on another two-man jeep patrol, reported seeing an unidentified light hanging above the old A-bomb bunker. Oakes described it as "200 or 300 feet long. . . very bright." The patrol was about 2-3 miles west of the bunker. As the M.P.'s watched, the UFO took off climbing at a 45 degree angle, its light pulsating on and off. Moving slowly, sometimes stopping, the UFO gradually diminished to a point of light "like a big star," and finally disappeared.
About 17 hours after the second jeep patrol sighting at White Sands, James Stokes, a high altitude research engineer at the base, watched an elliptical UFO maneuver over the area. Stokes also looked up and saw a large, whitish egg-shaped object moving in and out of clouds to the northeast, in the direction of the Sacramento Mountains, The UFO made a shallow dive, turned and crossed the highway a few miles ahead. As the UFO flashed by, Stokes felt a wave of heat. (His face later appeared "sunburned.")
Moving at fantastic speed, the featureless object turned sharply and disappeared over the Organ Pass west of the base. In a taped interview broadcast on station KALG, Stokes estimated the speed at 2500 mph.It was "definitely a solid object," he said.
The Army jeep patrols sightings were evaluated as "astronomical." The release said:
"Astro plots indicate Venus is at magnitude at the time, place and direction of the first patrol's observation, and the Moon, with scattered clouds, was in general direction of the second patrol's observation."
September 24, 1968 Lecture,
"UFOs: A Case Study in Public Mis-information"
at Kent State University, Ohio
...Privately, McDonald analyzed all Project Blue Book case files, convincing him that the Air Force had performed an entirely inadequate investigation, which appeared to have been more concerned with internal politics rather than real science. He also reviewed the cases of the Air Force's sponsored University of Colorado UFO study, and concluded that many of their explanations were not well founded either.
Captain Ed Ruppelt (1956):
After the Fort Monmouth, NJ, radar sightings (which started on Sept 10, 1951), the Air Force held a meeting at the Pentagon. General Cabell presided over the meeting, and it was attended by his entire staff plus Lieutenant Cummings, Lieutenant Colonel Rosengarten, and a special representative from Republic Aircraft Corporation. The man from Republic supposedly represented a group of top U.S. industrialists and scientists who thought that there should be a lot more sensible answers coming from the Air Force regarding UFOs.
"Every word of the two-hour meeting was recorded on a wire recorder. The recording was so hot that it was later destroyed, but not before I had heard it several times......it didn't exactly follow the tone of the official Air Force releases--many of the people present at the meeting weren't as convinced that the 'hoax, hallucination, and misidentification' answer was quite as positive as the Grudge Report and subsequent press releases made out."
California Highway Patrol Officers Charles A. Carson and Stanley Scott were on patrol when they sighted what they thought was an airliner about to crash. When the UFO had descended to about 100 or 200 feet altitude it suddenly reversed direction and climbed to 500 ft. Description: round or oblong surrounded by a glow (color not mentioned) and having definite red lights at each end. They continued to watch the UFO as it performed "unbelievable" aerial feats.
Officers Charles A. Carson and Stanley Scott of the California Highway Patrol were on patrol near Red Bluff, California, at about 11:50 p.m., when they saw a large illuminated object apparently falling from the sky. Thinking it was an airliner crashing, they quickly stopped and leaped out of the patrol car to get a position fix.
"The first thing we noticed was an absolute silence,"
Carson stated in his official report.
"We continued to watch until the object was probably within 100 feet to 200 feet off the ground, when it suddenly reversed completely, at high speed, and gained approximately 500 feet altitude. There the object stopped."
It was an oblong or elliptical object with a definite red light at each extremity. In between the red lights, about five white lights could be seen occasionally.
"As we watched the object moved again and performed aerial feats that were actually unbelievable... The object was capable of moving in any direction. Up and down. Back and forth... It moved at high (extremely) speeds and several times we watched it change directions or reverse itself while moving at unbelievable speeds."
Twice the object came directly toward them; each time it turned and "swept the area with a huge red light.
"Officer Scott turned the red light on the patrol vehicle towards the object, and it immediately went away from us. We observed the object use the red beam approximately 6 or 7 times, sweeping the sky and ground areas."
When the object was closest to them, they experienced radio interference.
As the object began moving off to the east, they attempted to follow it. At a point near the Vina Plains Fire Station they saw a second similar object approach the first. "Both stopped, remaining in that position for some time, occasionally emitting the red beam." Both then disappeared to the east.
Carson and Scott talked with several deputies at the Tehama County Sheriff's office who had also seen the UFO and observed the same maneuvers. The sighting lasted a little over two hours. The UFO was estimated to be about 150 feet in its longest dimension.
"The findings are that the individuals concerned witnessed a refraction of the planet Mars and the bright stars Aldebaran and Betelgeux. . . Temperature inversions contributed to the phenomena as the planet Mars was quite low in the skies and the inversion caused it to be projected upward."
Norman Muscarello, a teenage Navy recruit, was walking down a quiet country highway at night, when suddenly, a huge object loomed above him. Thus began the "Incident at Exeter," a series of sightings officially qualified as "unidentified." The encounters that night took special precedence over other UFO sightings because of the credibility of two Exeter police officers who also saw the UFO, as well as that of the dispatcher and supervising officer who first heard Muscarello's account.
