"The quantum bromide that quantum particles in a superposition state, do or do not exist until they are measured (observed), allegorized in the Schrödinger “thought experiment” of the cat in a box, applies to UFOs.
"That is, UFOs do not exist until they are observed, but does that observation create the UFO sighting or does the UFO event exist before it is observed?"
"And how does consciousness enter into the equation? Is there a psychological component integral to UFOs, or even a neurological component?"
Rich presents some interesting thoughts, but in the above we are dealing with a micro sub particle concept and attempting to marry it to macro physiological system called the brain.
One question to ask is why do some segments of society see UFOs and the other doesn't? In this post I refer to UFO as something airborne that cannot be identified as terrestrial by nature.
The structures of the brain can be reduced down to the billions of neurons and the numerous neurotransmitters all the way down to the sub particle realm where quantum mechanics would be in play.
But quantum physics provides no answer for defining the mind and thoughts. We can identify and understand the various areas of cognition, but the concept of actual consciousness is still allusive.
Thus a humanistic neurological quantum state is not the answer to human observation of UFOs since this has no impact on consciousness. But cognitive states may provide some clues.
Behaviorism provides some insight in the UFO phenomena. Behaviorism revolves around cognitive functioning that develops through learned experience, memory, reasoning and a myriad of other areas of executive functioning.
Behaviorism also includes the effects of conditioning. I proffer that conditioning is a prime factor that contributes towards the "observer's" perception. Conditioning occurs through various mechanisms, such as, being exposed from an early age to UFO books, TV programs, and movies.
It is through conditioning that provides a possible answers to the question regarding the observer's relationship to UFOs. It is a cognitive perception exercise that has no metaphoric quantum observational meaning.