The typical foci among ufologists and the culture-at-large have been on sightings of craft in the sky and on coverup issues with crash-retrieval of advanced alien technology a matter deeply suspected by many since the 1980s as real. These foci have historically dominated the attention of ufologists in their efforts to address and solve the UAP mystery.
In 1952 the wife/husband team of Coral and Jim Lorenzen formed the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO). In 1956 others centered in the Washington D.C. area, including retired military and intelligence leaders, formed the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP). For much of it’s early years, it’s Director was a retired Marine, Major Donald Keyhoe.
APRO developed an extensive international network of field investigators and academic consultants. They were known especially for embracing and investigating with little fear reports of close encounters of the third kind, which entailed sightings of, and/or encounters with, non human entities associated with craft (typically in circumstances of UFO landings). The Lorenzens at the same time were highly critical of the religious-type contactee movements widely seen as a product of deluded and deceiving wannabe prophets.
Major Keyhoe and NICAP focused on sightings and coverup issues and barely responded to reports of close encounters of the third kind.
This briefing is prepared decades after the time of Keyhoe and today the regard of and approach taken related to close encounters of the third and fourth kind is still very limited with many still not recognizing either the credibility or value of these types of reports.
Briefing content covers databases, organizations, and entities and activities.
Databases and Organizations
As mentioned, APRO did not shy from investigating reports of sightings and encounter experiences with “UFO occupants”. Over the years, many such cases were profiled in their journal. Today we can very easily access issues from the first in 1952 to it’s declining days with 1977 issues:
In the late 1970s and early 1980s two Ufologists, Ted Bloecher and David Webb, worked on compiling summaries of published close encounter of third kind cases in a catalogue that today is maintained by the still surviving J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies. Many of the cases were from APRO investigations and make up a large portion of this “humanoid catalogue”:
Webb and Bloecher used 7 categories to the HUMCAT cases (showing different evident features):
Type A: Entity is observed inside the object (the true ‘occupant’ report.
Tupe B: Entity is observed entering and/or leaving the object.
Type C: ‘Inferred’ association: entity is observed in the immediate area of a UFO sighting, but is not seeing entering or leaving the object.
Type D: ‘Circumstantial’ association: entity is observed during period of general UFO activity in the area, but no object is reported by the witness of the entity.
Tupe E: No association can be established between entity and UFO activity.
Type F: Situation in which no entity or UFO is physically involved, but information reportedly is conveyed by means of telepathic ‘contact’ or psychic experience.
Type G: Witnesses experiences an on board situation, either voluntary or by abduction. Entities may or may not be present, but their presence is implicit or explicit.
These types are sub-categories of the broader classification known as “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”. In the 1980s, cases of abduction noted in the sub-category of CE3s would become referenced as “Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind”.
The earliest index of cases in the HUMCAT database covers 1790 thru 1896 and following indexes cover subsequent time periods.
Three years after the government closed in 1969 it’s UFO program, Hynek created an overall categorization of UFO(UAP) events in his book THE UFO EXPERIENCE: A SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY:
Close Encounters of the First Kind: Sightings where “objects or very brilliant lights” were less than 500 feet away.
Close Encounters of the Second Kind: Close UFO sighting entails the manifestation of a “physical effect on either animate or inanimate matter”.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind: Cases “in which the presence of animated creatures is reported”.
In 1969 the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) was born, an offshot of APRO. It also manifested the model of a network of field investigators, nowadays very well trained, and of scientists and academics from different disciplines serving as consultants.
The variety of databases presented by MUFON include their monthly journal and online postings of cases reported and undergoing investigation and analysis. Only members, lowest tier at $60/year, have access after logging in:
MUFON has a growing and trained network of field investigators and expert consultants especially focused on experiencers of encounters of the third and fourth kind, the Experiencer Resource Team:
An extremely large compilation, consisting of multiple volumes of published cases from all sorts of sources, has been presented over decades by Albert S. Rosales. The case summary format is the same as used by Bloecher and Webb. Rosales has noted that hoaxes have not been filtered out nor have other categories of unknown entities not associated with UFOs:
Along with MUFON, the main resource for the public to report sightings and encounters of the National UFO Reporting Center in the state of Washington. Reports are by far mostly involving sightings of craft in the air.
At the above online site there are pages of databases where readers can access all the filed reports.
There have been and are individual efforts by therapists, academics, and those from other professions or backgrounds in investigating and publicizing close encounters of the fourth kind cases.
