Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind

Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind are those cases where the witness or witnesses report that they have been involuntarily abducted by humanoids, most commonly while sleeping or driving alone late at night. They are returned hours or even days later after intrusive medical examinations. The reports have five characteristics: a set of details that are extraordinarily consistent from case to case; the absence of any diagnosed mental illness in the witnesses; minor physical changes to the witnesses consistent with their account; the common association with UFOs, which otherwise are consistent with those reported in encounters of the first, second, or third kinds; and the fact that reports are often made by children.

The standard experience begins with seeing a light in the bedroom or outside of the car or bedroom. Abductees may or may not see the ship from the outside. Either way, they are carried to the light and find themselves within the craft. There are beings present, described as small, having large heads and big black prominent eyes. They have a kind of rudimentary nose, nostril holes, a slit of a mouth, no ears, and are about three-and-a-half feet tall.

Once inside the ship, which has kind of curved walls, they become naked. They are subjected to a series of procedures, which the most disturbing of which are urological-gynecological probings. Often, mothers claim to have had fetuses removed, or men have report having sperm samples taken against their wills. There is also probing of the nose and head. Sometimes there is the experience of implants being put in.

The experience ends with the return of abductees. They are usually returned to the place where they had been, but funny things happen there. Their shirts may be inside out. They may be some place different from where they started out from, and have lost hours or days of time. Abductees may wake up with unexplained cuts, scoop marks, or bleeding noses.

The experience itself immensely traumatic -- to be paralyzed, to be taken against your will, to be subjected to these intrusive, terrifying procedures. These individuals feel a terrible isolation. They are very reluctant to tell their parents or friends for fear of being thought crazy. It totally shatters their understanding of consensus reality. And it's not over - for some, the experience can recur at any time.

Abductees begin to feel that their experiences were for a purpose or had a positive meaning to them. They may feel a whole new perspective on the universe. Or they may have been given intense information during the abduction of an impending global crisis - nuclear war or environmental destruction. Abductees may feel bonding with their captors. They may consider themselves part of a breeding experiment, set to establish a new race.

Abductee experiences have much in common with near-death experiences. They are extraordinarily consistent experiences reported by persons with no other evidence of mental problems; the individual is being drawn toward and returns from a light; and afterward they are transformed. However the near-death experience is nearly always transformative in a positive manner, with the individual losing their fear of death and feeling part of a larger reality. The abduction experience has a darker aspect, although the abductee may eventually be transformed in a similar manner.

The 'grey' alien type popularized in the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind has become the public and media image of the standard abducter. Such types do in fact make up more than half of CE4 cases - although tellingly the percentage increased substantially after the film came out and the type became part of pop culture. About a third of the abducters are humanoid, and the rest a collection of monstrous types.

.Vallee defined a CE4 as simply a case where the witness had been abducted. Equivalent Hynek code: CE4 with a strangeness of 9.

Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind (Abductions) Chronology

Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind (Abductions) by Location