Close Encounters: Classifying UFO Experiences

Welcome to an exploration of the unknown, where we fly deep into the realms of Close Encounters: Classifying UFO Experiences. In addition, we decipher the mysteries of the cosmos, unraveling the mysterious encounters that have left their mark on our world. From inexplicable sightings to the astonishing tales of contact with extraterrestrial beings, we embark on a cosmic odyssey to understand the unexplained, offering a glimpse into a realm where the ordinary becomes extraordinary.

In the vast expanse of the universe, our little blue planet is but a speck of dust. Yet, it’s on this minuscule sphere that humanity has encountered some truly extraordinary phenomena. Researcher J. Allen Hynek, a pioneering figure in the study of unidentified flying objects (UFOs), categorized these Close Encounters: Classifying UFO Experiences into several distinct types.

Hynek was scientific advisor to UFO studies undertaken by the U.S. Air Force under three projects. There, he worked on Project Sign, Project Grudge and Project Blue Book.

J. Allen Hynek

1. Close Encounters of the First Kind

The first kind of close encounter is like a celestial handshake. Imagine gazing up at the night sky, and suddenly, an unidentifiable object streaks across the horizon. This, my friends, is a Close Encounter of the First Kind (CE1).

For instance, in 1947, pilot Kenneth Arnold reported seeing nine mysterious, disc-shaped objects flying in formation near Mount Rainier, Washington. These objects moved at incredible speeds, leaving Arnold both perplexed and awe-struck.

2. Close Encounters of the Second Kind

Now, let’s move up a notch. In Close Encounters of the Second Kind (CE2), not only do you witness a UFO, but there’s also tangible evidence left behind. It’s like the universe is sending us cosmic calling cards.

Consider the case of the Falcon Lake incident in 1967. A prospector named Stefan Michalak saw two UFOs in the shape of cigars. One landed, and when he approached it, he got too close for comfort. The encounter left Michalak with burn marks and a bizarre grid pattern imprinted on his chest, like a mysterious cosmic tattoo.

3. Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Now, prepare to dive even deeper into the unknown. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (CE3) involve contact with extraterrestrial beings themselves. It’s like inviting E.T. for a cosmic cup of tea.

Take the story of Antonio Villas Boas, a Brazilian farmer who claimed he was abducted by aliens in 1957. He reported being taken aboard a strange craft by humanoid creatures. The encounter led to a lot of speculation, but it also brought us one step closer to understanding the mysteries of the universe.

three aliens everything unexplained

4. Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind

Are you ready to turn up the intensity? Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind (CE4) involve abduction scenarios, where humans are forcibly taken aboard UFOs or alien craft.

In 1975, Travis Walton was working in the forests of Arizona when he encountered a UFO. He approached it, and a beam of light struck him, rendering him unconscious. For the next five days, he was missing, only to reappear with tales of alien abductors and medical experiments.

Read more about TRAVIS WALTON’S STORY here

5. Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind

Now, let’s shift gears and talk about Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind (CE5). This classification involves voluntary, interactive communication with extraterrestrial beings. Think of it as cosmic diplomacy.

Nevertheless, one notable example is the case of Dr. Steven Greer, a prominent UFO researcher. He claims to have initiated contact with UFOs through meditation and conscious thought. According to him, this form of communication can lead to peaceful interactions with advanced civilizations from other worlds.

6. Close Encounters of the Sixth Kind

If CE5 wasn’t intriguing enough, brace yourself for Close Encounters of the Sixth Kind (CE6). In this classification, encounters involve the death or injury of humans or animals due to UFO interactions.

In 1967, in the small town of Shag Harbour, Nova Scotia, multiple witnesses observed a series of strange lights in the sky. These lights eventually plunged into the waters of Shag Harbour, causing a massive splash. The incident prompted a search and rescue operation, but no wreckage or bodies were ever recovered, leaving the event shrouded in mystery.


7. Close Encounters of the Seventh Kind

Lastly, we arrive at Close Encounters of the Seventh Kind (CE7). This classification extends beyond Earthly boundaries, involving encounters with extraterrestrial life on other planets or in space.

While we don’t have any concrete examples of CE7 encounters to date, scientists and space watchers continue to search for signs of intelligent life beyond our planet. The search for exoplanets and the study of cosmic phenomena are steps toward this fascinating frontier.

Classifying UFO Encounters

Hynek’s most popular classification, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, inevitably lent its name to a 1977 Steven Spielberg movie. According to O’Connell, Hynek received $1,000 for the title’s usage and $1,000 for granting rights to stories from his book, and $1,500 for technical consultation. In addition, he was given a role in the film, a brief cameo as a fascinated scientist during the awe-inspiring moment when the alien craft drew near.


The Close Encounters: Classifying UFO Experiences outlined by J. Allen Hynek provide a structured framework for understanding and categorizing these extraordinary events. However, whether it’s a simple sighting or a complex interaction with extraterrestrial beings, each type of close encounter contributes to our ever-expanding knowledge of the cosmos. As we continue to explore the mysteries of the universe, remember that the final frontier is limited only by our imagination and curiosity. So, keep your eyes on the night sky, and who knows what cosmic secrets you might discover.

Have you had any close encounters of your own? We and others would love to read about your experiences – please share with us in the comments below…