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 Project Moon Dust and Operation Blue Fly

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Man in Black

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PostSubject: Project Moon Dust and Operation Blue Fly   Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:37 pm

In September 1947, Lt. General Nathan Twining, Commander of Air Material Command at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, wrote an opinion concerning “Flying Discs” to Brig. General George Schulgen, Chief of the Air Intelligence Requirements Division at the Pentagon.


Twining wrote:

“The phenomena is something real and not visionary or fictitious…The reported operating characteristics such as extreme rates of climb, maneuverability (particularly in roll), and action which must be considered evasive when sighted or contacted by friendly aircraft and radar, lend belief to the possibility that some of the objects are controlled either manually, automatically or remotely.”

He described the objects as metallic or light-reflecting, circular or elliptical with a flat bottom and domed top, and usually silent. Twining stated that “due consideration must be given” to “the lack of physical evidence in the shape of crash recovered exhibits which would undeniably prove the existence of these objects.

” He recommended that Army Air Forces assign “a priority, security classification and Code Name for a detailed study of this matter…”

In 1953, the Air Defense Command created the 4602d Air Intelligence Service Squadron (AISS) and assigned it to the official investigations of UFOs. The squadron was headquartered at Ent Air Force Base, CO and soon moved to Fort Belvoir, VA with field units throughout the country. All UFO reports were to go through the 4602d AISS prior to any transmission to Project Blue Book, a public relations project with no access to reports above the Secret level. The 4602d AISS dealt with more sensitive cases of national security concern requiring a higher classification. Thus, many UFO reports bypassed Blue Book altogether.


In 1954, Air Force Regulation 200-2 (“Unidentified Flying Objects Reporting”) stated that the Air Defense Command has,

“a direct interest in the facts pertaining to UFOBs” and will conduct all field investigations, “to determine the identity of any UFOB.”

It stated that the ADC will investigate the reports through the 4602d AISS, a highly mobile unit composed of “specialists trained for field collection and investigation of matters of air intelligence interest.” The document outlined collection responsibilities for this unit.


According to an Air Force Intelligence Letter (“Betz Memo”) of 13 Nov 1961, the 4602d had three peacetime functions:

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UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECTS (UFO) - A program for investigation of reliablyreported unidentified flying objects within the United States.
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PROJECT MOONDUST - A specialized aspect of the U.S. Air Force’s over-all material of the exploitation program to locate, recover, and deliver descended foreign space vehicles.
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OPERATION BLUE FLY – [A unit] to facilitate expeditious delivery to the Foreign Technological Division (FTD) of Moon Dust and other items of great technical intelligenceinterest.

The memo stated that all three functions involve,

“employment of qualified field intelligence personnel on a quick reaction basis to recover or perform field exploitation of unidentified flying objects, or known Soviet/Bloc aerospace vehicles, weapons systems, and/or residual components of such equipment.”

A classified 1969 Air Force document terminating Project Blue Book (“Bolender Memo”) made it clear that existing operations would continue to investigate UFOs even though the Air Force was closing Blue Book. The memo established that UFO reports affecting national security,

“are made in accordance with JANAP 146 or Air Force Manual 55-11, and are not part of the Blue Book system” and that “the defense function could be performed within the framework established for intelligence and surveillance operations.” It stated that “reports of UFOs which could affect national security would continue to be handled through the standard Air Force procedures designed for this purpose.”

As far as the public was concerned, the termination of Project Blue Book meant the end of the Air Force investigation into UFOs. The Air Force stated publicly two months after the issuance of the classified Bolender Memo that the continuation of Project Blue Book could not be justified on the grounds of national security, since no UFO has ever presented a threat to national security. The Air Force misinformed the public by not acknowledging its continuing, secret investigation of UFOs independent of Blue Book, and its very real national security concerns.


Ongoing efforts to retrieve fallen objects are described in a 1970 State Department telegram to its embassies and consulates around the world requesting that they post any “reports or sightings of entry into atmosphere or landing of ‘space debris.’” (Quotes around “space debris” are throughout.) The offices are instructed to follow leads “as expeditiously as possible” without informing the local government or making public comment.

