Astronomy and Space


What is a “close encounter of the third kind”?

UFO expert J. Allen Hynek (1910–1986) developed the following scale to describe encounters with extraterrestrial beings or vessels:

Close Encounter of the First Kind—sighting of a UFO at close range with no other physical evidence.

Close Encounter of the Second Kind—sighting of a UFO at close range, but with some kind of proof, such as a photograph, or an artifact from a UFO.

Close Encounter of the Third Kind—sighting of an actual extraterrestrial being.

Close Encounter of the Fourth Kind—abduction by an extraterrestrial spacecraft.


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