The 'Hynek Scale' later entered the publics attention with the movie 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind'.
J. Allen Hynek
However, it did more than entertain the masses, as it also brought to the public’s attention the scale in which 'real life' close encounters are classified.
A close encounter is an event where a person witnesses an unidentified flying object and/or its occupants. Created by Astronomer and UFO researcher J. Allen Hynek, the term itself, and the system of classification, were first suggested in his book 'The UFO Experience: A Scientific Inquiry'.
Over time, the project changed names (to 'project grudge' and then 'project blue book'), but Hyneks non-belief was beginning to sway. Not all of those reporting sightings were everyday civilians, but reports were coming in from those who would know the difference between manmade craft, astronomical bodies, and something as yet unknown. He began to come across events that just could not be explained.
The Hynek Scale
First Kind – this is for sightings of an unidentified object. The object must be sighted within 500feet of the witness to reduce the possibility of misidentifying known craft and phenomena.
Second Kind – This is a visual sighting that is accompanied with physical evidence.
Third Kind – This includes the sighting of the unidentified object, as well as its occupants. This is also the name of Steven Spielberg's movie, which culminates in this experience in the final scene. Allen Hynek was also a consultant for the movie, and makes a cameo appearance towards the end.
Each of these categories have later had subcategories added to them, especially the third kind, depending on the exact nature of the observation, and what took place, i.e. Whether the occupant was seen inside or outside of the craft etc.
The term 'occupant', instead of 'alien' or 'extraterrestrial', was used by Hynek, as he did not believe there was enough evidence to suggest these beings were from off world, or that they were of a physical reality at the time of creating the scale.
Later Additions to the Scale
Fourth Kind – The witness had been abducted by the UFO or its occupants. Also it tends to include experiences where the witness’s sense of reality had been transformed, while in proximity of the craft or its occupants.
Fifth Kind – communication with the occupants i.e. extraterrestrial intelligence. This can be voluntary, involuntary, using the ability of speech and hearing or telepathically.
Sixth Kind – This is an encounter where the outcome is injury or death. It is argued these are just close encounters of the second kind, due to the fact that the injury or death constitutes physical evidence.
Seventh Kind – this is for encounters where 'mating' is initiated, in order to produce a hybrid human-alien. This can be voluntary or involuntary on the part of the experiencer.
There is an Eighth Kind, but it is so similar to the Seventh Kind I cannot work out the difference.
All of these encounters can, and often are, abbreviated as CE1, CE2, CE3... CE (Close Encounter) 1 (First Kind) etc. Close encounters earlier on the scale do seem to be more common than those appearing later on the scale. Witnesses seeing unidentified objects are much more common than those who have suffered injury or died during such an event.
Do you believe you have had a 'Close Encounter'?
What category did it fall under?