LONDON — It’s a question that’s been asked since the beginning of space exploration and beyond: are we alone in the universe? There’s been no shortage of UFO sightings across the globe in recent years, so perhaps it shouldn’t be a big surprise that a new survey reveals one in five people fear Earth will be invaded by aliens by the year 2068.
Overall, half of the 2,000 British adults who took part in the survey believe in the existence of aliens and that first contact with an alien lifeforms will occur in the next 50 years. They don’t think Martians would have good intentions either: 22% are worried for their lives in the event of an invasion. But our interstellar neighbors aren’t the only threat to humanity. Of those who believe contact with aliens is imminent, 71% expect to face danger from panicked humans amid the chaos.
The survey, commissioned by FOX ahead of its “War Of The Worlds” reboot in the United Kingdom, also shows that 71% of believers think Earth has already been visited by aliens at some point in history.
“This new survey supports my firm view that there needs to be a government plan for first contact with extraterrestrials – irrespective of whether they turn out to be hostile or friendly,” says Nick Pope, an expert who has investigated UFO sightings for the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence, in a statement. “These fascinating findings say as much about distrust of government denials on UFOs as they do about people’s belief in extraterrestrial visitation.”
Almost 75% of the respondents believe governments across the globe are hiding information about detection of or contact with alien lifeforms. Additionally, two in three adults agree with Pope that governments should have a plan in place for first contact with other-worldly beings.
When asked what they think will happen if the government learned of an impending alien attack, 58% agree the government would try to keep the information secret to avoid public panic. Conversely, about a quarter of respondents expect the government to warn people.
Would you fight or flee under an alien invasion? The survey found that 46% would join a resistance group in the event of an alien invasion, while 20% would leave that battle up to others. Overall, just 23% feel humanity could successfully defend itself against alien attackers. Sadly, half of respondents think an invasion would end the human race as we know it.
When trying to theorize why an alien civilization would visit Earth, learning about other life forms was the most common response among survey participants. The next two most popular reasons were for scientific research and to steal Earth’s remaining natural resources. One in six think aliens would stop by to undo the damage to the planet caused by humans.
Interestingly, 29% said they would welcome Martians to Earth if they ever visited. While many have long likened aliens to “little green men” or creatures with large, round heads, 56% have no expectations of what extraterrestrial lifeforms might look like. Most respondents believe aliens will have a similar appearance to humans.
The survey was conducted by OnePoll.