In the 1980s and 1990s (and beyond), 4 persons in particular would bring us many encounter stories that found a wide audience:
Budd Hopkins, NY artist
David Jacobs, Temple University historian and professor
Whitley Strieber, an author who at the time was rapidly becoming the next Stephen King
John Mack, Harvard psychologist and professor, Pulitzer Prize winner
In concrete terms, the picture comveyed by this story-sharing suggested a network of beings were engaged in a genetics/reproduction program.
Budd Hopkins and David Jacobs used hypnosis to uncover memories from people reporting “missing time”. As did Dr. Mack. Strieber’s stories are largely based on normal recall but in the earliest years he also resorted to being hypnotized.
Over time, Hopkins and Jacobs developed a picture from their cases which made them very nervous about the alien agenda. Whereas, Strieber and Mack felt features of this type of encounter were suggestive of an alien agenda of midwiving our growth and transformation.
In the August 24, 2011 NY Times article by Margalit Fox for the Art and Design section, written soon after Hopkin’s death from cancer, Hopkins’ conclusions were characterized:
“These narratives, Mr. Hopkins wrote, led him to a distasteful but inescapable conclusion: The aliens–‘or “visitors”, as he preferred to call them—were practicing a form of extraterrestrial eugenics, aiming to shore up their declining race by crossbreeding with Homo sapiens.”
While that was certainly what Hopkins thought in the early years, he later came closer to the developing view of Jacobs that the agenda was to supplant our dominant role here with a large number of hybrids suspected by them after the results of a 1992 Roper survey was published.
In a 2003 book he co wrote with filmaker (and his wife) Carol Rainey, it was suggested that these “transgenic” hybrids could pass for humans while following directions from the aliens while they live among us.
David Jacobs and Budd Hopkins teamed up with sociologist Ron Westrum in 1992 and devised 5 questions for a Roper poll. The questions they crafted were related to experiential signs in people experiencing missing time and who later uncovered memories of abduction by aliens. A few percent of respondents reported at least 4 of the 5 signs. To Westrum, Hopkins, and Jacobs that meant millions of us could be abductees and not know it.
In more recent years, criticism of methodology has arisen.
Thomas Bullard, PhD (academic folklorist) in writing the “Abduction Phenomenon” entry for the 3rd edition of The UFO Encyclopedia reports on the sharp critical eye turned on to the work of Hopkins and Jacobs [pg 12 vol 1]:
“The most damaging attacks on the quality and integrity of abduction investigation have come from people with firstand experience of it.
Carol Rainey was the wife and coworker of Budd Hopkins during the writing of “Witnessed” and coauthor of “Sight Unseen”. Familiarity with scientific research led her to perceive a litany of faults and the well-meaning but amateur investigations she observed. Critics denounce lax standards of inquiry, lack of oversight or review, use of techniques that enable confabulation [ie hypnosis], and uncritical acceptance of claims so long as they fit the investigator’s agenda—naive and unregulated activities that would never be tolerated in therapy or research outside of ufology…”
[Carol Rainey’s article: “The Priests of High Strangeness”: Co-Creation of the ‘Alien Abduction Phenomenon’”; Paratopia Magazine, 1/15/2011…]
Budd Hopkins’ Intruders Foundation (formed in 1989) apparently didnt survive his death.
Historian David Jacobs, formerly with Temple University, reads his database developed from his own cases and says that he is now frightened. He maintains online the “International Center For Abduction Research” (ICAR):
Key Books by Budd Hopkins:
Missing Time; A Documented Study of UFO Abductions, New York: Richard Marek Publishers, 1981
Intruders: The Incredible Visitations at Copley Woods, New York: Random House, 1987
Witnessed: The True Story of the Brooklyn Bridge Abductions, New York: Pocket Books, 1996
Key Books by David Jacobs:
Secret Life: Firsthand Accounts of UFO Abductions, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992
The Threat: The Secret Alien Agenda, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1998
Walking Among Us: The Alien Plan to Control Humanity, San Francisco, CA: Disinformation Books 2015
One person who was quietly a participant in the earliest days of an alien abduction support group hosted by Budd Hopkins would later, with his wife Anne (now deceased), provide a public database of direct encounter reports in their cowriiten book The Communion Letters:
The Communion Letters, Whitley and Anne Strieber, Harper Prism, 1997
Subtitled: Authentic, vivid, first-person testimony selected ftom the hundreds of thousands of letters reporting actual encounters, abductions, and visitations.
