With regards to UFO's and UFOlogy, a Close Encounter simply means to witness an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO).
Well, it seems as with everything in the world of UFOlogy that there are conflicting points of view regarding, “Close Encounters.” The, “Old school” train of thought relies wholly on Hynek's interpretation and recognises only the original three types of, “Close Encounter.” While some recognise these as well as a Close Encounter of the fourth, fifth and sixth kind, with some recognizing all 6 along with the sub-types.
The original terminology and the system used to qualify and classify these encounters was first proposed and introduced by UFO researcher and astronomer, “J. Allen Hynek.” It was in contained in his book, “The UFO Experience : A Scientific Study,” which was originally released way back in 1972.
It's also worth noting that UFO sightings more than 500 feet from the witness are classified as "Daylight Discs", "Nocturnal Lights" or "Radar/Visual Reports". Sightings within about 500 feet are sub-classified as various types of "close encounter."
--------------------------------Close Encounter Of The First Kind: Aerial objects that are not attributable to human technology and/or a sighting of one or more unidentified flying objects; these include flying saucers, orbs, balls of light, cylinders etc.
Close Encounter Of The Second Kind: An observation of a UFO and associated physical effects from the UFO. 3-D physical tracings, or remnants, of something apparently not of this world/dimension , it would appear that Crop Circles would fall into this category, BUT only if the crop circle is found in the vicinity of a UFO sighting.
Also included in a Close Encounter of the Second kind is any damage to the terrain, interference to televisions, radios and internal combustion engines, frightened or panicked animals, heat, radiation, human paralysis etc.Close Encounter Of The Third Kind: The Third kind is when you not only encounter a UFO, but when you can also see the entities inside the UFO.
Hynek was very careful to label this encounter as one which observed, “Animate beings,” within the UFO, note how he doesn't reference aliens or extraterrestrial, this was in conjunction with his own beliefs, and he further states that they are included because Hynek felt a scientific obligation to include them, due solely to the amount of reports of this type of UFO encounter rather than because of a personal belief.Close Encounter Of The Third Kind - The Bloecher Subtypes: UFO researcher Ted Bloecher, proposed a further seven subtypes for the Close Encounters of the Third kind in direct relation to/and for inclusion in the Hynek's scale.
- A: An entity is observed only inside the UFO
- B: An entity is observed inside and outside the UFO
- C: An entity is observed near to a UFO, but not going in or out.
- D: 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: An entity is observed. But no UFOs are seen and no UFO activity has been reported in the area at that time
- F: No entity or UFOs are observed, but the subject experiences some kind of “intelligent communication”
- G: Abduction (same as close encounter of fourth kind)
Close Encounter Of The Fourth Kind: Abductees (BUT not contactees) so a Close Encounter Of The Fourth Kind is when a human is abducted by a UFO or its occupants.Close Encounter Of The Fifth Kind: This one was introduced and named by Steven M. Greer's CSETI group. This is the category under which most contactees fall, if you initiate contact, contact does indeed happen, (of any of the previously mentioned first to fourth kinds) this is an encounter of the fifth kind, i.e. b ilateral contact events produced through the conscious, voluntary and proactive human-initiated or cooperative communication with Extraterrestrial intelligence.
Close Encounter Of The Sixth Kind: Direct injury and or death as of a result of encounter with a U.F.O, extraterrestrials or abduction by E.T's.
Sources: The UFO Experience: A Scientific Study by J. Allen Hynek / Wikipedia Entry – Close Encounters