Autopsy of an Alien Abduction - Part 2: Close Encounter Categories
 Alien & UFOs
Tuesday 6th, July 2021
Following on the Autopsy of an Alien Abduction - Part 1 we're going to dive a bit further into the phenomena of alien abduction. Here we're going to have a look at the system of classification that was originally suggested by J. Allen Hynek's 1972 book ‘The UFO Experience: A Scientific Inquiry'. Originally Hynek's book had three categories, which has since been added to. The additional categories added though are still open to debate as some people believe that the same level of scientific scrutiny wasn't applied to the additional categories.

With Hynek's classification system it went something like this, sightings more than 500 feet from the witness are classified as "Daylight Discs", "Nocturnal Lights" or "Radar/Visual Reports". Sightings within approximately 500 feet are subclassified as one of the "close encounter" categories.

Hynek as well as others have stated that a reported encounter that was classified as a close encounter had to be within 500 feet to reduce or eliminate the possibility of misidentifying conventional aircraft or other known phenomena.

Close Encounter of the First Kind (CE1)

A visual sighting of an unidentified flying object, seemingly less than 500 feet away.

Close Encounter of the Second Kind (CE2)

An event in which a physical effect is alleged associated with an encounter. This can be interference in the functioning of a vehicle or electronic device, animals reacting, a physiological effect such as paralysis or heat discomfort in the witness or other physical traces like impressions in the ground, scorched or otherwise affected vegetation or a chemical trace.

Close Encounter of the Third Kind (CE3)

An encounter in which an animated entity is present, these include humanoids, robots and humans who seem to be occupants of pilots of a UFO.

As we discussed earlier there have been further extensions to the original categorisations by Hynek, these include categories up to CE7.

Close Encounter of the Fourth Kind (CE4)

An encounter in which a human is taken against their own will by a UFO or its occupants. Jacques Vallee argued in the Journal of Scientific Exploration that the fourth kind should refer to "cases when witnesses experienced a transformation of their sense of reality", so as to also include non-abduction cases where absurd, hallucinatory or dreamlike events are associated with a UFO encounter.

Close Encounter of the Fifth Kind (CE5)

An encounter that involves direct communication between a human and an alien being/entity. Steven Greer's group CSETI described this encounter as a bilateral contact experience through conscious, voluntary and proactive human initiated cooperative communication with extraterrestrial intelligence.

Close Encounter of the Sixth Kind (CE6)

This category has been described as the death of a human or animal associated with an encounter, channeling alien entities or intrusion and parasitic attachment by an extraterrestrial consciousness.

Close Encounter of the Seventh Kind (CE7)

The creation of a human/alien hybrid through natural reproductive or artificial scientific methods.

As you can see from the seven categories outlined above there is a sharp change in the way a category is described after hynek's CE1/2/3. CE4/5/6/7 have come under mixed feelings amongst UFO enthusiasts and researchers mainly down to the lack of scientific rigor that Hynek put into his first three categorisations of a close encounter.

There are other classification systems that have been suggested but Hyneks tends to be the most widely used to this day. Ted Bloecher proposed six subtypes to Hynek's close encounter of the third kind.

  • A (Aboard) : An entity is observed only inside the UFO
  • B (Both) : An entity is observed inside and outside the UFO
  • C (Close) : An entity is observed near to a UFO, but not going in or out
  • D (Direct) : An entity is observed—no UFOs are seen by the observer, but UFO activity has been reported in the area at about the same time
  • E (Excluded) : An entity is observed, but no UFOs are seen and no UFO activity has been reported in the area at that time
  • F (Frequence) : No entity or UFOs are observed, but the subject experiences some sort of "intelligent communication"
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