Close Encounters of the Second Kind (CE2) involve dramatic cases with various forms of physical evidence. These sightings are the most important because there is evidence that can be studied after the event. There are several sub-types of CE2 cases:

Animal reaction cases—External confirmation of a UFO sighting is implied if a dog, cat, or other nearby animal reacts in some uncharacteristic way while the sighting is in progress. Unfortunately, because the animals cannot specify what it is they are reacting to, it is difficult to differentiate among reactions to a genuine UFO and reactions to an airplane, subtle sensory cues from the human master, or unsubtle noises from the mailman two blocks away.

Physiological and psychological effects—Witnesses sometimes report headaches, burns, sickness, temporary blindness, and radiation effects as a result of their UFO sighting.

Paralysis cases—In rare cases, UFO witnesses report feeling completely helpless, hypnotized, or unable to move as they are experiencing the UFO.

Electromagnetic or vehicle interference cases—UFO sightings are frequently accompanied by the temporary malfunctioning of houselights, compasses, mobile phones, and clocks, as well as static on radio and television systems. Automobile engines often stall, their headlights dim, and their electrical systems fail in vehicle interference cases. The navigation and communications systems of aircraft are occasionally interrupted during close aerial encounters.

Physical trace cases—The typical kind of effects associated with UFOs seen on the ground are scorched or damaged vegetation and landing marks. Angel’s hair, a cobwebby substance reported to fall from the sky both with and without a UFO in the vicinity, has often turned out to be gossamer from balloon spiders.

Fragments from the Ubatuba explosionUbatuba, Brazil. In early September 1957, several people fishing near Ubatuba, São Paulo, Brazil, watched a disc dive down from the sky and explode, showering the area with flaming fragments. One of the witnesses wrote an anonymous letter and sent three pieces to O Globo, but no witnesses to the event have ever come forward. APRO representative Olavo T. Fontes examined the fragments, which were dull gray, irregular, and strongly oxidized. One sample was shot through with microscopic cracks and showed a fissure running through two-thirds of its length. All three had whitish smears of a powdery substance like cinders. Fontes took one sample to the Mineral Production Laboratory of the Ministry of Agriculture for analysis, which showed it to be “magnesium of a high degree of purity.” Chemist Luisa Maria A. Barbosa, who conducted a spectrographic analysis, said that not even trace elements were apparent. Fontes also had it analyzed by chemist Elson Teixeira and the Brazilian Army. The Laboratory of Crystallography conducted some X-ray diffraction work. All concluded that the material was pure magnesium, while one gave it a density of 1.866 (normal magnesium is 1.741). APRO sent a second fragment to the US Air Force, which accidentally destroyed it. The third sample was sent to the Colorado Project in February 1968. Roy Craig ran tests on it at the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division of the IRS in Washington and Dow Chemical’s Metallurgical Laboratory. Both determined that the level of purity was not as high as was determined in 1957 (although this is now seen as a major misrepresentation of the actual results). APRO did two further tests with University of Arizona metallurgical engineer Walter A. Walker and Robert W. Johnson of the Materials Research Corporation at Orangeburg, New Jersey. Walker and Johnson both found that the sample “had undergone a directional crystal growth type of manufacture.” Walker concluded that the material was likely exposed to the earth’s atmosphere at elevated temperatures. Researchers Brad Sparks and Michael Swords examined Roy Craig’s archived original notes from the Colorado Project and found that the team had covered up the fact that an abnormal concentration of magnesium isotope Mg-26 had indeed been found and knowingly misrepresented the sample to APRO as “essentially the same as terrestrial magnesium,” blaming them for cherry-picking the Brazilian lab results. Peter A. Sturrock acquired the remnant of the samples from APRO and performed further analysis on two of them in 1997. In 2018, Michael Swords and Robert Powell borrowed one Ubatuba sample from Sturrock and arranged for further tests at an accredited lab, finding variations well outside the normal range for magnesium, strontium, copper, and barium.