“Recovery ofany material from such space debris would [be of] great scientific interest to USG,” the telegram states.

A 1973 Secret State Department Airgram confirms that “the designator ‘MOONDUST’ is used in cases involving the examination of non-US space objects and objects of unknown origin.” Beginning in 1989, Sergeant Clifford E. Stone, US Army ret., of New Mexico wrote to fourteen intelligence agencies for records on Project Moon Dust and Operation Blue Fly
under the Freedom of Information Act. Many of the documents cited here were obtained through his efforts.


The responses from numerous agencies were inconsistent and evasive. In 1990, the U.S. Air Force told Stone,

“we do not have any records responsive to your request.” The U.S. Air Force Intelligence Service stated, “we have made a thorough search of our records and found none responsive to your request.” Four months later, the Air Force reversed their initial position stating, “we have two records responsive to your request. However, they are exempt from disclosure because the information is properly classified.”

The Defense Intelligence Agency stated that information pertaining to Project Moondust is classified and that the agency located no records on “Project Bluefly.” Fifteen months later, the DIA acknowledged that the State Department had eight DIA documents, but that two were not releasable. (There are numerous references in Moon Dust documents to DIA participation
in retrievals.)


In a 1991 letter, the Air Force told Stone,

“we can neither confirm nor deny the existence or nonexistence of records responsive to your request regarding Projects or Operations known as Blue Fly, Moon Dust…”

On Stone’s behalf, New Mexico Senators Jeff Bingaman and Pete Domenici agreed to make inquiries to the Air Force about Project Moon Dust and Operation Blue Fly. In response to a letter from Senator Bingaman in 1992, the Air Force told the Senator that, “there is no Project Moon Dust or Operation Blue Fly. These missions have never existed.”


When the Senator responded with documents challenging this, the Air Force “amended” it’s previous statement, acknowledging the existence and function of Moon Dust and Blue Fly with regards to UFOs.


In 1994, Senator Domenici requested eleven Air Force documents pertaining to Moon Dust and Blue Fly that were in State Department files but were denied Stone in 1991. (At that time, the Air Force had not been willing to “confirm nor deny the existence or non existence” of these documents.) The Air Force responded in December of 1994 that “the projects, as such
no longer exist, nor do their files. Classified reports that existed, if any, presumably were destroyed.”


Yet the Air Force informed a New Jersey citizen in 1998, in response to an independent request on Project Moon Dust and Operation Blue Fly, that “the information relating Project Moon Dust remain classified” and is being withheld. This contradicts the earlier statement by the same office that the files did not exist and were likely destroyed.

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Why did the US Air Force state that the documents had been destroyed when they were requested by a US Senator?
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Why did it tell a second Senator that Moon Dust and Blue Fly never existed?
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Why the great concern about releasing information concerning fallen space debris collected decades ago?

In a letter dated February 28, 1994, New Mexico Congressman Joe Skeen told Stone that the “House Government Operations Committee has taken an interest in this matter…Congressional hearings may be held on this matter later this session.” Skeen said he would also share Stone’s report with the House Intelligence Committee.

In April 1997, the Air Force acknowledged to Stone that Operation Blue Fly’s mission included,

“space objects and unidentified flying objects (UFOs) if any were reported available for recovery.”

It goes on to state that no Soviet Bloc planes were ever downed in the US, and “no UFOs were ever reported downed or recovered in the United States or anywhere else.”


These statements are patently false. Air Force Intelligence files show that Operation Blue Fly was assigned to the intelligence exploitation of a Soviet-built Cuban helicopter in Florida. More importantly with respect to UFOs, official documents released through FOIA directly contradict the 1997 Air Force statement.

