What should one do if they see a UFO? There, at least the title is a complete sentence now.
That, in itself, is one of the things that make this subject hard to swallow. Experience demonstrates that many proponents of the subject have difficulty identifying complete sentences, even when uttered by themselves, let alone being able to identify, with any measure of reliability, abnormal phenomena. As a person who has spent his life in Research, observing phenomena, anticipated or not, I will offer a few pointers on observation and reporting.
1. Be an objective observer.
2. Take complete notes.
3. Use every asset available to document evidence.
4. Make observations relative to the environment.
5. Enlist as many witnesses as possible and ensure that they are also taking notes.
6. During the event, do not communicate with other observers.
7. After the event, review all notes and evidence and establish a chronology from the notes and evidence.
8. Write a clear, objective report from notes and evidence. Do not write from memory.
9. After completing the report, compare the report with reports of other observers. Do not edit a report to coincide with another observer’s report.
10. Submit all reports to an objective judge to discover if the reports are supporting or tend to cancel each other.
While observing, change your perspective and angle of observation to ensure that you are not seeing a UFM (Unidentified Flying Mirage). If you are a single observer, take angular measurements from known positions against fixed objects. If there is more than one observer, get as much separation as possible and take simultaneous angular measurements against fixed objects from known positions. This data is probably the most important as it can be used to identify the relative position and velocity of the object.
In reporting the sighting, do not draw conclusions. UFO observers are discounted the moment they begin claiming the object must have come from Sirius or Epsilon Beta Three. If you cannot produce a skinny gray unisex creature, do not claim to have seen any. If you have pictures, digital or emulsion, do not take any other photographs with that camera. Put it in its case and make sure whoever develops, downloads the pictures documents every step in the process. If you make a video, do it at as low a zoom as possible. If you need to zoom for identification, zoom in and back out without stopping the shutter. Make the recording continuous, include as much of the background, and foreground as possible. Keep the sound on and do not say stupid things. If comment is made, the only useful comment is approximate vertical angle and direction the lens is pointed. Do comment if a significant landmark comes into the frame. When videoing an object, do not move, if the object goes into a gravity defying hover and you must move, keep videoing and comment on the direction and distance of your movement. If possible, put the recording device on a mount, tripod or solid surface.
For the most part, be objective, speak and write in complete sentences, and stay objective. Remember, it is Unidentified, leave it that way and let the weight of the evidence support the conclusion. Lastly, if you have sex with the aliens, keep it to yourself, we really do not want to know.