Peers, Beers, Fears, or Ghastly Grays?
Most of us have seen the old movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind. In this movie, the title alludes to the third type of “alien” encounter on the Hynek scale. Extraterrestrials, or ET, as they are also called are alien visitors. The Hynek scale was developed in 1972, by Allen Hynek. Three increasingly close proximity of human experience, “encounters,” related to unidentified flying objects, (UFOs’) are described by his criteria. The idea captured public imagination, and is now very commonly used by UFO believers and skeptics alike.
You may be out with friends drinking, walking, camping, or hanging out, when suddenly lights streak across the sky. All of you try to figure out just what they are. The difficulty, of course is that unless you are out at night time, camping, for example, you are not likely to witness this, but if you are out, you likely are in attendance at a camp fire having a beer, or a party, or other gathering, and because we are social creatures, we are susceptible to both intoxicants, and fearful suggestions of our peers.
An encounter of the first kind is simply seeing an object which one cannot identify. These may or may not be attributed to aliens, but for fervent believers, who swear there is nothing known on earth to explain the strange craft they see, a close encounter of the first kind is completely convincing to them. When an object is reported by dozens of people, it does not have the same concern toward investigation, as when an object is reported by thousands of people, and over a measurable distance, following a pattern that can be traced over several cities, for example. An encounter of the first kind that is explained by air force tests, or weather balloon, or other concrete cause, will be taken off the “first encounter” listing when an explanation is highly likely to be verifiable as human in origin. When no such explanation is found, the event remains an encounter of the first kind. Since technology allows for more and more sophistication in aircraft, photography, and manipulation, it is easier than ever for determined people to invent a hoax.
An encounter of the second kind is an event wherein the witness, or witnesses, reports an event, such as burn mark, crop circle, power interference, or significant disruption of an area, vehicle, or personal surrounding that is documented. Of course, in the case of crop circles, there are many hoaxes, and also, for personal, or area disruptions, there are endless possibilities, or even coincidence, that confuses the credibility of the event. Cattle mutilations, the sense of “lost time,” and unexplained marks, burns on trees, shrubs, roadways, and posts, and animals displaying injury, or behaving strangely, are all considered encounters of the second kind.
Close encounters of the third kind involve contact. Alien abduction, alien visitation, as what abductees describe having happened to them, and alien probes, or implants, such as some claim to have injected into the back of the neck, would all be considered close encounters of the third kind. The trouble with the “third” kind is that very little, if any, hard core evidence exists that these abductions have actually happened, is available. Because humans are extremely susceptible to implanted memory, and suggestion, the common knowledge of classically large eyed, smooth bodied, smaller than human, alien body type, often called “Grays” is well known, and easily imagined. Although some unidentified materials have been found implanted under the skin, this does not prove the material is not from earthly origin, since there are many thousands of kinds of “materials” which could have somehow become “implanted” in human skin.
“Absence of evidence, “as Carl Sagan said, is not “evidence of absence.” Nor is it proof of anything. He meant we should all have open minds. Yet, he also said that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. To demonstrate you have had an encounter of the first, second, or third kind, you will need very extraordinary proof. Those who truly believe will not be dissuaded, and those that hold out for absolute proof will not likely be persuaded until they see, hear, smell, taste, and feel the Gray right in front of them, perhaps offering a beer, sharing a scary story, or talking about how funny your peers all look, from the alien perspective.