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If you believe in UFOs, you may be in better company than you think.
Thirty-six percent of Americans, about 80 million people, believe UFOs exist, and a tenth believe they have spotted one, a new National Geographic poll shows.
Seventeen percent said they did not believe in UFOs, or Unidentified Flying Objects, and nearly half of those surveyed said they were unsure. Perhaps reflective of today's political climate, there appears to be near-universal skepticism of government — nearly four-fifths of respondents said they believe the government has concealed information about UFOs from the public.
The study, commissioned in anticipation of National Geographic Channel's "Chasing UFOs" series premiering Friday night, was not all serious, said Brad Dancer, National Geographic's senior vice president for audience and business development. Respondents were asked whether President Barack Obama or Republican challenger Mitt Romney would handle an alien invasion better (Obama won 65 percent in that contest) and which superhero they would call in to fight off the attack (the Hulk beat out Batman and Spider-Man).
"We were trying to have a little fun and see if pop culture references have had an impact on people's beliefs," Dancer said. "It's intended as a fun survey of public opinion."