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In 1965, a three-man team was sent to recover an object of unknown origin reported downed in Kecksburg, PA. (Witnesses state an object was recovered; the Air Force says nothing was found.)
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In August 1967, an object described as a satellite crashed and was recovered in the Sudan under Moon Dust. (The description on the DIA document released by the State Department does not fit that of a satellite.)
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In 1968, Project Moon Dust recovered four unknown objects in Nepal.
*

Also in 1968, a “dome-shaped object” with no identification marks was retrieved underwater off Cape Town, South Africa. The metal object had been subjected to extreme heat and showed no signs of corrosion. NASA determined it was made of “almost pure aluminum” and stated that the NASA analysis of the sample and photographs “does not otherwise provide a clue as to its origin or function although it is possible it is a space object of US origin.”
*

In 1970, Moon Dust investigated a metal sphere that fell “with three loud explosions and then burned for five days” in South America. It had “ports” which had been melted closed.
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A May 1970 State Department document describes a fallen, unidentified object in Bolivia, depicted in the newspapers as metal and egg-shaped. The Department expresses a desire to assist the Bolivian Air Force in the investigation. “The general region had more than its share of reports of UFOs this past week,” the document notes.
*

It says that Panama and Paraguay checked with appropriate government agencies and “no direct correlation with known space objects that may have reentered the earth’s atmosphere near May 6 can be made.”

All the documents on the above events represent raw, unprocessed field intelligence data. The public, however, is not privy to the final determinations of these investigations. Where are the finalized intelligence products? Where are the recovered fragments?


Our government will not disclose what these objects were. In fact, the Air Force denies these events ever happened, even though official documents show otherwise. What is the purpose in keeping this information classified? The search for this information must pick up where Sgt. Stone, Senators Domenici and Bingaman, and Congressman Skeen left off.


The Kecksburg incident is an ideal focal point for further inquiry into Moon Dust and Blue Fly, since it is already well documented. The object fell on American soil. There were witnesses to the object on the ground and its removal by an Army vehicle. Countless others saw the Army cordon off the area, blocking access.

Project Blue Book files state that no object was found in Pennsylvania. They also acknowledge that no space debris entered our atmosphere that day and that “aluminum type” fragments were retrieved in Michigan. (Where are they now?). It is likely that Blue book was not informed about the retrieval of this object since it would have been classified higher than Secret. In short, the documentation shows that the United States Air Force has continued to conduct a highly classified UFO investigation program in conjunction with other government agencies.


Under this program, Project Moon Dust and Operation Blue Fly have recovered objects of unknown origin. We, as citizens, have been denied knowledge of what they were. Physical evidence in the possession of the U.S. Government could shed light on the UFO question as would nothing else. The Kecksburg case also has the potential to generate more documentation on Project Moon Dust and Operation Blue Fly, which hold the key to other cases involving downed objects of unknown origin.

by Leslie Kean
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PostSubject: Re: Project Moon Dust and Operation Blue Fly   Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:39 pm

The History of Project Moon Dust
by Kevin D. Randle, Captain, U.S.A.F.R

When United States Senator Jeff Bingaman asked the Air Force about a classified project called Moon Dust, Lieutenant Colonel John E. Madison of the Congressional Inquiry Division, Office of Legislative Liaison, wrote, “There is no agency, nor has there ever been, at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, which would deal with UFO’s or have any information about the incident in Roswell. In addition, there is no Project Moon Dust or Operation Blue Fly. Those missions have never existed.”

What the documentation, now available thanks in part to the Freedom of Information Act, and the pioneering work of Clifford Stone, tells us is that Madison’s letter to a United States Senator is, at best, inaccurate. The question can be asked was he merely uninformed, or was he purposefully lying to a Senator? Stone, a researcher in Roswell, New Mexico, challenged Madison’s response with a series of documents, which had been obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests. He pointed out that documents originally classified as secret and since downgraded, mentioned the code name Moon Dust, and specifically a project for UFO-related materials. It also established as fact the location of the parent unit being at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

The response to this documented information was another letter to Senator Bingaman, apparently from Madison’s boss in the Congressional Liaison Office. Colonel George M. Mattingley, Jr., wrote, “This is in reply to your inquiry in behalf of Mr. Clifford E. Stone on the accuracy of the information we previously provided to your office. Upon further review of the case (which was aided by the several attachments to Mr. Stone’s letter), we wish to amend the statements contained in the previous response to your inquiry.”