At the time of outting himself as a so-called abductee, Whitley Strieber was already finding great success with best-selling books being adapted for the big screen.
A recent article chronicles what happened to him over subsequent decades. It’s title:
“He was supposed to be the next Stephen King. Then the aliens came.”
By the late 90s, Strieber and his wife Anne, who was most “hands on”, had collected and organized letters from many people who shared their own encounter experiences.
Anne Strieber often did followup interviews with correspondents. No hypnosis was used. So, this database is based simply on the collection and sharing of stories, and then published “as is”.
This very large collection of letters, from which a small portion was selected for the 1997 book The Communion Letters, are housed now at Rice University and can be studied there:
Early key books by Strieber on his experiences:
Communion: A True Story, New York: William Morrow and Company, 1987
Transformation: The Breakthrough, New York: William Morrow and Company, 1888
Harvard psychologist John Mack (who died in 2003, killed by a drunk driver in London) devoted his last years to hearing out from people their encounter stories. His vision of what it all meant was in line with the open-ended inquiry Strieber encouraged (ie, keep questions open). Also, like Strieber and others, he was seeing in the stories potential positive signs of a transformative agenda at work.
Key books on this by Dr. Mack
Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1994
Passport to the Cosmos, New York: Crown Publishers, 1999
During the late 1980s thru late 1990s there were 4 key studies on CE4s by two individuals preparing academic papers for the Fund for UFO Research and for MUFON:
1) Comparative Study of Abduction Reports. Vol 1 of UFO Abductions: The Measure of a Mystery. Mount Ranier. MD; Fund for UFO Research 1987 by Thomas Bullard.
In The UFO Encyclopedia, 2018 3rd edition, vol 1, Thomas Bullard describes this paper as “a catalogue of reports in the literature up to 1985 [that] contains about 300 cases, 103 of which offer both extensibe information and a reliable investigation”.
2) The Sympathetic Ear: Investigators as Variables in UFO Abduction Reports; Mount Ranier, MD; Fund for UFO Research 1995 by Thomas Bullard.
Bullard in his UFO Encyclopedia article discussing alien abductions reports that this was “a survey of 13 abduction investigators’ draw on their collective experience with some 1,700 cases.”
3) “Commonalities and Disparities: Findings of the MUFON Abduction Study Project” in MUFON 1995 International UFO Symposium Proceedings by Dan Wright pgs 163-203.
Bullard describes this paper (pg 13 of The UFO Encyclopedia Vol 1): “Dan Wright’s MUFON Abduction Transcription Project results are based on 142 accounts directly from abductees”.
4) “What’s New in UFO Abductions? Has the Story Changed in 30 Years?” MUFON 1999 International Symposium Proceedings, pgs 170-99 by Thomas Bullard.
Bullard notes this was a comparative study of 437 cases from the literature.
In recent years there has been a massive research effort based on an in-depth surveying of “over 4,200 individuals from over 100 countries”. This project is the product of a non-profit calked The Dr. Edgar Mitchell Foundation for Research into Extraterrestrial and Extraordinary Experiences (FREE).
This study had 3 phases involving people responding to online questions via “survey monkey”. The pool of respondents for the 3rd phase was smaller, about 1000, as many open-ended questions (requiring detailed written responses) were asked to enable a qualitative analysis. The first 2 phases provided data that underwent quantitative analysis.
A wide variety of contributors took up the task of analyzing aspects of the data in a first volume work:
Beyond UFOs: The Science of Consciousness and Contact with Non-Human Intelligence, volume 1, edited by Rey Hernandez J.D., M.C.P, Dr. Jon Klimo, PhD, and Dr. Rudy Schild, PhD., 2018
Aside from MUFON today, another vehicle for experiencers to approach has been individual therapists who often help with memory retrieval and support help. From 1993 to 2014 there was a non profit, now dissolved, called the Academy of Clinical Close Encounter Therapists (ACCET). Some of the still living therapists, like ACCET’s last director Barbara Lamb, are still active on an individual basis.
While the ACCET organization may have dissolved there is still a similar organization active, named Opus:
(The author identified on that page, Lester Velez, is a consultant also for the MUFON Experiencer Resource Team.)
