IN the past few days a poll has been published which indicates that half of adults in the UK think that aliens exist and that we are going to be visited by them sooner rather than later.

As The Sun breathlessly reported: “The study of 2000 adults found half believe in alien existence, and think the planet should be preparing itself for an attack within the next 50 years – by 2068.

“But far from coming in peace, 22% of those are worried for their lives in the event of Martians coming to Earth.

“It’s not just UFOs people need to worry about though, as 71% also suspect they’d face danger from other humans during an invasion.”

Given the current horrendous challenge facing the human species, you might think worrying about alien invasion would be the last thing to concern people, but the poll was carried out by a reputable firm who were commissioned by Fox UK to make the survey ahead of the debut on our screens of the latest version of War of the Worlds.


OBVIOUSLY, but a very good one as it’s got people talking about the subject of the existence or otherwise of alien life.

Fox’s War of the Worlds follows shortly after the BBC’s version of H G Wells’s famous novel.

That version was much more true to the original novel than Fox’s latest attempt which is set in present-day Europe and is quite apocalyptic.

As the synopsis states: “When astronomers detect a transmission from another galaxy, it is definitive proof of intelligent extra-terrestrial life. The world’s population waits for further contact with bated breath. They do not have to wait long. Within days, civilisation is all but wiped out by an alien invasion; pockets of humanity are left in an eerily deserted world.

“As aliens hunt and kill those left alive, the survivors ask a burning question – who are these attackers and why are they hell-bent on our destruction?”


OF those who indicated a belief in alien life, some 71% think this planet has already been visited at by aliens, but the other 29% of believers say that “they” have yet to arrive. Perhaps the most interesting part of the poll is that people appear to believe that Governments worldwide are withholding information on extra-terrestrial contacts. Some 58% also believe that if the Government had information about a forthcoming alien invasion they would conceal it to avoid the public panicking. The poll also found that 67% felt that governments should plan for alien contacts, and while 46% of respondents would sign up to fight any invaders, only 23% felt humanity would win – and more than half felt the human species would be wiped out.


THE short answer is about probabilities.

For instance, while astronomers calculate that life MUST exist on planets similar to ours – they are finding more such planets all the time – who is to say what stage that alien life will be at? Will those forms of life be intelligent? Could they drive cars, play Asteroids in video arcades, would they be nice or nasty?

We absolutely do not know for certain that there is any life of any kind anywhere else in the entire universe.

Also, the distances in space are so vast that while we may detect signs of life in the future, it would be just too far away from them to visit us and vice versa as spaceships faster than the speed of light are just figments of science fiction writers’ imaginations.

Since we do not know what life is out there, if any, we have absolutely no idea what they would look like.


IN 2017, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment carried out a similar poll Stateside to coincide with the channel’s launch of a science fiction movie, Phoenix Forgotten, a thriller set during the famous mass UFO sighting in Phoenix, Arizona in 1997 that is referred to as the Phoenix Lights.

Astonishingly, the poll found that 16% of Americans believed they had seen a UFO, and 67% believed aliens had caused the Phoenix Lights.

Some 17% said they would volunteer to be abducted by aliens.

Interesting finding, given that 48% believed any abductions would be because the aliens had a genuine interest in human anatomy.

In the UK on this subject we’re not quite alongside Americans – yet.


THE Seti Institute and other astronomers and astrophysicists have never had it so good as more and more large-scale telescopes, especially radio telescopes, are coming on stream to improve our chances of finding alien life.

No evidence of the electro-magnetic markers that would indicate distant civilisations has ever been found – or so we are told.

Ironically, the 51st Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, the world’s biggest gathering of experts on these subjects, has been cancelled because of Covid-19.

Perhaps we should worry more about our own planet and our people than any unlikely visitors – and remember the words of Wells when he killed off the Martian invaders in his book by invisible pathogens, that they were “slain, after all man’s devices had failed, by the humblest things that God, in his wisdom, has put upon this earth.”