It is necessary here to suggest that the Air Force had been caught in a lie (or misinformation) to Senator Bingaman because the documents were available to positively refute them? We can look at this as a simple mistake, based on the lack of information available to the Congressional Liaison Office and Lieutenant Colonel Madison. It can be suggested that nothing nefarious was going on here. Madison simply wasn’t aware of the classified Project Moon Dust and responded without checking the information, as he should have done.

We could believe that, except for the response written by Mattingley after Madison had been caught. It would seem that once they had been caught, they would be sure their information would be as accurate as possible.

Mattingley, in his letter to Bingaman to correct the previous mistakes, wrote, ”In 1953, during the Korean War, the Air Defense Command organized intelligence teams to deploy, recover, or exploit at the scene downed enemy personnel, equipment, and aircraft. The unit with responsibility for maintaining these teams was located at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. As the occasion never arose to use these air defense teams, the mission was assigned to Headquarters, United States Air Force in 1957 and expanded to include the following peace-time functions: a) Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs), to investigate reliably reported UFOs within the United States; b) Project MOON DUST, to recover objects and debris from space vehicles that had survived re-entry from space to earth; c) Operation BLUE FLY, to expeditiously retrieve Soviet Bloc equipment.”

Having access to the previously classified 4602d records, I know that Mattingley’s statements are not accurate. By the end of 1953, after the wave of summer sightings in 1952, after Blue Book had virtually ceased to exist, the 4602d was involved in UFO sighting investigations. Mattingley suggested the change came in 1957, but Mattingley is wrong. The only question is if he was as ill-informed as Madison, or if he was deliberately trying to suggest something else.

Mattingley also wrote, “These teams were eventually disbanded because of a lack of activity; Project MOON DUST teams and Operation BLUE FLY missions were similarly discontinued. The Air Force has no information that any UFOs were ever confirmed downed in the United States.”

Again, this simply isn’t the truth.; We know from released documents that Moon Dust wasn’t discontinued. Its code name was changed after it was compromised. Robert G. Todd, in a letter from the Air Force dated July 1, 1987, learned that the “nickname Project Moon Dust no longer officially exists.” According to Colonel Phillip E. Thompson, deputy assistant chief-of-staff, Intelligence, “It, [Project Moon Dust] has been replaced by another name that is not releasable. FTD’s [Foreign Technology Division, headquartered at Wright-Patterson] duties are listed in a classified passage in a classified regulation that is being withheld because it is currently and properly classified.”

And, we know, from documentation, much of it recovered from State Department records, that Moon Dust teams were notified and dispatched for various cases, some examples of which will follow here. It should be made clear that most of these cases deal with material and wreckage that is clearly of terrestrial origin. The point here is not to prove an extraterrestrial connection, but to confirm the use of Moon Dust teams, which contradicts the statements made by Colonel Mattingley to Senator Bingaman. The messages also confirm Moon Dust interest in UFOs and the involvement of the State Department.

On the night of March 25-26, 1968, four objects fell in an area of Nepal. The American embassy in Kathmandu, in a secret message dated July 23, alerted the 1127th USAF Field Activities Group, which had once been the 4602d, and the 1006th at Fort Belvoir, that they expected full cooperation with the government of Nepal. The subject of the message was…MOON DUST.

It is clear from the messages that the debris was readily identifiable to the staff at the embassy in Nepal. They had seen photographs of three of the items but had not been allowed to inspect the fourth. They noted that a “technical team should not be sent unless visual examination of the fourth object is felt essential.”

This is, of course, a backward way of getting to the point. However, the embassy did prove that technical teams were available and that they were dispatched. The composition of those teams was described in another document that surfaced in the various Freedom of Information Act requests made.

