(Photo: 20th Century Fox / WETA)
The number of those who believe in extraterrestrial life is significantly higher than those who believe in God in the United Kingdom, a survey commissioned by a new alien-themed video game claims.
The survey, for which the "XCOM: Enemy Unknown" videogame hired market research agency Opinion Matters to conduct, suggests that 52 percent of U.K. adults believe UFO evidence has been covered up because widespread knowledge of their existence would threaten government stability, as opposed to 44 percent who say they believe in God.
Around 10 percent of the country also claims to have seen a UFO, with almost a quarter more men claiming to have done so than women, the survey indicated. It also suggested that about 20 percent of the country believes UFOs have landed, while over 5 million U.K. residents believe the Moon landings were faked.
Opinion Matters, which surveyed 1,359 U.K. adults, says the results are representative of the population in the U.K.
"Yes, it has been done with an independent panel through a bonafide research company," says Karen Brooks, managing director of Opinion Matters. "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."
Nick Pope, formerly of the British Government's Ministry of Defense UFO Project, said he believes the survey results. "Just 20 years ago, religion was a huge part of life in the U.K., and this shows just how much attitudes have changed," he told atvtoday.co.uk. "Belief in the alien phenomenon is now more widespread than ever, with many wondering how we and our governments would react to the news that aliens existed."
However, Alistair Macdonald-Radcliff, an Anglican priest, told Huffington Post that he is "inherently skeptical about what these statistics tell you, and particularly if there's a narrow, selective base."
Macdonald-Radcliff, director general of the World Dialogue Council and who has worked with statistics on religion, added that "the failure to define what they're asking people to believe here is a fairly critical failure for the survey. 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."