Jerome Clark, “Ubatuba Residue” (1998)

News clipping about the Levelland cases, November 1957Levelland, Texas. At 10:50 p.m. on November 2, 1957, farmhand and veteran Pedro Saucedo and Joe Salaz were driving four miles west of Levelland, Texas, on Route 116 south of Pettit (near its intersection with Five Mile Road). They saw a flash of light to the right of the road. Then a 200-foot-long, 6-foot-wide blue rocket-shaped object, with yellow flame and white smoke coming from the rear, rose up out of the field, headed straight toward their truck, and passed directly overhead at about 200 feet with a loud thundering roar, a rush of wind, and great heat. Their truck engine died and the headlights went out. The UFO disappeared in the east towards Levelland. The lights came back on spontaneously and the engine restarted. A frightened Saucedo called the occurrence in to Patrolman A. J. Fowler of the Levelland sheriff’s office. At Pettit, Texas, the same night, two grain combines, each with two engines, failed as a UFO passed overhead. The Air Force called the Levelland sightings ball lightning or St. Elmo’s fire, even though there were no electrical storms in the area.

NICAP case file, part 1

NICAP case file, part 2

Fishersville, Virginia, UFOFishersville, Virginia. Driving east on US Highway 250, Horace Burns was approaching Fishersville, Virginia, at 5:00 p.m. on December  21, 1964, when an enormous object appeared from the north and descended slowly in a gradual slant. Just before it crossed the highway 200 feet in front of him, the UFO narrowly missed power lines. It was so huge that when it passed nearly in front of him, it filled his entire windshield. The UFO came down gently and landed in a field to Burns’s right. Meanwhile, Burns’s car engine has shut off. The object appeared to be at least 125 feet in diameter and 80–90 feet high. After 60–90 seconds, it rose up several hundred feet, made a sound like rushing air, and shot off to the northeast, vanishing from sight. A high level of radioactivity was detected at the site December 30 by investigators German professor Ernest G. Gehman and engineer Harry M. Cook. They obtained a Geiger counter reading of 16–18 milliR/hr. Two Blue Book investigators—T/Sgt. David N. Moody and S/Sgt. Harold T. Jones—visited the site with Gehman on January 12 and took further readings (1.5 milliR/hr on Burns’s left rear car door). They disputed Gehman’s earlier results, but a possible 11x–12x drop in radiation level in 13 days possibly indicated a radionuclide with a 3–4 day half-life.

NICAP case file

Kent, Washington. Mrs. A. W. Brundage was driving 4 miles north of Kent, Washington, at 11:30 p.m. on June 5, 1965, when her car suddenly came to a stop, the headlights failed, the radio stopped playing, and the car’s clock and her wristwatch stopped running. She saw a bright orange, lens-shaped object with a dome descend and hover 8–12 inches above the hood. It revolved clockwise at least 10 times. Brundage felt “hypnotized” as she watched it. When the disc flew away, the headlights and radio came on immediately and she was able to start the car again.

