A study of 2,000 adults found 37 per cent reckon they’ve witnessed something ‘out of the ordinary’ although 35 per cent put it down to an optical illusion.
While 45 per cent have thought UFOs and aliens exist for as long as they can remember, 23 per cent describe themselves as ‘true believers’ of extra-terrestrial life.
And a third admit they want to believe that there are alien beings out there – despite not always being fully confident in the myth or theory.
The research was commissioned by Beavertown Brewery to celebrate World UFO Day (Saturday July 2nd).
A spokesperson for the artisan brewery said: “You often hear the stories out there that people have legitimately spotted sightings of aliens or UFOs in cities across the country.
“We have always wondered just how many Brits believe in aliens so it’s been really interesting to look at the research this World UFO Day and find out how people feel about extra-terrestrial life . ”
Documentaries (36 per cent), reading online materials (24 per cent) and friends and family (22 per cent) are where people typically learn about aliens or other unusual sightings.
More than four in 10 (43 per cent) are alien enthusiasts because they would like to think there’s more beyond what we know, while 21 per cent say it’s what they’ve always grown up to believe.
A third actively go out to look for unusual sightings and 33 per cent have even come up with their own story about these unexplainable things
Celebrating the believers
When quizzed on their own city, 26 per cent claim where they live is a ‘hot spot’ for unusual sightings – with Londoners believing this the most, followed by those living in the North East.
Three in 10 openly talk about UFOs and unusual sightings without any shame while 40 per cent would rather keep their theories to themselves.
TV documentaries (27 per cent), non-fiction books (20 per cent) and university papers (20 per cent) are the top resources most likely to make people believe UFOs are real.
Despite this, 48 per cent agree they don’t trust in anything they can’t find an obvious answer for.
Lack of evidence (42 per cent), thinking people are just making it up (31 per cent) and being designed to scare people (24 per cent) are the top reasons for not always believing in something that can’t be explained.
However, 41 per cent say UFOs and aliens are interesting to learn about even if they don’t always think they are real.
The study, conducted via OnePoll, also found 61 per cent admit there are certain events in history, such as how the first person landed on the moon, that baffle them and they are yet to understand.
The Bermuda Triangle (23 per cent) and the Illuminati (17 per cent) are among the other theories or myths people like to think are true.
And 26 per cent think Area 51 is secretly used to investigate UFOs and aliens.
Beavertown’s spokesperson added: “There are lots of strange happenings in the sky and people should feel encouraged to share their stories, especially on days like World UFO Day.
“There are more believers out there than we think and we want to celebrate them over a pint.”