New Gallup Poll Shows That More Americans Believe the Government is Hiding Knowledge of UFOs Than Believe UFOs are Extraterrestrial Craft

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A new poll conducted by Gallup in June—but released last week—shows that more Americans believe their government is hiding its knowledge of UFOs than believe that UFOs are of extraterrestrial origin.

According to the poll, 68% of Americans believe that the U.S. government knows more about UFOs than they are telling us. This opinion was "similar among all main demographic groups, including by age, education and party identification,” said Lydia Saad for Gallup.

(Gallup)

(Gallup)

Roughly half the number who believe the government is hiding information about UFOs think that it’s covering up encounters with extraterrestrial spacecraft, said Saad. That conclusion “is based on the finding that far fewer people give credence to UFO sightings or have witnessed them, personally, than think the government knows more than it's telling,” she added.

(Gallup)

(Gallup)

33% of U.S. adults surveyed said they thought some UFOs are alien spacecraft, while only 16% admitted to having actually seen a UFO. The majority of adults, 60%, said that UFO sightings “can be explained by human activity or natural phenomenon,” and 7% were unsure.

Despite this, 56% of adults “believe that those who spot UFOs are seeing something real, not just imagining it.”

This might reflect “public awareness of military testing and the proliferation of drones which people may think can be mistaken for UFOs,” according to Saad.

The “Bottom Line", said Saad, is:

While not a majority, 33% of Americans believe alien spacecraft have visited Earth at some point. This group is potentially sympathetic to those who want to uncover what the government knows about alien landings, once and for all.

Another third or so of Americans may assume the government isn't being completely transparent about what it knows, but not because it is hiding something. For example, they may believe officials are keeping quiet because unidentified sightings could unnecessarily alarm the public, or because refuting UFOs would require disclosing sensitive military information.

Not mentioned by Saad were the relationships between education and religion when evaluating belief in the extraterrestrial hypothesis.

College graduates were 27% less likely to believe that some UFOs represent alien spacecraft than non-graduates, while the non-religious were 21% more likely to believe than their Christian counterparts.

Some investigators found the survey less than satisfactory.

“It’s difficult to know what to do with these statistics, since the survey asked critical thinkers to make a choice based on incomplete information—there is currently no proof that UFOs are of extraterrestrial origin, although evidence for them being something outside of current, mainstream scientific knowledge does exist,” said investigator Tobias Wayland of the survey.

“I find the false dichotomy between extraterrestrial visitation or human activity and natural phenomena to be very problematic,” he continued. “It seems needlessly reductionist, when a better question might have been ‘Do you believe that any UFOs represent a phenomenon not currently understood by science?’”

“That might have got a few of the more open-minded respondents to admit that there is a mystery here, without having to admit to a solution that they don’t know to be true,” he added.

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Tobias Wayland