NICAP case file 

Harold Butcher, Cherry Creek UFO witnessCherry Creek, New York. Harold Butcher, 16, was milking the cows in his father’s barn in Cherry Creek, New York, at 8:20 p.m. on August 19, 1965, and listening to radio station WKBW. Just outside, a 3-year old bull was tied by its nose to a metal pipe. Harold heard the bull make a noise “like I have never heard come from an animal before.” Looking out the window, he saw the animal was bending the pipe. Simultaneously, he saw a metallic-looking, football-shaped UFO about 50 feet long and approximately 20 feet thick hovering just above the trees an estimated 450 feet from the barn. Slowly, the object descended behind a maple tree, emitting a red vapor from around its edges and a “beep-beep” sound. Meanwhile, the radio was emitting static, even though WKBW usually had a clear signal. Harold called the house on an intercom, then ran outside. As he approached the bull, the UFO rose and moved behind some clouds “as fast as a snap of my fingers” emitting red vapor toward the ground, then bounced back to the ship as it hovered about 10 feet in the air. The noise also increased to a level approximating a sonic boom as it went up. As the UFO disappeared, the clouds turned green. Inside, the boy’s mother, Mrs. William Butcher, noted that there was “definite interference” in her radio reception. Harold’s brother, Robert, also went outside and the two boys saw that the UFO had reappeared, this time hovering over a pine grove. It ascended again, emitting the red vapor and turning the clouds green. Others in the house included William Butcher Jr. and Kathleen Brougham, a friend. They did not see the object. It returned twice at 8:45 and 9:00 p.m., finally disappearing to the southwest. Trooper E. J. Haas and a fellow officer arrived on the scene shortly thereafter. As they all walked out to inspect the area of the initial sighting, they noticed a pungent odor. Harold and the young daughter suffered from upset stomachs. Mrs. Butcher said the cows produced only one can of milk that evening, as opposed to their usual two and a half cans. Harold discovered a purple, oily-smelling liquid and gave a sample of it to the state police, who turned it over to Capt. James A. Dorsey and five others from Niagara Falls Air Force Base, who came to investigate the report the following afternoon. When NICAP investigator Jeffrey Gow arrived on the scene, he noticed the foot-tall grass in the area “seemed to be bent over in long curved sweeps.” Radar targets were picked up between 8:00–8:30 p.m. by an AN/FPS-6 Long Range Height Finder Radar of the 763rd Radar Squadron at Lockport Air Force Station near Shawnee, New York. The target was sighted near the upper limit of the radar.

NICAP case file

Robert A. Galganski’s case file

Robert A. Galganski, “Incident at Cherry Creek” (1996)

Brenda Maria's description of the Beverly, Massachusetts, UFOBeverly, Massachusetts. At 9:00 p.m. on April 22, 1966, Nancy Modugno, 11, was lying in her bed in Beverly, Massachusetts, when she noticed a bright light blinking through her window. Outside she saw a football-shaped object about the size of an automobile only 40 feet away, lit with flashing blue, green, red, and white lights. It made a whizzing sound as it moved low above the roofs of houses. It seemed to land in a large field behind Beverly High School. Downstairs, her father was adjusting the TV set, which had just lost its picture. Her mother Claire Modugno went out with two friends, Barbara Smith and Brenda Maria, to investigate the light. When the three women got to the field, they saw three oval objects with bright flashing lights circling and halting in the sky. One was closer than the others, apparently above the school. Maria waved her arms at the object and it immediately stopped circling and moved toward them. Smith and Modugno started running away as the object hovered about 20 feet above Maria’s head. She saw a “blurry atmosphere and brightly lit-up lights flashing slowly around.” Thinking it would crash onto her, she ran away as well, and the object moved back above the school. Two policemen, Dennis Bossie and John Mahan, arrived to find a small crowd of people watching the closest object moving up and down, although it was much higher and star-like. Suddenly it turned bright red and descended to directly above the school building. Mahan said it looked like a large plate, was silent, and had three lights, red, green, and blue. The two officers jumped in their cruiser and drove down into the schoolyard, but the object moved away, picked up speed, and disappeared behind some buildings.

Raymond Fowler’s case file

Van Horne, Iowa, landing traceVan Horne, Iowa. At 11:00 p.m. on July 12, 1969, Patti Barr and Kathy Mahr, two teenage cousins, heard a loud roaring noise at Van Horne, Iowa, while upstairs in their house. They looked out the window to see a reddish-orange ball of light rotating and spinning counterclockwise above the adjacent soybean field. The next morning, they told Pat’s father, farmer Warren Barr, who then discovered a 24-foot-diameter, nearly bare oval in the soybean field. The plants’ leaves were severely dehydrated, dry, and brittle. This case was investigated by several groups at the time; localized intense heat or radiation was listed as most likely cause.

