Questionable poll touts UFO/ET belief

It all depends what’s in the news at the moment.

48 Percent Of Americans Believe UFOs Could Be ET Visitations.

A HuffPost/YouGov poll reveals that 48 percent of adults in the United States are open to the idea that alien spacecraft are observing our planet — and just 35 percent outright reject the idea.

“It’s always been intriguing to me how we act as though only kooks and quacks and little old ladies in tennis shoes believe in flying saucers. And it’s never been true, at least for 30 or 40 years,” said former nuclear physicist Stanton Friedman, who was the original civilian investigator of the events surrounding the legendary Roswell, NM, UFO crash of 1947.

When YouGov offered respondents the choice between “slightly disagree,” “disagree” and “strongly disagree,” those numbers added up to 35 percent who are skeptical of the notion that any UFOs may be alien-related.

However, nearly half of the adults surveyed (48 percent) resounded in the affirmative, leaving 16 percent who indicated that they weren’t sure on either side of the ET issue.

UFO researchers and believers look at the poll as some kind of vindication. The poll consisted of 1,000 people. Popular polls are unscientific and probably do not accurately reflect current opinion. Also, people lie for polls. They say what they want you to hear or what they are prompted to say based on several influencing factors.

That said, it’s just not surprising. People answered what they might WANT to be true rather than critically thinking about the conclusions of such a belief. So, yeah, just another poll.

And Stan Friedman? Non sequitur and straw man. He makes his living off people’s investment in the belief in extraterrestrials.

  12 comments for “Questionable poll touts UFO/ET belief

  1. spookyparadigm
    September 12, 2013 at 6:44 AM

    The number has gone up and down for decades, but it fluctuates between 25-50%, and I don’t think this is an outrageously wrong description of the reality of American beliefs.

    Here’s the numbers from the Baylor University Religion Survey, as presented in the book Paranormal America (the book is based on a blend of qualitative interviews and participant observation with believers, and the Survey which gets far more detailed in breaking down beliefs and demographics)

    Do extraterrestrials exist? (2007, n=1577, which is sufficient for a representative sample of Americans if done professionally)

    Absolutely 12.2%
    Probably 34.8%
    Probably not 31.8%
    Absolutely not 21.3%

    Some UFOs are probably spaceships from other worlds (2005, n=1628)

    Strongly Agree 4.8%
    Agree 21.2%
    Undecided 27%
    Disagree 23.7%
    Strongly disagree 23.3%

    I suspect about 5% (they’d be in the strongly disagree) probably believe in UFOs but believe they are demonic or something similar. But never minding that, that’s about a quarter of Americans that “believe in UFOs” in the classic sense, with a decently worded question. And probably about 5% for whom it is a big deal (which intimates Friedman’s quote above). Add that with the undecided, and you get your half of the populace open to the idea.

  2. September 12, 2013 at 6:57 AM

    That’s the same outfit that did the ReThink911 poll. Never heard of them until a few days ago. The ReThink poll was (fatally) flawed too.

  3. One Eyed Jack
    September 12, 2013 at 7:45 AM

    There is a big difference between asking “Is there life elsewhere in the Universe” and “have we been visited by ETs”. Polls are great at twisting these questions to generate skewed results.

  4. John Nowak
    September 12, 2013 at 8:29 AM

    One Eyed Jack has it right, I think. I don’t believe the earth is being visited by aliens, but I’m reasonably confident they’re out there.

  5. spookyparadigm
    September 12, 2013 at 8:30 AM

    Jack,

    As noted above, Baylor asked both questions. The responses are indeed different.

  6. spookyparadigm
    September 12, 2013 at 8:33 AM

    Gallup has asked variations on the question numerous times. Here’s one of them

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/19558/paranormal-beliefs-come-supernaturally-some.aspx

  7. terrythecensor
    September 12, 2013 at 2:09 PM

    I’m glad Speigel reached out to such an impartial analyst as Stanton Friedman.

  8. September 12, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    I think there are several aspects of such polls that the UFO community would be wise to consider. Similar could be said about the recent Vancouver baseball game UFO case:

    http://doubtfulnews.com/2013/09/widely-reported-ufo-in-vancouver-was-stunt-by-local-space-center/

    One point long overdue for deeper consideration is the literal definition of “unidentified”. Initially not knowing what something is does not create reasonable probable cause to jump to extreme and unsupported assumptions.

    Another and very important point, in my opinion, is the extent members of the UFO community are willing to “believe”. The significance can virtually not be overemphasized, which leads to yet another consideration:

    An organized, competently conducted hoax would be (has been?) extremely effective when perpetrated on a demographic of people eager to be misled. I empathize with individuals who have observed things they do not understand, but sincerely seeking the truth includes diligently identifying accurate and credible information, wherever it may or may not lead – not conducting motivated reasoning.

  9. terrythecensor
    September 12, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    Jack, you’ll never get to be a MUFON symposium speaker if you keep using your brain when thinking about UFOs.

    > An organized, competently conducted hoax would be (has been?) extremely effective

    Jack, do you have David SImpson’s monograph “Conclusions from Controlled UFO Hoaxes”?

    http://www.i-c-r.org.uk/publications/monographarchive.php#M46

  10. September 12, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    No, I do not have Simpson’s work, terrythecensor. Thanks for the heads up. I found your previous offering of the BUFORA article very helpful. Thank you.

    My personal opinion is that authenticated documents related to such topics as Project Palladium and the exploitation of superstitions for the purposes of psychological warfare are likely to hold some significant implications to the modern day UFO phenomenon. At the least, the topics should receive more attention than is currently the case, and particularly in proportion to sensationalized claims. For those interested in more specific references:

    http://ufotrail.blogspot.com/2013/05/top-secret-projects-and-top-secret.html

    Disclaimer: I don’t necessarily think that’s all there is to the UFO enigma. I do not claim to know what is taking place within all the reports. My goal is not to unreasonably debunk, but to accurately identify credible info.

  11. September 13, 2013 at 5:15 AM

    Sharon is being much too kind and diplomatic in her description of Friedman.

    • September 13, 2013 at 7:47 AM

      I agree.

Comments are closed.