Stone provided me with a copy of a document created in November 1961. It seemed to be directing the creation of the reinforcement of AFCIN Intelligence Team personnel. That document, however, is now wrapped in controversy because two versions have been discovered.

First, we must understand what this document is. The problem, according to the opening statement is, “To provide qualified personnel to AFCIN intelligence teams.” The document has a section deleted and then, in paragraph 2, subsection C, says, “In addition to their staff duty assignments, intelligence team personnel have peacetime duty functions in support of such Air Force Projects such as Moon Dust, Blue Fly, and UFO, and other AFCIN directed quick reaction projects which require intelligence team operational capabilities (see Definitions).”

It should be pointed out that this document ties Moon Dust, Blue Fly, and UFOs together. It points out that their assignments already existed, and they were already assigned personnel.
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PostSubject: Re: Project Moon Dust and Operation Blue Fly   Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:39 pm

The definitions mentioned appear in paragraph 5. It covers not only those assigned to the teams, but also the terms used in the document itself. What is important here is the fact that “Moon Dust,” “Blue Fly,” and “UFO” are all parts of the definitions. Moon Dust is defined “As a specialized aspect of its overall material exploitation program, Headquarters USAF has established Project Moon Dust to locate, recover and deliver descended foreign space vehicles.”

Although Mattingley defines Blue Fly as an operation to “expeditiously retrieve downed Soviet Bloc equipment,” this document suggests that Blue Fly was “established to facilitate expeditious delivery to FTD of Moon Dust or other items of great technical intelligence interest.” Certainly, Soviet Bloc equipment would fit into that definition, but it covers other items, including UFO-related debris, as well.

And finally, under definitions, it says, “Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO): Headquarters USAF has established a program for investigation of reliably reported unidentified flying objects within the United States. AFR 200-2 delineates 1127th collection responsibilities.”

The second version of this document, one that I have seen, is exactly the same as the first, but contains a handwritten note that says it was a draft proposal and that it was never implemented. Robert Todd located this version. It is clearly the same as the first document, which I have in my possession, the difference being a handwritten note at the top. Barry Greenwood of Citizens Against UFO Secrecy suggested to me that the version Stone has, a copy of which he supplied to me, is the same as the version Todd has, with the exception of the handwritten note. According to Greenwood, the two versions are the same, and the source id the same, but someone inside the UFO community removed the handwritten note before releasing it to other UFO researchers. Greenwood seems to suspect Stone of having altered the document for the purpose of advancing his belief in Project Moon Dust and the missions it carried out.

Stone, on the other hand, claimed that he received his version from military sources without the handwritten note. His sources were not the same as those used by Todd, and he didn’t receive his copy from Todd. Stone also makes the point that the handwritten note is irrelevant and refers only to the “Action Recommended” section at the end of the document. The other material, referring to “Factors Bearing on the Problem” and the “Discussion” reflects the situation as it already existed. In other words, the discussion about the composition of the teams and their missions was not a suggestion to develop those teams. The “not implemented” statement referred to adding, or tasking, additional Air Force personnel with Moon Dust.

So what we have, then, based on the documentation, including the disputed AFCIN intelligence team documents, are two letters from the Air Force to a United States senator that do not reflect accurate information. Even after being caught once, the Air Force came back with information that was less than perfect. And even if Todd and Greenwood are right in asserting that the November 1961 document was merely a draft, it provides information about the various projects and operations that were in existence at the time.

In fact, the information about the composition of the intelligence teams is corroborated by other documents I recovered through both the Freedom of Information Act and general research conducted through the Air Force Archives at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.

As mentioned elsewhere, I learned that members of the 4602nd and later the 1127th learned parachuting, horseback riding and animal packing, skiing, mountain climbing and various other survival skills. The November document, under “Criteria” notes, “Intelligence personnel can perform effectively only with an adequate background of training and experience. Inadequately qualified personnel in such assignment would be a liability rather than an asset to successful accomplishment of the mission.”