CUFOS case file

Delphos, Kansas, landing traceDelphos, Kansas. Ronald Johnson, 16, was tending sheep on his family’s farm at Delphos, Kansas, at 7:00 p.m. on November 2, 1971, when he heard a rumbling sound and saw (75 feet away in a small grove of trees) an object become suddenly illuminated with a mass of blue, red, and orange colors. Nine feet in diameter and 10 feet high, the UFO was slightly domed at the top and was hovering 2 feet above the ground. He and his dog stared at the object while the sheep were bellowing. After several minutes, the glow at the base became more intense and the object took off at an angle, clearing by no more than 4 feet a shed attached to the sheep pen. The rumbling was replaced by a high-pitched wail. Johnson was temporarily blinded but recovered his sight a few minutes later and saw the object still there. He ran into the house to tell his parents, and they also saw the light in the southern sky moving off into the distance. At the site where the UFO had been was a glowing, gray-white circle where the soil seemed to be crystallized. After the parents touched the soil, it turned their fingers numb, persisting for several weeks. Johnson took a photo of the circle. Seven separate soil analyses have been conducted. Soil samples taken from the ring did not absorb water, had a higher acid content, and contained more soluble salts and calcium. They also produced less seed growth than control samples and were coated with a hydrocarbon of low molecular weight that was difficult to remove. A second substance was also found that was composed of white, crystalline fibers.

CUFOS case file

UFO at Council Bluffs, Iowa, July 31, 1976Council Bluffs, Iowa. Debbie Focken and other witnesses saw an oblong object with illuminated windows hovering about 100 feet above Eldon’s Standard Service Station in Council Bluffs, Iowa, at 11:45 p.m. on July 31, 1976. Apparently the UFO caused extensive electrical damage to a CB radio, a burglar alarm, an adding machine, a cash register, and a vending machine at the gas station. The owner and employees claimed that lightning caused the damage, and that is what they reported to the insurance agency, but there was no thunderstorm that evening.

CUFOS case file

Colusa, California, UFO, 1976Colusa, California. Bill Pecha Jr. was watching TV in his home 3 miles southwest of Colusa, California, at 12:54 a.m. on September 10, 1976, when suddenly the picture crackled, faded, and blacked out, and the air conditioner died. He went outside to check on the circuit breaker and felt an electrical sensation. He looked up and saw an object 85 feet in diameter hovering above a TV antenna near the barn about 50 feet away. The main body of the craft was a disc shape, which appeared to be rotating in a clockwise direction, with a large dome that remained stationary on top. The object made little or no sound, and was silver or gray in color, except for the very bottom, which had a “porcelain” look about it. Two hook-like cables were hanging down. Pecha approached until he was just under one edge. The UFO moved slowly away and retracted its cables. Two hatches opened on either end, revealing a “spotlight.” Pecha went inside and awakened his wife Lenda, who also saw the object. He now perceived two other objects over high-tension power lines a mile to the west, emitting light beams at the tops of the transmission towers. The first UFO was moving closer and passed over a neighbor’s house, shining a light on it. Frightened, Pecha grabbed his two children and he and his wife sped away in their pickup. They stopped at friends’ house and drew their attention to the distant light. The encounter ended at 1:03 a.m.