They describe their Mission:
“OPUS, through its educational services and position of neutrality, provides a safe and caring meeting place for people and groups with the intention of working together to further our overall knowledge in these areas and better support people to integrate their anomalous experiences into everyday life. You can read more about this on our Experiencer Support page.”
A prolific MUFON investigator, Preston Dennett, has written many books of cases that he has personally investigated, and gets us all around the proverbial campfire at YouTube in a sharing of reported encounters:
Finally, there is what may be our most treasured body of data, shared through the work of a retired professor from Montana State University. Dr. Ardy Sixkiller Clarke for over 35 years quietly collected encounter stories with over 4000 taped interviews in her hands and 4 published books of well-described cases in our hands.
Encounters With Star People: Untold Stories of American Indians
28 chapters (27 cases)
Sky People: Untold Stories of Alien Encounters in Mesoamerica
2015~~New Page Books (The Career Press, Inc)
4 sections with 46 chapters and cases
More Encounters With Star People: Urban American Indians Tell Their Stories
39 chapters and cases
Space Age Indians: Their Encounters With Blue Men, Reptilians, and Other Star People
3 sections with total of 45 chapters and 42 cases
Manuel Lamiroy, an instructor from South Africa with the Exopolitics Institute, will help us transition to the content of the final section of this paper, describing entities and their activities. He has offered up the beginnings of an “exophenotype” based on poring over databases of close encounter reports:
Entities and Activities
What might present for many people the greatest likely difficulties in adapting to revelations of the presence of “others” here may entail the common exhibition of “high strangeness” features and the “oz factor” in the course of close encounter experiences reported. These factors will be defined as the activities of non-human intelligences often reported are described.
On the other hand, the appearances of most of the wide variety of beings consistently reported in alleged close encounter incidents are not so radically different from ours.
Near the end of 2021, articles appeared based on an interview of a Cambridge University scientist by the BBC’s Science FOCUS magazine that gives an explanatory basis for why we appear to see so many humanoid beings in these close encounter reports.
While most cases reveal beings who are human-like, there are notable variations in the biological features from the homo sapiens appearance. These variations can be understood to be due to different types of suns, atmospheric pressure, atmospheric content, gravity and other planetary conditions.
Simon Conway Morris, an evolutionary paleobiologist in the Cambridge Department of Earth Sciences, asserted with confidence that evolution in other settings around the universe has led to the rising of human-like beings. The theory underlying this proposition is called “convergent evolution”. An online definition: “In evolutionary biology, convergent evolution is defined as the process whereby distantly related organisms independently evolve similar traits to adapt to similar necessities.”.
Another Cambridge scientist (a zoologist) named Arik Kershenbaum also has addressed the question of evolution on other planets and came to the same viewpoint, as he is quoted here in a Quanta magazine article from early 2021: “Because evolution is the explanatory mechanism for life everywhere, then the principles we uncover on Earth should be applicable in the rest of the universe.”
There is a clear verdict coming from the CE3 database on the forms of at least some advanced forms of extraterrestrial life (as suggested by the presumed ET beings reported being seen here): they are beings exhibiting “bilateral symmetry” in their bodily form in all but the most rarest of cases. And, they are predominately “humanoid” or exhibiting a bilateral symmetry of sense organs (eyes and ears) and limbs (enabling locomotion and creative action). Bilateral symmetry entails a dividing midline (through the torso, aligned with the vetebrae or spinal line) for left and right sides which mirror each other. There are a large number of cases where the beings are even very human-like, but with clear differences: in cranium size, eye shape and size variations, both very small and exaggerated signs of ears and nose, height variations of beings from 3 feet to 8 feet or more, muscoskeletal variations, and more.
Living organisms on earth are categorized most generally as plants, animals, and micro organisms. Ninety-nine percent of “animals” (which includes the class of beings identified as mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and insects) are structured with bilateral symmetry.
The popular science Magazine, Discover, had a SETI Institute scientist (aligned also with NASA Astrobiology Institute projects) ponder the question of what aliens would likely look like. From “What Are Alien Species Like? Symmetrical, Solid, and Seeing (Probably)”, June 19, 2009, Discover, Rocco Mancinelli of SETI answered this question by Discover’s Amos Zeeberg:
‘What is the most likely form an alien would take?
Life’s architecture is difficult to predict because it depends on many factors involving the interaction of the environment and life through evolution and natural selection. We can, however, make some generalizations based on the vast number of morphological forms that life takes on earth.
