I told her that the FAA doesn't exactly take UFO reports, and here she interrupts telling me that's "it's on their website, go look." I explained about Bigelow, who he is, his connection with the FAA, etc. but she wasn't' having it. She is correct that going to the FAA website, you will find info on how to report a UFO. Which tells visitors to the site to contact the local police " If concern is expressed that life or property might be endangered,,," or, you can report your sighting to "a UFO/ unexplained phenomena reporting data collection center," such as Peter Davenport's National UFO Reporting Center.
This small interaction with a UFO witness was interesting because it shows how misinformation is right out there doing its job. Yes, technically you go to the FAA website, and there's info on how to report a UFO. Not thinking further, this woman assumed the government is happy and open about UFOs and is helping us, the hoi polloi, with our UFO experiences. The opposite is the reality. The FAA is unconcerned (openly that is) and passes the buck. Call your local police, or, the National UFO Reporting Center. The latter is a start, but there is no contact number on the FAA site. You have to figure that out for yourself.
Now, back to the FAA. I linked to the FAA page that instructs witnesses to report to Davenport's NUFORC. That page is dated April 3, 2014: "Effective April 3, 2014" in the upper right hand corner of the page.
There is no mention of Robert Bigelow and his BAAS (Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies) organization. (Bigelow, billionaire, funded paranormal and UFO studies including the NIDS report on black triangles, and who has been quoted as saying the public doesn't necessarily have the right to know data collected on UFOs. Also in bed with MUFON.)
But according to the Open Minds, the FAA in May of 2013 lists Robert Bigelow as a source to report UFOs:
a. Persons wanting to report UFO/unexplained phenomena activity should contact a UFO/ unexplained phenomena reporting data collection center, such as Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS) (voice: 1-877-979-7444 or e-mail: Reporting@baass.org), the National UFO Reporting Center, etc. (FAA)
The above includes phone numbers for both BASS and NUFORC. Handy. But if you click on the link in the Open Minds article, it doesn't show the above, but the more current page from the FAA from April 2014. So within the year, the FAA changed their resources for reporting UFOs. No phone numbers or links, no mention of Bigelow -- just the NUFORC.
Which makes us ask, why was Bigelow's BAAS taken off the FAA site?
As to pilots reporting UFOs, this is what one FAA official had to say, as reported by Lee Speigel in a 2012 article:
When asked about Federal Aviation Administration policies to deal with UFOs, an FAA official told HuffPost, "Our standard response is that the FAA does not track UFO activity."
"As far as any procedures for reporting, that's probably on an airline-by-airline basis if, in fact, they do have any procedures at all for that," the official added. (Lee Speigel, Huffington Post 2012)
Oh, I think we really are," [visited by aliens] he told HuffPost. "And the government doesn't tell you the truth all the time. Part of the stuff I was doing in my last 10 years with the government was lying to the public. I gave out disinformation -- an approved tactic in the government -- because the people can't handle the truth."So the FAA isn't exactly making it easy for citizens to report UFOs, and they are certainly not being open about the subject. But to many who may have seen something unusual in the skies but don't follow the intricacies, duplicities and overall convolutions surrounding government and UFOs, it seems like a sweet and happy fact the FAA "lets us" report UFOs to them.