What Does The Phrase "Close Encounters Of The Third Kind" Mean?


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The phrase Close Encounters of the Third Kind is taken from the book "The UFO Experience : A Scientific Study" by Dr. J Allen Hynek. Hynek was a professor of astronomy who was employed by the US government to act as a debunker of UFO reports. To his great surprise, he found that some of the stories he looked into seemed highly credible and he sought then to put the study of the UFO phenomenon on a scientific footing.

He developed a classification system for UFO reports. Some he called Distant Sightings, and others Close Encounters. He created three Close Encounters sub-categories. Close Encounters of the First Kind were visual sightings of UFOs at close range. Close Encounters of the Second Kind were close-range visual sightings in which the UFO appeared to have some effect on the environment, such as causing car engines to fail, for example. Close Encounters of the Third Kind were close-range encounters in which occupants of the UFO were seen.

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