Is there someone out there?

More than half believe in intelligent aliens

“To boldly go where no man has gone before.” The concluding, evocative words of the opening to each episode of the long running and immensely popular Star Trek television series, featuring the fictional adventures of the Starship Enterprise as it journeyed deeper and deeper into space – the final frontier. But with the release of a highly anticipated US government report on UFOs, which details numerous sightings from the US military of unrecognisable “vehicles” moving erratically through the sky, it may be that “others” have beaten us to it and have been boldly coming and going for years.

And with so many sightings – more than 140 over the last two decades – including three videos that the Pentagon declassified last year showing “unexplained aerial phenomena”, both the US military and the political leadership have moved from extra-terrestrial sceptics to ET-curious. And they’re not the only ones. We asked our readers what they think and almost a third of us, 31%, believes that aliens or intelligent life forms exist somewhere out there in our galaxy and have even paid a visit to Earth. Of that number, and probably unsurprisingly given that more men than women are sci-fi fans, more men than women believe those aliens have dropped in on us. Almost the same number with a similar male/female split believe that such life is out there somewhere, but haven’t yet been and gone.

When he was in office, President Donald Trump said he would not disclose what he had learned about aliens – even to his family. In an interview he said, “I won’t talk to you about what I know about it, but it’s very interesting.” And former president Barack Obama was more open when he told late night TV host, James Corden, “There’s footage and records of objects in the skies, and we don’t know exactly what they are.” The evidence, while still inconclusive, continues to grow and be openly discussed, with the US government adopting a new official term of “unusual aerial phenomena” for the sightings.

Some remain sceptical, claiming that this could actually be part of a clandestine programme by a country with advanced aerial capabilities, like Russia or China. The US government report offered no such proof, and more of our readers than not – 48% to 37% – reckon this recent clutch of sightings is likely to be evidence of alien activity.

And once again more men than women are believers. So if they really are out there and want to communicate with us, should we attempt to make contact, bearing in mind that they may have dropped by and not much like what they’ve seen? On this one, opinion is closer, with 32% reckoning that we should attempt to parlay, while slightly more of us, 38% reckon we should leave well alone and try to evade detection. A further 14% said we should do neither – maybe concluding that we have problems enough of our own to contend with.

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