The question that must be asked is if the Moon Dust personnel were ever used. Clearly, since the mission began in 1953 and continues today, as far as we can tell from the information available, we must answer, “Yes.” This, too, is a contradiction to the letters from Madison and Mattingley.

Stone, in his response to the Madison letter, enclosed two debriefings of Soviet pilots in which UFO sightings were mentioned. If there was no interest in UFOs, Stone wondered what purpose was served by including that information. Mattingley replied, “Enclosures 3 and 4 of Mr. Stone’s letter pertain to debriefings of two Soviet sources who were being interviewed for possible military information of interest. Their recounts of UFO sightings, even though they had occurred many times earlier, were included in the report for historical interest and were incidental to the main purpose of the report.”

It is possible that Mattingley, in this respect, was being candid. But the question that can be asked is what historical interest can there be in sightings of objects that, according to the Air Force, do not exist? Why waste valuable time and effort recounting old UFO sightings? Just what was the historical context to which he referred?

Stone, in his rebuttal, argued, “Inclosures 3 and 4 were once classified Air Force Intelligence Reports. Enclosure 3 was IIR 1 517 0002 88, dated November 25, 1987, entitled Soviet Aircrew Sightings of Unexplained Phenomena. This report deals with UFO sightings that occurred in 1984 and later.”

Stone asks, and rightly so, “What was the main purpose of these reports?? They deal directly with UFO sightings and make no references to Soviet missiles, or MIGs, or tanks. So what was the main purpose of these reports to which UFOs were incidental???”

So exactly what was Project Moon Dust? Did the Air Force ever activate it? Did the team members ever participate in the retrieval of an alien spacecraft?

We have a time frame for the beginning of the project from Mattingley’s letter: 1953. As we have seen from the project’s history, this was apparently an outgrowth of the situation in the summer of 1952. If Moon Dust came into existence at that time, to take over the investigative duties that had formerly rested with Blue Book, we have one set of answers. Blue Book was too public and the military was afraid of what might be spilled into the public arena because of that.

We must remember that in that time, at least publicly, the Air Force was telling us that there was no evidence for the existence of UFOs. If they were convinced of the accuracy of that statement, then why form teams to recover the material?

Teams were formed. We’ve already seen the documentation about it. And I know they were deployed. Again, there is documentation, but there is also personal testimony. Brigadier General Arthur Exon was the base commander at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in the mid-1960s. During an interview I conducted with him in May 1990, he said, “Well, the way this happened to me was that I would get a call and say that the crew or the team was leaving and they knew…There was such and such a time and they wanted an airplane and pilots to take X number of people to wherever…They might be gone two or three days or might be gone a week.

According to Exon, these were officers assigned to the Washington, D.C., area. They would fly into Wright-Patterson on commercial flights and then deploy on military aircraft. Their missions, according to Exon, were to investigate UFO sightings. He mentioned a case in Arizona where the craft had touched down and left a burned area.

These were, according to Exon, priority missions. He didn’t ask questions, just alerted the proper facilities and scheduled the flights using their aircraft. It is clear, however, that these were Moon Dust teams engaging in the collection of UFO-related material Exon retired about the time that Project Blue Book was closed. His information doesn’t suggest that any activity survived the end of Blue Book. However, it must be noted that Blue Book was based at Wright-Patterson, and if the officers coming into Ohio had been part of Blue Book, they would have already been there. In other words, it suggests an agency outside of Blue Book was interested in UFOs.

The other documents we’ve seen show that Moon Dust survived the end of Project Blue Book. There are, of course, the State Department records, and Colonel Thompson’s letter telling Todd that the name, Moon Dust, had been changed.

Moon Dust became the real investigation of UFOs, the secret study that all of us claimed existed and that the Air Force denied. It was carried out by specially trained intelligence personnel. And, its existence was denied by the Air Force despite the facts.

Now we have all the data.

Source: Project Moon Dust, Pages 151-161
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PostSubject: Re: Project Moon Dust and Operation Blue Fly   Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:58 pm

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