- (ufology) A supposed observation, or observation of evidence, of extraterrestrial beings or their craft.
UFO researcher J. Allen Hynek defined three kinds of close encounter:
- "close encounter of the first kind": visual sighting of an unidentified flying object seemingly less than 500 feet away that shows an appreciable angular extension and considerable detail.
- "close encounter of the second kind": a physical effect, such as electronic interference or animals reacting, or a physiological effect like paralysis or heat, or a physical or chemical trace such as scorched vegetation.
- "close encounter of the third kind": the presence of an animated creature, such as a humanoid, robot, or apparent UFO pilot.
observation of extraterrestrials or their craft