"The thing" was bigger than a house, he told Patrolman "Scratch" Toland, with brilliant, pulsating red lights around. It floated toward him silently. Diving from the road into a small ditch to avoid the on-coming object, he watched, terror-stricken. Then it backed off slowly until it had reached a sufficient distance for him to get up and run.
At the same time, Patrolman Eugene Bertrand, an Air Force veteran, was cruising when he found a lone woman at the wheel of her car just two miles outside Exeter. Still badly shaken, she told how a huge, silent, airborne object had followed her for 10 miles, at only a few feet's distance from her car. It, too, had brilliant, flashing red lights.
While Officer Bertrand was shining his flashlight toward the tree line, the horses in a nearby corral began kicking and whinnying, dogs began to howl. Muscarello then let out a yell: "I see it! I see it!"
What Muscarello and an astounded Bertrand saw was a brilliant round object rising up silently over the pines. All of a sudden the entire area was drenched in a brilliant red light as the object fluttered toward them, still noiselessly. Racing back to the patrol car with the boy for fear of radiation, Bertrand reported to the station, "My God, I see the damn thing myself!"
In the next weeks, many other seemingly valid sightings were made in the New Hampshire area. None, however, was more vivid than Ron Smith's.
The 17 year-old high school senior was out driving with his mother and aunt when they spotted an object in the sky. He stopped the car, looked up and saw something with a red light on top and a white glow on the bottom. It passed over the car once, stopped in midair, then went back over the car again and yet a third time.
The Pease AFB commander tried to explain the sightings during a press conference at night in the field where the object was seen. He claimed the sightings were the lights at Pease, which were turned off, and radioed the base to turn them on. No one saw anything. After this, the Air Force claimed that it was beginning a thorough investigation of the UFO. USAF Maj. Hector Quintanilla, Jr., then chief of Project Blue Book, wrote a letter to EPD, explaining that the sightings were possibly associated with USAF operations.
The Pentagon issued an additional statement suggesting that the UFO might have been a misidentified star or planet.
An Air Force RB-47, equipped with ECM (Electronic Countermeasures) gear, manned by six officers, was followed over a total distance in excess of 600 miles and for a time period of more than an hour, as it flew from near Gulfport, Miss., through Louisiana and Texas, and into southern Oklahoma. The unidentified object was, at various times, seen visually by the cockpit crew (as an intense white or red light), followed by ground-radar, and detected on ECM monitoring gear aboard the RB-47. Simultaneous appearances and disappearances on all three of those physically distinct "channels" mark this UFO case as especially intriguing from a scientific viewpoint.
The case is long and involved and filled with well-attested phenomena that defy easy explanation in terms of present-day science and technology. The RB-47 was flying out of Forbes AFB, Topeka, on a composite mission including gunnery exercises over the Texas-Gulf area, navigation exercises over the open Gulf, and ECM exercises in the return trip across the south-central U.S. This was an RB-47 carrying a six-man crew, of whom three were electronic warfare officers manning ECM (Electronic counter-measures) gear in the aft portion of the aircraft.One of the extremely interesting aspects of this case is that electromagnetic signals of distinctly radar-like character appeared definitely to be emitted by the UFO, yet it exhibited performance characteristics that seem to rule out categorically its having been any conventional or secret aircraft.
Project Bluebook said that the sightings in Dallas - Fort Worth area were an ordinary jet airliner. They couldn't explain the abrupt, simultaneous disappearance and reappearance of the object from radar screens, ECM scopes, and visual detection. They also couldn't explain the events that occurred over Mississippi and Louisiana. It's odd that the Utah radar station couldn't tell an airliner from an unknown.
"Moreover, reports of unidentified flying objects which could affect national security are made in accordance with JANAP 146 or Air Force Manual 55-11, and are not part of the Blue Book system... However, as already stated, reports of UFOs which could affect national security would continue to be handled through the standard Air Force procedures designed for this purpose."
Originally posted by easynow
Good job on posting the Portage county Ohio incident , that is a really good example of a solid case that was given a "force fit" explanation.
"I've seen Venus many times, but I never saw Venus 50 feet above a road and moving from side to side like this was..."
Portage County Sheriff Ross Dustman to United Press International.
