I Want to Believe: Growing Number Think Some UFOs Are Alien Spacecraft

Are we alone in the universe?

Humanity has long wrangled with that question, and new polling suggests a growing number of people think we might not be.

Gallup polling, conducted July 6 to 21, asked respondents which came closer to their view: some UFOs have been alien spacecraft visiting Earth from other planets or galaxies, or all UFO sightings can be explained by human activity on Earth or natural phenomena.

The most common response was that they could all be explained by human activity or natural phenomena, with 50 percent of those asked opting for that response.

Around two-fifths, 41 percent, said some UFOs have been alien spacecraft.

This percentage is up from polling conducted in August 2019, in which 33 percent said some UFOs were alien spacecraft.

The percentage who thought all UFOs could be explained by human activity or natural phenomena was also down, having been at 60 percent in 2019.

The 2021 polling was conducted among 1,007 U.S. adults and results have a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

A conclusion from Gallup alongside the polling said: "With more mainstream news coverage of UFOs in recent years, and the government taking sightings more seriously, the idea that UFOs could be alien spacecraft doesn't seem as far-fetched to Americans as it did even two years ago.

"Meanwhile, the government seems more focused on determining if the threat is coming from foreign governments rather than other planets, and half of Americans continue to presume there is an Earth-based explanation for all such sightings."

Looking further at the 2021 polling, men are more likely than women to believe UFOs could be alien spacecraft.

Among men, 44 percent said they thought this could be the case, compared to 38 percent of women.

Looking at age groups, 18 to 34-year-olds and 35 to 54-year-olds were more likely to think alien spacecraft could be a possibility than those aged 55 or older.

Among those age groups, 45 percent thought that was a possibility, while among those ages 55 and older 37 percent thought so.

Earlier this year a highly-anticipated U.S. intelligence report on UFOs was released.

This examined 144 sightings of "unidentified aerial phenomenon" (UAP) and only found an explanation for one.

The report found no evidence that these UAPs resulted from extraterrestrial aliens. However, it did also did not rule such a possibility out.

This concluded: "The limited amount of high-quality reporting on unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) hampers our ability to draw firm conclusions about the nature or intent of UAP."

A previous survey also suggested more Americans were interested in UFOs after unclassified footage was released by the Pentagon.

stock rendering of a ufo
A 3D rendering of an alien spacecraft. Polling has shown a higher percentage of people believe UFOs could be extraterrestrial life. PhonlamaiPhoto/Getty Images