WFA: It's not Pythagore's theorem, it's Thales' theorem.
I know several ways to tell how far a UFO is. For "something" in general, there are many more.
- Estimate distance to a known reference object close to the UFO or its shadow (when another object is seen in the background or foreground - tree,
building, cloud, ...).
Two accurate geometric methods:
- If you know the size of the UFO (as in the OP), and the angle it makes in your image (easy to get if you know the field of view of the camera or
scope - the model and zoom level of the camera must be known). For a UFO knowing the size is not likely, unless you have other information (on the
ground, size of its shadow for example) to estimate the size of the UFO.
- If you have two pictures from two different observers at the same time, at a known distance, or if the camera is moved sideways between 2 pictures,
and you assume the object is not moving in the same direction, you can get its parallax i.e. its apparent movement relative to the background (if
there is a reference feature in the background whose distance is known), and deduce its distance.
Two much less reliable methods:
-if you know the material / texture / reflectivity of the object is similar to another object visible on the picture, whose distance is known, it is
possible to compare the two apparent colors. The nearest object should be less affected by the (foggy) atmosphere, giving it a darker coloration.
- atmospheric disturbance. The image in a telescope of a distant object must be shimmering. It can be used by comparison for lights in the night sky.
If they are as small as stars, but don't twinkle as stars, their light did not go through the entire atmosphere.
I'm sure there are other methods, less applicable for UFO. For example if you know the speed of the UFO (from Doppler effect sound or radar), you can
get its distance from a video or two pictures with EXIF data.