Originally posted by karl 12
Project Blue Book Special Report 14 (pdf)
Comprehensive catalogue of 1,500 Project Bluebook UFO unknowns (pdf)
Special Bluebook Report Number 14 (Declassified - 1955). This report consisted of a detailed analysis of UFO reports received by the Air Force from 1947 through 1952. The press release of the report contained a brief synopsis of reports received in early 1955. This was a good report, but the Air Force deliberately tried to mislead the public. The report actually showed that 21.5% of the sightings were unknowns. However, the first page of the report contains the press release which stated that only 3% percent of the sightings were unknowns. (This only represented reports received in early 1955 and not reports in the actual study which covered 1947-1952.) The Air Force also tried to weight the report by removing astronomical phenomena from the study. This had an effect of showing that known and unknown sightings were more similar (using characteristics such as color, speed, number of objects, aerial maneuvers etc.) However, dropping astronomical phenomena didn't much difference in the outcome of the report, but it illustrates how the Air Force was trying to deceive the public. In other words the Air Force didn't appear to want the public to know the results of there own study of UFOs! It is also worthy of noting that Air Force Blue Book recorded 2,344 sightings in the 1947 through 1952 time period. Special Report Number 14 said that the Air Force recorded 3,201 reports. This is nearly one thousand more reports than listed by Blue Book. Where did the extra reports come from? Many suspect that these reports were collected by the 4602 AISS and that only reports which had more mundane explanations ever reached Blue Book.
Early in the 1952 UFO sighting wave two discs approached and paced a B-36 bomber in the vicinity of Davis-Monthan AFB, Tucson, Arizona. On May 1, 1952, Major Rudy Pestalozzi, a base intelligence officer, along with an airman, looked up as a B-36 flew overhead and saw two shiny discs overtake the bomber, slow to its speed and position themselves alongside.
The bomber crew, startled by the experience, made an unscheduled landing at the base and were interrogated at length by Major Pestalozzi, who happened to be the base UFO officer. Members of the flight crew had crowded into the starboard blister aft of the wing and looked down at a slight angle to see the closest disc, which was lens- or double-disc-shaped and about 20-25 feet in diameter. After about 20 seconds, the objects peeled off at an angle of 70-80 degrees from the flight path of the B-36 and sped away.
Major Pestalozzi sent a comprehensive report of the incident to Project Blue Book.
The first day of the month set the tone,involving a classic case near Davis-Montham Air Force base, later investigated by Dr James Mcdonald, in which an Air intelligence officer,a B-36 crew,and an airman witnessed two shiny,round objects overtake their plane. The objects slowed down to match the plane's speed and remained in formation with them for about twenty seconds. At that point they made a very sharp no radius turn away from the B-36, flew away a bit, then one of the objects stopped and hovered. Both objects were silent. The bluebook team dismissed the case as 'aircraft'
. . . What was Blue Book in 1955? It was an organization that
(1) claimed to be the sole repository of military UFO reports, but was not;
(2) was under orders to use any means necessary to identify UFOs as conventional objects, regardless of how strained the explanation became;
(3) intentionally misled the public with meaningless and even fictitious statistics; and
(4) had a barely breathing investigative capability.
The conclusion is self-evident: Blue Book was the mask worn by the Air Force for public viewing. Its UFO reports and evaluations – intellectually dishonest in the extreme – can therefore have no scientific value whatsoever. The fact that the U.S. military and other official sources continue to use them tells us more about the organizations than it does about UFOs. . . .
In September 1968, Hynek received a letter from Colonel Raymond Sleeper of the Foreign Technology Division. Sleeper noted that Hynek had publicly accused Blue Book of shoddy science, and further asked Hynek to offer advice on how Blue Book could improve its scientific methodology.
Hynek was to later declare that Sleeper's letter was "the first time in my 20 year association with the air force as scientific consultant that I had been officially asked for criticism and advice regarding the UFO problem."
Hynek wrote a detailed response, dated October 7, 1968, suggesting several areas where Blue Book could improve. In part, he wrote:
A.... neither of the two missions of Blue Book [determining if UFOs are a threat to national security and using scientific data gathered by Blue Book] are being adequately executed.
B.The staff of Blue Book, both in numbers and in scientific training, is grossly inadequate...
C.Blue Book suffers … in that it is a closed system ... there is virtually no scientific dialogue between Blue Book and the outside scientific world...
D.The statistical methods employed by Blue Book are nothing less than a travesty.
E.There has been a lack of attention to significant UFO cases ... and too much time spent on routine cases ... and on peripheral public relations tasks. Concentration could be on two or three potentially scientific significant cases per month [instead of being] spread thin over 40 to 70 cases per month.
F.The information input to Blue Book is grossly inadequate. An impossible load is placed on Blue Book by the almost consistent failure of UFO officers at local air bases to transmit adequate information...
G.The basic attitude and approach within Blue Book is illogical and unscientific...
H.Inadequate use had been made of the Project scientific consultant [Hynek himself]. Only cases that the project monitor deems worthwhile are brought to his attention. His scope of operation ... has been consistently thwarted ... He often learns of interesting cases only a month or two after the receipt of the report at Blue Book.
Despite Sleeper's request for criticism, none of Hynek's commentary resulted in any substantial changes in Blue Book.
MV Coolsingel - October the 19th 1958.
The Dutch Merchant vessel Coolsingel was on its way from Norfolk, VA, to Bremen, Germany when 23:20 local time they had a UFO sighting. The two witnesses who were on the bridge and saw the object were Second Officer J. Van Tiel and the Lookout J. Del Rio Fiera. The witnesses saw two two bright white spheres connected by a rod of white light that looked like a row of connected portholes. One sphere was in front and the other was in the rear of the object.
Fig 22 shows a drawing made by one of the witnesses:
Bluebook Explanation: Meteor.