is the traditional method of describing an event as a distant
or close encounter of the first, second or third kind. The
investigator should be aware that, unless the case report
can reasonably rule out natural and man-made sources, the
HYNEK rationale declares it to be a non-case, and so no
value is given. HYNEK -
- Nocturnal Light
- Daylight Disc
- Light/object in Proximity
- Physical Trace
reports differ in many details. But there are a number
of similarities that recur in such features as shape,
maneuverability, appearance, disappearance, sound and
color. There are several basic observational categories
into which sighting reports may be classified.
Relatively Distant Sightings
Noctunal Lights. These are sightings of well-defined lights
in the night sky whose appearance amd/or motion are not
explainable in terms of conventional light sources. The
lights appear most often as red, blue, orange or white.
They form the largest group of UFO reports.
Daylight Discs. Daytime sightings are generally of oval
or disc-shaped, metallic-appearing objects. They can appear
high in the sky or close to the ground, and they are often
reported to hover. They can seem to disappear with astounding
Radar-Visual cases. Of special significance are unidentified
"blips" on radar screens that coincide with
and confirm simultaneous visual sightings by the same
or other witnesses. These cases are infrequent.
Relatively Close Sightings (within 200 yards)
Close Encounters of the First Kind (CE-I). Though the
witness observes a UFO nearby, there appears to be no
interaction with either the witness or the environment.
Close Encounters of the Second Kind (CE-II). These encounters
include details of interaction between the UFO and the
environment which may vary from interference with car
ignition systems and electronic gear to imprints or burns
on the ground and physical effects on plants, animals
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (CE-III). In this category,
occupants of a UFO - entities that are human-like ("humanoid")
or not human-like in apearance - have been reported. There
is usually no direct contact or communication with the
witness. However, in recent years, reports of incidents
involving very close contact - even detainment of witnesses
- have increased.
Kinds of Evidence
addition to eyewitness reports, scientific evidence for
the presence of something very unusual falls in these
Physical Traces. Compressed and dehydrated vegetation,
broken tree branches, and imprints in the ground have
all been reported. Sometimes a soil sample taken from
an area where a UFO had been seen close to the ground
will be determined, through laboratory analysis, to have
undergone heating or other chemical changes not true of
Medical Records. Medical verification of burns, eye inflammations,
temporary blindness, and other physiological effects attributed
to encounters with UFOs - even the healing of previous
conditions - can also constitute evidence, especially
when no other cause for the effect can be determined by
the medical examiner.
Radarscope Photos. A tape of traces from a radar screen
on which a "blip" of a UFO is appearing is a
powerful adjunct to a visual sighting, because it can
be studied at leisure instead of during the heat of the
moment of the actual sighting.
Photographs. While it might seem that photographs would
be the best evidence for UFOs, this has not been the case.
Hoaxes can be exposed very easily. But even those photos
that pass the test of instrumented analysis and/or computer
enhancement often show nothing more than an object of
unknown nature, usually some distance from the camera,
and very often out of focus. For proper analysis of a
photo, the negative must be available and the photographer,
witnesses and circumstances must be known. In a few exceptional
cases, photos do exist that have been thoroughly examined
and appear to show a structured craft.
J. Allen Hynek