Close Encounters of the First Kind


Lights in the sky closer than 500 feet qualify as CE1s. This is a false color image of a UFO.

Lieutenant Frank H. Scholfeild, commanding the U.S.S Supply, reported that he and his crew on February 24, 1904, had clearly viewed three enormous luminous objects moving in unison across the night sky, far at sea in the Atlantic, with the largest of them having a diameter six times that of the sun.- Monthly Weather Review, March 1904.

On December 30th, 1978, a television news crew took off from South Island, New Zealand, to Wellington. An earlier sighting of a UFO by a plane flying along the coast had sparked the press's interest. Around midnight they encountered unexplained lights, over the town of Kaikoura, which the crew filmed. The targets had also appeared on Wellington radar. During the return trip a brightly lit object with a transparent dome appeared on the starboard side of the aircraft. The object kept pace with the plane, then zoomed in front of it, and finally disappeared below it. Radar again confirmed that there actually was an unidentified object in the area.

The above are both examples of what the Center for UFO Studies refers to as "a close encounter of the first kind." This consists of "close-at-hand experience without tangible physical effect" on the witness. To qualify as a CE1 the object must have appeared to be closer than 500 feet. There are hundreds of these encounters around the world each year, though undoubtedly most are simple cases of mistaken identity. A few, as these above, remain resistant to explanation.

One of the most baffling CE1 incidents occurred between two Phantom jets and a UFO in Iran in 1976.

Copyright Lee Krystek 1996. All Rights Reserved.