EDINBURGH is the most common city in the UK for residents believing they have spotted a UFO, according to new data. 

The study, which surveyed 2000 adults, found 18% of Edinburgh's residents claim to have had a legitimate UFO sighting.

The survey also revealed almost half (48%) of those polled believe in the existence of aliens, with 10% claiming to have witnessed something unusual.

Of those who claimed to have witnessed something otherworldly, 59% believe it was of alien origin.

READ MORE: Rangers hero Ally McCoist says he saw a UFO in East Kilbride

The research was commissioned by National Geographic ahead of the launch of "UFOs: Investigating the Unknown," a new documentary series taking viewers on a journey to uncover the truth behind the mysterious UFO phenomena. 

Nick Pope, a former UFO investigator for the Ministry of Defence, commented on the findings: “UFOs are big news now, and a lot of people are reporting - and sometimes filming - extraordinary things.

"While many people are convinced these sightings involve alien life, most cases turn out to be misidentifications."

“The chances are that there's intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, and even though the vast distances make direct contact a challenge, encountering an alien civilization would be the biggest story in human history.”

The study also found that cities in the north of the UK were more likely to have UFO sightings, with only Bristol and London appearing in the top ten from the south.

A total of 31% of all adults surveyed believed humankind will at some point make contact with aliens from another planet or galaxy.

More than four in ten (42%) of those surveyed suspected the Government is concealing information about UFOs, and one in three respondents would like to see the Ministry of Defence’s UFO Project, which investigated reports of UFO sightings, reopened.

If aliens visited earth, 41% of those surveyed believe they would be here to carry out scientific study, while 21% fear they would be harvesting the planet for raw materials.

If aliens asked their earthling counterparts to join the Galactic Federation, David Attenborough was the top choice among Brits to represent the third planet from the sun, followed by Professor Brian Cox and Barack Obama, according to the survey.

The documentary series "UFOs: Investigating the Unknown" premieres on National Geographic on Tuesday, May 2, at 8pm.