Most Americans Believe in the Existence of Aliens and Think They Come in Peace, Poll Shows

UFO over Mojave Desert, California, USA
Getty Images

The question of whether we are alone in the universe remains unanswered but many Americans think we are sharing space with intelligent life.

Do you think aliens exist? According to a recent poll, you're not alone, as most Americans apparently believe aliens exist and that the extraterrestrials come in peace.

A Pew Research Poll says that about 65% of Americans believe they think there is alien life on other planets.

Of the groups polled, it appears that Americans under 30 and men are the two groups who believe the most in signs of intelligent life outside of Earth.

Hollywood blockbusters like “Independence Day,” “Mars Attacks,” “Men in Black,” and the “Alien” franchise show how life from other planets want to annihilate the human race, but the Pew Research Poll shows a staggering 87% believe that aliens and UFOs pose no security threat.

It is inconclusive if the number of Americans who believe in aliens has been due to the recent government acknowledgement that UFO sightings in recent years show an unexplained aerial phenomenon but do not prove the existence of other intelligent life, the poll said. 

“It is not possible to determine whether recent government information itself is making people more likely to believe the UFO reports are evidence of extraterrestrial life, or whether Americans who were already inclined to believe this tend to be among those following the story most closely,” the poll said

Last month, the office of the U.S. Director of National Intelligence made public for the first time the report examining "unidentified aerial phenomena," telling Congress that it could not draw "firm conclusions" on more than 140 instances.

"In a limited number of incidents, UAP reportedly appeared to exhibit unusual flight characteristics. These observations could be the result of sensor errors, spoofing, or observer misperception and require additional rigorous analysis," the report reads.

United States intelligence officials have said that there is no evidence that unexplained aerial objects observed in recent years belong to aliens, but they are still seeking answers to 120 other incidences witnessed over the years which have since puzzled scientists and officials, according to senior authorities.

"This report is an important first step in cataloging these incidents, but it is just a first step. The Defense Department and Intelligence Community have a lot of work to do before we can actually understand whether these aerial threats present a serious national security concern," Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, the ranking member and former chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a statement following the release of the report.

An official familiar with the report told CBS last month there is no evidence that the objects are extraterrestrial, but also acknowledged that there are still dozens of cases that haven't been explained.

Strange objects, including one that was spinning and rotating, appeared in the skies from summer 2014 to March 2015 over the East Coast, according to previous reports.

Videos of two encounters were filmed by Navy pilots, including one off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida in January 2015.

Another incident was captured on video taken off the coast of San Diego in 2004 where two Navy fighter jets captured an object the size of a commercial plane floating and rotating in the sky.

These sightings were reported to The Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, which was created in 2007 as an arm of the Pentagon, but was officially shut down five years later due to lack of funding, The New York Times reported.

A new task force named the Pentagon's Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force, along with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, was asked by Congress in December to submit an official report on what they know about UFO sightings.

Some skeptics say that it is "unlikely" that what they witnessed was extraterrestrial.

Leon Golub, a senior astrophysicist, told the Times that there are "so many other possibilities –– bugs in the code for the imaging and display systems, atmospheric effects and reflections, neurological overload from multiple inputs during high-speed flight."

Others say that the consistency of these sightings over the decades is reason enough to ask questions.

Former President Obama legitimized inquiries into UFO sightings in an interview last month on The Late Late Show with James Corden, saying, “What is true, and I’m actually being serious here, is that there is footage and records of objects in the skies that we don’t know exactly what they are.’’

Related Stories