'U.F.O' as most would already know is an acronym for the term 'Unidentified Flying Object', therefore by proper definition everyone has seen a UFO, unless of course they wish to make the claim that they can positively identify everything they've seen within our skies at any given time.
My father used to play a game with us when we were children in which he would point out low-flying aircraft etc and ask us if we could identify it. He would tease us that if we could not positively ID exactly what the object was it must be a UFO! A fond childhood memory that illustrates the point I've made above.
We have now established the positive existence of UFOs by proper definition and we can take a look at some of the hypotheses put forth in an effort to explain what it is that millions of people have reported and continue to report seeing.
There are many hypotheses that are used in an attempt to explain UFOs, however, due in large part to pop culture, the acronym is considered by the majority to denote spacecraft that is piloted by intelligent extraterrestrials. This is known as the extraterrestrial hypothesis and it may or may not ultimately prove to be correct in some cases. The pros and cons of the ETH will not be discussed within this article, however it is important to make a clear distinction between the acronym and this possible explanation.
Psychic or paranormal events similar to the mechanisms speculated on as to the ability to view apparitions etc are perhaps far less commonly heard, but certainly cannot be entirely ruled out dependant on an individual report. This is one reason why PSICAN feels comfortable including this particular topic on a paranormal oriented website.
The sighting of exotic or newly developed aircraft is another hypothesis that could potentially explain some of the reported cases of UFOs. This scenario is certainly more acceptable in terms of reasoning and comfort level to those who are critical of the ETH or other viewpoints of a supernatural nature. The Stealth bomber for instance has been used by some as a possible explanation for reported triangular shaped objects.
Skeptics and debunkers alike will tend to lean heavily on the misidentification of natural phenomena as the obvious explanation for UFO reports. With some reports this is certainly the case and with others evidence can lead one to speculate the greater probability of a UFO in fact being mundane in origin.
Hoaxes have and in all likelihood will continue to be uncovered and must be included when taking a look at this topic. However, decades worth of observational and in some cases physical data collection indicate that this cannot be used as a cover-all explanation alone or in conjunction with misidentifications and possible hallucinations.
Where do these various hypotheses leave us in regards to the UFO enigma? The truth is that any, all, or in fact none of the above are potentially correct when in consideration of individual UFO accounts.
Studies have been carried out world over including the infamous 'Project Bluebook' and depending on the source differing percentages are given as to actual numbers of genuine UFOs being reported. The range is anywhere from 0% and upwards and is occasionally based on preconceived notions as to their true nature. None of these studies for obvious reasons can be considered completely accurate. However, if we take the time to make a study of the large volume of credible evidence put forth in regards to anomalous UFO activity presented thus far, we are left with those that seemingly defy the hoax, hallucination, or misidentification hypotheses.
Currently there are small pockets of scientists around the globe whose work is showing that in some cases this phenomena is measurable albeit the data collected and interpreted is still enigmatic in nature at this time.
So the answer to the title question is this; UFO's by proper definition do exist and depending on each individual case, may or may not be readily explainable. Beyond that, all speculation and beliefs no matter how seemingly outrageous are potentially correct.
What Should I Do If I See One?
1.) Remain calm.
2.) If possible alert any nearby people to what you are witnessing.
3.) Note as many details as possible ie:) date/time, duration, location, weather conditions, distance, altitude, appearance, including: shape, colour, size, trajectory, along with anything else that you feel may be relevant to your sighting. Write these down as soon as possible afterwards.
4.) If you happen to have a camera or video recorder with you, attempt to photograph or film the UFO with another object in the frame to be used as a point of reference. ie:) a tree
6.) Do not feel alone - you are not. And please do not allow fear of potential ridicule to prevent you from reporting what you have witnessed. The information you are able to provide is important to us and will remain confidential.