I did tinwiki article on the Hynek Classification system, and realized we really dont have any good threads about it.
Here is a link to the article:
Hynek Classification System
For those who are unfamiliar with the term, the Hynek Classification system is a tool used by professional and ameteur ufologists to rate the type of
UFO encounter experienced by a witness.
The system was developed by Dr. J. Allen Hynek, former scientific consultant to Project Blue Book. After Project Bluebook was closed in 1969, Dr.
Hynek, who for years silently believed that UFOs should be taken more seriously by scientists, created the first attempt at a system of scientific
study of UFOs.
He created a system of classification for the types of UFO sightings to help organize and catalouge data for further study. It is from this system we
get the popular terms "Close Encounter of the First, Second, Third Kind" ect. In fact, Hynek was the scinetific consultant to Spielberg when he made
the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Here is a brief description of the system:
1. Nocturnal Lights-These are lights that are reported in the night sky or near the ground at a distance too great for any signifigant detail to be
2. Daylight Discs- This is where a UFO is seen during the daylight hours at a distant too great to make out details of the craft. Despite the name,
the UFO does not necessarily have to be disc shaped.
3. Radar/Visual- This is where a UFO is picked up on radar AND visually confirmed to be in the same spot the radar shows by pilots or ground
witnesses. These are one of the two types of cases that are the hardest to explain and of most interest to researchers.
1.Close Encounter of the First Kind- The UFO is seen at a distance of less than 500 feet. However, no beings are seen, and the UFO leaves no trace
evidence, nor has any sort of unusual effect on the environment.
2. Close Encounter of the Second Kind- This is where a UFO leaves some sort of trace evidence, like burn marks, landing gear marks, radiation, crop
circles, tree damage, ect. In otherwards, some sort of physical evidence is left at the site of the encounter that can be analyzed by experts. It also
refers to UFOs that have percievable effects on the environment that usually disappear after the craft has left, such as electromagnetic interference,
car engine problems, frightened or disturbed animals, a strange feeling of gravity distortion by witnesses. This is the other main category of of
encounter of most interest to scientists and investigators.
3. Close Encounter of the Third Kind- This is where there are actual beings or creatures seen inside or near the craft. This is not to be confused
with contactee reports. In a CE3, there is usually little interaction between the witness and being, and seldom are any words or gestures exchanged.
Due to the growth in complexity of the UFO phenomenon, two more classifications, albeit reluctantly, were added by later researchers to Hynek's
Close Encounter of the Fourth Kind- Also known as alien abduction. This is where the witness, usually involuntarily but sometimes willingly, are taken
aboard an alien craft, where a number of experiences occur. The most commonly reported experience is where the witness claims they are taken against
their will, where cold, business-like and unemotional aliens perform experiments and tests on them, after which they are given a tour of the ship.
This is a somewhat controversial addition to the Hynek System, however, many ufologists have grudgingly accepted its addition due to the increase in
Close Encounter of the Fifth Kind- This si where the witness claims to have an ongoing dialouge and relationship with extraterrestrial beings, either
through physical contact or through channeling. This is the most controversial addition of all, and the vast majority of ufologists do not recognize
it at all. It is mainly used by ufologists with a New- Age bent.
Anyway, that sums it up. For people who are new to UFOs or are just reporting one, this might help you understand alot of terms. For those interested
in studying UFOs, it is a must to learn.
For more information, I suggest you read Hyneks first book, The UFO Experience. I think it is the first regular book written in a scientific mindset
about UFOs, and Hynek explains his classification system in there better.
Anyway, hope this helps some people! )