Close encounter was a term used in the 1990s on Earth to describe contact with aliens.

In 1996, Henry Starling dismissed Rain Robinson's detection of the source of emissions she'd tracked, saying it could be a close encounter or possibly a flock of geese. Later, while trying to figure out where Tom Paris, The Doctor, and Tuvok came from, she speculated she was indeed having a close encounter. (VOY: "Future's End")

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