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J. Allen Hynek developed a classification system for encounters with entities of unknown origin. His original attempt towards scientific classification has since been elaborated and refined.

  • Close Encounters of The First Kind: eye witnessed observation only
  • Close Encounters of the Second Kind: physical evidence.
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind: observation of occupants in or around the craft.
  • Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind: Abduction.
  • Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind: Communication.

Dr. William Baldwin suggests an additional classification, CE-VI, for "[close encounters of the possession kind."