When I was twelve years old my family and I packed up the old mini-van and took an eight hour road trip to my mom’s home turf of Dayton, Kentucky. When we arrived we spent a couple days with her Aunt Ruth and Uncle David on their farm. Uncle David, and I immediately clicked as he and I shared many of the same interests. Uncle David sat me down and told me a story that immediately captivated my young mind; David had a close encounter with a UFO.
Uncle David’s family pretty much owned the state of Kentucky as they were responsible for building many of the roads and highways. One afternoon, while David and his crew took a much deserved lunch break, they watched as a large cigar shaped craft descend from the clouds and landed in a field 300 hundred feet away. David said the craft was ringed with bright flashing lights and made no sound. As they sat watching, presumably dumbfounded, the craft lifted off from the field and disappeared into the clouds.
Up until that day my interests in the paranormal consisted primarily of ghosts and hauntings. After hearing this amazing story I was immediately hooked and read everything I could get me hands on concerning UFOs and their otherworldly occupants. And as I soaked up this knowledge I learned of the classification system of contact with ETs.
In 1972, world famous astronomer and UFO researcher, J Allen Hynek, took it upon himself to study every UFO story and came up with the Close Encounter Classification system to properly frame what alleged witnesses had experienced. And to this day researchers still use this system.
First in the system was the Close Encounter of the First Kind or CE1. This experience is simple enough and is quite common. The CE1 states that the witness has no direct contact with a UFO. But rather the witness reports seeing a UFO at a distance of 600 feet or less in the sky. To the researcher, a CE1 event can be easily dismissed as a misidentified terrestrial craft of conventional origin.
The next step in the classification system, CE2 kicks things up a notch and isn’t so easily dismissed. Those who have a CE2 experience report seeing the craft at a much closer distance and can clearly tell the craft is not of this world. Furthermore, CE2 experiencers have reported electrical problems in their car or home. Physical damage is also reported. Heat and radiation damage to cars or the environment is common.
In a Close Encounter of the Third Kind or CE3, the witness comes into direct contact with a landed craft and an alien being. While not being abducted, the witness does report phenomena that Ufologists call “Lost Time.”
Lost time can be rather frightening thing for a witness to experience. Witness report feeling a distortion of time as if their time nears a craft somehow flows differently and when the experience ends they can’t account for the passage of time. To them, the experience may last only a couple seconds but hours have actually passed.
A CE4, Close Encounter of the Fourth Kind, can easily be the most terrifying. This is the abduction encounter. Those who have had a CE4 experience, the Hills in the 1960s and Travis Walton in the 70s, claim to have been forcibly removed from their surroundings by an alien intelligence and taken aboard an alien spacecraft where they are subjected to intrusive medical procedures.
Abductees, or experiencers as they like to be called, report that their alien captors seem to be interested in 2 avenues of procedures, what makes us tick and procedures of a sexual nature. Experiencers claim that their captors seem to be intensely interested in our sex organs and bodily fluids. Female experiencers have reported unfertilized eggs being removed, while males have reported semen samples being taken. Some believe the aliens are making an alien/human hybrid for purposes that can only be theorized about.
Since the death of Hyneck, researchers have added a fifth step to the classification system, the Contacted which we’ll discuss in part 2.