When people think of really crazy people doing stupiid things they tend to focus on Americans. Specifically Floridians like Jeremie Calo who got arrested for getting into a fight with a restaurant manager. This was just after he had sex on his table, with his girlfriend not the manager. Or, if they’re monied people, they look to Massachusetts where a brother and sister team, Bob & Amanda Larrivee, were arrested for stealing a TV from a bathroom (the rich have too much money) but, instead, copped to the fact they were having sex. They did this because incest is far more socially acceptable to the landed gentry than theft. In other words, there might be enough circumstantial evidence to make America seem the logical choice. And, for as much fun as I have at Florida’s expense, it would seem I agree. Sadly, no, I just snag the low hanging fruit every now and then. For the truly bat guano crazy, the kind fueled by buckets of stupid, you have to wander across the pond meet Darth Vader.
No, not him. The other one.
A guy in England legally changed his name to Darth Vader (because there’s no way that could be confusing) and made the news when his girlfriend got punched in the face because dear old Darth was dipping his light-saber in someone else’s death star. Allegedly. Why hit her and not him? Well, because the puncher missed.
But a story about Darth is appropriate today now that Opinion Matters has released a survey of what British people believe is real.
More than 33 million U.K. citizens believe in extraterrestrial life, compared to just over 27 million — less than half the country — who believe in God.
That’s the result of an online survey of 1,359 adults who were asked a variety of questions ranging from belief in alien visits to Earth, suspicions of UFO cover-ups, belief in extraterrestrials vs. belief in God, and whether or not men actually landed on the moon.
The survey, conducted by Opinion Matters, revealed the following statistics among those surveyed:
- 52 percent believe UFO evidence has been covered up because widespread knowledge of their existence would threaten government stability.
- 44 percent believe in God.
- A quarter more men than women claim to have seen UFOs.
- 20 percent of respondents believe UFOs have landed on Earth.
- More than five million British citizens believe the Apollo moon landings were faked.
While the survey was conducted as part of a tie-in with a new video game, “XCOM: Enemy Unknown,” it was a legitimate sampling of opinions that can be taken to represent the population of the U.K., according to the agency that conducted the survey.
“Yes, it has been done with an independent panel through a bonafide research company,” said Karen Brooks, managing director of Opinion Matters, a well-known market research agency that created the survey.
“Surveys can be done face-to-face, over the telephone and online. This one was a U.K. adult sample, which is quite broad, and doing it online is a quick, effective way of getting to that audience,” she continued. “We make sure that all of the questions are compliant from a research perspective.”
But some are skeptical of the results, including Alistair Macdonald-Radcliff, an Anglican priest and director general of the World Dialogue Council, a group that promotes better relations between the West and Islamic cultures.
“Having done a certain amount of work with statistics on religion, I am inherently skeptical about what these statistics tell you, and particularly if there’s a narrow, selective base. Something with about 1,000 people does set off alarm bells,” Macdonald-Radcliff told HuffPost.
“I really do think the failure to define what they’re asking people to believe here is a fairly critical failure for the survey,” Macdonald-Radcliff said. “Because you’ve already set out quite a variety of possibilities as to what they might or might not suppose UFOs to be. I certainly think sliding extraterrestrial and UFO together is a particularly messy thing to do.”
Macdonald-Radcliff suggested that people are “less inclined to be participants in traditional churches,” which might represent a shift of general beliefs that they have about God and extraterrestrials.
“There may be some correlation there,” he noted. “But I have to say the actual hard data has yet to be found. There may be a relationship between people becoming more credulous in UFOs and less credulous in traditional religion.”
The results of the survey are not surprising to Nick Pope, a former U.K. Ministry of Defense UFO investigator. “It’s important to bear in mind that people who believe in alien life don’t necessarily think it’s visiting us,” Pope said in an email to HuffPost.
“The recent upsurge in the discovery of extra-solar planets may be a factor here; as we close in on ‘shadow Earths,’ people are more likely to think that if Earth isn’t unique, neither is life,” he added.
Pope also noted that many of the doubts people might have about religion or about extraterrestrial life are rooted in a similar problem: lack of hard evidence.
“In the case of religion, we have only faith — faith based on some ancient texts where, despite the claims, no divine origin can be proven,” Pope said. “Even where people claim to have had a first-hand experience, why should we believe accounts of miracles and visions any more or less than UFO sightings or claims of alien abduction?”
See? This is where people mess things up. They take one truth, say – a man scratches his head when he thinks, and they take another truth, oh, let’s try a dog scratches when it has fleas and then they come to a completely erroneous conclusion, THINKING CAUSES FLEAS!
You see the problem.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not about to assail another person’s beliefs. You can believe in God, the Giant Spaghetti Monster, or whatever you want. But, and this is very salient here today, it stops being a belief system when it flies in the face of all evidence. Then it starts being a delusion.
Yes, I know what atheists are saying right now, but let’s move past that.
If, and this is a huge IF, a craft from another world came here and didn’t want to interfere in our culture because they have something like Star Trek’s Prime Directive, they would have no need to come anywhere near our atmosphere. They could just hang out in our solar system and monitor our electronic transmissions. Our current level of technology could do that.
If they didn’t have any restrictions like that they could easily say hello from space by broadcasting on every frequency. Our current level of technology could also do that.
Or they could land. Say someplace fun like the White House lawn. Or the Kremlin or in Riyadh or where ever.
The fact is that I can envision numerous ways for an alien race to make contact with us. The Wow Signal comes to mind. Actually it leaps to mind. Anyway, that would be one way.
What they wouldn’t do is travel a few billion miles just to crash into the planet. Nor would they need to hide in clouds and make funny lights. Or mess with our corn. Just looked at from a simple expenditure viewpoint the actions cited by UFO believers make no freaking sense whatsoever.
Think of it this way, and – yes – thinking is required, if you spent a wad of cash to go to Vegas in your coolest ride, would you then sit in a parking lot behind a sign and hope no one saw you?
That’s the kind of logic that the UFO conspiracies are all predicated on.
As to the whole “fake moon landing” thing, just blow a call out to any of these guys; Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, Alan Bean, Edgar Mitchell, David Scott, John Young, Charles Duke, Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmidtt, all of whom were there and all of whom are alive as of this writing.
Anyway, all American music heroes and friends of this blog, The Ex Senators, are on tour in England right now, so wish them luck.
Listen to Bill McCormick on WBIG (FOX! Sports) every Friday around 9:10 AM.