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A 302 is a document within the FBI that petitions the Bureau to open a new case. The initiation of this request usually stems from an FBI agent, who is then known as the "agent of record". The 302 should include a basic outline of the crime or event that is to be investigated, along with any available evidence. Based on the seriousness of the crime or event and the validity of the evidence, a case is then opened or the 302 is disallowed.

In late 1993, Special Agent Fox Mulder submitted a 302 for a potential X-File to his ASAC. The document was ultimately passed on to Section Chief Scott Blevins, as the only evidence Mulder included in the 302 was a tabloid clipping headlined:

"TEEN TAKEN FROM TENT BY ALIENS"

Blevins was unimpressed with the vagueness of this request. However, after a recommendation from Special Agent Dana Scully, he chose to approve the 302. (TXF: "Conduit")

Later the same year, Scully was questioned by Section Chief Joseph McGrath, who asked her if she had ever been aware of Mulder submitting a 302 form requesting assignment and travel expenses to investigate matters related to an evacuation of Townsend, Wisconsin. Scully's reply was negative. (TXF: "Fallen Angel")

In 1994, Mulder submitted a 302 requesting assignment to a closed case regarding the death of a Doctor Saul Grissom. Mulder believed there was more to the case than had been reported, as he had been sent a tape of a call Grissom had made to 911 reporting a fire although no evidence of a blaze had apparently been found. The 302 was approved by Assistant Director Walter Skinner, who also assigned Agent Alex Krycek to the case as he had also submitted a 302 for the same case only two hours before Mulder. (TXF: "Sleepless")

In early 1996, Agent Bill Patterson submitted a 302 requesting that Mulder join an already underway investigation. After the 302 had been approved, Scully later checked the document and told Mulder that Patterson had requested his involvement. (TXF: "Grotesque")

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