Two-thirds of Americans believe intelligent life exists on other planets but 90% believe we have nothing to fear from UFOs

  • Sixty-five percent of all Americans believe that extraterrestrials exist, according to a new survey 
  • A whopping 87% of them think that they are not a threat in one way or another 
  • Just one-in-ten say that UFOs are a ‘major threat to US national security’  
  • Fifty-one percent of respondents believe unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) reported by the military are ‘likely evidence of intelligent life outside of Earth’   
  • Seventeen percent of respondents said intelligent life would be friendly, 7 percent said unfriendly and 74 percent said neither 
  • 76 percent of adults under age 30 say intelligent life exists on other planets, versus 57 percent of those 50 and older 
  • Men (70%) are slightly more likely than women (60%) to believe in life outside this planet 
  • Pew Research surveyed 10,417 American adults between June 14 and June 24 

Nearly two-thirds of all Americans believe that extraterrestrials exist on other planets, but 87% of them think that they are not a threat in one way or another, according to a new survey. 

Pew Research surveyed 10,417 American adults between June 14 and June 24 and found that 65 percent of respondents believe that extraterrestrials exist on other planets, a similar figure to a survey released by CBS News in May.   

Fifty-one percent of respondents believe that unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) reported by the military are ‘likely evidence of intelligent life outside of Earth.’

Of that figure, 40 percent believe there is ‘probably’ evidence of extraterrestrial life and 11 percent believe there is ‘definitely’ evidence.

Conversely, 47 percent of respondents – believe the reports are probably (36 percent) or definitely (11 percent) not evidence of life outside this planet.

‘Perhaps not surprisingly, those who think there is intelligent life outside Earth are more inclined than others to see military reports of UFOs as evidence (69 percent and 16 percent, respectively),’ Pew wrote in a statement. 

Nearly two-thirds of all Americans believe that extraterrestrials exist on other planets, according to a new survey

65 percent of respondents believe that extraterrestrials exist on other planets, a similar figure to a survey released by CBS News in May

Fifty-one percent of respondents believe that unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) reported by the military are ‘likely evidence of intelligent life outside of Earth.’ Of that figure, 40 percent believe there is ‘probably’ evidence of extraterrestrial life and 11 percent believe there is ‘definitely’ evidence

On Monday, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said that he thinks ‘we’re not alone’ after acknowledging that he had read the classified report. 

Additionally, 87 percent of Americans surveyed by Pew think extraterrestrial life – if it exists – is not a threat at all (51 percent of respondents think) or a minor threat (36 percent).

Conversely, just one-in-ten say that UFOs are a ‘major threat to US national security.’  

When asked for a best guess, 17 percent of respondents said intelligent life would be friendly, 7 percent said unfriendly and 74 percent said neither. 

‘Some segments of the public are more likely than others to believe that intelligent life exists on other planets,’ Pew added. 

‘This view is especially pronounced among younger Americans. About three-quarters (76 percent) of adults under age 30 say intelligent life exists on other planets, versus 57 percent of those 50 and older.’

Men are slightly more likely than women to believe in life outside this planet, at 70 percent and 60 percent, respectively. 

Although the survey was done prior to last week’s report from the Pentagon on unidentified aerial phenomena, the findings were not made public until June 30, two days prior to World UFO Day.    

Last week, the long-awaited report from the Pentagon on the subject of ‘unidentified aerial phenomenon’ (UAPs) offered no explanation for 140 of the 144 observations dating back to 2004.

The declassified June 25 report, which came from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, added that it lacks sufficient data to determine the nature of mysterious flying objects.  

‘In 18 incidents, described in 21 reports, observers reported unusual UAP movement patterns or flight characteristics,’ the report reads.

‘Some UAP appeared to remain stationary in winds aloft, move against the wind, maneuver abruptly, or move at considerable speed, without discernable means of propulsion. In a small number of cases, military aircraft systems processed radio frequency (RF) energy associated with UAP sightings.

‘The UAPTF holds a small amount of data that appear to show UAP demonstrating acceleration or a degree of signature management. Additional rigorous analysis are necessary by multiple teams or groups of technical experts to determine the nature and validity of these data.

‘We are conducting further analysis to determine if breakthrough technologies were demonstrated.’   

The term UFO has been more recently replaced by unidentified aerial phenomenon, especially in light of the U.S. Pentagon declassifying three videos in April 2020. 

The footage had been previously acknowledged as real by the Navy, and captured what pilots recorded on their video sensors during training flights in 2004 and 2015.

Two of the clips were first published in 2017 by the New York Times and the third by the To The Stars Academy in 2018 – a group that specializes in unexplained phenomenon and was founded by Blink-182 guitarist Tom DeLonge.

One of the videos was captured off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida, in 2015 (pictured)

The other video shows the notorious 2004 ‘Tic Tac’ incident (pictured) that was recorded over the Pacific Ocean

Only one of 144 reports of UFOs – or Unidentified Aerial Phenomena as the government calls them – can be explained while the others can barely be classified 

The government report says there are 144 reported UFOs – or UAPs – between 2004 and 2021. 

These reports include a spherical flying object buzzing over Navy warships and disappearing into the Pacific ocean, a tic-tac shaped flying object mimicking Super Hornet pilots’ maneuvers and pyramid-shaped flying objects. 

The only one that can be explained with ‘high confidence’ is a deflated balloon. 

Because the reported UAPs showed unusual flight characteristics and displayed a range of appearances and behaviors, the report groups the UAPs into five categories.  

1. Airborne clutter – These objects include birds, balloons, recreational unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or airborne debris like plastic bags that muddle a scene and affect an operator’s ability to identify true targets, such as enemy aircraft.

2. Natural atmospheric phenomena – Natural atmospheric phenomena includes ice crystals, moisture and thermal fluctuations that may register on some infrared and radar systems.

3. USG or U.S. industry developmental programs –  Some UAP observations could be attributable to developments and classified programs by U.S. entities. The report states, ‘We were unable to confirm, however, that these systems accounted for any of the UAP reports we collected.’

4. Foreign adversary systems – Some UAP may be technologies deployed by China, Russia, another nation, or a non-governmental entity but the report says the US is unaware that any nation has technology that’s been reported.

5. A catchall ‘other’ bin – Most of the UAP described in the dataset probably remain unidentified due to limited data or challenges to collection processing or analysis and may require additional scientific knowledge and advances to categorize them. ‘The UAPTF intends to focus additional analysis on the small number of cases where a UAP appeared to display unusual flight characteristics or signature management,’ according to the report.

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