|… 77 percent of Americans, according to a 2012 National Geographic poll, who believe that aliens have visited Earth, or the 30 percent of Americans who believe that the government has covered up evidence of alien visitation, according to a 2015 YouGov poll. Or maybe it’s happened to you: There are few hard numbers, however, a 2014 survey for a British talk show found that one in 25 respondents believed they’d been abducted by aliens.|
Belief that alien life exists on other planets is persuasive, sensible; nearly 80 percent of Americans do believe it, according to a 2015 poll. But belief that the aliens are already here feels like something else, largely because it requires a leap of faith longer than agreeing that the universe is a vast, unknowable place. Abduction and contact stories aren’t quite the fodder for daytime talk show and New York Times bestsellers they were a few decades ago. The Weekly World News is no longer peddling stories about Hillary Clinton’s alien baby at the supermarket checkout line. Today, credulous stories of alien visitation rarely crack the mainstream media, however much they thrive on niche TV channels and Internet forums….