Aug 23, 2021 I Paul Seaburn

Aliens in UFOs? New Poll Shows Significant Change in Number of Americans Who Believe

American poll takers tired of taking polls on politics, coronavirus and most popular TV shows are turning their eyes not to the skies but to people in the U.S. looking up and believing that the UFOs getting so much attention by the military, the Pentagon and the mainstream media are not one of ours or one of theirs but one of ‘theirs’ – space aliens. If a majority believes it’s true, does that make it so?

“We have a question about Unidentified Flying Objects, also known as UFOs. Which comes closer to your view -- [ some UFOs have been alien spacecraft visiting Earth from other planets or galaxies, (or) all UFO sightings can be explained by human activity on Earth or natural phenomenon]?”

And the most popular answer is? According to the latest Gallup poll on “Americans' Views on Explanation for UFOs” taken in July 2021 (read the press release here and the poll results here), the answer is:

“41% of adults now believe some UFOs involve alien spacecraft from other planets, up eight points from 33% in 2019. Half of Americans, down from 60% in 2019, remain skeptical, saying all UFO sightings can be explained by human activity or natural phenomena. Another 9% are unwilling to venture a guess.”

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We won! I wonder what the prize is.

That’s a significant increase in just two years and pushes us just 10 points away from a majority of Americans believing UFOs are alien spacecraft. The increase is in comparison to the same poll taken in August 2019, shortly after the news hit about US pilots and Navy personnel encountering UFOs or UAPs (unidentified aerial phenomena) that was hidden for over a decade. The new poll comes after the Pentagon’s report on UFOs and after the long pandemic shutdown which kept people at home with extra time on their hands to look at the nighttime sky – which was made clearer by the reduction in air pollution from far less vehicles on the road.

  • The percentage of college graduates believing some UFOs have been alien spacecraft is up 10 points, from 27% in 2019 -- the lowest that year for any major demographic group -- to 37% today.
  • Adults with some college education show a similar, nine-point increase in belief -- from 40% to 49%.
  • Belief rose just four points -- not a statistically significant change -- to 39% among those with no college education.

The new poll shows a significant increase in college graduates who believe UFOs are alien spacecraft. Could this be due to the increase in mainstream media coverage of them – which more were watching due to the pandemic shutdown forcing office workers to stay home? The poll doesn’t say. However, it did take into account gender, age and political affiliation.

  • The new poll also shows men moving ahead of women in believing that some UFOs have been alien visitors to Earth. Forty-four percent of men now take this position, up from 34% in 2019. By contrast, 38% of women currently hold this view, little changed from 33%.
  • Middle-aged adults' belief in visits by alien spacecraft increased the most of all age groups, rising 13 points to 45%. Their views now match those of adults aged 18 to 34, while contrasting with the 37% of adults 55 and older.
  • The views of White and non-White adults, as well as Republicans and Democrats, have been similar to the national average in both years that Gallup has asked the question.

No surprise in the big increase of men believing in aliens on UFOs – belief in conspiracy theories, where many of these stories are lumped into, is higher among men than women. The increase in middle-aged adults could be due to the past few years being their first exposure to UFO news – older Americans were exposed to the first UFO reports, starting with the Roswell incident in 1947, and continuing through the 1950s.

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We're not saying it's aliens ... but it's aliens

What does all of this tell us about Americans and alien-occupied UFOs? Mistrust in government is high, so the idea of a coverup parallels is. The Pentagon report did include a small category of sightings it could not explain, and there’s been talk of greater investigation of UFOs, albeit from a security standpoint. Finally, half of all Americans still believe all UFO sightings can be explained by human activity or natural phenomena. Gallup promises frequent updates to these polls.

Bottom line: belief in visits to Earth by aliens continues to rise. Keep the faith, Mulder!

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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