Some surprising statistics

From the promotional blurb for a film featuring comic actor Dan Akroyd talking about UFOs:

"130 million Americans believe UFOs have visited earth. 3.7 million claim to have been abducted by aliens. 72% believe in life beyond earth, and 71% believe our government is concealing the truth about UFOs."

  The 3.7 million number is the one that really gets me; I'll bet there's money to be made in alien abduction insurance. But the good news is that this is one more subject about which many if not most people believe the federal government is engaging in a cover-up and failing to tell them the truth. Something to keep in mind in case you are ever having a conversation where that fact could come in handy.

Yours in liberty,
        <<< starchild >>>

Libertarians are already associated with about every conspiracy theorists group around. I'm concerned that by citing such numbers we run the risk of adding UFO conspiracy theorists to the list, and it's not clear to me that that would be helpful.

-- Steve

Steve,

  Yeah, it's a double-edged sword, I understand that. I probably should have specified bringing up the lack of trust in government on UFO matters only in conversations where you're fairly sure you're talking to someone who's in the 71% and not in the 29%. Also worth mentioning in such circles that Art Bell, who used to host a very popular radio show on aliens, the paranormal, etc., is a Libertarian.

  I think the numbers may seem less surprising (and of course I can't vouch for their accuracy, they just seem to reflect other statistics I recall seeing in the past) if one considers that the UFO/aliens thing is kind of like a modern religion. Believing aliens are out there watching us isn't that different, imho, from believing that a supreme being is out there watching us, and believing one has been abducted may be a kind of equivalent to believing one has been "saved" and is consequently going to heaven.

Yours in liberty,
        <<< starchild >>>

Right, and avoiding even an accidental association with either group, other than supporting their right to believe in whatever nonsense they choose, seems to me to be the most reasonable position.

-- Steve

Steve,

  It may be the position most compatible with a strict commitment to rationality, but given the numbers involved I don't know that it's a realistic option. In any case, we cannot prove aliens aren't out there, so we might as well be tolerant on matters of faith. When I talk to Christians, I don't mind pointing out that Jesus was killed by government according to the Bible, and I see pointing out the widespread belief that government is lying about UFOs as being kind of like that. I don't personally think alien spacecraft are being reengineered at Area 51, but if the Feds are forced to provide more info about what's going on at secret facilities as a result of pressure from UFO believers, that's a good thing, right?

Yours in liberty,
        <<< starchild >>>

I think even bringing up the topic is a tactical mistake unless your intention is to further associate the party with crackpot theories.

-- Steve