CUFOS case file

Cotile Lake CE-2Cotile Lake, Louisiana. Five individuals—Dale Schexnaider and his wife, their two daughters, Jena, 14, and Krissy, 11, and a close family friend—were breaking camp at dusk on June 17, 1977, and preparing to go home from the Cotile Lake Recreation Area, Louisiana. Just before they reached the clearing that led to the road, the male friend began feeling a “low frequency vibration” in his bones. Looking upward, he saw the outline of a huge, disc-shaped UFO hovering completely still, surrounded with points of light. The friend estimated it was about 75 feet across and 50 feet tall. The two daughters were talking at the time, but they too noticed the humming noise and saw the UFO. The object then floated almost directly above them, and the middle of the craft started to glow. Several rays or beams of blue light shot from the UFO, striking them in the solar plexus. It was an intense, electric, silver-blue, thin beam. They heard crackling sounds in the air and they couldn’t move. Slowly they forced their heads down to see their arms glowing with electric blue light. Movement was difficult—as in a dream, slow and heavy. After about 10 seconds, all the lights vanished instantly, along with the force field. The craft began to glide away over the treetops. The children were frantic, and the male friend was inwardly terrified. The parents were back at the camp and saw none of this. The case was reported to J. Allen Hynek by a friend, and he later visited the witnesses and spoke to all three.

CUFOS case file

Kerman, California, burn case, 1978Kerman, California. At 3:32 a.m. on May 13, 1978, police officer Manuel J. Amparano was on the outskirts of Kerman, California, when he saw a reddish glow ahead. Getting closer, he observed an oval-shaped object, smaller in apparent size than the full moon, hanging silently in the sky. It was a very bright crimson-red color, which despite its brightness did not hurt his eyes. It shot out a beam of blue light similar to a camera flash, then receded and was gone. Amparano felt “a tingling sensation” in his body as he drove to the station, but he was not concerned. When he got out, the six witnesses at the station noted that he was sunburned “as red as a lobster.” His skin showed this condition for about 4 hours before it returned to normal, even in areas underneath his uniform. However, no burn was present where the car door was between him and the flash. Also, he had no burn on his back, which was away from the car window as he peered out. Although the redness faded, there were areas where the skin was actually burned (arms, face, neck). These were noted on a visit to Fresno Community Hospital. These burns were visible for 2 days. The day following the encounter, “fever blisters” broke out on his face and in places on his arms, and these lasted a week. Allegedly, doctors at the hospital told the officer that the burns looked like they were caused by microwave radiation.

“A Classic CE2P: Kerman, California, 1978” (2011)

Farm near Bloomfield, Indiana, where CE 2 took placeBloomfield, Indiana. At 7:00 p.m. on October 26, 1980, an oddly shaped UFO was observed by a husband and wife on their farm 2 miles southeast of Bloomfield, Indiana. The object looked like two full moons spaced about 12 feet apart with a flashing red light in back like a lopsided triangle. Each white light was about 3 feet in diameter, and although the white was intense, nothing around them was lit up. The object was at treetop level and passed to the right of a security light. There was no reflection of metal anywhere. The woman got the impression that the lights were connected to something huge, and said: “The object passed about 20 feet above the barn making no sound and lights making no light. When it was over the barn roof, the sows with baby pigs in the barn jumped up and began wild grunting and knocking about in their pens. They settled down immediately after the object cleared the roof. The object is now coming very slowly towards the front of our house and yard. My husband had gone back into the house to watch from the front windows, my children are crying, and I am on the back porch having the time of my life.” The UFO disappeared behind the roof line of the house.

“Greene County Indiana 1980 CE II” (1985)

Springfield, Ohio, vehicle interference case, 1974Vehicle interference (VI) cases. Herbert S. Taylor rounds up some CE-2 cases in which the UFO apparently affects the ignition, lighting, and controls of automobiles, trucks, and other conveyances. He writes: “When a presumed UFO is observed (particularly at close range) and pronounced vehicle interference also occurs, a sighting becomes difficult to simply dismiss as mere coincidence or of only incidental interest. In short, vehicles are not prone to hallucination. This combination of events strongly suggests just the opposite—that there indeed was a direct connection between the observed UFO and the vehicle. This convergence of factors indicates the anomalous nature of such reports and the entire UFO phenomenon. The VI factor in itself shows that the UFO problem deserves careful scrutiny by the scientific community.”

Herbert S. Taylor, “An Update on Vehicle Interference Reports,” parts 1 and 2 (2011)