A new survey says about 80 million or 36 percent of Americans believe UFOs are real. The survey reports that one in 10 say they have seen a UFO and 65 percent say Obama would do a better job of handling an alien invasion emergency than Mitt Romney.
The survey also found that 36 percent of Americans believe that aliens have visited the Earth; 48 percent were not sure while 17 percent said they do not believe aliens have visited the Earth.
The survey found that more than three in four Americans think there are signs that suggest aliens visited the Earth. According to the survey, 79 percent of Americans think the government is concealing information about UFOs and about 55 percent believe that the government has "Men-in-Black" agents who threaten people who say they have seen UFOs.
The survey also showed that one in five Americans think their country's capital is the most likely place for an invading alien ship to land.
Daily Mail reports the survey asked what respondents would do "if an alien knocked on the door." The survey reports 22 per cent would try to befriend the alien, 15 per cent would run away, 13 per cent would lock their doors. Only 2 per cent would try to "inflict bodily harm."
According to Live Science, the survey was conducted by Kelton Research. The company polled a nation wide sample of 1,114 Americans over 18, who were representative of the demographics of the entire country. ABC News reports that the survey was commissioned ahead of the National Geographic Channel's "Chasing UFOs" series premiering Friday night. According to ABC News, Brad Dancer, National Geographic's senior vice president for audience and business development, said other questions asked respondents included which superhero they would call in to fight off an attack.
Daily Mail reports 21 per cent would call the Hulk, 12 per cent would call Batman, and eight per cent would call Spider-Man.
ABC News reports Dancer said: "We were trying to have a little fun and see if pop culture references have had an impact on people's beliefs. It's intended as a fun survey of public opinion."
Dancer said Hollywood may have contributed to the belief that "Men in Black"-style agents threaten people who report UFO sightings. He said that as movies portraying aliens become more convincing, they are likely to influence people's beliefs about extraterrestrials and UFOs subconsciously.
Dancer also said that an increasing number of Americans are convinced that the Earth is not the only planet in the universe with life. He pointed out, however, that the survey left the precise definition of "UFO" open. He said: "UFO doesn't necessarily mean alien spacecraft.There are things that are unexplained. They're interesting because they're unknown. People love a mystery."
Live Science reports that the results of the survey agree with previous studies of UFO beliefs among Americans. According to Live Science, Scripps Howard News Service and Ohio University conducted a survey of 1,003 adult Americans in 2008. The study found that a third of adult Americans believed that it is "either very likely or somewhat likely" that intelligent beings from space have visited the Earth. The study found that about one in 12 said they had seen a mysterious object in the sky that might have been an alien spaceship.
ABC News reports UFO investigator David MacDonald, director of non-profit Mutual UFO Network, said he was not surprised by the numbers. He said: "We have grown up with 'Star Trek,' 'Star Wars' and 'Battlestar Galactica. We're at the point where we'd say 'What planet are you from? Oh well, let's have a beer.'"