Stories of alien contact have filled the human imagination for many years. Novels, short stories, movies, and human testimonies about UFO sightings or abductions have aroused fascination as well as controversy. In particular, human contact with aliens (whether real cases or not), is the most mysterious topic of all. This has occurred in various ways and under different circumstances, which has forced a classification of them. How are close encounters with aliens divided, according to ufology? We reveal the answer…

Allen Hynek, the man who classified alien encounters
In 1972, J. Allen Hynek, an astronomer, proposed a classification of extraterrestrial encounters in his first book, The UFO Experience, which he called Close Encounters. Hynek remained neutral on the subject of alien life. Therefore, his classification was not intended to refute or support theories about alien visitors to our planet. His purpose was to seriously address the multiple cases of sightings and close encounters reported around the world.

Although there is currently talk of up to seven phases of encounters with extraterrestrials, the most accepted are still those of J. Allen Hynek in scientific circles that seek to approach the subject with objectivity, order and rigor.

First phase

It refers to sightings of ships, lights or any other flying object of unknown origin. It is the most common encounter since the human being began to narrate his experiences with UFOs. There are thousands and thousands of videos, photographs and testimonies that compile this meeting. Its veracity has been questioned repeatedly by skeptics of the UFO issue.

Second stage

In it, physical manifestations occur in the environment of the person or persons who are having contact. Electromagnetic interference in household appliances, frightened animals or damage to nature are the evidence of the second phase. Here we can also include the famous cases of crop circles (or crop circles), which have been taken as evidence of the presence of aliens on our planet.

Third phase

The last phase refers to the sighting of biological entities or animated beings of possible extraterrestrial origin inside or near their ships. It should be noted that Hynek does not use the terms aliens or extraterrestrials to refer to these visiting entities, which demonstrates the neutrality and seriousness with which he approached the subject.

Who was J. Allen Hynek
This astronomer served as director of the McMillin Observatory at Ohio State University. In 1947 he was chosen as a consultant to the United States Air Force on the UFO issue. He participated as the leader of Project Sign in which a team of experts reviewed 237 cases of alleged UFO sightings. In the final report, Hynek noted that the vast majority of cases were astronomical phenomena. A small 20% did not offer enough evidence to provide an explanation.

Hynek joined Project Blue Book in 1952 and remained with it until its disappearance in 1969. His role was to review reports of UFO sightings and determine if there was a logical explanation. He from time to time he came across puzzling cases.

Expert and referent of the UFO subject

He soon became the greatest reference on the UFO issue in his country and even worldwide, due not only to his openness to study the subject but also because he did it with rigor and seriousness. He often angered colleagues and authorities when he talked about it. But the same thing caused in the believers whom he also did not please with his investigations.

Hynek participated as a consultant in the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind, by Steven Spielberg, released in 1977. As a curious fact, he received 1,000 dollars for the use of the title, another 1,000 for the rights to use the stories in the book and 1,500 for three days of technical advice. He also had a brief cameo in the film, playing a stunned scientist as the alien ship approaches the point of contact.

The historical importance of this researcher is such that he was the inspiration for the Project Blue Book series (2019), the name given to investigations into sightings of unidentified flying objects between 1952 and 1969 in the United States.

J. Allen Hynek died in 1986 at the age of 75 from a brain tumor.