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UFO sightings classification

It must be remembered that, after careful investigation, over 90% of UFO reports can be reasonably explained as manmade or natural phenomena. The late Charles H. Gibbs-Smith (aviation historian to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London) had something he called Gibbs-Smith's rule which is worth keeping in mind when studying UFO reports. It states that "the strangeness of a case increases in proportion to the distance, in either time or geographical distance, between the investigator and the location of the report."

The main classification of UFO reports in use is based upon one used by Dr J. Allen Hynek in his book "The UFO Experience" (Aberlard-Schuman 1972) It should be noted that many other classification systems have been devised by other researchers. Briefly the Hynek system (with the most commonly used extensions) is :

LONG RANGE SIGHTINGS

Further than 500ft. distant from UFO

NL (nocturnal light)

A simple visual sighting of a unidentified flying light seen at night.
This group contains 35 to 40 percent of all UFO reports.

ND (nocturnal disc)
A simple visual sighting of a unidentified flying extended or structured
light source seen at night. (This is an extension to Hynek's system).

DD (daylight disc)
A simple visual sighting of a UFO with distinct shape seen during the day.
 
RV (Radar Visual Cases)
UFOs observed visually whilst being simultaneously on radar. From Hynek's
study these make up 1 to 2% of reports.

 

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS

Within 500ft from UFO

 

Close Encounters of the first kind (CE1, CEI)

As first defined by Hynek, a CE1 is an observation of a UFO within 150 yards.

 

Close Encounters of the second kind (CE2, CEII)

A UFO which leaves some form of physical evidence (including electromagnetic effects, ground traces, radiation, animal excitement).
Example: A burn where the UFO appeared to touch the ground or the finding of material of unknown makeup.

 

Close Encounters of the third kind (CE3, CEIII)

A visual sighting of an occupant or entity associated with a UFO. An analysis by Hynek of 650 reports found only 1% to be CE3. These entities are sometimes called UFOnauts.
As well as entities seen inside a craft, entities have been described as sampling soil, rocks and plants or might communicate with the witness.
These witnesses are sometimes referred to as contactees. As well as communication, the witness may report that they were invited on board a craft or even taken for a trip.

Although included with UFOs, when dealing with contactees the researcher is dealing with a case of something clearly identified by the witness as some form of craft (without specifying the origin of that craft). Strictly speaking the object is no longer unidentified.

Close Encounters of the third kind (CE3, CEIII)

A visual sighting of an occupant or entity associated with a UFO. These entities are sometimes called UFOnauts. Hynek's CE3 specifically avoided describing them as "aliens" or "extraterrestrials," contending that there was not enough evidence to determine if beings associated with UFOs had an objective physical reality, let alone to confirm their origins or motives. An analysis by Hynek of 650 reports found only 1% to be CE3.
As well as entities seen inside a craft, entities have been described as sampling soil, rocks and plants or might communicate with the witness.
These witnesses are sometimes referred to as contactees. As well as communication, the witness may report that they were invited on board a craft or even taken for a trip.

Although included with UFOs, when dealing with contactees the researcher is dealing with a case of something clearly identified by the witness as some form of craft (without specifying the origin of that craft). Strictly speaking the object is no longer unidentified.

The UFO researcher Ted Bloecher proposed six subtypes for the close encounters of the third kind 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"



Close Encounters beyond the third kind are extensions to the basic Hynek system.  Different authors have used the same designation to mean different
things.

Close Encounters of the fourth kind (CE4, CEIV)

An abduction of an individual by an alien being or race. The most famous of these being the abduction of Betty and Barney Hill in September 1961. (Hynek included this case in his CE3 category.) Although in recent years abductions have, because of their spectacular nature, received a great deal of publicity, they constitute only a small proportion of all UFO reports.

 

Close Encounters of the fifth kind (CE5, CEV)

Sometimes used to represent a direct and deliberate two-way communication with alien being or race. For example: Billie Meier with the Pleiadians, U.S.Govt. with the Greys, or channeling. The communication is often telepathic. Other researchers have used this classification for strange beings that have been reported, but without the obvious presence of a 'craft'. These beings are generally seen in the witnesses house at night.  Their description is similar to the beings seen associated with UFOs in abduction and contactee cases.  Sometimes they are called 'bedroom visitors', the same set of reports have been classified as CE0 (zero) and CE9 by other groups of researchers.

 

Close Encounters of the sixth kind (CE6, CEVI)

Michael Naisbitt proposed a class of CE scenario that is described as UFO incidents that cause direct injury or death. This category was not included in Hynek's scale, and is furthermore redundant: a CE2 in Hynek's scale specifically included UFO encounters that leave direct physical evidence of any kind.

 

Close Encounters of the seventh kind (CE7, CEVII)

According to the The Black Vault Encyclopedia, a Close Encounter of the Seventh Kind is a mating between a human being and extraterrestrial that produces a human-alien hybrid, usually called a Star Child.

Other researchers have used this classification for strange beings that have been reported, but without the obvious presence of a 'craft'. These beings are generally seen in the witnesses house at night.  Their description is similar to the beings seen associated with UFOs in abduction and contactee cases.  Sometimes they are called 'bedroom visitors', the same set of reports have been classified as CE0 (zero) and CE9 by other groups of researchers. (2011 -08-02)

 

STRANGENESS AND PROBABILITY RATINGS

This is a 5 point rating system used by Paranet BBS's of the National Fringe Sciences information Service to help establish the credibility of sighting reports.

  1. Explained or Explainable.
  2. Probably Explainable, with more data.
  3. Possibly Explainable, but with elements/ strangeness.
  4. Stange, does not conform with the norm.
  5. Highly strange, definately indicative of intelligent guidance.

                 
EXAMPLES:

  •       S1-Weather balloons, meteor, bolides, aircraft, etc..
  •       S2-Experimental aircraft, celestial object(planet/star/).
  •       S3-Slow, low flying object in formation.
  •       S4-Bol (ball of light phenomena) physical traces.
  •       S5-Close encounters,Abductions.

 

PROBABILITY FACTOR/ #

Relates to the credibility, # & separation of witnesses and the
soundness of evidence.

  1. Not credible or sound.     
  2. Unreliable, probably a hoax.
  3. Somewhat credible or indeterminate.
  4. Credible and sound.
  5. Highly credible, no doubt.

 

EXAMPLES:

  •       P1-Known hoaxer; photo hoax.
  •       P2-Repeat witness;conflicting testimony.
  •       P3-Standard,first time witness ;some radiation reading.
  •       P4-Multiple witnesses; pilot; good photo.
  •       P5-National figure, mutiple independent witnesses, videotape


  Composite Stangeness/Probability Rating of a case involves of   the combined S/P factors.


EXAMPLES:                     

  •       S1-Wickenburg, AZ; July 10    
  •       S2/P5-X-shaped UFO,Petaluma, CA
  •       S4/P5-Brazillian ping pong ball
  •       S5/P4-Betty & Barney Hill     
  •       S4/P4-Lubbock lights
  •       S5/P5-Helicopter (Coyne case)
  •       S3/P2-Delphos

UFO Sightings

 

The UFO and Aliens Gallery