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Close encounters of the fifth kind - communicating with UFOs

Close encounters of the first, second, and third kind (CE-1s, CE-2s, and CE-3s in UFO vernacular) were first described by astronomer J. Allen Hynek 20 years ago. In a thumbnail guide for the uninitiated, CE-1s include UFO sightings closer than 500 feet. CE-2s involve close sightings accompanied by physical evidence such as markings on the lawn. In CE-3s, witnesses report coming face to face with aliens. Just a few years ago, UFOlogists established the CE-4 label to cover cases in which humans are allegedly abducted by ETs.

Not satisfied with the current groupings, however, emergency medical physician Steven Greer of Asheville, North Carolina, has recently come up with another category: Close encounters of the fifth kind, in which humans and aliens intentionally communicate through ordinary light and sound.

But the Center for the Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence (CSETI) members don't just head for the nearest cow pasture at night and wait for UFOs. Instead, after a consistent pattern of UFO reports has been made in a limited geographical area over an extended period of time, CSETI sends a team.


To attract UFOs, CSETI fills the night air with prerecorded beeping sounds alleged made by UFOs and flashes 1-million-candle-power lights. This, says Greer, has led to the exchange of on-and-off blinks, what he calls a "photon dialogue." The result, adds Greer, is "coherent thought sequencing"--a phenomenon in which the team telepathically welcomes the aliens, conveys CSETI's peaceful intentions, and encourages the craft to land. When mental contact has been made, adds Greer, "consciousness lock-on has been achieved."

Within a few years, Greer hopes, this technique will encourage UFOs to land so that CSETI researchers can go aboard. "Anonymous government officials," Greer notes, "want to be briefed before this occurs."

Greer's new group has garnered support throughout the UFO field. Psychologist Leo Sprinkle, a retired University of Wyoming professor who's worked with so-called UFO contactees, recently helped to launch CSETI at the International Association for New Science conference. He feels that CSETI "represents the next step in UFO investigations." And physicist Brian O'Leary, former astronaut trainee and author of Exploring Inner and Outer Space and The Second Coming of Science, to be published this winter, also backs CSETI. "Contacts between extraterrestrials and Earthlings seem to have been going on for decades," he says, "but we still don't want to admit it."

Not everyone agrees. Mark Rodeghier, director of the Center for UFO Studies, asks, "How do you know what contact is? And where would you look? If it hasn't happened in fifty years," he adds, "CSETI has to assume that the ETs are just waiting for us to act. I find that hard to believe."

Maybe, but CSETI efforts are moving ahead. In addition to establishing groups in the United States, Greer also plans projects for Belgium, Great Britain, and some South American locales. Greer and Paul Von Ward, a former U.S. diplomat and author, have also discussed the possible benefits of developing a diplomatic protocol for human/alien relations based on citizen diplomacy, in which private individuals ease the way to cooperation and peace. Says Greer, "We feel that's really the missing link." --Paul McCarthy

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