Life on earth ranges from microscopic spheres and rods to macroscopic creatures exhibiting wide variations in their morphologies (e.g., spiders to humans). Nevertheless, nearly all life (everything except sponges) exhibits symmetry—either bilateral or radial symmetry. In bilateral symmetry (also called plane symmetry), only one plane, called the sagittal plane, will divide an organism into roughly mirror image halves. An organism with radial symmetry has no left or right sides, only a top and a bottom (dorsal and ventral surface). An alien life form, therefore, would most likely be symmetrical. The type of symmetry would be influenced on the environment in which it lived. From our basic knowledge of survival of macroscopic organisms whether they be aquatic or terrestrial it seems that bilateral symmetry dominates.”
Signs of the variances that may exist between the conditions of our planet and conditions on planets that may be home for the UFO occupants, might be discernible from some of the things CE3 witnesses report.
For example, a few things I have picked up on from decades of reading these cases:
—Some beings are seen wearing helmets, usually with face visible, and attached gear seemingly related to respiration needs. Suggesting different atmospheric gas mixtures existing on their planet?
—Beings are frequently observed wearing tight and form-fitting one-piece suits of clothes. A sign of different atmospheric pressure on their planet?
—Beings have been observed wearing very large and dark goggles. Signs of a different type of sun radiating a different intensity of light?
—Beings have been observed having difficulty in ambulating or moving about; others have been observed prancing about with the greatest of ease. A sign of different planetary gravity?
In his CE3 article for the 2018 edition of The UFO Encyclopedia, Jerome Clark notes what is apparent after absorbing a reading of cases (p.279, vol 1):
“In four out of five CE3 reports, the aliens are described as humanoid or even humanlike. (A surprising number of accounts involve beings of strikingly human appearance.) But under the broad heading of ‘humanoids’ we find a variety of beings.”
The observations of the activities and apparent focus of the beings associated with landed craft indicate an interest in planetary resources, evidently utilized in their apparent creative projects. Observations are also strongly suggestive of a monitoring our developments of reaching into space and creating harmful technology.
There is widespread awareness of one group of entities and what seems to be their “creative project” involving the use of human genetics. Also, the public through at least sci fi dramatizations, are somewhat familiar with demonstrations of “high strangeness” and the mind altering and conditioning effects experienced by those encountering some types of beings (designated as the “Oz Factor”).
The “high strangeness” features are found in looking at the traits evident in close encounters of the 3rd and 4th kind, where we see beings with capacities and an awareness far beyond the common attainment of human beings. In fact, based on those types of cases, the Pentagon program known as the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program produced a slide for apparently internal presentations and which we know about from it emerging after it was found at an unsecured page at Christopher Mellon’s website. (Mellon was Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence during the Clinton Administration.)
It is now known famously as Slide 9. Its contents:
“DoD Threat Scenario (AATIP Sub-Focus Areas)
The science exists for an enemy of the United States to manipulate both physical and cognitive environments in order to penetrate U.S. facilities, influence decision makers, and compromise national security
— Psychotronic weapons
— Cognitive Human Interface
— Penetration of solid surfaces
— Instantenous sensor disassembly
— Alteration/Manipulation of biological organisms
— Anomalies in the space/time construct
— Unique cognitive interface experiences
— DoD has been involved in similiar experiments in the past
— DoD has relationships with renowned subject matter experts
— DoD controls several facilities where activities have been detected
What was considered “phenomena” is now quantum physics”
Most species that people have alleged they interacted with communicate via telepathy. Many exhibit the ability to appear and disappear in an instant. Also, beings have been observed going through solid material, seemingly in some cases utilizing a light technology.
These types of things are not commonly in reach of humans and therefore may prove to be a very unsettling aspect of the phenomenon of interacting with advanced non human intelligences.
Also, during the spring of 2022, news was widely shared about Congress addressing reported concerns over bad biological effects reported among military personnel having encounters too close to craft. Details here:
It’s best to keep the observations and conclusions here limited to what’s obvious in the databases. So, I won’t go beyond the above in this introductory briefing except to add one more basic conclusion. In addition to using planetary resources for creative projects and monitoring our developments closely since world war 2 (as we expand into space, etc), many types of beings, not just the famous Grey’s with the big, black almond-shaped eyes, have been messaging via ordinary people they encounter.
The likely best illustration of the “messaging” aspect of close encounter interactions is the September 16 1994 incident at the Ariel Elementary School in Ruwa, Zimbabwe.