Continuing my quest for some non-virus related news this weekend (and there’s precious little of it out there, folks), I ran across a recent survey out of Great Britain that appears to reflect some of the shifting attitudes around the world when it comes to the subject of UFOs and the possibility of extraterrestrial life visiting Earth. We previously looked at the reasons why Gallup decided to poll Americans on the topic again last year and what that survey revealed. But this British survey goes much further than simply asking people if they believe there might be life elsewhere in the universe.
This poll jumps straight past any sort of scientific theories about whether or not there might be alien microbes hitching rides on asteroids and goes straight to Hollywood. Fox UK asked 2,000 people if they thought aliens might be preparing to invade our planet and potentially even attack us. And of the Brits surveyed, more than half of them thought it might happen in our lifetimes. (The Sun)
The study of 2,000 adults found half believe in alien existence, and think the planet should be preparing itself for an attack within the next 50 years – by 2068.
But far from coming in peace, 22 per cent of those are worried for their lives in the event of Martians coming to Earth.
It’s not just UFO’s people need to worry about though, as 71 per cent also suspect they’d face danger from other humans during an invasion.
To be clear, this poll was actually commissioned by Fox UK as part of the promotion of their new television series, War of the Worlds. But it was conducted by an experienced polling firm and they weren’t talking about the show, so the results are still worth considering.
Other notable results include the fact that 71% of respondents who think an invasion is coming said they believe that the Earth has already been visited by extraterrestrials at some point in the past. The same percentage worried that they would face additional danger from their fellow human beings as chaos washes over the landscape in the face of the alien attacks.
Interestingly, fully three-quarters of those surveyed believe that governments around the world know more about intelligent alien life than they are telling the public and are hiding that information, with 58% believing that if their government had information about a possible, pending extraterrestrial invasion they would hide that information from the public as well to avoid creating a panic. 67% felt that governments should have a plan in place to deal with the arrival of intelligent, extraterrestrial life.
In previous years, most of these beliefs were probably driven by movies, television shows and books. When the X-Files was at the height of its popularity, belief in the possibility of alien life and mistrust of the federal government surged in a number of polls. But these days, such shifts in opinion are probably being driven far more by actual news outlets and social media discussion of those reports. (I know it’s certainly impacted my own selection of stories to cover here.)
I’ll confess that I was rather surprised by the number of Brits who not only think the aliens are coming (if they’re not already here) but that they might be preparing to attack us. Ever since the revelation of the US Navy videos and the reports of the existence of the Pentagon’s AATIP program created to study UFOs, I’ve probably been one of the more persuadable writers you’ll run across on this subject. But even I don’t buy the idea that they’re planning some sort of attack.
Why? Because if they wanted to take us out and they’ve got the sort of technology that the tic-tacs appear to demonstrate, they probably could have already wiped us out by now. Our own fighter pilots have admitted that we “wouldn’t stand a chance” against them if it came to a fight. Assuming there really is some sort of non-human intelligence behind those craft, I tend to believe that they probably have the same motivations we generally do. Exploration, discovery, scientific research and perhaps the exploitation of resources.
Of course, what do I know? Trying to infer the motivations of some hypothetical, totally alien lifeform is an exercise in futility. I just wish they would land, come introduce themselves and get it over with already.