During the Awakening, sightings of alien ships will much precede sightings of actual aliens for a number of reasons. Recall that a key concern during the Awakening is to guard against raising the anxiety level of the humans on Earth, which would incline them toward the Service-to-Self orientation due to the self concern that is engendered during threatening situations.
The Outcome: Any sightings of alien life forms must be in a setting where the anxiety is slight, and is balanced overall by a sense of relief that alien encounters have been experienced with a reasonable outcome. The experiencer is not harmed, has not been intimidated, and finds they can communicate with the alien reasonably well.
The Experiencer: Where sightings of alien life forms will be forthcoming during the Awakening, they will occur only where the humans involved are considered strong enough to arrive at logical conclusions rather than panic-driven conclusions. These individuals are few and far between.
The Locale: Beyond the experiencer him or herself, there is the issue of how the humans in the immediate locale will react. The overall result must be a positive view of the alien presence. If an individual here or there will have a fearful reaction, this in and of itself will not prevent the sighting if their reaction is balanced out by receptive reactions in others.