ufo sighting classifications

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 :

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.
 Radar Cases

UFOs detected by radar alone.  In more recent years fewer cases involving
radar have hit the press.  This could be because of a number of factors,
for example the government is better at suppressing these reports, or there
has been a change in the nature of the phenomenon which makes it less
detectable or that many of the early reports were the result of spurious
events and false positives which are handled better by more modern

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 of the first kind (CE1, CEI)

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

Close Encounters of the second kind (CE2, CEII)

A UFO which leaves some form of physical evidence

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

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 contact or communication with alien being or race. For example: Billie Meier with the Pleiadians, U.S.Govt. with the Greys, or channeling.

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.

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.”


5 Responses to “ufo sighting classifications”

  1. Thanks for the post

  2. i would like to study about ufo and aliens..can u help me.


    Respected Sir/Madam
    I came to know about you through internet, sir i have done M.Sc in Physics(2012) and doing M.Phil from Central University of Punjab.i am very keen about UFO want to study deeply in UFO.tell me for further study and what to do.i think the UFOs exist and they want human beings to watch and experience them.
    Sir I am worried about that there is no Research or Deep study in UFO in INDIA and I want to do Research regarding to explore and exist because there is question mark on UFO.So sir i request to you to guide and suggest me.Please Sir no body is not guiding me for this.
    my E-mail ID is devj713@gmail.com
    I shall be highly obliged to you.

    Devender Jalandhara
    7-F-13,Jawahar Nagar
    Sri Ganganagar-335001
    Rajasthan (India)

  4. Rajendra Singh THakur Says:

    Respected Sir/Madam
    i m really want more information and i have information about Aliens . kindly tell me how to research more.

    Rajendar Singh Thakur
    email ID: rajendra.hcl00@gmail.com

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