This is the part of the whole experience that I was looking forward to the most. I was aware that a few mistakes were made, and I was anxious to hear what I could improve upon. All in all though, it must be said that everyone performed exceptionally and the main point of the exercise, which was to learn to work together as a team, was achieved with overwhelming success.
I would like to point out that no single team is guilty of any of the following errors, we all were. I think it will become evident as I go on that even the simplest of things can escape you when you are in the field, which is why I am going to mention not only the errors, but the correct procedure that should have been used. It is important to remember that you only get one chance to secure a scene and collect the evidence correctly. Anything done incorrectly can lose that evidence forever, and nothing you can do after the fact can bring it back, so the first critical steps are really very important.
Error #2: Respirators. Oops! Now how did we forget that in the middle of the Sonora Desert? I've written about this on numerous occasions, I'm sure that many of you are familiar with what happened in Coyame, Mexico. So why did this not even cross my mind, not even at the scene of the "crashed saucer"? I have to admit that I was wondering why respirators weren't included with the equipment we had at the site. And it's not like it was miles back to get what we forgot, all we had to do was walk back to the tables with the equipment. I think that what it boiled down to is that no one wanted to put on a face mask in the desert heat. In real life though, I'd choose the mask over suffocating on some unknown alien biological agent hands-down every time! The correct procedure (should you ever be lucky enough to be at the scene of a recent UFO crash) would be have your respirator on well before approaching a crash scene. One would have absolutely no idea what kind of contaminants would be in the air around it. I personally would be not only wearing one, but praying like mad that it worked!
Error #3 is one that is easy to overlook, but very important that you adhere to it every time-establish your boundary! As soon as you know the area that you are going to search, you need to tape it off. Always give yourself plenty of buffer space to move around inside your scene, so that you don't have to walk through the area of your search. Then once your perimeter is established, it is also very important that you control who comes into and out of that area. No one should be allowed inside your perimeter who does not have a duty on the site. You also do not want every team member trampling through your scene. Pick before hand who will be entering the search area, and establish corridors for entrance and exit, and limit your traffic to those areas.
Once again, you only have one chance to get these first steps right. It would not be a bad idea to make a checklist for yourself, and get in the habit of going through it each time so that you know you have the best possible chance to collect as much evidence as you can, and you know you can rely on your evidence because you did it right!